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September 3rd, 2010
02:18 PM ET

How Christians spoil sex

Christian marriage.

Hot sex.

Let’s try that again:

Christian marriage; hot sex.

It doesn’t quite go together does it?

Passionate, toe-curling sex isn’t normally associated with Christianity or even spirituality in general.

At least that’s what Jonathan Acuff, a Belief Blog contributor and author of "Stuff Christians Like," argues in a recent blog. He says Christians need to do a better job of connecting God with a vibrant sex life.

That’s what we’ve been told. That God and sex don’t go together. And if you say something enough times, people start to believe it’s true…. You can’t have both in the same bottle. They’re oil and water. Cats and dogs. Spencer and Heidi. They just don’t go together.

Acuff, who is married, says Christians shouldn’t just teach abstinence. They should also teach that while sex before marriage is bad, “sex when you’re married is awesome.”

He says Christians damage sex in four ways:

They teach guilt, not abstinence.

They have very few ways to discuss it.

They write 10 books about lust for every one book about the gift of sex.

They've "made the crayon box pretty small" (they're afraid of being creative during sex).

Acuff says it's time Christian couples realize passionate sex is God's idea.

We’ve bought the lie that the world gets to have wild, crazy sex and Christians, holy folks like us, have to have black-and-white, two-dimensional sex. But what if that’s wrong? What if the God who overflows us with love and hope and mercy wants that part of our lives to be as big and as colorful as two married people could possibly imagine?

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Culture & Science • United States

soundoff (2,079 Responses)
  1. akman

    To lump all Christians into one group and say they don’t have a great love live is like saying all Muslims are terrorists. Extremist exist in every group, I’m Christian and my crayon box is full. As a matter of fact I’m sure I have more and better loving than every agnostic leftist I know.

    September 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • PeteH

      Describe it in detail please.

      September 3, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
    • Marie

      Wow...will people ever get tired of bashing us Christians...probably not. Well I was raised Catholic, I'm still Catholic. I've been married for 20 years have a wonderful intimate..yep...imtimate realtionship with my husband...not that its any body's business but yep I even waited... both of us... till we were married and you know what...the good Lord must have blessed us because sex is absolutely wonderful. I give myself completely to him and he returns it. I don't understand how people can be so harsh. Let us Christians just live in peace with God. In the end...HE has the final word.

      September 3, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
    • Kelly G

      While an agnostic (meaning I don't claim to know something I actually don't) I am NOT a leftist, and, I challenge your statement.

      This agnostic has your Christian @ss beat.

      September 3, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
    • Kim

      I'm surprised you are even allowed to speak to agnostic leftists. Especially about s.e.x.
      Do they KNOW you do that?

      September 3, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
    • JennyTX

      What a ridiculous thing to say, akman. It's about as illogical as, well, religion.

      September 3, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
    • BeatleBabe

      I wish this forum had a like button because the four responses above mine are full of win.

      September 4, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  2. Karaya

    They should also teach that while sex before marriage is bad, “sex when you’re married is awesome.”

    Last time I checked, awesomeness of sex had nothing to do with participant's marital status...

    September 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • Cand86

      Yes, thank you.

      December 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
  3. raisedCatholic

    I was raised in the Catholic church and they basically make it a sin to even think about s-e-x!!! I've been blessed with a strong Christian wife and she's very openminded in the bedroom, our last 15 years have been great and I'm looking forward to the next 15 when the kids will be out of the house......I've been blessed!!! Amen.

    September 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • paul d

      this is completely incorrect. Catholic teaching is that the marital act, when engaged in within the proper context of a committed marriage (which is ready to receive God's gift of children should He desire to bless you), is an INCREDIBLE thing;

      in fact the love between a man and wife actually mirrors the Trinity–total self giving, total receiving, the love is so real that it creates another person!!

      I apologize for the ill-formed Catholics who don't understand the Church's teachings. Her teachings bring life, and life to the fullest! God Bless!

      September 3, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
    • Jeff S

      @raisedCatholic
      Yep same here.
      @PaulD
      Seeing how its only men teaching the faith there seems to be several varying opinions about what it means to be Catholic. It is not as straightforward, the same everywhere, as you think it is. The Catholic church I grew up in actually taught intolerance. That anyone who had different beliefs were just not good people. That they were not God's people. I stopped going because of it. The tolerant God I knew was not the same being that they were trying to teach me he was. I'm glad your experience was different, but I can tell you the path to God was not what my Catholic church was teaching.

      September 4, 2010 at 1:36 am |
    • dalis

      From what these guys have written, maybe their experience was more of a case of bad formation in Catholicism rather than bad doctrine in and of itself.

      September 4, 2010 at 6:21 am |
    • Kate (not of 8)

      Why does the Catholic Church even worry about sinning, in regards to $ex or anything else? Don't they just have to do a couple of hail Mary's and it's all good? Their faith and doctrine is not based on salvation through grace alone, it's based on works.

      September 5, 2010 at 12:10 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Kate (not of 8),

      James 2:14-24....a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

      Your idea of faith alone is not in the Bible. Yours is a man-made idea which started in the 1500's.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:16 am |
    • Kate (not of 8)

      CatholicMom,

      You are taking that verse out of context to support your incorrect doctrine. That verse is saying that if you profess that you have faith, but you have no works (good fruit) to go with that faith, your faith is dead. Works by themselves do not save anyone. Going to church, penance, hail Marys, being nice to people, etc..., do not save you in and of themselves. Faith in Christ's birth, life, death, and resurrection is what saves you. And when you have true faith in that, your good works will follow.

      James 2:21-25
      "Was not Abraham our father justified by works? You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rabab the harlot also justified by works? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

      September 5, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
    • Kate (not of 8)

      Catholic Mom,

      "didn't come along until the 1500s"...

      I'm going to assume you are referring to the Protestant Reformation, when Martin Luther realized that the Catholic Church was not adhering to Scripture and challenged their doctrines on faith and works. Actually, Paul wrote in the entire New Testament about salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, and Christ Himself preached that. Jesus continuously rebuked the Pharisees for being hypocrites and relying on their empty, religious rites and works to attain their salvation. And that was all approximately 2,000 years ago, not 500. Luther simply had the nerve to challenge the Catholic Church after reading the Scriptures himself and realizing what they said.

      On another note, putting any faith in your own works to earn your salvation completely takes away from what Christ did for you. If you can be a good person and do right on your own, why did Christ have to come? The Bible is clear:

      Romans 3:5-18

      "But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) 6Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? 7Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” 8Why not say—as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is deserved.
      9What shall we conclude then? Are we any betterb? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10As it is written:

      “There is no one righteous, not even one;
      11there is no one who understands,
      no one who seeks God.
      12All have turned away,
      they have together become worthless;
      there is no one who does good,
      not even one.”c
      13“Their throats are open graves;
      their tongues practice deceit.”d
      “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”e
      14“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”f
      15“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
      16ruin and misery mark their ways,
      17and the way of peace they do not know.”g
      18“There is no fear of God before their eyes."

      I think that pretty much sums up human nature: we are utterly sinful, incapable of doing good on our own. Christ is eternally and completely perfect, attaining for us what we could not accomplish on our own; being conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, living a completely sinless, perfect life, taking on your sin and giving you His righteousness, and conquering sin and death, rising on the third day, proving that death had no dominion over Him.

      So our works come into play after we believe that Christ has fulfilled the whole law and all righteousness, and we are obedient because we are grateful for what He has done, not to earn more merit with God. We mortify our sin and live a life of repentance because Christ has overcome sin for us, that we may not be slaves to our flesh anymore.

      Where the Bible says that works also are profitable, it means that with true, saving faith in Christ, you will have fruit that shows your belief. Someone cannot simply say that they are a Christian and that they believe, at the same time living a life of unrepentant sin and showing no desire to serve and glorify God.

      September 5, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Kate(not of 8),

      So you are trying to say we should not do works but then your last paragraph says we should produce fruit…

      You do know that the devil believes, but he refused to do the Father’s will. Once we are Baptized we now can do works that are meritorious in Heaven because it is not us doing the work but Christ working through us!
      This is why Jesus Christ commanded that the Apostles go out and teach everything that He had handed on to them [Tradition] and to Baptize everyone.
      Without Baptism, our works count as nothing.

      September 6, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  4. Mary

    I grew up Christian and I didn't get the message that pleasures of the flesh were wrong within marrage. I agree with Jim.

    September 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  5. Ec1warc1

    The two best things about being an atheist are:
    1. I live each day without guilt about anything, especially my sex life.
    2. I live like this is the last life I will ever have. If you are Christian, then you think your loving god will damn me to eternal suffering. Wow, that doesn't quite sound like a "loving god" now does it? But, if you are an atheist, then you realize that praying for what ,might be is a complete waste of time. Time is too precious to waste on such foolishness!

    By the way, CNN, this story is NOT news.

    September 3, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  6. steve

    good sex is not a christian or secular thing – it's only good in both camps when done in marriage in a loving and respectful relationship – that's the gift of good sex !

    September 3, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  7. steve

    I believe sex is given by God, because people are usually calling out his name in the middle of it. 😉

    September 3, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  8. kman

    I am in love with Jesus; I"m a Christ-follower and my wife and I have three children and lots of sex. We also know couples who have lots of sex. Some Christians do spoil it and that's sad. I agree with educating our children about the negative points of sex before marriage, but we should definitely talk about how great it is once you are married! Do it however you want and as often as you want...just do it God's way and get married!

    September 3, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  9. Pete

    I think those Bible-thumping Duggars on The Learning Channel (the family with 19 going on 19,000 kids) are pretty into sex, if only the doing of it without talking about it 🙂

    September 3, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  10. Eleni

    Song of Solomon 1
    1 Solomon's Song of Songs.
    Beloved [a]
    2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
    for your love is more delightful than wine.
    3 Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
    your name is like perfume poured out.
    No wonder the maidens love you!
    4 Take me away with you—let us hurry!
    Let the king bring me into his chambers.

    Obviously the person that wrote this article knows NOTHING about God.

    September 3, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • John

      With all due respect, I don't think that the Song of Solomon is meaning the s exual Live, it's got a lot more deeper meanings than that about God's love to humanity . . .

      September 3, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
    • Peter F

      If you read the book in context it is most certainly referring to the love of a man and his wife... s*e*xual love. Look at the imagery! The dialogue! It shows that s*e*x is a good and natural thing created by God for humanity.

      September 3, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
    • Connecticutian

      With all due respect, it's about BOTH! 🙂 And elsewhere, we learn that the marriage between a man and a woman is symbolic of our (collective Church) relationship with God. Not in a physical biological way, but representative of intimacy, fidelity, and holiness.

      September 3, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • kev999

      And solomon had nothing to worry about because he had many many wives.

      September 3, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
    • Tola

      Eleni.. John Blake wrote this article. I agree with your position. How will God the master designer create sex and not allow us enjoy it. The only thing that perverts our society is having sex outside of marriage. More than often lust and not love drives this engine. I have been married 10 years, I'm a Christian and I know what hot sex with ONLY my wife is.

      September 4, 2010 at 3:34 am |
  11. texchristian

    Well being a christian and a son of a minister.... I have an amazing $ex life. Understand the design of god's plan for $ex along with passion for your loved one goes along way. understand, believe and then act. I was never told $ex was bad or horrible just not appropriate for use until marriage. Although I can see in life where it is displayed as sinful.

    September 3, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  12. Vaapad

    hmm how new and interesting...broad sweeping generalizations about the religious by the hypocrites who are supposed to be "open minded" and progressive.

    September 3, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • genuine

      I completely and totally agree. What a double standard.

      September 4, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  13. Now What?

    Gee, not surprised to see such a biased article on the Communist News Network. Not surprised to see such ignorant comments here either.

    September 3, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • Hoeech

      And yet, here you are reading it. In the 1950s, during the McCarthy era, reading "communist" materials would be enough to denounce you as a commie sypathizer.

      September 3, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
    • Bryan

      Biased in favor of Christians or against them? Perhaps you feel it is pro s-x, or maybe anti s-x, I honestly cannot tell. I suspect, more likely this is your attempt to twist it into a political issue, which it is not.

      September 3, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
    • jonathan

      Speaking of yourself????? 🙂

      September 3, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  14. joseph abraham

    we christians should abstain

    September 3, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • Mike in NYC

      Knock yourself out Joe .... personally I plan on making more Christians ... thank you very much!!!!

      September 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • LuLu

      It's obvious you are still a virgin.

      September 3, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
    • Bryan

      Hear, hear! No more Christian S-x, eventually no more Christians. A much nicer place to exist, in my opinion.

      September 3, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
    • Opie

      You Christians shoud stain..... your sheets with lovin

      September 3, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • jonathan

      @ Brian Christian's arn't created by s-ex , but by the Word of God...

      September 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
    • sarcwoman

      Joseph, I think you need to expound a little on the content of your phrase!!!!!

      September 3, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
    • Binaround Some

      Ever hear of the Shakers in NH? No s.e.x., they are all dead now, but you can visit their village........

      September 3, 2010 at 11:15 pm |
    • Irishfiend82

      abstain from what? This statement makes no sense.

      September 4, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  15. RRW1962

    Jesus was a virgin. Jesus was without sin. Ergo sex is a sin, even if you are married. This is what Christians are taught.

    September 3, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  16. Starts777

    I have known this for years. Anyone who knows the bible knows "s" is to be enjoyed to its fullest extent.
    Genisis is the first book of the bible and where you will find the blessings of God and the s word between a man and woman.

    September 3, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • Joy

      Totally agree. Any Bible believing Christian knows that God created sex for enjoyment within the context of marriage. No restrictions for husbands and wives!! Any other interpretation is not biblical and should be ignored. And it's not just for procreation either! It's an expression of love, beautiful within the sanctity of marriage. Go forth and enjoy!

      September 3, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
  17. joebob

    This article wasn't even worth reading and is totally bunk. Must be a slow day if this made it to the CNN home page.

    September 3, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
    • Linda

      So said the man whose woman is looking elsewhere.

      September 3, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
    • rich

      If you anyone here wants to know about married sex as a christian try opening the bible.

      September 4, 2010 at 12:18 am |
  18. Razor

    The breeding ground of deception created when abstinence and guilt are taught is paramount. The article hits the nail on the head. Plus, it's not just women that don't like s**. I've heard complaints of so many women stuck in marriages with men who don't like it. Really, if you're a man and all you can do is about 15 minutes. It's obvious that man's focus is just to 'get off' and not to enjoy s**. This makes the woman not want it, or worse go someplace else. I can only imagine the actual number of women cheating outside their marriages. But, deception is greatest with those believed to be so righteous. That would be Christians and ...women.

    September 3, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
    • peace2all

      @Razor

      Interesting post of yours.... Especially using your ...."This article (hits the *nail* on the head) analogy... Interesting useage for a christian article..

      Peace...

      September 3, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
    • Jon

      Not sure who you are married to but 15 – 20 minutes is really all it takes...Hours of S just means you don't know what you are doing...

      September 3, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
    • Kelly G

      We do quite well in just 10 minutes, thankyouverymuch. And we're both happy. Very happy. For me, several times.

      Quality over quanitity.

      September 3, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • Heh?

      Several hours doesn't mean that a guy is doing it wrong. It means that the guy is gifted.

      September 3, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
    • Steel City 6x

      And 4 hours means you should be visiting a hospital!

      September 4, 2010 at 1:10 am |
    • Whitney

      @Jon
      My jaw is on the floor.

      September 4, 2010 at 10:42 am |
    • wendo

      HEH Sorry, it means he's lying!

      September 4, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  19. mikk

    I just wanted to point out that this does not apply to all Christians. It applies to a segment of the Christian population that is extremely vocal and whose shock value alone makes for headlines. Many people are Christian (even Evangelical!) that do not ascribe to these "Conservative Christian" beliefs. So lets be fair. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. The writer here is simply perpetuating false perception of a group of people that is not necessarily homogenous. Blanket statements such as these about "Christians" or "Muslims" only drives the wedge deeper. If you want to go after someone for their beliefs, fine. Just use the correct term before you publish it for all to see.

    September 3, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  20. John

    I really like the Topic and I think that yes we should teach our kids that lovin is wrong before marriage but also teach them that they will enjoy a lot after marriage if they did not do that before marriage, and that also they wont enjoy before marriage because it brings of all these complications and hard times of breaking and so force.

    September 3, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
    • Jon

      Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no chil­dren. She had a female Egyptian ser­vant whose name was Hagar. 2And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has pre­vented me from bear­ing chil­dren. Go in to my ser­vant; it may be that I shall obtain chil­dren by her.” And Abram lis­tened to the voice of Sarai. 3So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her ser­vant, and gave her to Abram her hus­band as a wife.
      The Book of Genesis 16:1 – 3

      Kinky? I think so...

      September 3, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.