Mobile technology has revolutionized modern living. That might just be the understatement of the year. World changers have been coming rapidly in recent years when compared to history. The printing press rocked the world like the wheel had rolled it. Computers streamlined it like the telephone had connected it. And when the Internet came, combining these final two, a new age was born.
Like never before, the whole world become networked, and people like me learn of the death of Michael Jackson on Twitter before the news networks dared to confirm it. In a way, the world became smaller. And then smartphones entered the mix, making you more connected when seated now on hard porcelain than you were before on cushy leather in your office. Now, technology has invaded our most private situations.
Sexting was inevitable.
Carrying on erotic conversation and even sharing naughty pictures or videos has become commonplace in our culture. Pop stars, pro athletes, and politicians have faced the reality of having these most private words, moments, and body parts disclosed to the public at large by jilted lovers, angry exes, and the offended-and-untrusted.
At first, the masses were offended. Then they were curious. Now they’re pretty much indifferent: “Oh, look. Another one.”
Context is Everything
If any Christians might be able to participate sexting, it’s exclusively limited to the context of marriage Unmarried Christians have no business stirring up these thoughts, feelings, and desires..
One thing is certain. If any Christians might be able to participate in sexting, it’s exclusively limited to the context of marriage.
Unmarried Christians have no business stirring up these thoughts, feelings, and desires. It’s a spiritually lethal quagmire of temptation and danger. As the wise bride of Song of Songs said, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” (Song of Songs 2:7b, NIV).
This marital context should be maintained according to the expectation of privacy. If your spouse sends you some sexy comments throughout the day, don’t rebroadcast them on Facebook.
I don’t know of any biblical prohibition against sharing some such things with trusted and intimate friends or family. In fact, we see examples of this sort of sharing and even more intimate sharing in the Bible, but it’s always either (1) limited to those who are both extremely close and will hold confidence (like Naomi in Ruth 3:16-18), or (2) with a level of publicity sanctioned by both parties (like the wedding guests in Song of Songs 6:13b through 7:5).
With this basic respect in mind, you should be wise about how any such sharing is done. A wife showing her girlfriend her phone is safer than forwarding a message (or worse) to her that can be re-sent (even accidentally). Be smart about it. But don’t show the whole office unless this group of people has been approved by your spouse. Honor your spouse.
Privacy extends beyond deliberate sharing like this, however. If there’s a chance my wife might send me a naughty photo, ever, you can bet my phone is locked. My son doesn’t need to see that if he starts playing with my phone (a no-no itself, as an extra precaution; the kids have their own devices/toys). So my son can’t unlock my phone. Neither can my boss, my friend, or anyone else but my wife. She knows and appreciates the privacy we have from such policies.
Locking your phone also helps with accidental loss and theft. Most thefts aren’t corporate espionage, so a basic lock usually suffices for preventing the idly curious thief from digging into your text messages, photo album, and videos. However, some devices offer enhanced security options. For example, after an incorrect passcode or pattern is entered a certain number of times, some phones can wipe themselves clean. A handy protection against the determined digger, if you’re willing to set it up.
Worst case scenario: people find out you have a sexually ambitious relationship with your spouse. Once they get over their jealousy, they’ll likely forget about it.
So, we see that Christian couples can, but not necessarily whether they should, sext each other. This isn’t a question of permission but of wisdom.
As a rule, the answer is no if you’re not willing to take the steps to secure the sexts. This means dealing with the inconvenience of locking your phone or deleting messages as they come in, dealing with whiny children that want to play games on your devices, and dealing with the necessary discussions about expectations of privacy and security with your spouse.
And keep in mind; it takes two phones to sext. If your device is secure but his isn’t… well, you’ve missed the point.
Also, as with making homemade porn, check your motivations.
But if you are both willing, able, and comfortable, sexting can be a lot of fun. And worst case scenario: people find out you have a sexually ambitious relationship with your spouse. Once they get over their jealousy, they’ll likely forget about it. And even if not, it’s still a testimony to God’s perfect plan for the undefiled marriage bed.