Contemporary debates about human sexuality and reproduction—abortion, in vitro fertilization, birth control, gay rights, etc.—tend to be highly charged with emotion. While it is often easy to carry on a dispassionate debate about even such life or death issues as war and capital punishment, issues in sexual ethics are much more challenging in this regard. It is apparent why this is so when one considers the stakes. For permissivists on such issues (e.g., pro-choicers, gay marriage advocates, etc.) personal autonomy and, by extension, a whole way of life, is at stake. And for conservatives the sanctity of life and family itself (as traditionally understood) is at stake. And for folks on both sides of these debates a sense of what is ultimately good for society as a whole hangs in the balance.
But for Christian moral conservatives there is a further dimension to these issues which makes them especially urgent and emotionally charged—the notion that human sexuality is sacred. So what is it about sex such that it should be considered “sacred” or somehow religiously significant? From the standpoint of Christian theology, of course, part of the answer lies in the fact that God ordained sex and blessed it as a means of procreation, marital unity, and pleasure.
But could there be something even more significant about sex which traces back to the nature of God? One possibility is that sex and procreation actually reflect the Trinity. Sex is an intimate communion between two persons (man and woman) from whom proceed a third person (child), and all three of these persons share the same (human) nature. This mirrors the divine nature, which consists of an intimate communion between two persons (God the Father and God the Son), from whom proceed a third person (the Holy Spirit), and all three of these persons share the same (divine) nature.
Now this analogy might appear to break down in the fact that God the Son also proceeds from God the Father, which is not mirrored in a human marital relationship. However, this procession is reflected in the Genesis creation account where the woman proceeds from the man, via the “rib” of Adam. Anyway, though human sexuality and procreation are imperfect images of the Trinity (one must be careful not to go too far with such images), they are profound analogues of the divine nature all the same. And this is one more reason why we should regard sex as sacred, from a Christian perspective. And it helps to explain why behavioral distortions of our sexual teleology are regarded by Scripture as especially heinous and harmful. See, for example, such passages as Prov. 6:32-33, Rom. 1:26-27, 1 Cor. 6:9. The severity of judgment in these passages is more understandable if such acts constitute attacks on the Godhead.