March 12, 2008

A Force To Reckon With

We find ourselves witness again to another public figure that has been caught up in a scandal that has cost him his elected position, no doubt hurt his family and could possibly land him in jail. I find myself feeling sorry for Gov. Eliot Spitzer's family especially but also for him as he now deals with the guilt, regret, shame and hurt caused by his choices. I bet given the chance, if he hasn't already, he would admit that those choices were not worth all that he and his family now face.

This most recent display of infidelity has caused me to think about the strength of the human sex drive. The desire to be physically involved with another person in a sensual way is not limited to any specific age, gender, race or class. And if you stop and think about all of the different ways our culture uses our sex drive to market things, then it becomes obvious that it can be a powerful force. It is not an uncommon thing to see someone trade their reputation, job, friendships, or family life, among other things, for some sort of sexual encounter only afterwards to realize it wasn't and isn't worth it.

Why is sex such a driving force in our culture and society? Why does it cause people to be or do things that otherwise they would never be or do? There are times when it seems as though we have lost all control of our bodies and what's really scary, our culture says it's "Ok" or "normal". Like when you see statistics that 1 in 4 teenage girls has an STD (read article here) and think that seems outrageously high but then hear experts say that isn't any higher than what previous tests have shown as "normal". I mean seriously, at what point are we going to realize that something has to happen in our culture to change this trend?

Now don't get me wrong, I know that appropriate physical contact in the appropriate relationship is fun and even feels good....for a while. It's not as if that feeling goes on for days and days (I'm not a doctor but I'm guessing if it does go on for days and days you might want to see one) so take a second to really think through if your physical actions are worth the emotional, spiritual, social, physical, mental impact on you, your friends, your family, the other person's friends, the other person's family and of course the other person. It seems all to often we are willing to trade the things we have worked so hard to build and uphold; ie. reputation, witness, health, values, career, family, friendships for something that is so temporary and fleeting.

God created sex and He created it to be a good thing (in the right time and place) but He doesn't expect us to be obsessed with it or have it be the driving force in our lives. Sometimes I laugh when I hear people say they are not down with following Jesus because there are too many rules, as if Jesus just arbitrarily picked some things He knew we might like to do and then tells us that we can't do them..."Oh man, I bet they would really love and have fun doing this. I'm going to tell them they can't. Perfect!" Is it possible that there is some wisdom in Jesus' teaching of waiting to have sex until you are in a committed marital relationship? Putting all faith things aside for a second, it would seem that Jesus is making the point that sexual relations involve so much more than the physical but is also mental, social, and emotional as well. What better way to lessen the chance of hurt, shame, regret, guilt, mistrust, disease, etc. than to experience sexual relations in the confines of marriage because otherwise, I'm not so sure it's worth it.


Holly said...

loved this post but seriously he guy who replaced spitzer...oh my.

i think they both would agree with you that sex is fun.

Matt said...

ha, i know right! i think it was within hours of officially taking office that he confessed to multiple affairs with many different women??

the state of New York must be so proud...