Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash
If we’re created, then we’re accountable to our Creator. That’s just simple logic.
We’re accountable in many ways, great and small. We have to do what he says.
Does the creation account emphasize any specific kinds of accountability? specific design specs? our essential identity and proper use?
Yes, it does.
From the very beginning, we’re told, when God created us in his image (Gen 1.26), he created us male and female (Gen 1.27). That’s the original design, an essential part of what it means to be human.
And the first recorded words God spoke to his creatures, this male and this female, were straightforward: “Be fruitful, and multiply” (Gen 1.28). That’s the first way that humans are to implement dominion; there have to be enough of them that they can get significant things done.
Now, there’s only one way to multiply, to be fruitful.
Yep. God has designed, and then ordered, our sexual nature and behaviors. And to encourage things along, we’re told at the end of the next chapter, he creates the first couple naked and unashamed (Gen 2.25). His intent couldn’t be more clear.
So here’s the principle: our sexuality is an important part of who we are; it’s part of the image of God in us. And he has commanded the sexual relationship and the consequent fruitfulness.
There are a lots of observations to make about that, which are significant for the current culture, but let me focus on just one for now.
Sexuality is designed to be monogamous.
Monogamy was the only option, obviously, when Adam and Eve were the only people on the planet. But although it’s strongly implied in the creation story, we need later revelation to be certain of God’s intent in the matter. Polygamy becomes routine fairly quickly (Gen 4.19), but what does God think about that? The first identified polygamist, Lamech, is not presented as an admirable character (Gen 4.23-24), but that doesn’t necessarily discredit the practice. Eventually, in the Mosaic Law, God forbids adultery (Ex 20.14), but the polygamy question gets a firm and clear answer only with Jesus’ comment that God’s design intent was monogamy (Mt 19.4-9), and Paul’s later restatement of the principle (1Cor 7.2). Jesus, of course, was there at the beginning; he was in fact the active agent in creation (Jn 1.3; Col 1.16; Heb 1.2), if you will, the Elohim of Genesis 1. He is in every position to know what the designer’s original intent was.
It’s interesting to me how our culture has twisted that sentiment, and the horrific price it has paid for ignoring the designer’s specs. As just one example, the sexual revolution of the mid-20th century urged promiscuity (“Love the one you’re with!”) as a means to heightened sexual pleasure—variety obviously being the spice of life, and all. But with promiscuity, and especially with the frequent accompanying intoxication and lack of reasoned action, came hygiene issues and the rapid spread of sexually transmitted diseases. And in a few years along came an STD, HIV, with real teeth: it could kill you.
Well, then, we have to be more careful, don’t we? Not monogamous, of course—that’s obviously out of the question—but smarter in our rejection of norms. Turns out there’s effectively only one reasonably reliable preventative of HIV transmission: the condom. So the Surgeon General urges everyone to make it a practice.
And what do you suppose is the most immediate and obvious consequence of condom use? Reduced. Sexual. Pleasure.
Not only did the sexual revolution not deliver what it promised, it actually gave its fans the exact opposite.
How about that.
Doesn’t it make sense that the one who designed sex, who made it pleasurable in the first place, would want us to take pleasure in it? Wouldn’t the most potentially pleasurable practice of it, then, be in what the designer intended? And isn’t it a shame that by rejecting his design, his specifications, we damn ourselves to a lifetime of less than that? or much worse?
And we’ve noted just the biological side of things. We find that sexual activity is much more complex than the simple physical mechanics, much more of a whole-person experience—something that promiscuity directly undercuts by making the partners strangers.
This is just one example, the first one that comes to mind from the text. How much more joy do we miss, how much more pain do we feel, how much more substantial meaning do we replace with empty wind, all because we ignore the Designer’s specifications—because we act like a chimp with a chainsaw?
May I ask you a question?
Why not be smart about it?
Why not read the directions?