Everyone’s got an opinion about sex—your mother, your hairdresser, your friends, and we’re sure your husband does too. But did you know that God also has an opinion...a definite, distinct perspective? does that surprise you?

Where is God’s opinion about sex expressed? You might think that the church and its leaders would be the place to discover God’s opinion about sex— after all, these are the ones who claim to speak for Him. But as we search the records of history, our hearts are distressed because often the church and her leaders have adopted attitudes that express their own opinions rather than God’s opinion.

in A.D. 200 this was how the church viewed sex:

Church authorities issued edicts forbidding  sex on Thursdays, the day of Christ’s arrest; on Fridays, the day of his death; on Saturdays, in honor of the Blessed Virgin; and on Sundays in honor of the departed saints. Wednesdays sometimes made the list too, as did the 40- day fast periods before easter, Christmas, and Pentecost, and also feast days and days of the apostles, as well as the days of female impurity. The list escalated until only 44 days a year remained available for marital sex!

Does this surprise you? If so, you’ll be even more surprised to learn that some of the church’s most godly men viewed passion in sex as a sin:

Nothing is so much to be shunned as sex relations.—St.   Augustine

Intercourse is never without sin; but God excuses it by his grace because the estate of marriage is his work.—Martin Luther

If these statements leave you flabbergasted, consider this statement from Peter Lombard, a respected theologian who lived in the twelfth century:

The Holy spirit leaves the room when a married couple has sex, even if they do it without passion.

We wonder, where did the Holy spirit go? Did He hide under the kitchen table or in a closet? You may think it was just the godly men who were a bit misguided, but listen to this information given to young brides in the late 1800s from a godly pastor’s wife:

To the sensitive young woman who has had the benefits of proper upbringing, the wedding day is, ironically, both the happiest and most terrifying day of her life. On the positive side, there is the wedding itself, on the negative side, there is the wedding night, during which the bride must “pay the piper,” so to speak, by facing for the first time the terrible experience of sex.

At this point, let me concede one shocking truth. some young women actually anticipate the wedding night ordeal with curiosity and pleasure! Beware such an attitude! One cardinal rule of marriage should never be forgotten: Give little, give selmon, and above all, give grudgingly.

Really? How do you suppose her husband felt about such advice? even more importantly, how does God feel about the advice offered through the centuries by those claiming to represent Him? We feel certain that the motivation behind the statements of these godly men and women was not to put a moratorium on sex but rather to reinforce the idea of holy days and holy practices that would honor God. But the underlying message contained a destructive lie: holiness and sex are incompatible bed partners.

Fortunately in recent years Christian leaders have espoused attitudes that contain a very different message.

If anyone says that sex in itself is bad, Christianity contradicts him at once.—C. s. Lewis

While sex is not the only aspect of physical relationship in a marriage, it is in most cases the most important one, the touchstone for everything else from smiles and daily gestures of tenderness to deeds of kindness and sacrifice...the whole challenge of marital life is simply to catch up in all other departments with the pure rapture of the physical relationship at its best.—Mike Mason