Usually when someone shares their favorite Bible stories, they don’t involve sex, right? It’s stuff like David and Goliath, Daniel in the Lion’s Den, the Prodigal Son, or Jesus’ resurrection. And I definitely have that kind. But I considered my favorite stories from the Bible that actually involve sex in some way and came up with seven I particularly appreciate. Here are the first four.
1. Adam and Eve. One of my favorite Bible-themed cartoons is this one:
Although I’d like to think that Eve was also excited. Can you imagine how cool it must have been to have God pick your spouse for you? He’s got good taste, and He knows what you like.
Adam and Eve were set apart for one another and discovered sexuality together, with no interference from prior sexual history or erroneous messages or third parties (what third parties?!) trying to butt into their relationship. Ideally, we enter marriage with the same clean slate. And if we didn’t, I believe God can wipe it clean (Psalm 103:12; 1 John 1:9).
Perhaps more of us should treat our marriage bedroom like the Garden of Eden — keeping it a safe, private, flourishing place — where we are set apart for one another and blessed by God.
2. Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife. Young Joseph is sold into slavery, taken to Egypt, and purchased to be a slave in Potiphar’s house. Over time, he gains his owner’s trust and thus authority over the household. Then Potiphar’s wife notices that Joseph is a hunka-hunka man (“well-built and handsome,” Genesis 39:6), so she slaps on her bedroom face, curls her fingers around in a come-here-baby gesture, and asks him to sleep with her. What does Joseph do? He says no. Repeatedly. And then runs.
One reason I love this story is I grew up in a Christian community that pretty much taught us teens “don’t” when it came to sex. That was about it, except that there was an underlying message that it was really more up to us gals to keep the barriers up because teenage boys were hopelessly lusting all the time and they couldn’t really be blamed for all that testosterone and whatcha-gonna-do? and all that. But here’s a young man who understood the importance of not engaging in adultery, of saving sex for marriage.
When he finally married Asenath, I like to think she was both surprised and pleased he’d saved himself for his wife. So when single people ask those two important questions: Can one really wait for marriage? Is it worth it? The answer’s yes, and here’s Joseph to prove it.
3. Hannah and Elkanah. Hannah is one of the two wives of Elkanah. (It’s a little hard for me to imagine being in her place, since sharing a husband sounds like a horrible idea. But we should remember the culture they lived in.) Her husband clearly loves her: “But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb” (1 Samuel 1:5). He tries to console her in her infertility, reminding her of their love (v.8).
When they go to the temple and the priest Eli observes Hannah praying fervently for a child, He gives her a blessing that God will grant her desire. And this part is not lost on me at all: “Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her” (v. 19). How many married couples think worshiping God would be logically followed by going home and making love? Well, it should!
We needn’t feel any disconnect between worshiping God and expressing intimate love with our spouse. God designed both and desires both. Hannah and Elkanah worshiped, went home, made love, and — with God’s hand — finally conceived a son.
4. David and Bathsheba (not that first story!). Bathsheba’s first child, born of an adulterous relationship, died. That’s a nightmare for parents. I cannot fathom the heartbreak involved in losing a child.
However, David comforts his wife Bathsheba in an unusual way. Following their son’s death, the Bible says, “Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her” (2 Samuel 12:24a). She conceived a second son, Solomon. But it seems that David’s comfort of his wife also involved that sexual intimacy together.
I’ve written before about the healing power of one-fleshness in a marriage. There is closeness and connection and comfort in physical intimacy between spouses. I love how this couple’s story of a second chance and heart healing involves the marriage bed as well — a bed now blessed by God Himself.
So that’s four stories that have some takeaways regarding God’s plan for sexual intimacy. Be sure to check back on Thursday, when I’ll have three more great Bible stories (that actually involve sex).
Do you have a favorite Bible story? Does it include any lessons for you regarding marriage or sexuality?
11 thoughts on “4 Great Bible Stories about Sex”
Love this! Especially true of #4 for me. After the loss of our 7-month old last year, intimacy brought us comfort and for me the ability to even go to sleep at night. I did a conference session on pornography and helping churches address this problem among its members. One thing I stressed was the church needing to not have sex be a taboo subject because God created it to be good within His boundaries. I would like to see more conversations and sermons about this wonderful gift as he intended it. This is a great jump start! Thanks, J!
#4….I imagine he really made love to her…complete with soft words, just for her pleasures, reassurance of love and value….speaking her love languages along with the sexual union.
On #3, not only can lovemaking be appropriate AFTER worship, it can also coincide with worship. No, I’m not talking about having sex in a church building (although that does seem to be a highly sought after experience by some people!). Instead, I’m saying that if we understand our sexuality correctly, as a glorious gift from God, then when we engage in sex joyfully, skillfully, and lovingly, we are in that very act giving thanks and praise to God. We are, either indirectly or better with spoken words, saying something to the effect of “We gratefully receive your delightful gift, and as we enjoy the pleasures and treasures You designed, we do so with gratitude, worship, and love for You!” We may not usually have that mindset (or speak those words) in our bedrooms, but our view of sex and perhaps even our experience of sex will be healthier if we do
We just wanted to say we love the work you are doing on your site for Christian marriages! We just started our own blog about sex and breaking down the barriers that hinder Christians from experiencing the passion that God designed for us to enjoy! Maybe we can throw links on each others blogs (reignitepassion.blogspot.com) and join forces to help revive marriages that are hurting to stop divorce rates from rising all the time!!
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I believe that there is another incidence of “consolatory sex” in 1 Chronicles:
The sons of Ephraim: Shuthelah, and Bered his son, Tahath his son, Eleadah his son, Tahath his son, Zabad his son, Shuthelah his son, and Ezer and Elead, whom the men of Gath who were born in the land killed, because they came down to raid their livestock. And Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brothers came to comfort him. And Ephraim went in to his wife, and she conceived and bore a son. And he called his name Beriah, because disaster had befallen his house. (7:20-23)
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What about Ezekiel 23 and Genesis 30-38?
Well, Ezekiel 23 is a parable about the adulterous actions of Samaria and Jerusalem — not really about marriage and sexuality. And I assume you’re referring to the Jacob and Rachel story in Genesis 30-38, which is both positive and negative. It’s pretty amazing that Jacob loved Rachel so much that he worked seven years for her, and when those years were done, he told his father-in-law he wanted to marry Rachel basically because he was more than ready to bed his beloved. Which tells me they didn’t sex before, so purity message there!
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