Our sexuality is at an all time crossfire. With the world giving us this “do what you feel” mentality it’s no wonder we are seeing so many sexual harassment and assault cases arising. We say, “Do what makes you happy” or “Do what you feel” but then when someone does what they feel and it is deemed inappropriate, the world suddenly cry’s out in disgust saying, “How could you do this?!” But where is the line between appropriate and inappropriate? (To be clear, I am in no way belittling or downplaying the ones who are being hurt because of past or present sexual exploitation.) There is no sense of right and wrong or truth to follow anymore and so we act like we can just make it up as we go, but that doesn’t work, because people hurt other people when they take advantage of innocence. It’s hard to get away from this popular form of mainstream sexuality because it is everywhere now. Affairs are a common and even popularized thing now (Ashley Madison). Sex is no longer an intimate connection but something we do when we feel the want to be satisfied. And pornography (and the addiction to pornography) has become the reality with our generation. There are no boundaries anymore; no guidelines to follow, we just do whatever we want, and that is a destructive monster just waiting to hurt anyone in our path. We see this manifest in the many songs that mention, “It can’t possibly be wrong if it feels so right.” Well, yeah, actually it could. We can’t go through life living as sexual beings without also using emotion and reasoning and guidance to make decisions.
I don’t want us to grow up thinking scandal is the normal thing and that it’s just something we can move past. No, we have to be better. We can change the world, but it’s a daily choice to do that. To live and love using the tools God has given us and to show people that the healthy way to live is not actually without rules, but with simple boundaries to exist inside. We are human beings, not gods, so we don’t know all things. Therefore, we need to know that there are boundaries we can follow that aren’t going to hinder us, but will actually help us live the most abundant life. Sure, saying no to things that you want in the moment really sucks, but the discipline and love and trust that it builds is more life-giving for the moment and rewarding for the future than any momentary temptation will ever be.
Practically speaking, we need boundaries in our lives–opportunities to say no to or yes to things if we need to. As children, if our parents said yes to every thing we asked for, then psychologically (it is proven) we will have developmental problems, emotional problems, and dependency problems. We would have no sense of self and no sense of independence and personality. So why does the world claim “yes” is always the best answer? I’m a huge advocate for sex (healthy sex) because I know God created it for us to enjoy, but I believe that in it’s most beautiful and abundant form it exists within boundaries. These are God-sheltered boundaries that keep us safe. So in quite the opposite fashion of the world, God says that saying “no” to some things in order for better things is actually the best thing we can do. To wait hopefully for the future that is in store is so difficult but it has to be worth it–God promises it.
Temptation promises instant life but leads to slow and regret-filled death. Discipline offers instant death (to the present “want”) but promises everlasting life, in heaven AND here on earth! We are meant to live abundantly here on earth–and that includes in our sexual relationships. But sexual relationships don’t just exist on their own independently, they involve every other aspect of the body–the whole being. So looking after our hearts and souls (and for the hearts and souls of those around us) isn’t being a “prude”, it is actually the most complete way to value love and to really love those we are in relationship with.
With the popularizing of pornography and the mainstream “morals” suddenly being OK with it there is no wonder as to why there are so many scandals. Pornography is one of those drugs (and it is a drug, check it out) that makes you want more and more and more of some sort of satisfaction. As the modern drug of choice, it changes the way users think and view the world and the people living in it, manipulating the brain to no longer see other people, other souls, or other hearts around them, but only objects for satisfaction. It’s destroying relationships, both romantic and friendship, because of its’ addictive powers. Casual viewing of porn is no longer what is happening, it is full on dependence. And this continuous drive for a greater and greater “high” leads a user to look for sex in any way possible–consensual or not, romantic or not, loving or not, safe or not–personal satisfaction is the only goal. “That won’t happen to me, I would never purposely hurt someone or betray their innocence,” we think. And maybe you never would before the porn addiction starts, but who’s to say when suddenly you feel the need to satisfy yourself. Porn takes control of what you thought you had control over and suddenly you do things because of a seemingly internal drive. “If it’s internal and you feel it then why not do it?” is the argument for all of these new deviance’s, but that argument crumbles under the reality that doing what we want or feel all the time will cause devastation to the lives of those around us, especially the ones that we use for our own purpose.
So with all of these scandals coming out in waves recently, each one of them hurting worse to hear about than the last, I still am not surprised with them. They hurt so badly because I know this is not how it is supposed to be. We are supposed to value each other’s hearts and minds and souls and beings, not tear them apart and use them as objects for our selfish desires. It hurts because each betrayed person has now lost a little bit more trust in themselves and in other people. We, as people, understand so little about sex and how interactive it is with all parts of our being, nor do we want to understand it because that would mean we would have rules and rules stop us from doing things that we want. We don’t want to have any rules because we know that, deep down even if we don’t want to admit it, sex is powerful. And much like anything in life, this power can be for good or this power can be used for evil, but we all have the choice. If we get to use the power of sex for ourselves then why would we ever want to give it up? It’s power, who wouldn’t want that? If it comes at the cost of human life or human innocence then nothing is worth that. Power is not worth ruining relationships or destroying hearts.
As shocking and disturbing as these scandals are, the amazing thing about this life is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Scandal and pornography and affairs and exploitation and hurt don’t have to be the reality. Deep down we know that this is true; we know that life was not meant to be filled with all of this pain, but a lot of the time I think we just accept it. But we can really be the change. A relationship with Jesus offers relief from all of this pain. Yes, destruction and selfishness will still exist in the world, but with Jesus, we can change the hearts of both the victims and the ones who do the hurting. After all, that’s why Jesus came to the earth–to show that relationship and love are the only cure for the brokenness we find in the world. Jesus has the magnificent power to transform dirty and muddy hearts into pure and innocent rivers of life. Just His touch has the power to heal broken and used up souls who only want relief. Jesus is the Great Healer, and He wants to heal us from our weariness and our brokenness and our sinful addictions that only bring hurt to us and to others. It’s not some magical formula that Jesus has, it’s relationship with the Maker of our beings that cures us. He alone has the power to heal and to restore and to save because He alone conquered the cross and the grave and every form of sin and despair that we could ever encounter. Through the power that overcame the grave, and the belief in the power and the Being that wields it, we can be set free from all sexual turmoil and addiction and hurt. Whether you are the victim or the transgressor, healing can come. Jesus heals and Jesus saves and He wants to do the same for you! He wants to take your addiction away and fill it up with relief. He wants to heal the scars of your past that continue to flare up. He wants to show you what healthy relationships look like and he wants you to know you deserve one.
Luke 5:31-32. And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Luke 6:17-19. And He descended with them, and stood on a level place; and there was a great multitude of His disciples, and a great throng of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear Him, and be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were being cured. And all the multitude were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.
Jesus is the healer of the broken and the brokenhearted. I’ve seen it in my own life with my own mistakes from the past. Though there still might be consequences for our actions on earth, He transforms the mind and the heart and the soul of those who seek out a relationship with Him and want to see change. It starts with Him and it starts with each one of us. Will we accept His teaching and His guidance in order to transform the world?
I hope so.