“Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble.” ~ Proverbs 4:10-12
I read a fascinating article awhile back written by a self-professed feminist mother – a woman who believed that sex outside of marriage was perfectly fine, as long as it was practiced in a setting of love and commitment – who was lamenting the fact that her daughter, who was on the hunt for just such a loving and committed relationship, couldn’t find one. It seems that all the men want is sex.
“Most kids today don’t couple up, they hook up,” she writes. “As a result, we are seeing a generation of girls whose early sexual experiences lack the elements of emotional commitment and love that are so important for them.” And what are the boys doing? They’re looking at porn. “The youngest adolescent boys are often steeped in sexual images and expectations that are punishing to girls’ spirits.”
The author really had no good suggestions how to fix this. She scoffed at the thought of reviving old, outdated moral codes, i.e. Christianity. Her only solution – and I kid you not – was to have young people go back and re-read some old romance novels to learn again about love and commitment in relationships. (Yeah, good luck with that. Picture a football locker room strewn with copies of Wuthering Heights.)
So here’s a mom who wants for her daughter to experience the richness of a loving and committed relationship with a man. Good for her. This is consistent with how God created a woman to be sexually. This is how a woman experiences the sexual energy within her. Deep down is the yearning to be pursued, wanted, courted, protected, loved, by someone who will make her his one and only. But it’s less visual than it is relational. It’s less physical than it is emotional. Why do women eat up romance novels and chick flicks? It’s how their hearts tick. It’s how they experience the dance.
But men experience the dance differently, because God created them with a different sort of sexual energy. God gave men a strength and a yearning to pursue the Beauty in their lives. There is a godly aggression within them to initiate, to lead, to protect. But the man is motivated by an inner attraction that is more profoundly visual than relational, and more physical than emotional.
Neither of these is wrong. God set it all up this way, not to frustrate us, but to bless us. For the man, the experience of the physical union with the woman is the most mysterious and powerful part of the dance, and it drives him to court the woman, to pursue her, to protect her, to romance her. For a man, sex is the reward of loving his woman relationally.
For the women, the experience of the emotional union with the man – to be loved fully by one who knows her inside and out – is the most mysterious and powerful part of the dance, and so it motivates her to unveil her beauty and give herself physically to him. For a woman, the relationship is the reward of loving her man sexually.
So what’s a girl to do? asks the mother in her article. Where did all the loving, committed men run off to? It’s actually not too hard to figure out. Remember that outdated, moral code which the mother wanted nothing to do with? Well, it’s a simple law of spiritual physics. That moral code if practiced would produce those sort of men. When the code is dismantled, those men disappear, and we mess up the dance. To adapt a well-known C.S. Lewis quote: we laugh at chastity then are shocked to find debauchery in our midst.
If the physical union is the reward for the man, and he is given it without any effort, no pursuit required, no emotional investment necessary, proceed directly to “Go” and collect your $200, well, what do you expect? The best part of the cinnamon roll is the middle. The reason you work through the outer layers of the cinnamon roll is to get to the center. If you could give me the center without the other stuff, I would do it every time. And trust me on this: when it comes to sex, most men have the IQ of a cinnamon roll.
Tampering with God’s laws is treacherous business. Someone once said if you jump off a roof, you don’t break the law of gravity, you illustrate it. Clearly, there’s a lot of illustrating going on today, as this mother is painfully learning. And as you are probably figuring out through the struggles in your own life.
Though the biblical sexual ethic is under fierce assault today, I don’t see this as entirely a bad thing, for the world is giving us one example after another of why the way of Jesus is the truth and life. The early Christians put Greek and Roman paganism back on its heels by offering a compelling, life-giving alternative to the moral chaos of its age. The gospel fell on that barren wasteland like a spring rain – as it’s falling afresh on people today who are coming to their senses and realizing that this world’s no-boundaries, anything-goes mindset is devastating to their souls.
Now is not the time to sell out God’s gold standard for a pot of politically correct stew. God’s gold standard leads to:
- The protection of children.
- The protection of our hearts.
- The protection of authentic male and female relationships.
- The protection of the community.
Maybe you can’t see through the fog right now, but your sexual sin is cutting across the marrow of your humanity. It’s depreciating whom God made you to be as a man or a woman. It’s poisoning your relationships. It’s hollowing out your ability to give and receive love. It’s crippling your creativity. It’s endangering your future. It’s deadening your heart. It’s weakening your mind. It’s robbing from your children and stealing from your loved ones because they don’t get you at your best.
It matters that you win this battle.
What ideas in this reading did you find helpful or challenging?
How does turning to porn or premarital sex harm the God-given attraction that men and women are supposed to feel with each other? How does it mess up “the dance”?
Write a short paragraph summarizing why you believe porn is harmful to you and to others.
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: “10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)” (Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman)
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