I would now like to interject in this conversation the concept of sacred reproduction. In my previous posts, I had taken the time to bust myths pertaining to human sexuality, but I would be amiss if I did not deal with reproduction as well. Reproduction is the production of offspring, and is a by-product of sex. The ability to reproduce is a gift from God, and represents a God-given power to bring new life into the world. In the sacred sexuality of the Bible, reproduction is recognized as the "fruit of the womb" or "fruit of the body," and being able to reproduce is seen as a blessing from God (Psalm 127:3; Deuteronomy 28:4).
Like all gifts from God, reproduction can be a power for good in this world, or misused, and become a power for evil. The whole purpose of reproduction in sacred sexuality is to raise godly seed, or offspring for the kingdom of God. In 1 Peter 2:9 we read, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." For the people of God to be a "holy nation" we must therefore raise up godly seed or offspring, who love God and worship God. In his counsel to believers who were married to unbelievers, Paul pointed out that the children from such unions were holy because at least one parent was holy. He says, "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy" (1 Corinthians 7:14). We are commanded to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). In Ezra 9:4 the Jews and their children were described as "holy seed" and in Deuteronomy 7:6, they were described as "an holy people unto the LORD thy God" because God had chosen them to be "a special people unto himself, above all people." They too were expected to bring up godly children for the kingdom of God - children who loved and followed God. By raising up godly children, our reproduction can be a force of good in this world.
Many people however do not view reproduction this way. People reproduce for various reasons that do not include raising godly children. Some of the reasons given for having children include:
1. To fulfill oneself
2. To create a lineage or dynasty
3. To have someone to care for us in our old age
4. To have extra hands to help out around the home or business
5. To become powerful and influential in the community
6. To fulfill an obligation or duty
7. To demonstrate virility
8. To show off one's fertility
Some may see children as an inconvenient reality to incontinence in sexuality, and after the children are conceived, may try to destroy them, either in the womb or outside of the womb when they are born. Therefore it is not surprising when we hear of the numerous cases of child abuse and neglect that is plaguing families and societies around the world. I cannot help but wonder about the many children who live in garbage slums, and in unsanitary conditions around the world, and even here in the States, who are victims of post birth child abuse. Not to mention the numerous abortions performed to cover up sexual indiscretions.
In sacred sexuality, God has given us power over our own bodies, not to do whatever we want with it, but to live responsibly in His sight. He holds us accountable according to the amount of self-control that we exercise over our bodies. Paul says, "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (1 Corinthians 9:27). This self-control also extends to sexuality and reproduction as well, as reproduction involves the use of two bodies to produce a new body. Responsible reproduction is therefore a key principle in godly self-discipline and control. In responsible reproduction, one respects the body as the means through which new life comes to earth. The body becomes the medium through which the creative act of God is carried out. Consequently, anything that is conceived within is loved and cherished as a special blessing from God.
Responsible reproduction also involves taking responsibity for one's sexual actions, and exercising authority and control over one's sexual actions. It involves a sexual consciousness, where a couple can decide whether they want to engage in sexual relations with the intent of reproducing, or engage in sexual relations with the intent not to reproduce. Both decisions involve exercising control over the sex act. Control over one's sexuality is no less a fruit of the Spirit than control over other actions, for the one who exercises self-control in sexual matters, has gained a significant control over reckless and indiscriminate passion.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:22-24).
To conclude, let us love our bodies and honor it as a sacred vessel of love, from which can grow the fruit of love. Let us use that power within our bodies responsibly during the sex act. We need to recognize the sacred responsibility given to us when we reproduce, which is to raise godly children for the kingdom of God, who know God and love God - the Giver of life.