What does the Bible say about sex?
The Bible has a lot to say about sex! Did you know that the Bible contains over 200 verses about sexual intimacy – and then there’s an entire book about marital love – The Song of Solomon. Let’s explore what God’s Word tells us about this incredible gift!
Christian quotes about sex
“The free exchange of consent properly witnessed by the Church establishes the marriage bond. Sexual union consummates it – seals it, completes it, perfects it. Sexual union, then, is where the words of the wedding vows become flesh.” Christopher West
“The monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kind of union (the sexual) from all the other kinds of union which were intended to go along with it and make up the total union.” C. S. Lewis
“God does not blush when he speaks about intimacy or orgasms. He designed our bodies with parts that actually become one, in the most intimate and enjoyable way imaginable, to produce new life. . . . Sex should cause us to marvel at Jesus because all its pleasures point to the glorious one who made them.”
“God never approves sexual union outside of marriage.” Max Lucado
God made every one of us a sexual being, and that is good. Attraction and arousal are the natural, spontaneous, God-given responses to physical beauty, while lust is a deliberate act of the will.
What does the Bible say about sex in marriage?
Sex is God’s blessing for married couples!
“Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.” (Proverbs 5:18-19)
Sexual intimacy is God’s gift to married couples – the ultimate expression of vulnerability and love. It celebrates the love of a man and woman who have committed to a lifelong relationship.
“Kiss me and kiss me again, for your love is sweeter than wine . . . You are so handsome, my love, pleasing beyond words! The soft grass is our bed.” (Song of Solomon 1:2, 16)
Sexual intercourse within marriage is how God meant it to be – intimate, unique, and bonding.
“His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me.” (Song of Solomon 2:6)
“You are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words. Your eyes are like doves behind your veil. Your hair falls in waves . . . Your breasts are like two fawns, twin fawns of a gazelle grazing among the lilies. You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way.” (Song of Solomon 4:1, 5, 7)
God created sex as a dynamic force to connect a husband and wife. Sex in marriage is honorable before God and man – it holds marriages together. God designed chemicals to be released in our brains when we make love: oxytocin, dopamine, and vasopressin. These hormones are addictive – they hold a couple captive to one another.
“You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes . . . Your love delights me, my treasure, my bride. Your love is better than wine.” (Song of Solomon 4: 9-10)
God wants married couples to enjoy each other – and only each other! It binds you – spirit, soul, and body. If you are married – be passionate about being passionate!
1. Proverbs 5:18-19 (NIV) “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.”
2. Deuteronomy 24:5 “If a man is newly married, he must not be sent to war or be pressed into any duty. For one year he is free to stay at home and bring joy to the wife he has married.”
3. 1 Corinthians 7:3-4 (ESV) “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”
4. Song of Solomon 4:10 (NASB) “How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much sweeter is your love than wine, And the fragrance of your oils Than that of all kinds of balsam oils!”
5. Hebrews 13:4 (KJV) “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
6. 1 Corinthians 7:4 “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.”
7. Song of Solomon 1:2 “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine.”
8. Genesis 1:26-28 “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
9. Song of Solomon 7:10-12 “I am my beloved’s, And his desire is for me. 11 Come, my beloved, let’s go out to the country, Let’s spend the night in the villages. 12 Let’s rise early and go to the vineyards; Let’s see whether the vine has grown And its buds have opened, And whether the pomegranates have bloomed. There I will give you my love.”
10. Song of Solomon 1:16 “How handsome you are, my beloved! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant.”
11. Song of Solomon 2:6 “His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me.”
12. Song of Solomon 4:5 “Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies.”
13. Song of Solomon 4:1 “You are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words. Your eyes are like doves behind your veil. Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead.”
What is a Christian couple allowed to do in sex?
God designed your body for sexual pleasure, and He wants married couples to enjoy a thriving sex life. A couple engaged in sexual intimacy honor each other and God.
The Bible does not address sexual positions, but there’s no reason not to explore what brings you the most pleasure. In fact, some positions can be helpful for women who may experience discomfort during sex – such as side by side or with the wife above. As a couple, find what works best!
What about oral sex? First, the Bible does not forbid it. Secondly, some passages in the Song of Solomon seem to be euphemisms for oral sex between a husband and his bride.
“You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain. Your thighs shelter a paradise of pomegranates with rare spices.” (Song of Solomon 4:12-13)
(Bride): Awake, north wind! Rise up, south wind! Blow on my garden and spread its fragrance all around. Come into your garden, my love; taste its finest fruits.” (Song of Solomon 4:16)
“I would give you spiced wine to drink, my sweet pomegranate wine.” (Song of Solomon 8:2)
“Like the finest apple tree in the orchard is my lover among other young men. I sit in his delightful shade and taste his delicious fruit.” (Song of Solomon 2:3)
The important thing is to respect and honor your spouse’s feelings about oral sex. They may not feel comfortable with this sort of foreplay – so don’t pressure them. But if it’s something the two of you want to explore and enjoy doing – that’s okay!
What about anal sex? Here’s the thing – God designed the penis to go inside the vagina. The vagina has natural lubrication, and the lining of the vagina is relatively strong – strong enough for a baby to pass through, so undoubtedly strong enough for sex! The anus does not have lubrication, and the tissue of the anus is much more delicate and can easily tear during sex.
What’s more, the anus is loaded with bacteria like E. coli that is perfectly healthy when it stays in the digestive tract but can make you extremely ill if you accidentally ingest it. Anal sex almost invariably involves feces contaminating the penis, mouth, fingers – whatever goes into the anus – and whatever is touched later, no matter how cautious you are.
Thirdly, anal sex increases anal cancer risk and can dilate and stretch the internal and external anal sphincters – damaging these structures and leading to muscle atrophy and fecal incontinence. Anal sex can irritate existing hemorrhoids and can cause colon perforation in rare cases. Bottom line – anal sex is unsafe for both partners, especially the wife.
14. “Husbands, in the same way, treat your wives with consideration as a delicate vessel, and with honor.” (1 Peter 3:7)
15. “You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain. Your thighs shelter a paradise of pomegranates with rare spices.” (Song of Solomon 4:12-13)
16. Song of Solomon 2:3 “As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”
17. Song of Solomon 4:16 “Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.”
18. Song of Solomon 8:2 “I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother’s house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.”
19. 1 Corinthians 7:2 “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”
Healing a sexless marriage
Great sex – and frequent sex – is intrinsic to happy marriages. And not just when you’re young, but for all seasons of marriage.
“The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)
If sex isn’t happening between you and your spouse as much as you’d like – or ever – you’re among a growing pandemic of couples who live in a sexless marriage. All couples go through seasons where they might experience sexual problems – like not achieving orgasm, erectile dysfunction, or painful sex. However, the biggest issue seems to be that married couples are too distracted or tired to work up the energy for sex, or they are emotionally disconnected or withholding sex as “punishment.”
Your problems – whatever they are – have solutions. It’s imperative to work through and pray through whatever needs healing in your relationship – don’t put it on the back burner. Lack of sex or dissatisfying sex leads to increased relational stress and tension, which snowballs into selfish or unkind behaviors and can lead to infidelity and divorce.
Sometimes physical issues contribute to a sexless marriage. Exercising regularly and achieving and maintaining a healthy BMI can work wonders for the sex drive and erectile dysfunction (which affects about half of all men occasionally). Smoking, excessive drinking, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease are all associated with erectile dysfunction. Honor your body – God’s temple – and you will enjoy better sex!
“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Emotional issues – like anxiety and depression – can cause sexual dysfunction. Sometimes, simple measures – like exercising outdoors in the sunshine or doing something fun together can help a lot. Studies show that people who attend church regularly have less anxiety – so make sure you’re going to worship together and that at home you are worshiping together, reading and discussing the Bible, and praying together.
“. . . casting all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
Lack of foreplay or lack of skilled foreplay can make sex uncomfortable or unpleasurable for the wife. Communication is super important – tell and show your spouse what feels pleasurable – where and how you want to be touched. Husbands – you will reap the benefits of taking extra time to bring your wife to orgasm.
“In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.” (Ephesians 5:28)
Tension between a couple can inhibit sex. It’s hard to enjoy sex or even want sex if there’s an emotional disconnect. Don’t let resentment ruin a good sex life. If you are unforgiving and holding anger against your spouse, you will derail your sex life and marriage. Calmly and prayerfully talk through whatever issues are irritating. Release resentment and let forgiveness flow.
Many younger couples with small children and demanding jobs often deal with stress, lack of privacy, and exhaustion obstructing a healthy sex life. When a young wife is working full-time and doing most childcare and household chores, she’s often too tired to even think about sex. Husbands who get involved with the kids and take on some cooking, cleaning, and laundry usually have wives more interested in sex.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
A big reason for sexless marriages is many couples are overly distracted with work, busy schedules outside of work, watching too much TV, and spending too much time on social media. Make sex a priority in your schedule – you might even want to schedule some “delight nights” into your weekly schedule!
A devastating distraction from sexual intimacy is pornography. Some married people have made porn a substitute for sex with their spouse. Porn can split up a marriage – it’s a type of adultery if you are getting sexual release from something that isn’t your spouse.
20. 1 Corinthians 7:5 “Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
21. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light” (Matthew 6:22).
22. James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
23. Ephesians 5:28 “In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.”
24. Ephesians 4:31-32 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
25. 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
26. Colossians 3:13 “bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”
27. Proverbs 24:6 “for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.”
Does the Bible prohibit sex before marriage?
28. “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So, you must honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)
29. “God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor— not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4)
30. “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” (Hebrews 13:4)
31. “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5)
32. Song of Solomon 2:7 “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.”
33. Matthew 15:19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”
What is sexual immorality according to the Bible?
Sexual immorality includes anything sexual that is outside a marriage relationship. Sex before marriage, including oral and anal sex, is sexual immorality. Adultery, trading partners, and same-sex relationships are all sexual immorality. Even feeling sexual desire for someone other than your husband or wife is immorality.
34. “Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)
35. “Those who indulge in sexual sin, . . . or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality . . . none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9)
36. Galatians 5:19 “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery.”
37. Ephesians 5:3 “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”
38. 1 Corinthians 10:8 “And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day.”
39. Ephesians 5:5 “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”
40. 1 Corinthians 5:1 “Now, it is actually being said that there is sexual immorality among you so terrible that not even the heathen would be guilty of it. I am told that a man is sleeping with his stepmother!”
41. Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”
42. Exodus 22:19 “Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death.”
43. 1 Peter 2:11 “Beloved, I urge you as foreigners and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul.”
Why is sexual purity so important to God?
A loving marriage reflects the relationship between Christ and the church. God hates sexual impurity because it is a distorted, deflated imitation of the real thing. It’s like trading in a priceless diamond for a tawdry dime-store fake. Satan has taken the precious gift of sexual intimacy and converted it into a shabby substitution: a no-strings-tied quick physical release. No commitment, no meaning.
Sex used as fleeting pleasure between unmarried, uncommitted people contaminates the whole point of sex – to bond a married couple together. Unmarried couples may think it’s all casual, but the reality is that any sexual encounter creates lasting psychological and chemical bonds between the two. When people who have created these bonds through immorality later marry other people, they are haunted by their previous sexual flings. This interferes with trust and sexual pleasure in the marriage. The attachments formed through sexual immorality complicate married sex.
“Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, ‘The two are united into one.’” (1 Corinthians 6:16)
This verse speaks of prostitution, but “united into one” applies to any sex outside of marriage. If you have been sexually intimate with someone who isn’t your spouse, you have developed neurological attachments. Even if it was just heavy petting, hormones like vasopressin and oxytocin are released when sexual desire is stimulated, which can cause flashbacks to that person when you’re making love with your spouse.
In this case, you need to repent of your past sexual encounters, confess them to God, and ask Him to forgive you and release you from any emotional, sexual, or spiritual bonds to past lovers that might interfere with your marital relationship.
44. “As the Scriptures say, ‘A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.” (Ephesians 5:31-32)
45. 1 Corinthians 6:16 (NASB) “Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.”
46. Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
47. “Drink water from your own well—share your love only with your wife. Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone? You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers.” (Proverbs 5:15-17)
48. 1 Peter 1:14-15 “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.”
49. 2 Timothy 2:22 “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
50. Proverbs 3:5-7 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.”
How far is too far? | What is an appropriate level of intimacy before marriage?
Some unmarried Christian couples think it’s okay to do whatever they want sexually as long as penetration isn’t involved. In God’s design, the purpose of sexual touching is to arouse sexual desire and prepare the body for sex. It increases vaginal blood flow and releases a fluid that lubricates the vagina and stimulates an erect clitoris in the woman and erect penis in the man. Having to break it off is immensely frustrating.
It’s not wise to get involved in heavy petting – such as touching breasts or genitals – before marriage. You’re messing with a process God created for married couples – intended to end in orgasm. You’re stopping a process in midstream – or maybe not – because many couples give in and go all the way. Even if you’re able to rein it in, your sexual passion creates hormonal “memories” that bind you to your partner. What if you don’t end up getting married? Do you want that person flashing through your mind when you’re making love with your spouse?
51. Romans 14:23 “But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”
52. Ephesians 5:3 “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”
53. Job 31:1 “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?”
54. Proverbs 4:23 “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
55. Galatians 5:16 “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
56. Romans 8:5 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”
How can I overcome sexual temptation?
Overcoming sexual temptation – whether married or unmarried – involves being intentional about protecting yourself from situations where temptation might be overwhelming – like heavy petting when dating. But even married people might find themselves drawn to someone other than their spouse.
Remember – just because feelings of lust pop up, you don’t have to give in to them. Sin is not your master. (Romans 6:14) You can resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7) You have power over your desires – exercise that power! How? Keep yourself out of situations that might lead you to sexual immorality. If you’re dating, curb physical affection and avoid being alone together too much.
If you’re married, guard against getting too close emotionally to someone. Many adulterous affairs begin with a close emotional connection, so be careful that no one supplants your emotional relationship with your spouse.
Where are your eyes drifting? Set a guard over your eyes. Exercise great caution with your computer, phone, and TV.
“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman.” (Job 31:1)
Especially, guard against porn. This takes your sexual desire out of your marriage and leads to destruction. Pornography depicts expectations and behaviors that directly conflict with the dynamics of secure attachment and authentic intimacy in a loving marriage. It flies in the face of enduring married love.
“Anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)
Be careful who you’re hanging out with. Some friends will enable and encourage sexual sin. Be cautious with social media if you’re married – not just with porn but also who you’re messaging. Social media reconnects us to people from our past – and sometimes ignites old sparks. Or it might introduce you to someone new who distracts you from your spouse. Avoid risky situations. Be alert to your motivations for connecting on social media.
Above all, nurture your marriage! Work at keeping bonded emotionally. Carve out time to have fun together, find ways to reignite sexual excitement and emotional connection. Schedule date nights, remember to engage in thoughtful behaviors throughout the day, and sit down for some passionate kissing.
57. James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
58. Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
59. 1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, so that in due time He may exalt you.”
60. Joshua 1:8 “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
61. Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Remember, sex is God’s gift – God’s blessing for married couples. It celebrates your commitment, your enduring love, and your vulnerability. Don’t let anything or anyone disrupt what God has created for you.