“Life as God intends it depends on us taking marriage seriously.”
If you’re reading this for the first time, click here so you can catch up on what I’m writing about. Also, it’s not to late to join in on the experiments. If you want to participate, click here and it’ll take you to the House Studio website so you can purchase a copy of “The Sinai Experiment.”
In a perfect world, adultery wouldn’t be an issue, however, you and I both know that’s not the case. In my opinion, this is the hardest commandment to keep, because in all honesty, sex is awesome. God gave us sex, not only as a way to procreate, but as a way to establish intimate relationships with each other. No where in the bible do we find God saying sex is bad or He regrets ever conceiving the idea. What he disproves of is His children using sex as a way to meet the needs of their own carnal desires. God disapproves when we treat others as meaningless objects of self gratification, when they are so much more than that. And of course, we can’t talk about sex without talking about marriage.
In all reality, sex and marriage should be viewed as one in the same. To have sex with someone means you are willing to commit to a lifelong, intimate relationship with that person. Unfortunately, we don’t view sex or marriage that way. Gone are the days of viewing sex and marriage as sacred, and we now live in a world that only views them as casual. When we view sex and marriage as causal, we only have pain and heartache in store for us. Causal sex has caused us to view the gift of life as a death sentence, and has left a generation fatherless. Casual marriage has left us with commitment phobia, and has caused a generation to be jaded towards the idea of spending their life together with one person. Its a sad state of affairs, all because, we want to “hit it and quit it.”
So how do we change the course we’re on? It starts with mom and dad. Parents play a key role in helping their children not commit adultery. Mom and dad have to be brave and teach them how to have a God viewing way on sex, which only cultivates healthy relationships. Our children are too important for us to drop the ball on this topic, and our logic for not talking to them about how to have the proper view of sex is absurd.
As a student minister, I’ve had the chance to talk to parents about “the talk.” I usually ask them what their parents told them about sex and relationships, and it never fails, they tell me their parents never talked to them about it. These parents had to navigate through the trials and tribulations of sex and dating by themselves. When these parents finally got married, their parents told themselves, “They did all right,” and take all the credit for their child’s success, and chalk it up as good parenting. Consequently, their married children have kids of their own, and when it comes time for them to talk to their children about sex and relationships, they tell themselves, “My parents never talked to me about sex, and look how I came out?” Instead of helping their children navigate through the trials and tribulations of sex and dating, they just assume their kids will be alright, and claim their child’s success story as good parenting.
Am I hitting a cord here? Does any of this sound familiar to you? Does this look like “good parenting?” No, in fact, its terrible parenting. When you keep doing the same thing over and over again, hoping to get a different outcome each time, they call that insanity. The next generation deserves so much more than insane parenting. And don’t think for one moment I’m not there with you. I get it, thinking about talking to my daughter about sex sounds as awesome as being stung by a thousand bees. Yet, I can’t be this way. My daughter is too important to me to let her fall into adultery, and letting her believe the world’s standard of causal sex. If Millennial’s want their children to see better days, then we have to talk to our children about God’s view on sex.
What barriers prevent marriage from becoming a community matter? How can we surpass these barriers in healthy and beneficial ways?
I think one barrier that keeps marriage from becoming a community matter is because the church still finds this topic taboo. Churches need to provide space for men and women to share their trial and triumphs when it comes to sex and marriage, and be willing to preach on this matter. At the same time, the church cannot let this topic dominate its message, and it need to provide a space to detox from a sex filled world. I’m learning community is tricky, and it takes time to build it. More often than not, we want a friendship we can break ties with whenever we want. Community goes beyond friendship and moves us towards a family dynamic. And we all know how messy families can be.
Have you ever thought about adultery as the depersonalization of another human? Does using this definition change the way you view your relationships, both inside and outside the context of marriage?
I believe we all know adultery dehumanizes a person, but its something we never think about. It would be better for us to keep this definition of adultery in mind, because it helps us see people the way they were meant to be seen. Relationships are important and we need to view people as more than physical objects for our gratification. This can go beyond sex as well, because we can emotionally abuse people too. This definition of adultery makes us think about why we are in a particular relationship with someone, and if we are treating them with the respect and dignity they deserve.
I participated in the experiment “Vow.” This experiment asks you to write a letter to your spouse telling them the things you might have said at your wedding, if you had known then what you know now. In all honesty, I wouldn’t change anything. My wife and I said the traditional vows and those vows hold some serious weight compared to the ones people write themselves. If anything, I have a better understanding of those vows and what they mean to me today.
As a side experiment, I challenged all my young adults to consider how they would approach talking to their children about sex and relationships. I’m learning good parenting just doesn’t happen on its own. Good parenting requires a plan, and all future and current parents need to have a plan on how they will talk to their children about sex. Also know “the talk” will be a continuous conversation you will have with your children. You may have the first conversation when they enter middle school, but you will need to come back to it when they’re entering high school, college, and even before they get married.
For further reading about sex, purity, and relationships check out: “Sex God” by Rob Bell, The Every Man’s Battle Series by Stephen Arterburn, Fred Stoeker and Mike Yorkey, The Every Woman’s Battle Series by Shannon Ethridge and Stephen Arterburn, these series also have books for teenagers and young adults too, and Dateable by Justin Lookadoo and Hayley DiMarco. Dateable is written for a teenage audience, but if you can get past all the doodles inside the book, it has some great content for adults to wrap their heads around what they can share their kids about dating.
What experiment did you participate in?
What is your game plan to talk your children about sex?
If you already had “the talk” with your child, how did you go about it?