What does worship have to do with sex? Or, for that matter, what does sex have to do with worship? Most people think the two would never appear together, in word or in deed. I used to agree, but no longer. I’ve changed my mind. In the Bible, God quite consistently connects sexual and spiritual behavior. If you’re uncomfortable with God’s pairing of the two, you’re in for a surprise.
You may feel that connecting worship and sex disrespects God. Part of that response depends on your ideas about God. (Do you think He only approves of abstract, otherworldly, bland pursuits?) Part of that response depends on your ideas about sex. (Do you think graphic pleasure is unspiritual? Do you think it dangerous?) If you think this way, about either God or sex, I’m hoping you’ll change your mind.
Sex and worship turn out to be surprisingly similar. Both reach their peak only within a relationship where permanence is promised. In such relationships sex and worship picture each other. The visible physical joining of married lovers opens our eyes to parallel invisible wonders found in our marriage to God. The intimacy, passion, and pleasure of sexual intercourse mirror the intimacy passion and pleasure of sharing worship with our heavenly lover. Sex physically portrays a deeper – and thankfully longer-lasting! – spiritual reality. Sex illustrates and enhances worship.
Worship also illustrates and enhances sex. As we experience intimacy with God, we become more adept and willing to thrill with sexual intimacy. Intimacy begets intimacy. Passion begets passion. Pleasure begets pleasure. Sex and worship each teach us about their counterpart. (If you dare, try musing about the similarities between these two experiences.)
Of course, we don’t have to be married to experience intimacy. Deep connection, as it should, pervades many dimensions of many different relationships. But marriage adds another dimension. Marriage opens us to an intense sexual intimacy not available in other sexual relationships. Why? Because it takes this faithful exclusive commitment to give us the freedom to be so thoroughly vulnerable. God designed us that way.
As you read my other posts on sex and worship (and I hope you do), you may at times think I’ve gone beyond a proper and respectful understanding of the Bible. Please give my ideas a chance. I have spent many years studying what the Scriptures say about God and His gift of sexuality. Because I’m convinced that what God communicates to us in the Bible is real and practical and true, I’ve worked hard to represent His thoughts with accuracy and clarity. Indeed, I would never have the courage to write what I’ve written if I thought I was distorting either His character or His words. Please forgive areas where I may have fallen short of representing Him well, and, if you would, let me know how you believe I can better honor Him.
God Pairs Sex & Worship
© Lynne Fox, 2015
This post offers content from my current book-in-progress:
Sex & Worship: The Presence of Intimacy, Passion, and Pleasure.
Preview Its Table of Contents Here