Sexual Ethics (Part 2)
Here are some more roadblocks to clear thinking about sexuality.
We undervalue sex. The second problem with our culture is that we undervalue sex and sexuality. Naturally it seems that this is a contradiction of what I said last time. But in fact, it is not. While without a doubt our cultural uses sex as a commodity and siphons off it’s allure at every possible point, nevertheless when we come to grasp the true power, purpose, and beauty of God-designed sexuality, we quickly realize that whats been fed to us by our society is not the real thing.
Perhaps an illustration might help. Let’s say a wealthy family member passed away and left me over 32 million dollars. What would you think of me if you heard I used all of it on cheap gadgets and vacations within a mere 60 days? Would you conclude that I valued the worth of this precious gift? No, I would have wasted it. I would have undervalued it.
Much in the same way, our culture uses sex for all sorts of things, selling movie tickets, car insurance, beer, and even cel phones. We overvalue it’s importance and have become obsessed with it. Yet, paradoxically and at the same time, we undervalue sex because we’ve stripped it of it’s created beauty.
Lastly, another roadblock for Christians clearly talking about sex and sexuality in the public sphere is that for much too long Christians have sounded more “traditional,” Victorian, and indeed prudish about sex than Biblical. In the history of Christian thought there have thinkers who argued that sex, even between married Christians, was a “necessary evil,” something dirty and base, yet needed to continue the race. But this is not at all what the Bible sounds like when it addresses the issue of sex. Tucked away in the middle of the Bible, in the midst of the story of redemptive history is the Song of Songs. This book celebrates the wonder, beauty, and intensity of God-given sexuality within its designed boundaries.
Does this sound prudish to you?
Kiss me again and again, for your love is sweeter than wine. (1:2, NLT)
Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely…Your two breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies…All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you. (4:3, 5)
In conclusion, we need to avoid our culture’s schizophrenic obsession with sexuality. Likewise we should avoid the “sex is dirty” approach. Neither is helpful, nor constructive in working toward a Christian sexual ethic.