Sex is God’s Way of Humbling Us

Wanna think about God? Then think about sex.

Because what happens when you think about sex? You go bonkers. We all go bonkers whenever we think about sex, because the entire mega-realm of Our Sexuality quite thoroughly dominates our lives and consciousness—and yet none of us can understand or control our interior sexual lives anymore than we can sing La Traviata backwards.

It is an unknowable, universal, life-producing, frightfully powerful force that defines and informs every aspect of our personal experience and identity. Now is that a definition of God, or a definition of sex? You be the judge!

Contrary to much Christian assumption, sex isn’t the enemy of God. Sex is the model of God. Sex is what God hardwired into the core of each of us so that we might never, ever forget that when push comes to shove (oh, stop it), we’re lost. Dumb. Helpless. Uninformed. Woefully dense.

Driven like crazy. But still lost as lost gets.

We like to think we know and understand God. I think sex is God’s immediate, intimate way of irrefutably proving to us, eight thousand times a day, that we haven’t even begun to understand him.

God likes us. He’s always trying to communicate his nature to us. We, of course, are not equipped to contain or apprehend anywhere near the entirety of that nature.

But he wanted to give us something that could constantly remind us of the magnitude of the power with which he is always at work deep within every human soul.

And voila!

Gonads!

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://suddenlyatheist.wordpress.com/ morsec0de

    "and yet none of us can understand or control our interior sexual lives anymore than we can sing La Traviata backwards."

    I disagree.

    I think understanding and controlling our interior sexual lives is at least as difficult as singing "La Traviata" perfectly. Which means it takes a lot of practice to get anywhere close, and we may go our entire lives without achieving perfection.

    Hmmm…there may be a pun in there somewhere.

  • Rachel

    This is my first time to your blog since I heard about it at the writer's conference last weekend. Very interesting . . . I just wrote a blog about women symbolizing the church and men Christ. To futher that thought sex is the symbolic act of our union/connection with God. (at least one part of that relationship) To me this speaks to how desirous and passionate God is about us and how He wants us to be in return. And what a God to give us such an amazing illustration.

    Rachel

  • http://rightplaceandtime.blogspot.com/ Colleen

    This is truly a topic we all need to keep alert remembering to watch and pray knowing sex is a fire that can both warm and burn. We are blessed with this God given drive that is a force we must tame, like a wild beast. I'm reminded now of that old story that goes something like this: A young Native American is converted to christianity and goes back to his village to share his experience. He describes his struggle to a wise old villager as now having 2 dogs fighting within him. One is a wild dog and the other is an obediant dog that quickly follows the commands of his master. The wise old villager asks, "Who's winning?" The young man responds, "The one I feed the most!"

  • Mara

    Wow, that’s a pretty broad statement, that all of us are driven bonkers by sex. Makes me feel very fortunate to be female and in my late 30s. I was married for many years, and enjoyed the sex while we were married. I even thought of myself as addicted to sex for most of those years, and wondered what I would do if I lost him. Well, I did, and the fact is, I rarely think about sex anymore. I have a life full of meaning, purpose, intellectual challenges, friendships, coworkers, etc. Sex is such a small part of my life anymore. Every so often, maybe every two weeks, something will remind me of what it used to be like, but it doesn’t cause any kind of craziness, just a quiet stirring, and is easily quenched.

    To tell you the truth, looking back on my marriage, a large part of the time my sex drive was more of a desire to be loved, than actual lust. I think that a lot of women give into sexual advances out of a need to be desired, adored and loved, rather than the sheer desire for sex that men have. What do you say, women. Isn’t it more of a feeling of needing to be loved than needing pure, impersonal sex?

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Yeah, totally agree. You will never know everything there is to know about sex or God, and woefully we are lost in both areas

  • FreetoBe

    To answer your last question, Mara, NO. To expand, if you are in a loving, committed relationship, sex need never be impersonal. It's warm, wonderful, and brings you as close to another human being as you will ever be.

    John, I'm having a hard time wrapping my thoughts around this one. Are you comparing the closeness and intimacy of sex with another person to God's desire to show us, in just a miniscule amount, of what He feels for us? That's just way out there…..I'll be thinking of this for a long time today.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Free: No, I'm not saying that at all. Nice thought!—but, alas, not mine. I'm saying … well, what I said. But maybe I wasn't clear enough about it.

  • Judy

    Ah, you changed the title. I commented earlier, but it didn't show up.

    Colleen, I like that story.

    John, I don't think everyone goes bonkers when they think about sex. Men and women are definitely wired differently. Sex is powerful and a gift from God, to be sure. I think about it, but I'm not consummed by it. Quoting Charles Stanley, "God designed us with a desire for intimacy—to connect, to know and be known. " Not only with our mates, but with God. Sex and God go together, but I can't say when thinking about sex, I've thought about God at the same time. Well, rarely, anyway! Interesting piece.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Judy: Yeah, for some reason your comment yesterday ended up being marked as Spam. Sorry I didn't check that folder sooner.

    I didn't actually mean that people can't think about sex without going "bonkers." I just meant that the GENERAL idea of people's sexuality—the whole of it—tends, in the main, to be something too core to people's very being to be subject to much if any rational control.

  • http://rericsawyer.wordpress.com R. Eric Sawyer

    Two of the interesting things about sex for me (and there are PLENTY of interesting things!)in relationship to God are that the line between selfishness and giving becomes so blurred (when everthing is going right) as to almost evaporate: to give is to receive. Seeking my own pleasure gives pleasure. Seeking my partner's delight is delightful beyond expression. Aside from reflections on all Jesus' moral teaching, this leads me into a contemplation of how marriage is like the Trinity; in particular, how when my wife and I are most united, most "one" we are also intensly individual. We often (usually?) fall far short. But it comes right often enough that we can see the heights from where we are, and taste the fruit. It starts to become a little clearer about being plural, and yet united: a "Plural-Unity" neither confusing the persons nor dividing the essence.

    I think this understanding of relationship, which Theologically is painted in the doctrine of the Trinity, and experientially in fully sexual marriage, is close to the core of God's ultimate design for all people in the Kingdom of Heaven. It is not for shallow reasons that the marriage metaphor is used for the church as the "bride of Christ." Nor is it by accident that so many non or pre-Christian religions had a sexual component. Even "through a glass darkly" something of the significance of sexuality was apparent.

  • Pingback: Sex reminds us? « Significana

  • http://odgie.wordpress.com odgie

    "And voila! Gonads."

    I have got to work that line into the next Bible study or class I teach.

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com ric booth

    odgie, I’m trying to work it into a poem. (now what rhymes with nads…)

    Larry Crabb devoted an entire chapter of one of his books on this analogy… I have to det back to you on the title later. I just remember that chapter. Vividly. duh. The rest of the book was pretty good too. I just don’t remember any of it. Or the title. (I hope Larry isn’t one of your readers John.)

    cads, dads, fads, hads, lads… two lads?


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