In this 2 part series, Emerson shares with us about a subject The Church at large has been too silent on all these years. Now we see dangerous societal results. It’s all just a big mess now. What is this secretive subject? S-E-X. Sex was created by God for beauty. Let’s turn these ashes back into beauty, shall we? ~ Heather
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
We live in a hard time. If the 60s were the start of sexual revolution, then this must be the sexual celebration. Our society is inundated with the thought of sex in every way possible – from internet, tv, music, even billboards and road signs, there’s no escaping it in today’s world. While television shows and movies are usually talked about as being pretty bad, I actually think commercials are the worst. You can turn off or avoid movies and tv shows on many occasions (though not always; sometimes it’s surprise content you weren’t expecting), but commercials pop up out of nowhere and bombard you with the audio and visual representations of sexual ideas. They push it as far as they can and still get away with it. Think about it – there’s medicine, lingerie, even disgustingly provocative food commercials that revolve around it.
Those that I just mentioned are the obvious ones, but our culture has brought in even more subtle ways to hint at it. We are obsessed with the idea of physical attraction and romance (which from a distorted secular point of view, almost always leads to sex). Just this week I saw a commercial for a bathroom cleaner in which an animated toilet brush was sighing over how “handsome” and “cute” a guy was.
You know it’s bad when even inanimate objects are flirting with humans.
Add to that the fact that everything can now be defined and described as “sexy” – my shirt is sexy, my car is sexy, my cell phone, my toaster, my taco – it’s ALL sexy. I have to disagree with many of the world renown chefs and tv show hosts of today; my taco can no more be sexy than it can fly to the moon and teach a toothbrush how to waltz with a T-rex. (You’re probably thinking “That’s an impossible and completely stupid analogy,” to which I say “Now you’re getting it!”)
So, what’s the deal with sex? What’s the real truth about it? Well, sex itself is not a bad thing. It’s not a shameful thing. God created it, and He meant for it to be enjoyed as an expression of true intimacy and love between husband and wife.
The latter part of that last sentence is the key. Did you catch it?
Sex is not bad, but it was meant for husband and wife – that means inside of marriage. It’s only when we take it out of the context it was designed for that we get into messy territory – sex outside of marriage.
They’ll tell you it’s all fun and games as long as you practice “safe sex”. We already know the risks involved with that fallacy. What I want to point out, however, is that if you take a closer look at premarital sex, you can easily find the guilt, shame, hurt, and grief that comes along with it. It’s not really that “safe”. Though the possible physical risks may be avoided, the emotional effects cannot. Even the television shows that promote promiscuity will show you the pain that the characters go through. They may not highlight it because they want to hide the truth about it or ignore it, but in the end the consequences are inevitable, and they really have no choice to show those consequences or not. They will always be there, even in the “subtlest” of ways.
You can’t be that intimate with someone and move on from them without leaving a little bit of yourself behind, and that creates an emptiness that will always feel like something is missing. Sure, some people have numbed themselves to that feeling and truth, but sex outside of marriage can never be as fulfilling as they make it seem. That fulfillment only comes when it’s done the way it was meant to be – a commitment between a husband and wife. When you think about it that way, I think it makes total sense. Let me give you an example through story of what I mean:
You’re given plans to create a building that has been designed from the ground up. This is a very specific design, made by a master engineer who knows how it will work best. In the middle of building, however, you decide to make some changes to his design… BIG changes. You decide to use plastic for the structure instead of metal. “Everything is made out of plastic anymore, why not make the building out of it too?” Sounds like a fool-proof plan. You can’t believe the master builder hadn’t thought of that… it’s a much better idea. While you’re at it, why not make some more changes? Hey, here’s an idea! Let’s flip the building upside down! It will start out small on the bottom, and gradually get bigger the higher it gets. Now, THAT’S a good design!
You finish building using all of the new and “improved” ideas you’ve put into it. All seems good, but then the strong winds come. Your new plans don’t end up working so well after all. The plastic can’t hold the weight of everything and, because you built it upside down, the wind blows the entire structure down to the ground like a house made out of playing cards. You wish you would have stuck to the engineer’s plans… after all, he thought of every possible outcome and knew how it would work best because it was his design, not yours. Now you’re left to clean up the mess that you’ve made.
I think we have all taken the Master’s plans and made a few adjustments in at least one part of our lives before. The good news is that God doesn’t leave us to clean up our mess all by ourselves – He will help us if we accept His help. But, before I get into that, I want to take a closer look as to how God designed our lives to be and how we (on a whole) have strayed from that very plan.
The only true “safe” sex is inside of marriage. Why is this? Because God designed it that way. He knows what real love is because He is love, and He knows how it works best. He didn’t make it that way because He didn’t want you to be free, have fun, or experience love. Actually, it’s quite the opposite.
Our world looks at true freedom as a limitless, boundary free life, but it’s only when we learn the truth about boundaries that we can be really free. Boundaries aren’t rigid rules put in place to make us suffer; they are the safety nets that keep us from falling into danger.
I think Ravi Zacharias explains in a very eloquent and simple way how true unconditional love (whether you’re talking about God’s relationship with us or our human relationships with each other) and boundaries work together:
“Love is such a thing that without certain conditions it can never thrive and never prosper. That’s what this is all about. You can not violate the necessary framework of a mutual trust and total commitment, and you can’t just debunk it by saying it’s conditional. No, the conditions are built in to make this thing beautiful. And that’s what sin is all about – it’s a violation of these very things that God has put in for your benefit and mine. As Chesterton said, anytime you remove any fence, always pause long enough to ask yourself the question of why it was put there in the first place. … You will never experience the wonders of love if you have never abided by its rules.” *
God put up the boundaries of sex between one man and one woman committed to each other through marriage because He wants us to fully experience the real love and intimacy He created – and the only way that works is through a true commitment between husband and wife. The Bible says that they actually become one –
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)
If we have sex outside of marriage, it violates that commitment, and ultimately it violates His design. When two become one, there is a bond that cannot be broken. Even when we move on from that person, we’ve left a little piece of ourselves behind with them, because God made it to be an expression of a lasting, committed love between two people. That’s why problems arise, and they come in many different forms. It seeps into all the little places in our lives. All of these problems contribute to how we view ourselves and others.
I’ll take a look at some of those places and diving deeper into how these issues that arise affect women, men, how they both view themselves, and also how it affects how we all view each other in part 2 of this 2 part series coming out later this week. Until then…
If you’ve lived a less than perfect life, like we all have, then let your heart remember that Jesus does not condem. No matter what, God can restore you and He can make you new again. He is the only one who can fill any void – any hole or missing part of you – left behind, and He will if you ask Him too. He wants to forgive you and make you whole again in Him, because He loves you. Don’t let anyone tell you that He doesn’t love you or that you’re worthless now. Nothing you have ever done or could do can change His love for you. So if you’ve fallen into the traps of this world and believed any of the lies they’ve told you, there is still hope. Even if you’ve stumbled in your pursuit of purity or crossed a line you shouldn’t have, God is still right there with you. You don’t have to live with a cloud of guilt or shame any longer. That’s why Jesus came for us – so that if we accept His gift of salvation, we can leave our past mistakes behind us and find ourselves in Him. Through Him we have forgiveness and He can wash us clean once more.
If you’ve given into any kind of sexual temptation and you feel unworthy or impure now, know that God still sees your worth. And if you accept His gift through Jesus’ death and resurrection, then He can make you pure once more.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.“ (John 3:16-17, ESV)
“…though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18, ESV)
Your fellow traveler on the journey of life,
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” – Psalm 139:14, ESV
Read part 2 of this 2 part series here.
*Quoted from Ravi Zacharias’ “Just Thinking” radio broadcast – What Answers For The Wicked Human Heart? Part 2 of 4, emphasis mine.