“Let not your heart turn aside to [the adulteress’s] ways; do not stray into her paths, for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng.” ~ Proverbs 7:25-26
True or false: The more power something possesses, the more boundaries there ought to be around it.
Hopefully, you didn’t need to scratch your head too long on that one. Any loving parent gets it. Electricity that sends you warmth and light can also send you to the hospital. Get your hands away from there! Swimming pools are a blast, but they can kill you, so we’re taking swim lessons. And get those floaties on! My father spent more time teaching me how to drive a car than he did teaching me how to ride a bike. And so help me, if you come home with a speeding ticket!
Why the dedicated instruction? Why the many rules? Why the warnings? Because those powerful things that can make our lives so fun and fulfilling can also turn right around and ruin our lives or take our lives if we use that power wrongly. Are we together on this? (If so, bob your head vigorously up and down. Now look around the room, and take note of all the people looking at you strangely.)
Alright, track with me as I say the following: Sex – and all that goes with it – is one of the most powerful forces on earth. I can scarcely think of anything more fundamentally primal to our humanity than this. These desires and the act it leads to have the power to create life. Something has to be powerful to take life – a bullet, a virus, a storm. But to create life – my goodness, what power must be wielded by such a thing. And sex wields that power.
These desires and the actions it leads to also have the power to bond life. Sex exists throughout the animal kingdom, but with humans this connection goes far beyond simple biology. It catches up in its wake the deepest emotions felt by humans, and if the Bible is telling us the truth, it transcends physicality entirely and takes us into the realm of the spirit, where our deepest identity is forged. It’s not just bodies linking, but heart, mind and soul as well.
Two Hollywood actors can play out a fistfight in a movie scene, and go have a couple beers afterwards. However two actors playing out a nude love scene are tampering with forces that they cannot possibly comprehend or control, no matter how much they protest that it’s just art.
The proof of sex’s power is found also in the way sex – used wrongly – can also ruin life. The wreckage it causes when its power is disrespected or disregarded can scarcely be catalogued. The unwanted pregnancy. Disease. Divorce. Jealousy. Confusion. Addiction. Depression. Emptiness. Poverty. Prison. Scandal. Job-loss. Rage. Rape. Murder. Sex trafficking. Prostitution. Pedophilia. If you refuse to reel in this behavior you’re stuck in, how long before your name is added to sex’s Hall of Shame?
Since our sexuality possesses this God-given (and good, don’t forget that) power, it ought to go without saying that of course God would place boundaries around it. He wouldn’t create within us this incredible force and then leave us to figure out for ourselves how to use it, any more than a father would drop a loaded handgun into his children’s toy chest and walk away saying, “Have fun with this.”
What ideas in this reading did you find helpful or challenging?
What are ways in which sex shows it has tremendous power? Have you crossed paths with sex’s power?
What stories in the news have you heard that illustrate what happens when the power of sex is ignored or disrespected?
How would you describe our culture’s thinking about sexual boundaries today?
Prayer and Worship
“Father, I thank you for…”
“Father, please help me with…”
“Father, please be with…”
“In the name of Jesus, who died for my sins, who rose from the dead and who is with me now through the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Today’s Worship Suggestion: “Mighty To Save” (Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan)
This Week’s Memory Verses
(We encourage you to memorize both the verse and the reference, in any version you are comfortable with.)
“For the righteous falls seven times and rises again.” ~ Proverbs 24:16
“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.” ~ Job 31:1
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4