By nature, people are sexual beings. Genesis 1:27 literally states that God created man male and female. This distinction was not intended as a separation, but as a way of complementing one another, both physically and mentally (Genesis 2:20). But this notwithstanding, if one is not or is hardly occupied with sexuality, one is still entirely human, in spite of the widespread emphasis on sexuality in our present society. Sometimes abstaining from sexuality offers the opportunity of a special focus on the Kingdom of God (see Matth. 19:12; 1 Cor. 7).
The following conclusions can be drawn from the Biblical vision on sexuality:
- sexuality is a gift of God and may be experienced and valued as such. Marriage forms the safe haven in which vulnerable human sexuality comes into its own right.
- the experience of sexuality is a matter for two people and is always focused on the other.
- physical sexual intercourse is inseparably connected with the mental union with the sexual partner.
The sexual experience can only take place within the context of marriage between man and woman as ordained by God, whereby the principles of unconditional love, indissolubility, reliability, equality, reciprocity and security are paramount. In principle, sexuality is not sinful. However, in this context the brokenness of creation is visible, among others through:
- all kinds of excesses in the sexual field. The Bible sets rules and laws to preserve us from this (Leviticus 12, 15, 18; Numbers 25). The vulnerability that is inherent to the sexual experience demands the protection of marriage. In this light a sense of embarrassment and dress codes serve as a means for protecting personal sexuality and that of others (cf. Gen. 3: 7; 1 Cor. 6: 19);
- the pain and sorrow among people who experience problems or who have limitations in the sexual field and/or wrestle in this context with unfulfilled / unfulfillable wishes and longings (e.g. because one is unable to get married). We believe that being sexually disabled or being unmarried can be a trouble or even a disposition of the cross, in the realisation that this too is ‘not by chance but by His Fatherly hand’ (Heidelberg Catechism question and answer 27). It does not follow from this that we can belittle the troubles of others with a claim on God's Fatherly hand and providence. This does however point the way to a life in dependency on God.