Reader “MN” asks a question we’ve gotten a few times but have only addressed briefly:
Good sir, first want to say thank you for this site. I really appreciate your time and how gentle, yet how firm you are when you respond to people’s questions.
One question I have is this: do you feel that it’s ok to swear while having sex? Like dropping the f-bomb when one climaxes. Or using “ass” to describe my wife’s butt? Thanks for your time and may God bless you both!
This is a great question. Like many Christians, Sexy Corte and I are very careful about our language. In James 3:5-12, God warns us that an uncontrolled tongue can lead to destruction.
So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
I don’t know about you… but my tongue gets me into more trouble than any other part of my body! Think about the comparison that’s made between a tongue and fire: an uncontrolled tongue won’t only hurt the speaker, it can burn down a whole forest — your family, friends, church, and more. A wicked tongue hinders our praise of God and our ability to serve him.
So obviously controlling your tongue is extremely important. Every part of your life and your ministry will be impacted, positively or negatively, but how you use your tongue.
But notice: the emphasis isn’t on “swear words”. The Bible doesn’t really have anything to say about whether or not certain words are off-limits, and how could it? “Swear words” are dependent on language, culture, and context in a way that doesn’t translate. God doesn’t really care about specific words, he cares about what you say and why you say it. A person can be extremely cruel without swearing, but “good language” doesn’t mitigate the harm caused by hateful speech.
Similarly, in the right context, “swear words” can be used to edify the listener and strengthen a marriage. The point isn’t the words you use, it’s whether you’re building up or tearing down. It may be that your spouse never wants to hear swearing come from your mouth — if so, then don’t do it. However, in the heat of the moment it can often be quite sexy to indulge in the taboo of swearing. There are many things you can only do with your spouse, and if swearing turns both of you on and strengthens your sex life then go for it! (Read “Can we *BLANK*?” for some further thoughts.)
Sometimes a mid-day whisper about what you want to do that night is just what your spouse needs to hear!
In the end, there are no magic words that are good or evil on their own — the holiness of your speech depends on what you’re saying and to whom.