Sex Talk: What You Need to Know About the “S” Word

Ian and Elle Tumaliuan

February 14, 2020

Conversations about sex have become common in this day and age. I (Ian) remember how one student shared his experience with me, and my heart broke as he showed not even a hint of remorse or regret for having done this outside of marriage.

Whether it’s with our friends, on social media, in advertisements, or in shows, sex is being talked about openly. Sleeping around, going to hook-up sites, and watching porn are no longer taboo, but are “just the way things are.”

Some people think that having sex is the apex of their human life, that it satisfies their deepest desires and longing for love and acceptance. Sex is being desired as if it’s the highest form of pleasure that anyone can experience, the ultimate joy that they’re looking for.

It’s 2020. It’s just the way things are.

But is this really so? Or is there something more?

There’s something in the way we view sex today that is not according to the original design.

Sex is good, but it does not complete you.

God invented and designed sex. He created sex to feel good! It is a gift from Him! (WHAAT?!)

Because it is God’s creation, it should be experienced within the bounds of His design—which is marriage. And when we follow God’s design, sex becomes a source of delight because it doesn’t involve any guilt or shame.

Sex could be one of the best things you will ever experience in your lifetime when it’s done within the bounds of marriage. But even then, sexual pleasure will never be enough to complete or satisfy you. Whether you’re single or married, having sex will not fill up your “love tank” completely, fully, and forever.

John Piper says, “Seeking satisfaction in the things of this world is like chasing the wind. Once you’re finally exhausted and weary from your pursuit, you’re left empty-handed and disappointed. You’ve wasted valuable time chasing nothing.”

There’s a God-shaped hole in our hearts that can only be filled by the Designer Himself. Psalm 107:9 says that God satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.

If you really want to be fully satisfied and complete, God is the answer; not sex.

Sex can be a form of worship.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Romans 12:1 (NIV)

Ok, wait a minute. What does worship have to do with sex? Everything! This verse tells us that as we offer our bodies, holy and pleasing to God, we are worshipping Him.

We worship what we love and value the most. We are designed to be worshipers at our core. This is seen when we give our time, energy, effort, and love to the object of our worship. 

If we love God, it shows in how we devote our time, spend our energy and resources, and even use our bodies. Our eyes show we love God whenever we choose not to look at sensual scenes, watch pornographic material, or look at men and/or women lustfully. Our minds show it when we focus our thoughts on whatever is pure and holy, rather than on indecent and lustful things. Our hearts show it when our desires are fixed on Jesus, choosing to be fully satisfied by Him.

If we love God, it will show in the way we view and approach sex. Since sex is designed for marriage, sex becomes an act of worship when we use it to serve our spouse. It isn’t about us getting what we want from the other person or about satisfying our needs. It’s an act of selfless love, deliberate vulnerability, and deference to the other person.

God is worthy of our worship. Will we choose to worship Him by letting our bodies be living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to Him?

Sexual purity is about passion, not just resistance.

When I (Elle) turned 13, my dad gave me a special necklace. Parents would usually give purity rings to their children when they became teenagers, but my dad did something a little different. 

“This necklace represents your passion for God,” he said. “What’s important is your love and passion for God. Purity will just follow. The more you are passionate for Him, the more you will be passionate for pursuing purity and holiness.”

The pursuit of sexual purity is about passion, not just resistance. If we are passionate about pursuing God and His will, it follows that we will passionately resist anything that will make us stray from His purpose. Resistance without an object of passion will turn into legalism (all about rules) and burnout (feeling overwhelmed and exhausted). Resistance is a result of our passion and pursuit of God.

As we become passionate for God, we begin to have a distaste for sin. We begin to realize that sin, including sexual sin, destroys and ultimately kills us. When we engage in sex outside of God’s design, we have to deal with the consequences—namely, unplanned pregnancies, potential diseases, emotional wounds, broken relationships, condemnation, guilt, and insecurity. It taints our relationships with others, and distorts the way we view relationships.

God, on the other hand, offers us life, wholeness, security, and freedom. Why would you exchange this for anything, if you have already tasted the best that life could be with God?

Psalm 37:4 tells us, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Here are some practical tips on how to fight for sexual purity.

1. Recognize areas of sexual brokenness and admit them before God.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

The first step is to humble ourselves and express to God that we are sorry for our sins. We then call on Him to help us in our struggles. Confessing to God means admitting to Him that what you did was wrong. It also means that we admit to hurting God every time we sin.

If you’re tired of fighting, there is hope. Jesus can cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Confess, repent, and be in faith that God has forgiven you and has given you the grace to overcome any struggle.

2. Ask for help.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.

James 5:16

If you’re struggling with sexual sin (e.g., lust, pornography, masturbation, premarital sex), you may ask for help. It helps to have a more mature Christian who could guide you and keep you accountable. Confessing to another person that you’re struggling with sin will take a lot of courage and vulnerability.

Sometimes, our first response is to isolate ourselves and run away from people. Instead, we need to run to others and confess our sin so that we will be healed as we confess and pray together and be freed from condemnation.

3. Flee from sin and pursue God.

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

2 Timothy 2:22

There are two practical things that we can learn from this verse:

  • First, run away from sin and resist temptation. Stay away from things that trigger you to sin. Don’t test your limits or stay on the edge of your boundaries. If there’s a hint, run away immediately. If there’s a sensual photo or video on social media, don’t look again.
  • Second, surround yourself with other people who are passionate for God. You become passionate for God when you surround yourself with such people. Learn from them, look at their lives, and gladly receive rebuke and correction from them. 

God desires to see a generation that is holy and set apart for Him. He is doing something great in our generation. He is revealing His purposes to us and He wants us to receive that.  

And it requires us to be holy and set apart for Him.

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The Author

Ian and Elle Tumaliuan

Ian and Elle are newleyweds who love eating, reading, watching Netflix, and spending time with friends and students alike. They met in UP Diliman as students, and were both passionate about discipleship, worship, and songwriting ever since then. They both are campus missionaries serving in the campuses in Katipunan. Nothing gives them more joy than to see students’ lives change as they encounter Christ in their everyday.

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