Romans 1:26 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 1:26, NIV: "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones."

Romans 1:26, ESV: "For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;"

Romans 1:26, KJV: "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:"

Romans 1:26, NASB: "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged natural relations for that which is contrary to nature,"

Romans 1:26, NLT: "That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other."

Romans 1:26, CSB: "For this reason God delivered them over to disgraceful passions. Their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones."

What does Romans 1:26 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has said that God, in His wrathful response to human ungodliness and unrighteous, gave humanity up to the unchecked expression of our sexual lust and impure desires. As a result, unrighteous human beings increasingly dishonored their bodies together (Romans 1:24).

Paul's words here are not a blanket condemnation of sexual desire and expression. God gave those things to humanity as a gift to be enjoyed between husband and wife, even before sin entered the world (Genesis 2:23–25). Like anything else, there is a God-honoring time and place for sexual expression (1 Timothy 4:4; 1 Corinthians 7:4–5). Sexual desire and activity—within their intended use—continue to be God's gift in this way. What Paul is describing is the unchecked corruption of this beautiful gift.

Now Paul describes God giving humanity up to sexual desire and activity of another kind: female homosexuality. The result, as Paul describes it, is that women trade natural male/female sexual relationships for ones that are contrary to nature as God designed it. The following verse will apply the same condemnation to acts taken between men.

Again, Paul pictures this as an expression of God's wrath against unrighteous humanity. This is in direct response to two things mentioned in the previous verse: Rejecting the truth that God is creator and worshiping His creation, instead. God's release of humanity from sexual restraint came in response to our worship of the false gods of creation and not Him as the maker.