Have you noticed that in our current culture a number of historically problematic sexual activities have become No Big Deal or even encouraged? Most often, the reason I hear is that it’s between “consenting adults.”
We also hear this about marriage. After all, whose business is it if a married couple mutually agrees to engage in whatever sexual act they choose? They’re adults, they consented. Surely, then, everything’s okay.
I am disturbed by this trend in the larger culture, but among Christians, it’s particularly distressing. Even if husband and wife consent, there’s yet another vote that matters! Do you have the consent of your Lord and Father, the One who created sex?
So, what if you decide in your marriage that you want your husband to get his sexual needs met elsewhere? Or you’re both willing to couple swap, or “swing”? Our Lord says:
“You must not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14, Deuteronomy 5:18).
“You must not covet your neighbor’s wife” (Exodus 20:17).
“But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself” (Proverbs 6:32, NLT).
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4).
How about watching porn, reading erotica, going to strip joints together? After all, you’re consenting to do it together. And what if it’s “just want to spice up [your] marriage”?
“I made a covenant with my eyes
not to look lustfully at a young woman.
For what is our lot from God above,
our heritage from the Almighty on high?
Is it not ruin for the wicked,
disaster for those who do wrong?
Does he not see my ways
and count my every step?” (Job 31:1-4).
“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5, emphasis added).
And maybe you get aroused by striking your mate in the bedroom, by introducing intense S&M practices, by pushing your pain-pleasure limits? Isn’t it okay if you’re both consenting?
“The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion” (Psalm 11:5).
“From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things, but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence” (Proverbs 13:2).
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12).
“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13).
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:22-23, NLT, emphasis added).
Today, I am simply letting the Bible speak for itself. Soak in God’s Word and reflect on it.
When you consider what sexual intimacy in your marriage should look like, think not only about the husband’s consent and the wife’s consent, but the consent of the third partner in your marriage — God Himself. Indeed, I would argue God’s consent matters the most.