Is All Sex Created Equal?

fake adidasCheck out my new Adidas. I got a really good deal for it.

That isn’t Adidas. It says Adidos. It’s a fake, bro.

This situation has happened to me on more than one occasion, especially living as a teenager in Taiwan where imitation “brand-name” products were plentiful.

Imitation is all around us — clothing, shoes, products and food. They look like the real thing but feel, look or taste different from the real deal.

This is true even in our sexuality.

yadayada1I shared in a previous post about God’s beautiful gift of sex as revealed through the study of the word “yada”. Genesis 4:1 describes how “Adam lay (yada) with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.” It is easy to conclude from this that the word “yada” means the physical act of sex, but it has a much deeper meaning. In Hebrew, Yada means to know, be known and deeply respected.  Yada, is not only physical nakedness but also emotional nakedness. It’s a picture of deep vulnerability, acceptance and intimacy with your spouse in the safety of a committed marriage that goes beyond the physicality of sex. This is the authentic gift of sex as God originally intended.

What a beautiful picture of Adam “laying” with his wife, right? If it were only just this passage, the word “lay” would be such a beautiful thing!

But as we continue to read through Genesis, we hit a rough patch. Genesis 19 tells us the story of Lot and his two daughters and their acts of dreadful deception and incest.

32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him that we may preserve [a]our family through our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 34 On the following day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve [b]our family through our father.”35 So they made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. -Genesis 19:32-35

Just looking at the English translation, it appears that the same word “lay” that was so beautiful in Genesis 4:1 is used here to describe the incestuous sexual acts between Lot and his daughters.

But is the word “lay” used here “yada”? Is the beauty of yada used to describe these incestuous, deceptive acts? Could this be the same word?

It’s NOT…thankfully.

The Hebrew word for “lay” in this story of Lot and his daughters is NOT yada, but shakab, which means “to lie down.” Shakab is often used with another Hebrew word sikba, which means “emission.” Shakab is often used to describe sexual acts such as adultery and fornication, and to convey the purely physical acts of sex.

not-equalThe point to be drawn from all of this is this: not all sex is created equally. 

Godly sex is deeper than the physical and is designed to be part of the intense fellowship, commitment, and absolutely beautiful intimacy of marriage that comes from being genuinely known and genuinely knowing. It is rooted in sacrificial love, and mutual respect for each other that is intended to mirror God’s own radical and passionate love for the church, His people. This is Yada Sex.

Other sex may look like yada – the same physical actions – but it is not sex as God intended and designed. It strips the emotional intimacy and commitment from the physical act, and glorifies the pleasurable feelings. It can be exciting and alluring—but compared to God’s original design, it is counterfeit. It’s fake. This is shakab sex.

So how do you know the difference between the two? Firstly, Yada sex is designed to be part of the beauty of marriage, but there is a lot of brokenness in marriage. Sex in marriage doesn’t always translate to yada sex. One thing to consider is what happens afterwards. Godly sex, yada, leaves you feeling closer and more intimate with your spouse. Shakab sex with your spouse or anyone else leaves you feeling guilty, ashamed and empty. You may have heard the term “walk of shame.” Shakab leaves a trail of shame or emptiness and a longing for something more. Even though it may be enjoyable and pleasurable for a short time, it doesn’t lasts.

Shakab sex is all around us, and yada sex is grossly misunderstood or misrepresented. Rather than helping others strive for the beauty of yada in marriages, sometimes we Christians can fall into the trap of or shaming and guilt tripping others (or even ourselves!) about shakab sex.

redemption-608x456-608x350Fortunately, our God is a God of redemption. No matter what our story is, God’s love for us is passionate and unchanging, and His desire for us is to experience the best, authentic pleasures of life – including yada sex.. I think of the story of King David. He engaged in shakab when he had an affair with Bathsheba. He even committed a heinous crime by murdering his friend over it. But through his confession and God’s forgiveness, he was redeemed, and it is from his family line that Jesus was born! No matter who you are, God longs for a yada relationship with you, and no matter what your experiences, God can redeem us so that we can experience yada in our relationships.



One Comment

  1. Loved it! Thanks for an awesome post.

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