Author and Advocate for Healthy Sexuality and Spirituality

Category Archives: The Passion Principles

Will There Be Sex In Heaven?- Part 2


In addition to our sexuality remaining intact in heaven, there’s God’s sexuality to consider as well.  Yes, God is a sexual being, the most sexual of all beings, which I know sounds shocking to those of us who see sexuality as being strictly physical, but it’s not.  It’s both physical and spiritual.  Although we’ve historically considered God a “male” being, God actually transcends gender.  He made both male and female “in his own image” (Genesis 1:27), therefore God is both masculine and feminine in nature (a concept I explore more fully in my book The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts in a section called “Behind the Curtain: Searching for the Softer Side of God”6).  And I believe wholeheartedly that both God’s “sexual” nature, as well as our own sexual nature, will be fully present, fully understood, and fully celebrated in heaven.  It will be unadulterated, untainted, uninhibited, and we’ll enjoy the holiness, the purity, the perfection of all that God intended when He created us both “in His image” and “sexual” at the same time.
With that being established, let me provide a more direct answer by clarifying the question.  What we really want to know is, “Will there be physical intercourse in heaven?”   Since there will be no marriage and no further need for procreation, it’s doubtful.  But this shouldn’t be bubble-bursting news because there’s so much more to the story.  In the words of Dr. Peter Kreeft,
I think there will probably be millions of more adequate ways to express love than the clumsy ecstasy of fitting two bodies together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.  Even the most satisfying earthly intercourse between spouses cannot perfectly express all their love.  If the possibility of intercourse in Heaven is not actualized, it is only for the same reason earthly lovers do not eat candy during intercourse:  there is something much better to do.1
In other words, the pleasure we experience through our God-given sexuality will perhaps be different in Heaven, but will most certainly be magnified exponentially.  However, God will not remove our sexual nature.  He will redeem it. 

…So rather than mourn the absence of physical sex in Heaven, let us greatly anticipate the bigger sexual picture . . .

Sex on earth is like a lovely view from a cottage window. Sex in heaven will be the breathtaking view from Mount Kilimanjaro.

Sex on earth? A $2 box of Queen Ann chocolate-covered cherries. Sex in heaven? A bar of Amedei Porcelana (Italian chocolate, $90 per pound).
Sex on earth?  A stick-figure drawing on a refrigerator door. Sex in heaven?  Michelangelo’s panoramas adorning the Sistine Chapel.
Sex on earth?  An afternoon at the local playground. Sex in heaven?  Owning Disney World.
Think of the greatest sexual pleasures imaginable-on steroids, factored exponentially to mind-boggling mathematical degrees-and we still are grasping at straws in comparison to the profound pleasures that await us in our Heavenly home.
Dearest Heavenly Father,
In response to the pleasures that you’ve created for us to fully enjoy
this side of heaven, and for all of those pleasures that you have awaiting us
on the other side, we simply say . . . WOW!
1) Peter Kreeft, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Heaven-But Never Dreamed of Asking (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1990). See for an excerpt, “Is There Sex in Heaven?”
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Part 1


Excerpted from  The Passion Principles: Celebrating Sexual Freedom in Marriage  by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved. Published by W Publishing Group, and imprint of Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval. 

Will There Be Sex In Heaven?- Part 1

All of this talk about the spiritual side of sex leads us to the question that most of us Christians have contemplated at least once in their lives, if we’re honest: Will there be sex in heaven? 


Before I offer my personal opinion on the matter based on the research I’ve done, I’d like to tell you about a radio interview I did several years ago that, in all honesty, ticked me off royally.  I’m not sure if the pastor who was interviewing me was simply playing “devil’s advocate” (if so, he wasn’t a very good actor), or if he really had this mentality, but he posed an infuriating question.  He challenged, “By telling married couples to engage freely in sex, aren’t you encouraging them to operate out of their ‘sinful, animal’ nature?”


Hello?!  I thought.  Are you serious? How could someone with theological training draw such an off-base conclusion?


I reminded him of the order of events in Genesis, and how God created sex within marriage before the fall of man ever occurred.  So how in the world can it be sinful?  It’s only sinful in our minds because we’ve let Satan steal the notion of sexuality being a huge part of God’s perfect creation. And because it is a part of God’s perfect creation, why in the world would we assume that there won’t be sex in heaven?  It’s as if we assume that God is going to somehow wake up and realize, “Oh, I shouldn’t have told them to do all that nasty stuff back in the Garden of Eden, so we won’t be allowing that in heaven!” 


Sorry, but I can’t buy that.


Matthew 22:30 is probably another reason why we assume there won’t be sex in Heaven.  It reads, “When people rise from the dead, they will not marry, nor will they be given to someone to marry.  They will be like the angels in heaven” (NCV).  In other words, there won’t be any reason for marriage in Heaven.  Why?  Because earthly marriage is intended to be a reflection of God’s commitment to His bride, the Church.  Once we are in heaven, there’s no need for a mere reflection.  We’ll have the Real Thing.  We’ll all be in the presence of our Heavenly Bridegroom, so our attentions and affections will no longer have to be directed toward an earthly surrogate.


But will there be sex in heaven?  I believe the answer is both yes and no.


Let’s press the pause button and consider the question, “What is sex?” It’s not just intercourse-it’s also gender. When you complete a job application and the form asks you to indicate your “sex,” how do you respond?  By indicating “male” or “female,” of course.  Will we be male and female in heaven?  Why wouldn’t we be? We will not be neutered at heaven’s gates.  Matthew 22:30 tells us that we will be as “angels,” not as “geldings” or “eunuchs.”  God’s purpose in delivering us from a fallen world into a perfect world is to unmake the messes that we have made, and that Satan has made, not to unmake the perfection that He has made.


PRAYER:  Lord, help us to comprehend the bigger picture of why you created us as sexual beings, and trust that you’ll restore all things to perfection in your own timing.

to be continued…


Excerpted from  The Passion Principles: Celebrating Sexual Freedom in Marriage  by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved. Published by W Publishing Group, and imprint of Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.