When I’ve seen the real thing
It’s like finding out your diamond
Was from her old promise ring
– The Band Perry
The One Where We Talk About Sex
(or my attempt at a Friends reference)
Right out of the gate, please let me clarify something. Your value is NOT dependent on the number of partners you’ve had. No matter if it is 0 or 300, God says you are precious and dearly loved. His greatest delight is to redeem and restore you to everything He created you to be! He knit together every strand of your DNA before you were ever born and He says you are GOOD. Modern society has sold us a bag of lies in the form of songs, advertising, tv, movies etc that sex is “just sex” and that “everyone is doing it” and it “doesn’t mean anything”. This just isn’t true. Both the Bible and modern science agree that sex is an incredibly powerful act that alters our chemistry and creates soul ties with the other person. (I watched a TedTalk* about it once. It included a really convincing PowerPoint ;-D ) Now the same God who knit you together in the first place, is more than capable of untangling those ties, but He wants something so much better for us. Want to know a secret? God is a huge fan of sex. He invented it. He designed it specifically to be intimate and holy and passionate and FUN! When done according to His plan, it gives us a tangible example of the joy and intimacy we can experience with Him. He included an entire book in the Bible about a couple enjoying each other. God made sex powerful. And as everyone who has ever seen a superhero movie knows: with great power comes great responsibility.
The author Ann Voskamp says it better than I ever could.
Your skin is the outer layer of your soul. Your skin and your soul are one in ways that Hollywood and MTV and the mall won’t ever tell you. Your skin and your soul are profoundly connected and this is a profoundly beautiful thing. There is no shame in this — only the glory of God who made your body art to reflect your soul. So contrary to what hook-up culture may be touting in the back halls of high schools and behind the closed doors of university dorm rooms — there’s nothing casual about giving away your soul. The union of two bodies is nothing less than the union of two souls. Physical oneness is a holy God-created ceremony to express nothing less than a soul oneness. I guess maybe that is the tender, prayerful question: Why do with your body what you aren’t ready to do with the whole of your life?
When someone isn’t ready for forever oneness, emotional oneness, legal oneness — consider why you’d give anyone physical and soul oneness with you? …
The joy of physical oneness is but an echo of the joy of spiritual oneness with Christ. That is the breathtaking, otherworldly miracle: “The ecstasy and joy of sex is supposed to be a foretaste of the complete ecstasy and joy of total union with Christ,” is what theologian Tim Keller writes. Keller powerfully, unforgettably offers: “Great sex is a parable of the Gospel—to be utterly accepted in spite of your sin, to beloved by the One you admire to the sky.”
That might just right upend a whole hurting world of us: “Great sex is a parable of the Great Gospel.”
As God calls His people to exclusively commit to Him alone — so we’re called to commit to exclusive intimacy alone—an echo of Belovedness. As God commits to wholly, unconditionally, and covenantally accept us forever in spite of our sin and flaws, to love us passionately to death —- so physical intimacy mirrors a whole, unconditional and covenantal acceptance of us forever in spite of our shortcomings and flaws, to love us with a passion that is willing to die-to-self. Hook-up culture may have cheapened it and legalistic cultures may have shamed it, but the real Truth is you can’t contain the otherworldly beauty of it: Physical union is a parable of union with Christ.
- Ann Voskamp**
I don’t know what you believe. But I hope you’ll believe that you’re worth waiting for.