Christian Morality vs. Sexual Repression

Is Christian sexual morality unhealthy or unnatural? I'm young woman who is trying to live a chaste life, but my boyfriend is always pressuring me. He says that my concerns about sexual morality are just an expression of an unhealthy "fear"-that in trying to live by God's standards, I'm basically rejecting the beauties of creation and avoiding the joys of life in the flesh as God intended it. I'm finding it harder and harder to answer him when talks this way. Can you help me?

When it comes to sex, we enjoy God’s gifts of sensuality and “fleshly” pleasure to the fullest extent only when they’re experienced within the proper context – marriage. Are you familiar with the word dissipation? It’s not just another name for wild and riotous living. It refers to the wasteful scattering, squandering, and loss of positive energy as the result of a failure to keep it properly contained. When water is forced to flow through a narrow channel it generates incredible power; but if it bursts its bounds and spills out across the land, that power is lost.

That’s dissipation, and the word has a particular relevance to the question of sexual morality. That’s what sexual morality is all about. It’s what the writer of Proverbs had in mind when he penned the following verses:

Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets?

Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you.

Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth.

As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times;

And always be enraptured with her love.

For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman,

And be embraced in the arms of a seductress?

Proverbs 5:15-20

Perhaps it would be a good idea to direct your boyfriend’s attention to this passage of Scripture. Give him the reference and tell him to go home and read it for himself. Then, when he’s had time to think it over, ask him: do these sound like the words of someone who is “afraid” of the world or who rejects the beauties of creation? Is such poetry the product of a mind that “avoids the joys of life”? He may not find it easy to respond. For our part, we’d suggest that it’s precisely an appreciation for the vibrancy and vitality of controlled and contained sexuality that has inspired those who believe in God and who keep His commandments to declare, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

This is one of the best kept secrets of the “straight-laced religious life.” All the best research indicates that the most sexually satisfied people in modern society are not the adventurous swingers, but rather the faithful, monogamous married couples. This is just another point your boyfriend may want to keep in mind the next time he’s tempted to start talking about the repressiveness of Christian sexual morality.

One last thought. This is one area in which you and your boyfriend really ought to be on the same page. It’s not your job to convince him or change his mind, of course – he’s entitled to his perspective. But you do have the right to set personal boundaries. If the two of you can’t see eye to eye on something as fundamental as sexual morality, it’s likely that you have conflicting views on other important issues as well. That being the case, we’d encourage you to consider breaking off the relationship before it becomes more serious.

If you think it might be helpful to discuss these ideas at greater length, call Focus on the Family’s Counseling department for a free consultation. They’d be pleased to assist you in any way they can.


If a title is currently unavailable through Focus on the Family, we encourage you to use another retailer.

Sex and the Single Christian Girl


Pure Love, Pure Life

Sex, Dating and Relationships

Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control


Red Flags in a Relationship

Sexual Purity

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