Let's talk about sex.

by Kyle
published August 30, 2012


Read More Looking Up


When my wife and I started Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover” plan, we stopped going out to eat altogether because every meal we ate at home meant we were $20 to $30 closer to being debt-free.

When we had paid off the debt we had accumulated, we began to entertain the idea of going out to eat again. Sometimes. For a special occasion. And we’d split an entree.

Having eaten a remarkably healthy diet of home-cooked food in moderate proportions over the previous nine months, the standard fare of most restaurants was overwhelming. Plates were enormous. Vegetable servings were scant. Rolls were in abundance.

When we looked around us, we began to notice a common physique among our fellow diners. As Megan and I began to connect the effect of the enlarged waists around us with the cause that was sitting on the 14-inch platters in front of us, we could not escape the fact that as Americans, we (myself included) have a problem with our appetite for food.

But the American appetite for food is redeemable.

For instance, there are not parlors in which patrons pay money to see the slow unveiling of a perfectly-aged, masterfully grilled Porterhouse steak, though they never actually eat it. Neither do people stay up late at night as images of succulent, steamed asparagus flash across their computer screens. Not many people consider their eating meat or sticking to vegetables as core to their identity and worth as a human being.

C.S. Lewis, in his book “Mere Christianity,” observes that such an obsession with food would be absurd. Truly, the American appetite for food has run amuck, but it has not become absurd.

Sex, on the other hand, is altogether different.

Our appetite for sex in this culture IS absurd. Industries that deal in its images make people unfathomably rich. Books that fantasize about it become best-selling hits. It sells everything. We talk about it and obsess over it and fantasize with it more often than we actually partake in it. We seem to enjoy the appetite more than its actual fulfillment!

I submit that this comes from a fundamental lack of understanding regarding what sex is for.

Perhaps if food were such a mystery, we would suffer similarly. If we didn’t know to cook meat properly or to wait for fruit to become ripe, food would leave us constantly sick, unsatisfied and fantasizing about some ideal meal we know would fill us up. That fantasy, however, would bear no resemblance to what good food actually is, though, because we would never have experienced it.

Lewis was not the first to draw this parallel between food and sex. God does, too.

In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul is in the middle of explaining some basic moral truths to the believers in Corinth when he turns to the issue of sex. In verse 13, he says, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food — but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”

Paul is pointing out that they clearly understood the basic nature of an appetite for food, but wrongly thought that their bodies were for the purpose of any kind of sexual relationship they wished to define, but notice how the contrast is not between wrong sex and right sex. The contrast is between wrong sex and serving God.

An appetite for sex is natural and good. In fact, in the very next chapter of 1 Corinthians, man and woman are not just permitted, but commanded to enjoy each other’s bodies as a vital part of marriage. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul shows that the purpose of sex is for creating unity and intimacy in a marriage.

In our culture, we have lots of faulty ideas about what sex is for. Our bodies are for God, not sex. The human identity is in the image of God, not in our arousal at the image of a beautiful man or woman. As unpopular as the message is, sex is necessary in a marriage but sex is not needed for life or for following God. We have everything we need in Him who is our bread of life (John 6:35) and our living water (John 4:13-14).

The 17th century philosopher and atheist-turned-Christian Blaise Pascal wrote, “There is a God-shaped hole in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.”

In that light, Paul’s contrast between wrong sex and following God makes sense.

Our problem with food is so great that most Americans actually confuse thirst for hunger and, as a result, most of us walk around both chronically dehydrated and overweight because we eat when we’re thirsty.

Are we eating sex when we should be drinking Living Water?

Update on My Wife

Thank you to each of you who have prayed for my wife and especially to those of you who helped me take care of her as she recovered. She is doing well and is once again able to pick up, hug and take care of our little girl (which was actually the hardest part). Leah has adjusted well to her new diet and couldn’t be happier to be back in Mom’s arms again. Romans 8:28 has held more true than ever in the past month: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

What do you think?

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