I don’t know why I’m so naïve. I guess I still, for some reason, think there’s good in the world. But yet again, I found myself disgusted and confused this weekend. A “friend” of mine on Facebook (a woman I knew through high school and college) recently posted that she had become a consultant for a company called “Pure Romance.” Much like someone who sells candles or make-up; hosting parties in people’s homes. Several other “friends” commented on her post, saying how much they love this so-called pure romance. I had never heard of it. In a moment you’ll find out why. Intrigued by the name, I thought I’d check out her website. I wish I hadn’t.
What I found had nothing to do with purity or romance. What I found made my stomach ache. This site (which Gavin said should be renamed “Lonely Perverts”) is dedicated to selling sex toys, games, books, etc. Don’t get me wrong, there were a minority of products on the site that could be used in a godly way for romantic intimacy—candles, massage oils, scented lotions—but for the most part, the site was filled with products that promote immorality and self-indulgence. Over 90% of the products available were designed specifically for male and female masturbation. The rest for bondage and sadomasochism. It was glamorized, glorified. Taking pleasure into your own hands, who needs a mate? You can enjoy all the pleasures of an orgasm without the need for true intimacy or commitment. Or, if you do have a so-called mate, you can objectify them and abuse them to fulfill your darkest desires. These products that people were once ashamed to walk into a store and buy, are now being celebrated at parties and sold in shocking quantities. Not only that, but you have the choice to “like” each product on Facebook. So all your friends can know which masturbation toy or sexual bondage style you enjoy the most. It was appalling.
Pure, by definition, is something that is “free of dust, dirt, or taint; spotless, stainless; free from harshness or roughness; free from moral fault or guilt; marked by chastity” (Merriam-Webster). The complete opposite of the ideals of this particular website. When it comes to sexual intimacy, God designed it to be an untainted, spotless, gentle, moral, and chaste gift for a husband and wife to share. It is something that is to be cherished, nurtured, and promote oneness within the marriage. God intended sex to bring powerful, passionate pleasure between a husband and wife and connect them in a way that is sanctified and personal; but so often the power of novelty, bizarre and mysterious acts, and even inflicting or receiving pain, has become the driving force in the pursuit of sexual pleasure. People continue to go further and further in their quest for the ultimate high, the all too powerful orgasm. And in the process, the purity of intimacy has been buried. Society thinks we’ve arrived; enjoying sexual freedoms that previous generations oppressed. But the truth is we’ve allowed ourselves to become enslaved to sexual deviances and stain the very thing that God intended to connect a man and woman like nothing else. Sin does that. Sin creeps in, disguised as something enchanting, and we run, spellbound towards certain death. The death I’m speaking of isn’t necessarily physical death (although sin is not void of physical death); it’s the death of intimacy.
Intimacy in its truest form exemplifies the very nature of God’s intimate love for mankind through Jesus Christ. God loves us so deeply that He offers unlimited grace and mercy towards us, even as sinners, through the sacrifice of His beloved Son. Can there be a greater form of intimacy? To love someone so dearly that you would willingly lay down your life for them. To look past all their faults and flaws, and see them as the image of God. To love someone despite their choices. When a man and woman enter into a covenant marriage, God gives them this great treasure of enjoying intimacy together. It’s an earthly glimpse of God’s original, heavenly design for us. But sin has corrupted God’s design for marriage and intimacy. God’s intent was that sexual intimacy would be something to draw a man and his wife close, to unite them in a bond that is not easily broken, to bring them pleasure and joy as they are naked and unashamed, to build trust with each other—physically with their bodies, emotionally with their feelings, and spiritually in an atmosphere of grace that allows both the husband and wife to freely confess to and forgive each other. And ultimately, to bring forth precious life. All these things encompass the wholeness and holiness of God’s design for sexual intimacy within marriage.
But some things have been lost. Some things have been destroyed. We have allowed the world and the enemy to distort our view of sexuality and we have desecrated what God has sanctified. In our sin, we seek what is easy. What requires the least commitment or effort. We seek after selfish gain. This is why pornography, strip clubs, and prostitutes have such an addictive appeal to so many men. They don’t require anything. They don’t ask for anything (except money) in return for their pleasuring you visually and physically. It is also why women are becoming more and more “liberated” to masturbate using sex toys. There’s no commitments, no expectations, no intimacy. And they think this is freedom. But in reality, it leaves them feeling unfulfilled and craving more.
God created us to desire intimacy. It’s as essential to life as water. We crave intimacy with the Lord and in our relationships with each other. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, God created us with a thirst for intimacy that only He can quench through seeking Him and through seeking God-honoring relationships with others. But attempting to fulfill the desire for genuine intimacy with sinful lusts and sexual immorality is like drinking salt water to quench your thirst. The human body cannot live without water for more than a few days. But drinking salt water can lead to dangerous and fatal complications. Not only will salt water leave you thirsty and dehydrated, but it can result in seizures, unconsciousness, brain damage, and death. In the same way, sinful lust and sexual immorality leaves you thirsting for more, never fulfilled. And eventually leads to dangerous and fatal complications. Salt water is the counterfeit to lifesaving water, while sexual immorality is the counterfeit to life-giving intimacy. In the end, it kills everything that God intended for good-- marriage, intimacy, love, masculinity, femininity, family. We have to stop trying to quench our thirst with salt water. Only by the pure water of Jesus Christ can our thirst for genuine intimacy be satisfied. “…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22).
Walking in Freedom,
Tags: ""pure romance"" intimacy sex ""hebrews 10:22"" marriage healing
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