With all the attention on sexual harassment in the media, columnist Christine Emba wrote an opinion in the Washington Post entitled, “Let’s Rethink Sex.” She asks, “If we get so worked up about sexual harassment and assault, what will happen to sex?’ That is, indeed, the sad question being asked by many women today.
Emba wonders what we should do. “It’s unlikely that we’ll return to a society in which sexual encounters outside of marriage are disallowed or even discouraged – that sex train has already left the fornication station…….But now could be the time to reintroduce virtues such as prudence, temperance, respect, and even love. We might pursue the theory that sex possibly has a deeper significance then just recreation and that ‘consent’ – that thin and gameable boundary – might not be the only moral sensibility we need respect.”
Embra closes with this note of hope. “If you are a decent person, the prospect of a clearer, more boundaried sexual ethic should not frighten you. If not, have you considered that you might be part of the problem?”
I want to respond to Ms. Emba in a very personal way. I imagine myself sitting with her, along with my bride of 52 years, telling my story. I picture her as a confused and uncertain about her personal and professional relationship in “the sexual wastelands” of modern society. What was started as a sexual revolution with all its freedom in the 60’s is how coming to haunt us in our relationship as male and female. Is there a way out of this sexual waste land? Yes! But in my opinion it needs to be radical, in the sense that culture once again turns to the Creator of sex and his blueprint.
So I would not argue with Ms. Emba nor demean her for her views. Rather I would share the following.
First, sex is a wonderful gift of a loving Heavenly Father. It is to be celebrated and enjoyed by man and woman. “When Adam saw Eve he said, ‘Finally, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh! Name her Woman for she was made from man.’ Therefore, a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife. They become one flesh. The two of them, the man and his wife, were naked, but they felt no shame” (Gen 2:23-25 – Message). Judy and I stand naked and unashamed before God.
Secondly, the “one flesh” relationship is intended for only a man and his wife. “There’s more to sex then mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, ‘The two become one'” ( I Cor. 6:16 -Message). We have given ourselves away only once.
Thirdly, it is prayer that keeps the union and flame alive. We pray together each day, humbling ourselves before one another and the Lord.
Fourthly, my wife and I cry out for God’s mercy daily to keep our marriage alive. This means that we humbly attempt to put the other first, asking God for grace to meet each other needs as male and female.
Fifthly, as a man I struggle with my own sexual temptations. But I have vowed that I will always be a “one-woman-man” in private and public.
Sixthly, our prayer is that our marriage might be a witness as to how God intended a man and woman to live together in union with one another and God
Finally, I want to say to you, Ms. Emba, I am eternally grateful to God for my partnership with my bride. It has been God’s greatest gift to me, other than God rescuing me from my sins and giving me eternal life.