Ten Questions About Sex Answered
1 Was sex the original sin that was committed by Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden?
▪ Answer: Many people are under the impression that the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden represented sexual relations. However, that is not what the Bible teaches.
Consider: Even before Eve was created, God commanded Adam not to eat the fruit of “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.” (Genesis 2:15-18) Because Adam was alone, this prohibition could not have referred to sexual relations. In addition, God gave Adam and Eve an unambiguous command to “be fruitful and become many and fill the earth.” (Genesis 1:28) Would a loving God instruct the first couple to “fill the earth”—which, of course, involved having sexual relations—and then sentence them to death for obeying his instructions?—1 John 4:8.
Furthermore, it was when Eve’s husband was not with her that she “began taking of [the forbidden] fruit and eating it. Afterward she gave some also to her husband when with her and he began eating it.”—Genesis 3:6.
Finally, Adam and Eve were not censured when they had relations and brought forth children. (Genesis 4:1, 2) Clearly, the fruit that Adam and Eve ate did not represent their having sexual relations but was literal fruit that grew on a tree.
2 Does the Bible prohibit sexual pleasure?
▪ Answer: The first book of the Bible reveals that it was God who created humans as both “male and female.” God declared his creation to be “very good.” (Genesis 1:27, 31) Later, God inspired a Bible writer to give these instructions to husbands: “Rejoice with the wife of your youth . . . Let her breasts intoxicate you at all times.” (Proverbs 5:18, 19) Do those statements sound as if the Bible prohibits sexual pleasure?
The facts show that in addition to making reproduction possible, God created the sexual organs in a way that allows a married couple to express their love and affection for each other in a mutually pleasurable way. Such relations can fill the physical and emotional needs of a man and woman who are in a warm and intimate relationship.
3 Does the Bible approve of a man and a woman living together if they are not legally married?
▪ Answer: The Bible clearly states that “God will judge fornicators.” (Hebrews 13:4) The Greek word for fornication, por·neiʹa, broadly refers to the misuse of the sexual organs of those who are not married to each other.* Therefore, it would be wrong in God’s eyes for a couple to live together—even if they intend to get married later.
Even if a couple are deeply in love, God still requires that they marry before enjoying sex. It was God who created us with the capacity to love. God’s primary quality is love. Therefore, he has good reason for insisting that sex be enjoyed only by married couples, as the next article will explain.
4 Is polygamy acceptable?
God authorized Jesus Christ to reinstitute His original standard of monogamy. (John 8:28) When asked about marriage, Jesus said: “He who created them from the beginning made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh.’”—Matthew 19:4, 5.
One of Jesus’ disciples was later inspired by God to write: “Let each man have his own wife and each woman have her own husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:2) The Bible also states that any married man in the Christian congregation who is given special responsibilities must be “a husband of one wife.”—1 Timothy 3:2, 12.
5 Is it wrong for married couples to use contraceptives?
▪ Answer: Jesus did not command his followers to have children. Neither did any of Jesus’ disciples issue any such directive. Nowhere does the Bible explicitly condemn birth control.
Married couples, therefore, are free to decide for themselves whether they will raise a family or not. They may also decide how many children they will have and when they will have them. If a husband and wife choose to use a nonabortive form of contraception to avoid pregnancy, that is their personal decision and responsibility.* No one should judge them.—Romans 14:4, 10-13.
6 Is it wrong to have an abortion?
▪ Answer: Life is sacred to God, and he views even an embryo as a distinct, living being. (Psalm 139:16) God stated that a person would be called to account for injuring an unborn child. So, in his eyes, killing an unborn child is murder.—Exodus 20:13; 21:22, 23.
What, though, if an emergency situation at the time of childbirth forces a couple to choose between letting the mother live and the baby die or vice versa? In that case, the couple would have to decide which life to try to save.*
7 Does the Bible permit divorce?
▪ Answer: The Bible does permit divorce. However, Jesus identified only one acceptable reason to end a marriage, stating: “Whoever divorces his wife, except on the ground of fornication [sex outside of the marriage], and marries another commits adultery.”—Matthew 19:9.
God hates a deceitful, treacherous divorce. He will personally hold accountable those who frivolously leave their mate, especially when they do so with the motive of taking another partner.—Malachi 2:13-16; Mark 10:9.
8 Does God approve of homosexuality?
▪ Answer: The Bible clearly condemns fornication, which includes homosexual relations. (Romans 1:26, 27; Galatians 5:19-21) While the Bible is definite about God’s disapproval of that lifestyle, we also know that “God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”—John 3:16.
Even though they do not condone homosexual relations, true Christians show kindness to all people. (Matthew 7:12) God wants us to “honor men of all sorts.” Therefore, genuine Christians are not homophobic.—1 Peter 2:17.
9 Is there anything wrong with phone sex, “sexting,” or cybersex?
▪ Answer: Phone sex involves talking inappropriately about sex or listening to explicit erotic messages on the phone. “Sexting” is a term that refers to using cell phones to send erotic images and sexually explicit text messages to others. Cybersex involves erotic interaction on the Internet.
The Bible does not specifically discuss modern practices such as these. But it does say: “Let fornication and uncleanness of every sort or greediness not even be mentioned among you, just as it befits holy people; neither shameful conduct nor foolish talking nor obscene jesting, things which are not becoming.” (Ephesians 5:3, 4) Such things as phone sex, “sexting,” and cybersex promote a distorted view of sex and encourage people to experience sexual pleasures outside the marriage arrangement. Rather than help people control their sexual impulses, these practices promote selfish gratification.
10 What is the Bible’s view of masturbation?
▪ Answer: The Bible does not specifically mention masturbation—the deliberate self-stimulation that produces sexual arousal and orgasm. However, God’s Word commands Christians: “Deaden, therefore, your body members that are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, [and improper] sexual appetite.”—Colossians 3:5.
Masturbation fosters a distorted and self-centered view of sex. The Bible assures us that God can impart “power beyond what is normal” to those who make a sincere effort to break this habit.—2 Corinthians 4:7; Philippians 4:13.
Por·neiʹa also refers to other acts that deviate from God’s original purpose in creating the human sexual organs, such as adultery, homosexuality, and bestiality.
For more information about the Scriptural view of sterilization, please see “Questions From Readers” in The Watchtower of June 15, 1999, pages 27-28.
For a discussion of whether a rape victim would be justified in seeking an abortion, see Awake! of May 22, 1993, pages 10-11, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.