As I sat and watched one of my favourite Aussie TV shows with my family, I was saddened as the young teen character decided that after ‘weeks’ of going out with his new girlfriend, they ‘loved’ each other so much that they wanted to have sex together. She was leaving town very soon, because she was only here on vacation when they met, so before she leaves they decide that having sex would be the best way to say goodbye to each other.
He talks to his dad about it and while the father’s first response is “are you sure?” which indicates a little reservation, the son’s reply is “but I love her.” So, the father and everyone in the family encourage him to “be safe” and “have a good time.”
I am so sad that something so important in life (i.e love and sex) is seen as something so flippant. I know it is just the norm now. If you want to and it feels right, just do it. The teens I minister with think I am too conservative or think I don't know what I am talking about when I say, “wait.” They simply feel they know better.
I have been married for 29 years and still my marriage and sex life, while wonderful, is certainly not simple or just a “bit of fun.” True love is complex and hard work and true intimacy is worth all the required self-sacrifice and other-centeredness that comes with it.
So, I ask, “How can you know in three weeks you really ‘love’ someone and simply see sex as, ‘if it feels good do it?’ I don't think the world is being honest as they disconnect sex from the deep emotions that go with it.
The world tells us that the key is to “be protected”
A poster I saw in the doctor’s surgery the other day said this:
"Because sleeping with one person is sleeping with many"
So as a result the NSW Health Care's advice is:
“Wear a condom and check for SDI’s whenever you start with a new partner.”
There is nowhere on the poster that says there are other alternatives, no mention of the emotional scars that might result from giving yourself to many partners, and no sense that something so precious is really worth waiting to share with one person for a lifetime.
I sit on the lounge with my 16 and 19 year olds and feel worried for the world they are in where the only morals we are allowed to talk about are, “if it feels good do it.”
It was interesting that when the father on the TV show wanted to talk in detail with the boy about what he was about to do, the boy was embarrassed and ran away. Interesting how somehow they can't talk about it with anyone and yet feel they are old enough and mature enough to actually do it. It is the same with the young people I work with. They won't talk about how they feel and what they are doing but are happy to give a precious part of themselves to anyone who gives them some attention.
I know this is a topic no one really wants to talk about and yet relationships and love are the bases of nearly every movie, every book, every TV show, most songs, and the list goes on. Love and relationships are at the very core of who we are, the need for love and safety, for trust and acceptance, and yet no one seems to see that most of the problems we have in society today are due to the abuse of love, the lack of it, the misunderstanding of it and the deep need we have to acquire it.
So how can something so deep and important to us have become so abused, misused and shallow? It seems if we make out that it doesn't really matter, then we fool ourselves into believing we won’t get hurt.
I know it is not a new thing. It has always been there under the surface, but the changing culture even from when I was young, finds us in a place where it is even the ‘norm’ for Christians to sleep together. I am simply laughed at, to believe that to stay pure for your wedding night is even possible, not to mention that it is God's preference and desire for us all to commit to one person and to love them for a lifetime.
I am simply sad for those who will never know that kind of love. For me, true intimacy is a glimpse of the way our Father in Heaven loves us; jealously and purely, unconditionally, completely, holding nothing back, sacrificially and completely other-centered.
I have been with my lifelong partner for over 30 years. We have a long way to go to get close to “true intimacy” as stated above, but the adventure and rewards are worth it. It is a love like no other and I know that God longs for that for all his children.
In John 4, the woman at the well was looking for love. She was so thirsty for love that she searched for it in many men. When she met Jesus, He said, “Anyone who drinks from this well will thirst again, but anyone who drinks the water I give, will never thirst again.”
If we give our love away so easily, how will we ever understand the pure love God longs for us to have with Him: not multiple Gods, just one jealous God who wants ALL of us! The Devil revels in watering down that kind of love.
I am not sorry if this offends or sounds like a rant. If most TV shows, movies, books, songs, magazines, not to mention our Health Services, who are considered authorities we should listen to today, can so easily make statements about the way we should view sex and love, then surely I have a right to do so as well. If our young people are never given an alternate story, how will they ever know there is an alternative, a different way, a way that our Creator/Father made us so we might enjoy life to the full. (John 10:10)