I think I shied away from continuing to talk about sex and beauty. In my mind, my kids had heard it all before. We have been talking about sex and beauty since they were toddlers. Now as teens, their pushback was working. The rolled eyes, the “I know, Mom!” comments, the sighing and huffing was enough to deter one more lecture. But then, I saw the brokenness and confusion around sex and beauty and I knew it needed to be talked about. Again.
I was reminded of a weighty word the other day that’s worth repeating. It’s more than ‘save sex.’ It’s the WHY of sex.
God is always in the details. It’s important to know that the very first “shedding of blood” was not for the clothing after the Fall. It was the blood covenant of marriage between the man and the woman.
In the garden, the man and woman were naked and unashamed. God covered the woman’s vagina with a thin membrane called the hymen. And when this “veil” was torn, the small amount of blood signified the covenant she entered with God and Adam as the “two became one flesh.” It was a holy contract. And their heirs, the children they produced through their love, became a reminder of God’s faithfulness, because they too have passed through the veil of the blood covenant.
The symbolism is breath-taking. Do we teach this kind of beauty to our children? Because if we did, the worth of our sexuality just might go far beyond our current standard.
(This is an extremely short version. See Kris Valloton, Moral Revolution)
In light of such honor, the demonic abuse and distortion plainly seen. Turn on any channel.
We are more than objects and animals.
I want to remind us of the Why of God’s heart: to protect something sacred and honored. We set a high standard of purity because we agree that God’s way is best. “The marriage bed is to be honored by all.” Hebrews 13:4
So we count virginity for women and men as a great treasure because they have fought and defended what God prizes. We count marital faithfulness as a great treasure because we don’t allow the enemy to invade our Holy Ground. We don’t apologize for setting a standard that reflects the heart of God.
And. With grace, we understand that not all fight this battle to the end. We take courage and comfort in our sexual failures, because the blood of Jesus washes us from all stains. All. Stains.
Yet we do not deviate from the standard. God’s way is best. Every. Time.
My heart for my girls, and for us all, is that we would hold ourselves in the same esteem that God does. Before marriage and after. Just this week I heard of three marriages crushed by the blow of infidelity through porn and adultery. Their sacred covenant has been violated by selfishness and lust and the fallout is crushing.
We are more than body parts, cafeteria style preferences, and positions. How many times do we have to test this faulty paradigm to see it doesn’t work? Ever.
One of the greatest acts of worship we can offer to our God is to agree with Him when He calls us beautiful, worthy, adored, honored. One of the greatest acts of faith we can aspire to is to protect and value our sexuality.
None of us can get away from the fact that we are made in the image of God for His glory, male and female. We can try to ignore or cover it. We can even debate and attempt to same-gender, cross-gender or de-gender. But we bear His fingerprints nonetheless. And the more we agree with His assessment, the easier it is to ward off tactics that would steal, kill and destroy.
Can we dare to discover healthy relationships between men and women? Where woman are more than objects and yet can be appreciated as the unique creatures they are? Where men are more than mindless animals and can be appreciated as the unique creatures they are?
We have heard it said: women are often looking for love and affirmation. Men are often looking for sex. These stereotypes cause us to completely miss the gift of enjoying the opposite sex. We all need relationships to discover who we are and how we are wired.
And some how, some way, through the power of Christ, we need women and men who will rise up to God’s standard of personal honor and sexual integrity to help break the stereotypes. This breakthrough comes only through embracing God’s identity rather than the distorted culture we live in.
I would love to see more non-sexual friendships between men and women that are based on honor and safety. Why? Because honor and safety are to key components any relationship and in marriage and must be cultivated. I truly believe we have so hyper-sanitized Christianity that most singles are paralyzed around the opposite sex. (How many thriving singles groups do you see in churches?) We must regain the middle ground between hooking up and frozen over. We need brothers and sisters along the journey.
Singles, you have permission to date. Learn to be yourself around anyone. Discover what kind of person you attract, and you want to attract. Learn to value the differences of men and women. Learn who to avoid like the plague. The player and predators are real.
Listen to the Holy Spirit. You don’t have to be sexually dead or promiscuous. You are already loved and adored. Rest in that holy place so you’re not at risk of getting picked off because you’re lonely.
You are worthy. You. Are. Worthy. So protect your purity and fight for your future.
(This is the seventh and final article from a series of letters written to my daughter as she left for college. These “pearls of wisdom” are aptly named since pearls are something very beautiful created out of great anguish and agitation. )
Photo Credit Elizabeth Anne Designs