Is Any Form of Sexual Contact Permissible? Can I Go By The Rule That As Long As Nobody Gets Hurt, It Is OK?

The New Testament contains two letters Paul wrote to the city of Corinth. After examining these letters, it doesn’t take long to realize the city of Corinth was a city struggling with sexual sin. It was a city that housed the temple of Aphrodite. Worship in the temple involved use of one of the over one thousand temple prostitutes in employed. The nickname for a prostitue in the ancient world was “a Corinthian girl.” Fornication in Greek was nicknamed “Corinthianizing.” Without a doubt, this was a city caught in a web of sexual sin.

In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he wrote this helpful verse.

All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12 (ESV)

This verse can guide us in answering every sexual question.

  1. Is It Lawful? - Is the sexual act you are considering with your spouse something that violates the laws of our government or God’s laws in the Bible.

  1. Is It Helpful? - Is it a sex act that pulls a couple together or pushes them apart? Is it something that both individuals in the marriage find fulfilling? If it involves humiliation, degradation, pain or harm, it is not beneficial for the marriage and not permissible.

  1. Is It Enslaving? - Could this sex act become compulsive or out of control? If a sexual act starts to control us, it is enslaving. God does not want us to be enslaved. Today, most slavery is freely chosen rather than forced upon us. Examples of freely chosen slavery are: drug abuse, alcohol addiction, gambling, shopping, food or sex. God does not want a sexual act to become controlling.

If you examine your sexual questions through 1 Corinthians 6:12, you should be able to ascertain God’s will in this area of your life.

(Further explanation of how 1 Corinthians 6:12 applies to sexual questions is found in Real Marriage by Mark + Grace Driscoll, chapter 10.)