Ephesians 5:1-17 (On Imitating God)
We tend to emphasize the ban on sexual immorality in our thinking and preaching, but Paul understands that sexual immorality arises from other, easier, lower threshhold sins. It comes from wanting something that’s not yours, from flirting, from speaking of sex as a matter of humor and lightness, rather than as the deeply spiritual thing that it is.
The TV is filled with comedies built on one sexual joke after another, all leading toward an attitude that sex is lighthearted fun, when in fact its profoundly religious. Indeed, the uniting of a husband and wife in marriage and the marriage bed is a step toward Eden, toward the unity of male and female in the Garden with God. It’s a celebration of a gift from God, enjoyed in a unity that’s most like the unity of Christ and his church.
The mistake the Victorians made was to treat sex as dirty and shameful. The mistake modern culture makes is to treat it as trivial. It is neither. The fact that married couples have and enjoy sex is no secret and no cause for shame. But neither is sexual casual and the basis of juvenile humor. Both attitudes are sin.
It’s not merely that we shouldn’t make dirty jokes at church. It’s that we should hold sex as a reverent act, done to honor God and celebrate his blessings on our marriages. Just as Paul said, instead of these sins, we should engage in thanksgiving — for our husbands and wives and the delights we receive from each other by the power of God