February 20, 2018

What does sex have to do with life issues? Why would a ministry dedicated to life issues devote a journal volume to discussing sex?

Every human life happens in a body. Every human body has a sex. Marital sexuality begins life and gives life. Marriage, sexuality, and procreation belong together. Questions about the nature, dignity, and integrity of human life often intersect with questions about sexuality and gender. What does it mean to be a human being? What does it mean to have a body? To whom does this body belong? How ought this body be used? How does sexuality relate to individual identity? What rights and responsibilities does life impart to a human person?

God’s Word for sexuality does not amount to simply—or even primarily—“no.” God’s “no” always comes with His “yes!” to something better anyway (2 Corinthians 1:19-20). Maleness and femaleness, masculinity and femininity, are good: “[T]he rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man” (Genesis 2:22). Sexual desire and sexual delight are gifts: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Matthew 19:5). Serving and pleasing spouse and offspring with one’s body is godly: “And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion’” (Genesis 1:28a). He designed us for relationship and communion and intimacy. We may find comfort, fulfillment, and reward in each other.

Sexuality symbolizes and illustrates the entire Christian life. The complete self-giving and unconditional acceptance of husband and wife toward each other and toward childbearing and childrearing participate in God’s own miracle-working activity. This loving sacrifice and service embody the Trinitarian embrace of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:26-27). Marriage and family, sexuality and procreation reflect the grace of God in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:32). Therefore, sexuality sought outside of marriage or exercised exclusively to gratify self and flesh’s appetites cheaply imitates, poorly substitutes for, and only incompletely apprehends the fullness of God’s blessing for it. Celebrating and engaging in the blessings of chastity, modesty, and even celibacy best protect and prepare the heart patiently awaiting His vocation to marriage. And taking one’s place within the Christian fellowship, whether as spouse or single, leaves nothing lacking (Mark 10:29-30).

Can we be Lutherans For Life without also being Gospel-motivated voices FOR joyful, courageous, compassionate marriage, sexuality, and procreation? Christians can speak and teach even more enthusiastically about sexuality than the culture does!