Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Service of Aphrodite

C. S. Lewis once called sex the last thing venerated in an age without veneration. There is a lot of truth to this. Further, this religion seems strongly evangelistic, throwing enticing images at you everywhere you turn.

Now the Christian position on this is quite straightforward. Sexual activity is to be confined to one man and one woman within the bonds of marriage (Matthew 19:3-6; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8; Hebrews 13:4). Within these boundaries it is acceptable and appropriate (Proverbs 5:15-19; 1 Corinthians 7:2-5; 1 Timothy 4:3-5), but looking at another woman (Matthew 5:28; note the Greek tense here implies a continuous or repeated look) is Scripturally wrong. But how are we to react to our current culture of sex worship?

We can take the attitude that things beyond the Biblical boundaries are no big deal. Or we can react in shock that anyone could behave like that. I have an admission to make. I have battled with pornography since I was old enough to do so. I have not looked at it for several years, but still fight against the desires. I have found neither of these stances at all helpful. The last thing I need is for someone to tell me the sin I am fighting is not that bad. Nor does it help to be told it is horrible to even to have those kinds of desires. Sin is sin; it is never acceptable, but it is not surprising in a fallen human race. It needs to be overcome by the power of God (Romans 6:12-14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11,12) . The two greatest pitfalls here are rationalizing your sin as all right or seeing yourself as hopeless. A wrong approach to sin can produce these. Also, we need to be able to confess our sins to one another (James 5:16), and the wrong attitude makes this difficult.

We also can import our culture's unrealistic expectations into our marriages, resulting in problems between us and our spouses. A good sexual relationship in marriage is helpful, but it must be put in perspective and is not a cure-all.

One of the great dangers in this area is thinking that I am strong and can take it. We must stand firmly against evil (Ephesians 6:10,11; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; James 4:6-10). But in situations involving temptation, the Biblical command is to flee (2 Timothy 2:22; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 10:12,13). Scripture goes so far as to speak of being willing to get rid whatever it takes to avoid sin (Matthew 5:29,30). I do not understand this as referring to the literal cutting off of body parts, but the willingness to remove whatever it takes from our lives. I realize that, in our present culture, if you try to avoid all sexual temptation you can end up hiding in a corner, afraid to face life. But we need to take into consideration that we may not be as strong as we think we are.

1 comment:

  1. "One of the great dangers in this area is thinking that I am strong and can take it."

    Boy is that the truth. When I was single, I was convinced that marriage would be the ultimate solution to my lust problem. It helps, but the sinful heart still longs to sin.