QUESTION: How do same-sex relationships work when they go against the natural design of the human body? God created us and intends us to use the bodies He created.
RESPONSE: I’ve done quite a few posts and even an audio that may be helpful in responding to this question. So, there will be a few links in this answer not only to save me time, but to make the response as complete and clear as possible.
Those who take a strict binary view of human sexuality (men and women in sexual relationship is the only “natural” way) and in particular, those who identify as Christian, use the word “natural” frequently. Sometimes they are thinking about biology, and other times, they are thinking about the use of the word “natural” in Romans 1, so, I’ll tackle both uses of the word.
My audio chapter on sex, gender and sexual orientation is an excellent foundation for the biology answer to this question. In particular, the final 7-8 minutes talks specifically about “the parts don’t fit — or do they?” I mention in that section of the audio that there are 40 ways couples (both heterosexual and homosexual) engage in sex according to a 2010 university study. Part A into Slot B is just one way of having sex.
I believe in setting a stage, laying a foundation and responding to questions in context. Misunderstanding or lack of clarity comes with short soundbite answers. Human sexuality is anything but that! Give that chapter a listen.
As to the use of “natural” in Romans, I did an overview of the meaning in context ( I use that phrase a lot!) in the video. For a refresher on that, read this on the verses in Romans that use the words “natural” and “unnatural.” Natural, in context, again, does not mean Part A into Slot B.
Some modern Bible commenters and theologians have tried to impose the Part A into Slot B meaning on the verse over the last about 35 years. Typically, when those writers and commenters use natural, they are referring to a doctrine called “complementarity” which is both a new word and doctrine created in 1987, though it is frequently positioned as though it has existed “since the beginning of time.”
There are three basic ways the word complementarity is used:
- the reuniting of two parts of the human—male and female—to form the complete Adam as he was before Eve was taken from his side,
- the coming together of two opposite genders for gender fittedness in both marriage and service in the church,
- and the coming together of male and female for anatomical (sexual) fittedness in marriage.
Because people sometimes use the word differently and may not be clear on their own usage of the word, this post deals with full responses to each of those uses of the use of the word complementarity.
A further objection to same-sex relationships is that they are not procreative, in other words, you can’t make a baby. Again, rather than just give you a few sentence response, I think addressing the topic more fully to clear up side-objections is more useful. I have written about the “requirement” of procreation in marriage in this post.
I know this is a lot of information to answer what seems to be simple question and I appreciate your interest in understanding. As I show in the video, our more clear understanding of human sexuality ever growing and frequently in direct conflict with ancient beliefs. I mean, my goodness, the ancients (yes, in biblical times too) thought it took the “heat” of a man to overcome the “cold” of a woman to produce a male baby, AND all the makings of a baby was in the male sperm. We have come a long way!