When we teach our young people about sex we usually start with “how.” This is commonly referred to as “the talk.”
We usually cover the “who” and the “when” by saying husbands and wives who love each other.
We never really address the “why.” By context our young people are left to determine that it is for the purpose of having children.
From a Biblical stand point, sex for the purpose of having children is pretty obvious. Genesis 4:1 says, “Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.” Later in Genesis 38, that is the motivation for Tamar but not for Judah who thought she was a prostitute. In the next chapter, Potiphar’s wife has a different motive for begging Joseph to go to bed with her. Genesis 39:6-7 explains “Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice.”
A recent study set out to find out the reasons people have sex today. They found the following top 21 reasons people engage in sex:
- Boosting mood and relieving depression
- Enhancement of power
- Enhancement of self-concept
- Experiencing the power of one’s partner
- Feeling loved by your partner
- Fostering jealousy
- Improving reputation or social status
- Making money
- Making babies
- Need for affection
- Partner novelty
- Peer pressure or pressure from partner
- Reducing sex drive
- Sexual curiosity
- Showing love to your partner
- Spiritual transcendence
- Stress Reduction
Go over this list with your teenagers and ask them which of these reasons are Biblical and which are wrong. This is a great exercise in applying the Bible to real world situations.
To make the exercise a little more challenging evaluate these reasons from the context of a married couple.
Which of these reasons are acceptable for a married couple to have sex? Which of them fit under the Biblical reasons of having children (Genesis 4:1), intimacy (Genesis 2:24, “the two will become one flesh”), attraction (Genesis 39:6-7), and love (Song of Songs 1:2, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth-for your love is more delightful than wine”).
Carroll, R. (2012). The Top 20 Reasons People Have Sex. , Cited in WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/guide/why-people-have-sex