I had this crazy epiphany yesterday, a radical paradigm shift in my thinking! But to make sense of it, I should start at square one.
The environment and culture I grew up in echoed a recurring message to me: Sex is bad.
As a result, I not only learned that there is something inherently wrong with sex but also – as an extension – with anyone who desired it.
Recognizing that I and the people around me have such desires, I connected the dots: Our desires for sex must be evil and we ourselves must be bad for wanting something so evil.
And this is what I grew up believing, even after sex became part of my daily life in marriage.
But yesterday something changed. I had a sudden realization sweep over me.
Our sexual desires aren’t some perverse, lust-driven motivation we have. Yesterday I understood with perfect clarity that our desire for sex is wrapped up in a deep human longing to be loved, to love, and to be intimately close to someone else.
It dawned on me that sexuality demonstrates our heart’s need to connect with someone fully, to share our beds, our bodies, and our whole hearts with them. And that is a very wonderful thing!
It seemed so simple – this new way of thinking – that I wondered how sex could get such a bad rap in my mind this whole time.
In my upbringing, I came to believe that sex was a four-letter word. Any desires I had to participate in it were guilty by association and made me feel shameful. The mere acknowledgment of another person’s desires had me directing shame their way, too.
I know, sad. How could I have missed it for so long, this beautiful creation we’ve painted black?
Sex is not some animalistic impulse. It isn’t a natural urge we must satisfy, like eating or sleeping. And it isn’t a mere quelling of hormones ’til the next time they surface. These pictures make sex so small, so mind-numbingly petty… wouldn’t you agree?
It may be that way for the primates and porpoises among us. But for human beings, God made us beautifully different! And He’s made that clear.
He made us His own and created us just like Him - in His image! And what is God’s driving force throughout all of Scripture?!?
With us! And between us!
Relationship is the very reason Jesus came to earth: to reconnect us with our Father after our sin broke the relationship beyond human repair. Relationship is His very heartbeat.
And because we’re made like Him, is it any wonder we’re seeking these same things on earth: Deep connection and unmasked intimacy?
The very things our healthy sexuality delivers.
Sex connects us with another and with the Divine. It’s been equated with heaven on earth, and this is no mistake. When we get a taste of intimacy, it shows us how deeply we’re capable of connecting with someone else and how deeply we can be known… and boy is that aweeeee-some!
Sex doesn’t simply connect two body parts. It connects all of who you are with all of who they are, and joins two eternal souls together. That is magnificent!
And that is precisely why some expressions of sexuality cannot be God’s design… because they connect us with no other or connect us for only a season! We’ve misused sex as some sort of recreational vehicle, meant to satisfy a physical urge while neglecting the spiritual and emotional bonds formed during the real thing.
Sex is not lust. Sex is neutral. It’s what we clothe ourselves in when we partake in it that makes it ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
When we approach someone to become intimate with them, are we motivated by true love for the other, the God-given desire to find connection outside of ourselves with that person? Or are we driven to merely make our bodies feel good, to feel wanted by another, and to feel powerful – to take from them to feed our own hunger?
One type of sex connects and brings together. The other consumes and tears apart. They may feel the same, but they are worlds apart. It’s no wonder sex has been misinterpreted so much.
If sex is a gun, then are our hands wielding it to protect and love someone or to steal and take what isn’t rightfully ours?
Sex is God’s idea, not a shameful one but His creative way to connect us in the ultimate form of intimacy… and a beautiful way to experience heaven on earth.