Monday, November 24, 2014

Christian Sex--An Oxymoron?

If you grew up with a Christian interpretation of sex and sexuality, you’ve probably come across this cheery little statement:
            “Sex is the free and total gift of self to another person. Each partner gives themselves to each other without reserve or selfishness. This unifying love is a direct reflection of the Trinity. It is the most sacred act on earth, and the ultimate expression of true, sacrificial love…etc, etc, etc.”

What a lovely thing to say. Such pretty words. Such a nice idea. But when I open my eyes and look around at this crazy mixed-up world, all I can say is a resounding “Say wha nigga?”Aren’t Christians a little naïve, with all that true love and unselfishness shizzle? I don’t know about you, but every single representation of sex I’ve seen has been all about “What can I get out of it?”

Think of the abundance of free pornography less than two clicks and one Google search away. Think of the airbrushed covers of Cosmopolitan and Men’s Health screaming their headlines about the hottest sex moves and what he/she really wants in bed.  Think of the movies like Fifty Shades of Grey touting bondage and abuse, the TV shows like Game of Thrones that reduce women to walking vaginas with breasts, the video games like Grand Theft Auto where you can pay a prostitute for her services and then kick her skull in.

Free and total gift of self? Reflection of the Trinity? Most sacred act on earth? Ha. Is God clueless? Has He looked down from his High Throne lately and seen what the hell is going on down here? 

Sex was a beautiful and selfless act before the fall. But now that we are fallen, are we doomed to trapped in this cycle of selfishness and abuse forever?

There is a poem I once wrote in the back of my diary (I don’t recall the author) that goes like this:
            These hands are shaped like God’s; take care
            They catch the sparrow hurled from air
            Lest God look down from heaven and see
            What things are wrought beneath the sun
            B us, His images, and be
            Ashamed of what His hands have done

God knows what’s happening. He sees everything, and it breaks His heart to see his sons and daughters being abused, lonely, isolated, neglected, and entrapped in the bottomless pit of addiction. That is why He sent His only Son to earth to be crucified and thus take the burden of our sin away. There’s only one catch; Jesus didn’t force his salvation upon us. He gave us free will to either choose Him or reject Him. And most of the world has rejected Him.

Why? Did God’s ultimate plan of redemption fail? It certainly seems that way.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the metaphor about our world being a battleground between God and His angels and Satan and his demons. Every human soul is coveted ground on both sides, and both sides are fighting to the bloody death. Right now it looks like Satan is winning, but that’s because God’s combat strategy is internal. Satan also works internally, but his tactics are futile against a soul that has accepted God’s grace. 

 Grace is the nuclear bomb of this spiritual warfare; Satan has nothing that can match it. It’s like trying to take out an armored tank with a .45 ACP (there was a Combat! episode about that once…). The only problem is that we have free will, which means we can either accept this grace or reject it. And a lot of people reject it.

But a lot of people accept it, and the preservation of the sanctity of sex is up to us. Sex is beautiful. Sex is good. Sex is a selfless act of love. But it is these things only to people who know how to use it correctly and rely on God’s grace to help them.

It isn’t as difficult as it might seem. True, beautiful sex involves accepting and respecting the other person’s body as it is, not how you always imagined your perfect lover to be or what is shown in porn films. It involves enjoying pleasure together, not just for your own benefit. It’s all about accepting the perfections as well as the imperfections of your spouse. 

The world is hostile to those of us who respect sex and want to wait until the right time to have it. But there are people out there—like me—who want real sex, not the selfish, lonely, counterfeit version. It’s easy to look at all the brokenness around us and despair, but that is letting Satan take a point. Remember that God works internally and that He is more powerful than Satan could ever be. If you’re frustrated, keep going. That one beautiful wedding night with your future spouse—and the nights after that—are going to be so worth it.


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