Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

One Flesh: Sex and the Human Soul

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
-Genesis 2:24

Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”
-1st Corinthians 6:16

The truth is that wherever a man lies with a woman, there, whether they like it or not, a transcendental relation is set up between them which must be eternally enjoyed or eternally endured.
-CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Sexual intercourse is an act of the whole self which affects the whole self; it is a personal encounter between man and woman in which each does something to the other, for good or for ill, which can never be obliterated.  This remains true even when they are ignorant of the radical character of their act.
-Derrick Bailey, The Mystery of Love & Marriage.


According to the biblical authors, sexual intercourse creates a mysterious, unique “one flesh” bond.”
-Richard Foster, The Challenge of the Discipline Life

What does the Bible say about sex?  You don’t have to read very far to find out.  Just read through the second chapter of Genesis and you’ll see God’s plan: one man and one woman in a lifetime covenant of marriage.

One Flesh

But there’s more—a powerful poetic expression: “one flesh.”  These two words describe the physical, emotional, and spiritual bond created by sexual intercourse.  Like it or not, sex is a life-uniting act—the union of two souls.

“Safe sex,” therefore, is a fictitious idea.  We may protect ourselves from the physical consequences of sex, but contraceptive devices do not protect one’s soul.  The emotional/spiritual consequences of non-marital sex are simply unavoidable.

I’ll give you a simple illustration.  Imagine two pieces of paper which have been glued together.  Now, imagine trying to separate the two pieces.  I’ve done this simple demonstration with hundreds of students.  The result is always the same: complete separation is simply impossible.  The bond formed by the glue irreversibly transforms the two pieces into one.

Something similar happens to us when we create permanent, one-flesh bonds within temporary (non-marital) relationships—we tear our soul to pieces.

Think about it.

13 Comments

  1. That’s a powerful illustration about sexual union.(the glued paper) May I use that too?

  2. The glued paper illustration is not my idea–I heard about it back when I was a teenager (300 years ago). In other words–feel free to use it 🙂

  3. yep, the glued paper illustration is definitely a good one.

    you know, for women, we don’t just lose our virginity in pre-marital sex, we lose our self respect and worth too.

  4. wow.. enlightening. Simple and true. praise God for the Bible! thanks kuya kevin!

  5. very inspiring. excellent example ^___^

    hey. here’s my multiply acct where I posted ur banner – http://www.xknothing.multiply.com ^^

  6. Hi Kuya kevin I really admired you. Just wish that most growing gals and guys will be like you. But sad to say most of the guys and gals now just want sex like a candy. Specially the chatters from local to foreign internet.They make use of internet for cybersex and some one way to get money out of it. Im really glad you are here to enlighten misguided people. Maybe its not too late yet to educate children through your blogs perhaps these would be a great help to specially to the growing teenagers and one way of helping people to stay out from sin specially when it comes to our degrading morality. God bless.

  7. wow its a wonderful ilustration… but i just wanna ask wht d consiquence if you you have sin like a sex without merriage.

  8. Spiritual–guilt knowing you have sinned against God.
    Emotional–guilt from knowing you have given away intimacy which belongs to your future spouse.
    Physical–unwanted pregnancy, STD’s, ect.

  9. hi kuya kevin..
    this post really enlightened me. thanks a lot.

  10. Thanks for your blog. I found your site from a review you posted on Amazon for “Getting Serious about Getting Married” by Debbie Maken.

    This is raw but here goes: If you’ve already “become one,” and that person is now married to someone else (so no chance of redeeming that relationship) how can one free themselves from the emotional baggage to marry?

  11. Hi Christiane,

    Well, the bad news is the two have become one and this bond never really goes away.

    The good news is that God forgives and heals, so we just have to move on.

  12. Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for your response.

    It’s the “have to move on” part that’s the problem. I think this may be harder for women (not that men don’t feel the connection, too, but like you wrote in another post, guys are programmed differently so perhaps it’s easier to move on to another woman). Thoughts?

  13. Yes, moving on is definitely difficult. There’s a chapter in Basta LoveLife entitled Old Scars and New Hope. Maybe you can get a copy of the book and read it.

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