What is sexual ethics?Sexual ethics is a field of study that combines the study of ethics with the study of human sexuality and behavior. The field of sexual ethics includes moral views of sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identification, sexual acts, procreation, and consent. In general, the sexual ethics of a given culture are largely connected to the primary religion of that culture and how that religion approaches sexuality. While some religions condone adultery, rape, or even molestation, in nations with a primarily Judeo-Christian influence, these acts are condemned. In a Judeo-Christian worldview, the Bible sets the standard for what healthy sexual ethics are.
As our Creator, only God has the authority to define sexual ethics, for He is the one who created our sexuality in the first place. God created Eve for Adam and He created marriage as the only proper place for sexual intimacy to occur, making the man and woman become one flesh (Genesis 2:21–25; Mark 10:6–8; Ephesians 5:31). God condemned adultery of any kind and at any time (Deuteronomy 5:18; Leviticus 20:10). Hebrews 13:4 states: "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous." Sexual activity belongs within the covenant of marriage, and external sexual practices such as adultery, pre- or extramarital sex, prostitution, homosexual practice, and even lusting after someone sexually are all considered to be sin (Matthew 5:28).
Unfortunately, all throughout history, sin, perversion, and selfishness have permeated mankind's sexual ethics. We see examples of this in the atrocities of things such as human trafficking, rape, child molestation, STDs, and abortions. The sexual ethics God created are for our own benefit and wellbeing. Modern society argues that Judeo-Christian sexual ethics negatively limit our ability to fully explore our sexuality. As believers, we need to remember to trust that God, as our Creator, knows what we need and how we can be as healthy as possible in our sexuality. We can trust the instructions within His Word to guide us (Psalm 119:105).
Whether a person has upheld godly sexual ethics throughout their life or not, he or she can commit now to start fresh and uphold God's standard of sexual ethics. Sexuality is a gift and it should be treasured and cared for properly at every stage of life, whether in singleness or marriage. It is important to honor God by honoring our bodies, for they are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19–20; Romans 12:1). In doing so, we bring glory to God and we avoid the negative consequences that come along with disregarding His sexual ethics.
What does the Bible say about sexual purity?
Is sex intended only for procreation or can married couples have sex just for pleasure?
Is Christian conduct important to how the unbelieving world views Christ?
What does it mean for Christians to be in the world but not of the world?
How does Christian ethics define morality?
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