Updated: Jan 5, 2020
1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3Now when the tempter [The Devil] came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4But He[Jesus] answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:1-4
There are volumes of literary writings which discuss and explain the religious, historical and contemporary meaning of Matthew chapter four verses one through four. Preachers across centuries have preached countless sermons from Matthew chapter four, verses one through four. The question is often asked what did Jesus truly mean by the expression, “Man shall not live by bread alone”? It’s beyond the scope of this writing as well to address or attempt to explain everything Jesus meant by the expression; however, for purposes of this writing I would like to frame the discussion around the thought of, “SEX”. The emotional, intimate, mental, physical, and spiritual function created and designed by God to bond male and female, husband and wife.
I believe the following two verses reveal Jesus’ true desire that we are to live with abundance and in doing so experience a constant state of Joy.
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”. John 10:10
"These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:11
Jesus did not say, “So that your happiness may be made full”. Don’t miss the point, He said, “That your joy may be made full”.
By His divine holiness God designed sex to be a part of the human-race. He did so that through marriage, sex would complete us, sex would also add to our abundance and bring us joy.
While working on my undergraduate degree in the mid nineteen-seventy I recall taking a business class entitled, “The Psychology of Modern Business”. The class introduced me to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs or Self-Actualization and its five stages.
I can’t say with absolute certainty if Maslow was a Christian and therefore was familiar with The Bible and teachings of Jesus Christ, but his theory seems to be in line with how and what Jesus purposed for our lives. As you read the five stages note where sex is listed.
The original hierarchy of needs or Self-Actualization five-stage model includes:
Abraham Maslow (1943, 1954) stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs and that some needs take precedence over others.
Our most basic need is for physical survival, and this will be the first thing that motivates our behavior. Once that level is fulfilled the next level up is what motivates us, and so on.
1. Physiological needs - these are biological requirements for human survival, e.g. air, food, drink, shelter, clothing, warmth, sex, sleep.
If these needs are not satisfied the human body cannot function optimally. Maslow considered physiological needs the most important as all the other needs become secondary until these needs are met.
2. Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.
3. Love and belongingness needs - after physiological and safety needs have been fulfilled; the third level of human needs is social and involves feelings of belongingness. The need for interpersonal relationships motivates behavior
Examples include friendship, intimacy, trust, and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Affiliating, being part of a group (family, friends, work).
4. Esteem needs - which Maslow classified into two categories: 1) esteem for oneself (dignity, achievement, mastery, independence) and 2) the desire for reputation or respect from others (e.g., status, prestige).
Maslow indicated that the need for respect or reputation is most important for children and adolescents and precedes real self-esteem or dignity.
5. Self-actualization needs - realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences. A desire “to become everything one is capable of becoming”
Romance and God's gift of sexuality are highly recommended within the commitment of marriage. Hebrews 13:4, "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure". I Corinthians 7:3-4, "The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife."
God designed sex as part of the unique relationship of marriage. I Corinthians 7:5, "So do not refuse these rights to each other”.
The only exception to this rule would be the agreement of both husband and wife to refrain from the rights of marriage for a limited time, so that they can give themselves more completely to prayer. Afterwards, they should come together again so that Satan won't be able to tempt them because of their lack of self-control."
To keep from hurting ourselves, sexual desires and activities must be placed under Christ's control. I Thessalonians 4:3-5, "For God wants you to be holy and pure and to keep clear of all sexual sin so that each of you will marry in holiness and honor—not in lustful passion as the heathen do, in their ignorance of God and his ways."
Engaged couples planning your wedding, before you say, "I Do" and married couples after you say, "I Do" never forget the most precious gift God has given you is sex. Without or apart from it relationships, marriages will not and cannot grow emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually. Such relationships will always die.