When I was a teenager, sex was a big deal. None of us really understood it, of course, and our attitudes were often crass and crude and degrading. But make no mistake – it was a big deal.
Every time the topic was broached among the kids at school, (which was roughly every 90 seconds), there was some level of importance attached.
- Some kids revered the idea of sex. They chased any opportunity to “expand their horizons”.
- Some kids fought sexual temptation, choosing to keep themselves pure for marriage. (Count me in this group).
- Some kids asked questions. Some made jokes. Some distanced themselves. Some drew boundaries.
But hear me say this again – everyone that I knew recognized the importance of the subject. We understood that sex has direction and consequences; that it matters.
We knew that couples who engage in sexual acts are never the same.
Fast-forward twenty years. Today, in the hyper-sexualized world of the 21st century, the emerging attitude about sex among the latest generation is alarming. The prevailing philosophy is verbalized through a growing number of movies and television series and adolescent novels.
Here’s the philosophy, in the voice of these mediums:
- “I mean, it’s just sex. It’s just simple biology, right? Nothing deep and emotional about it. Just a bodily function. Like sneezing.” (from the “romance” novel Some Like It Hot by Loiusa Edwards).
- “OK. It’s just sex, and a one-time thing at that.” ( from an episode of The Gossip Girl)
- “No relationship. No emotions. Just sex.” (from the movie Friends With Benefits)
There it is – the wisdom of our age. “Sex is no big deal. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just sex.” Once you accept this as truth, any causal hook-up or sexual experimentation becomes normal and healthy. After all, it’s just biology.
The problem with this “wisdom” – it’s wrong. Whether our culture understands it or not, there is no such thing as “just sex”.
– When a couple engages in sexual acts, something happens beyond a joining of their bodies. Sex goes beyond the physical. It is emotional, and even spiritual. Somehow, in a way that only God fully grasps, sex takes two separate people and joins them into one. At that moment, and forever afterwards, each of the two people are connected with another. They are truly “one flesh”.*
Inside of marriage, of course, this is something to celebrate. Because husbands and wives reserve themselves only for one another, sex strengthens and solidifies their relationship. In fact, it serves to cement the bond that makes two into one. In the safety and warmth of COMMITMENT, sex becomes a beautiful and powerful and ever-maturing part of love.
– But outside of marriage, the emotional and spiritual component to sex causes huge problems. Even though most couples do not realize it, sex connects them in a permanent way. With no commitment to protect them, however, the union between sex and love breaks. The two people are now part of each other, but without the security that creates real depth of love. The result: loneliness, despair, and a heavy sense of loss.
Ironically, sex often becomes a “drug” to sooth those feelings . . . which only reignites the cycle.
– This explains why “break ups” after sexual encounters are often so incredibly painful. Once hearts and souls are joined during sex and two became one, it hurts like crazy to try and separate them again. The hurt and sense of loss is tremendous . . .
– . . . which explains why so many people in our culture choose to harden their hearts and hide behind the lie: “It’s just sex.” It hurts less to sacrifice the dream of true intimacy and warmth in love than it does to face the reality of moment. Thus, we have a generation of people missing out on one of God’s greatest gifts.
They trade intimate, committed, powerful sex in marriage for “just sex.” But even that doesn’t work. It’s not just sex. Ever. In fact, there is no such thing as “just sex”.
Sex was created by God. It is beautiful and deep and meaningful and powerful. That’s why God tells us to use it correctly – to build marriages, not rip apart souls.
That’s why, if you are reading this and have embraced a wrong view of sex, I encourage you to repent. Confess your past missteps to God and ask Him to make you new – to restores your purity and innocence. Only He can do that.
And if you have been struggling to hold on to sexual purity in a culture that mocks your integrity and tempts you in every way – stay the course! Don’t trade the intimacy of true love for the lie of “just sex”.
(Note that connects with the * above – This is why a couple who is married can have their marriage annulled up to the time of consummation. That is the moment that the two become “one flesh”. It also explains why sexual crime holds such an insidious place in society. Those are just crimes against the flesh. They are an assault on something deeper.
Remember, though, God is able to heal any hurt. ANY hurt. Through Him, all things can be made new.)
Note: This post is part of a series entitled, “Lies People Believe”. For an introduction to the series, read THIS POST.