I’ll be honest, I’m a fairly stereotypical British man and don’t, ordinarily, find it easy to talk about “sex”. Even typing it in a place I know lots of people could read it is hard, but, be that as it may, I think it’s time we talked about sex.
The other day I read an article from the Telegraph (a rare event!) called “Children and the Culture of Pornography”, I suggest you give it a read. I find it both terrifying and heart breaking. As I read it I couldn’t help but think of my own, two, beautiful daughters and want to weep that this was the world they were going to be exposed to. But the truth is my heart breaks for so many unnamed, unknown to me girls, and boys, who are growing up in a world where this can be thought of as ok.
In a world where pornography is available at any time it is now normal to demand explicit photos, to film and broadcast intimate images of people and to insist upon girls performing sex acts on anyone. I hope that this article is exaggerated, that a small minority of cases are being made out to be the norm. But, even if it’s just one instance, even if there is the tiniest flicker of truth to this report, shouldn’t we be doing something?
I get told that the church has a negative view of sex, that we need to let up, that it’s not a big deal! ButI’m afraid to say, that from a Christian perspective, when the world comes to sex, it just doesn’t get it!
Sex it a deeply spiritual act. When you have sex you give part of yourself to the other person. Part of your soul, part of who you are at the very deepest level now belongs to that person. When this is realised it soon becomes obvious that sex can therefore be either a wonderful, spiritual, beautiful thing, or else can be deeply damaging.
A person is not just flesh and bone, not just their physical self. Many people think this now, but it doesn’t change the fact it’s not true. You are a body, a mind and a spirit and each part is carefully and mysteriously interwoven with each of the other parts. This is why being emotionally down can have an effect on your physical health, or why being mentally inactive can lead to depression, because we are complete beings and what affects one part of you affects all of you, whether you like it or not.
This is why the Bible consistently teaches that sex should be part of a deeply committed, friendship (i.e. a marriage). If you take one of those parts away then there’s not much worth bothering with and, because you’re a whole being, you will eventually suffer for it. A couple who have been together for years, and remain committed to one another, but never talk or have sex, will suffer, because they are not living as their full selves in the relationship. Likewise, friends who have sex, but share no commitment to one another, will eventually fall apart and will lose part of themselves in the process. But when it all comes together, when two people who love to be with one another, to talk and laugh with one another, come together, commit themselves to one another for life, regardless of the ups and downs, and then share themselves with one another in the spiritual act of sex, then the result is beautiful, healing, redemptive and bigger than the sum of their parts.
And the world has taken this deep, unfathomable, mysterious gift and what has it come up with … sexting! Like someone being given a priceless Van Gogh and using it as a napkin, or being given the complete works of Shakespeare and using it to wipe your arse! And the world has the cheek to suggest that we’re the ones with the low view of sex! No, We have the very highest view of sex.
My friends, my brothers and sisters, we owe it to our children (who are growing up in a world where wooing a girl has changed into sending someone a picture of your genitals) to teach them the true value of sex, the beautiful thing that it is supposed to be and, horror of horrors, that will involve … talking about it!
I know, being a parent myself, this is so, so hard. My eldest (5 years old) asked just the other day, and I bottled it! I comfort myself by tell myself she’s still too young, but maybe I’m just a wimp. Be that as it may, I’m determined that before she gets too old we must talk about this, because I know one thing for certain, she will learn about sex! And would I rather she learn from me, or from the world of texting naked pictures and sharing them out? Would I rather she learn from the Bible which tells us sex, in marriage, is the beautiful act of showing insight into the love Christ has for his people (Eph 5), or from the world of blow jobs in the boys toilets for pocket money?
There really is no choice. My brothers, my sisters, please, I beg you, for the sake of our society, for the sake of our children, for the sake of my two beautiful daughters, please, please, talk about sex … sex as it’s supposed to be!