Sex. There I said it. That three-letter word that renders gasps through the unpadded pews. Sex. Sex. Sex. God made it; hand-crafted for our pleasure and His delight. A gift. I often wonder why so many Christians just can’t talk about it. Sex is wonderful, beautiful, spiritual. Normal.
I listen to two beautiful, grounded teenage girls talk about a day in high school:
“It’s nothing for a guy in the hall to come up behind a girl and grab her boobs. Or her butt. Or slap her butt and make some comment about her body.”
“Oh yeah. That’s nothing. It’s everyday. You just learn to live with it. There’s no respect. Girls are objects.”
I breathe deeply, tears stinging the corners of my wide eyes.
“All my friends go to these parties… these parties where everyone gets wasted and then does whatever with whoever. It’s normal. It’s what people do. If you don’t do it, you’re weird. I mean, they’ve having sex wherever.”
“Um-hm. And – girls I know that are eleven – they talk about feeling pressure to give oral sex to boys at school. I mean, they’re eleven. It makes me so incredibly sad.”
These girls are fifteen and seventeen, and so it goes in culture today. Young girls who desperately cling to truth yet are bombarded with filth every day. And I deeply search for something worth saying, but all I can do is stare, eyes glistening. All I can do is pray with them. Pray for them. And hope. Hope they live through it and get to the other side without having their innocence completely ripped from them. Without having their purity snatched and torn to shreds. Trampled. What was once a glorious and radiant gift from God, stolen and beaten into the ground.
But the truth remains, for most young people sex isn’t sacred. It is something to do. Something to look at on the internet. A way to abuse people. A way to make money. A way to spend money. A status symbol of achievement. A pathway to the inner circle. A normalized kind of prostitution without payment. It’s a way to get what you want. A way to control others. A way to feel oddly empowered when you truly are so incredibly weak and powerless. But sacred? Not even close.
Young people’s lives are filled with images of women as sex symbols, men as aggressors, and sex as nothing more than a control game of seducer and the seduced. Music does it, TV does it, movies do it, reality TV does it, radio talks crudely, no one turns it off – and our children and teens become unknowing sitting ducks for the kind of smut that cuts deep and bleeds red.
And so, why are we shocked that combined with rampant absentee parenting, full-out peer reliance, and for the most part, a complete lack of Jesus – these kids don’t seek to find acceptance from above and from within? They are lost, hurting, and willing to find ‘love’ in any way they can. Even if it means having sex with a stranger in the dirty bathroom of an under-age club. (These are the stories I am told).
They are numb. They are emotionless. They crave to feel something, anything. A rush. A connection. Loved. Yet, they give themselves away and come up feeling abandoned, used, and ruined emotionally, spiritually, and sometimes, physically.
Sex has been twisted. Tainted. So, incredibly dirtied. Worldly culture has stripped it down to more of a recreational activity than any kind of divine connection between man and wife. It’s no wonder we live in a disconnected world full of people who are unable to empathize, commit, stay faithful, and experience deep intimacy.
1 Corinthians 6:16-18 (The Message):
“There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.”
Forgive me for sounding old fashioned, but I just believe sex is meant to be experienced by husband and wife, in the confounds of a sacred, blessed committed bond. I know, it’s crazy, right? Well, the world says it is.
I’ve experienced the feeling that follows giving your heart, mind, and body to a boy only to have him use you up and leave you.
I’ve fought those battles, and still fight them with the scars those wounds left behind. I’m not better than anyone. I’m worse. I’m me. Maybe that’s why the idea of the sacredness of SEX is a burning issue for me. How can I get the sacred back into myself? And how can I help keep the sacred for my children and for other people’s children, as I counsel and lead them? Why am I still haunted by and dealing with things that happened nearly ten years ago? The sins of my sexual past? The sins of my husband’s past? Everything is intertwined. One big tangled mess that binds us.
How? Why? The mountain is so big, so intimidating, I’ve wept in defeat way too many nights.
We must protect that which is sacred. Shelter your children from pop-culture images. Build a powerful bond with them. Educate at home if you can. Know who they are with. Know what they are doing. Speak life into them. Share truth with them. Pray for them. Pray with them. Say the word SEX and speak of the truth God gives us in His word. Let them know they can ask anything, and you will answer. Tell them their body is a holy and sacred place. Walk them through the process of becoming an adult. Express deep gratitude for the gift of intimacy in the context of marriage. If you’ve messed up, share with them your hurts. Honesty. So much honesty.
Sex can be redeemed. If it’s still sacred for you, hold on tight and don’t let go. Praise God for the gifts He has given. If the intimacy and holiness of sex has been tossed by unexpected storms or waves from the past, if it seems like all is lost… have hope. God is a God of restoration and healing. He is the One who makes all things new. Cling to Him – in the good times and bad, in all seasons. Write His truths on your soul (and all over your home):
“God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Cor. 9:8
“As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is God’s love for those who fear Him.” Ps. 103:11
“You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Neh. 9:17
“For I know the plans I have for you… to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Praise You, God- for your grace ever-flowing… ever needed… may I stay ever thirsty for You and always aware of how much You love me – no matter how undeserving I am. Restore the intimacy and sacredness Lord – breathe life into the hearts and marriages of those who read this… give us parents strength for the journey and wisdom to raise our children to love You first and value the gift of sex and intimacy within marriage. Let us be a shining light and testimony of Your power and unimaginable grace. Thank You, Jesus!