Never Casual

February 8, 2024

Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, “The two are united into one.” But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. 1 Corinthians 6:15-17 NLT

You know what a hook is. It is something to catch and hold something temporarily. If it’s a hat hook, jewelry hook, a clothing hook, a tool hook, the object is to hold it, but be able to remove it quickly without damage or leaving a mark. That’s the entire idea of calling sexual encounters “hook-ups.” They are without commitment, temporary by nature, and supposedly quick relationships that leave no mark.

That’s a problematic way of thinking. We are often limited by what we want words to mean when we read Scripture. We think that everything is black and white according to our interpretation, which we always believe to be correct. Many of us have thought Jesus was simply defining marriage when he quoted the Genesis account of creation. His purpose was far bigger. In Mark 10, he was asked about the legitimacy of divorce, and he answered with the fact that sex always creates “one flesh.” A person is not the same after sex as he or she was before that. That person has “become one” with someone else, because sex is not simply physical. It is spiritual. So, Jesus answered the divorce question by clearly saying that the gift of sex, the gift of “one-fleshing,” was intended to be experienced with one person for a lifetime.

In a follow-up to that kind of disconnected thinking and interpretation, some can disassociate themselves from Paul’s words here and say, “Well, I would never have sex with a prostitute. I only have sex with someone with whom I have a deeply caring relationship.” Not the point. The point is that we become one with a person when we have sex with them. A person who is truly one with Christ cannot even casually consider multiple or serial relationships.

Sex can never be a simple hook-up. It involves our souls. We are made by God to be united, body, soul, and spirit. What happens to our body is inseparable from what happens to our souls. Lewis Smedes, a Christian ethicist said with great clarity, “There is more to sex than meets the eye – or excites the genitals. There is no such thing as casual sex, no matter how casual people are about it … No one can take sex out at night and put it away until he wants to play with it again, nobody can go to bed with someone and leave his soul parked outside.”

There’s no such thing as sex that’s just physical. It’s always more than that. It’s never casual.

  • “Casual sex” is a painful lie. Don’t do that to yourself.