Look closely at what’s being done and listen closely to what is being said, and it’s apparent our culture is deeply confused and conflicted about sex and sexuality.
- We imply that sex is no big deal, and yet we can’t fathom anyone going without it.
- We abhor sex trafficking of minors (as we should), but we view the sexualization of children through media and fashion as harmless fun.
- 20% fewer of us are married than 50 years ago, and yet we stress that marriage is so important that everyone should have the right to marry whomever they choose.
- We insist that sexual attractions define a person but his or her biological sex doesn’t.
- We rightly promote gender equality but downplay the differences between men and women.
- And we rightly say that women shouldn’t be treated as objects, and yet we turn a blind eye to the reality that our girls are growing up immersed in a stream of pornographic images that deeply influence their perceptions of beauty, sex, men, and self-worth.
Within our churches, we’re demonstrating some pretty significant confusion as well:
- We maintain that sex is sacred, but we rarely talk about it or we spend more time talking about sexual sin than God’s glorious design for sex and marriage.
- We tell our kids sex should be saved for marriage, but we don’t train them how to manage sexual desire.
- We uphold that marriage is meant to be between one man and one woman, but we, too, downplay male-female differences.
- We say a life devoted to Christ and His Kingdom is best, but we treat singleness (which Paul esteemed as the best way to live completely devoted to Christ – see 1 Cor. 7:32-35) as second class to marriage.
We’re adrift in confusion and misinformation about marriage, gender, sex, and sexuality.
Is it any wonder?
We have an enemy. God has an enemy. Is it any surprise then that the forces of hell and darkness would aim their darts at humanity, at male and female, at marriage, at sex?
The union of man and woman in marriage is the primary image of Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:25-32).
To obscure male and female, to blur sexual difference, to disregard the sign of singleness, to distort marriage, to diminish procreation—all of this is to erase from the earth the image of Christ’s love for His church.
But let us remember who the enemy is and who he is not. The enemy is not flesh and blood. This means that for all the difficulties and temptations we experience in managing our sexual desires, in all the confusion we may experience in our gender identity, in all the difficulties we experience in marriage, in all the lonely ache we experience in singleness, our humanity is not the enemy. Christ in the flesh came to redeem and restore His image in male and female.
Our enemy is also not those who disagree with us, nor even those who oppose orthodox teaching on gender, marriage, and sex.
Our enemies, according to Paul, are “the rulers…the powers…the world forces of this darkness…[and] the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Christ is on the move. As Christopher West put it recently, “[If] marriage really and truly is the image of Christ’s love for the church, then that means it will be crucified, it will be mocked, it will die. But it will rise.”
If you need help in any of these areas, please contact Regeneration. We’d love to walk with you.
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