Thursday, July 28, 2005

Poking the Dog

It's a phrase we use around work to let someone know to let something or someone alone. "Don't poke the dog...."

Well, I think I'm going to poke it just a little... see what kind of reaction/advice I can get... because many of y'all are definately smarter than I am.


I don't necessarily hold the point of view the question is asked. It came up in a coversation I had a long time ago and had it sitting in the draft folder for weeks.


What does the Bible really have to say about sex? We know there is a wholesale endorsement of it via the Song of Solomon. Is it supposed to be within marriage only or do long-term committed relationships qualify? Marriage was a religious institution long before the state decided to make it a contractual agreement between parties. Marriage also occured at much younger ages than it typically does now. What does one do as they get older (when the message of True Love Waits starts to sound a little old and hollow)?

How much of our contemporary Christian views of sex are really found in the Bible? Is it possible to be sexually liberated and a Christian? By sexually liberated I mean to be aware of and comfortable with one's sexuality - I don't mean just wandering around and sleeping with who ever says 'yes.'

In her book Real Sex, Laura F. Winner puts forth the idea of chastity as a spiritual discipline and hints that discipline in general is missing from the modern church (not explored further in the book but my guess is that it makes fodder for a future volumn). She became a Christian yet did not stop having sexual relationships with her significant others. She wasn't willy nilly screwing guys from bars a la the Sex and the City girls but it was in a relationship she was committed to.

I found her book to be more helpful than most. I have often expressed great frustration of the Christian response to just about any question "Well, you just need to pray more."

Ok.... sure. And why don't I poke my eyes out with a stick while I'm at it. But let me beat you with it first because that sounds so HOLLOW! Just a pat answer that someone gives when they don't know what to say. Like at a funeral when someone says "they look peaceful" or "don't they look good?" No. They don't. They look dead and now move along. Move along.

That is if they don't turn beet red and run away for the fact that you dared to mention sex at all. That you might want it/need it/miss it. After all, good Christians don't talk about such things... pfft.

It helped me to see that it was WHAT I was praying about that needed to change. Instead of focusing on the desire - whatever it may be: anger, lust, greed, etc... - as well as what I think may be lacking from my life, I shifted to praying and giving thanks to God for His grace and the gifts He has given me. It made a tremondous difference in how I responded to temptation.

However, as a healthy young woman, the need does present itself more forcefully on occasion. What boundries should one place on a relationship with a significant other? What is the context of sex? Where do masturbation and fantasies fit into this when one isn't involved in a relationship? Why is it that people (particularly Christians) think that your sexuality switch is going to magically flip on when you get married? That you will just automatically be comfortable being naked around your spouse?

This is a heck of alot of questions for which I have few good answers. Lets here what y'all have to say.