Pastor Rolfe Westendorf: Saying 'Yes' to Sex
Society has always had trouble with the subject of sex. Some societies like the Victorian have hidden the topic in a closet as if it did not exist. Sex went on as usual, including its rankest forms of abuse, but it was never mentioned in polite conversation. Other societies, including our own, have put sex on the front page and promoted sexual activity as the ultimate in pleasure.
There is a fundamental reason why people find it so difficult to be objective and sensible about sex. There is nothing else in all creation that comes so close to being like God. In fact, the worship of sex is common in heathen religions. Rome had Venus and Athens had Aphrodite.
Consider the creative power of sex. Every living thing we see came into being through sex. The reproductive process varies from one species to another. Yet, except for the simplest life forms, reproduction requires the mating of male and female. God's creative presence is in the reproductive process, and sinners have never been very god at handling God.
The principle becomes even more personal when it comes to human reproduction. Through sex God has given our bodies and all our natural talents. Through sex God gives us parents and children. It would not be too much to say that sex is the hand of God which gives us the most important things we have on this earth.
In sex lies the concept of creation. Nothing else in all creation, not even the sun which has also been worshiped by the heathen, comes so close to being like God himself. And people are uncomfortable with this close contact with divinity. Either they pretend it doesn't exist, or they reduce sex to a toy that exists primarily for purposes of entertainment.
Anything that has such tremendous power also has tremendous potential for good or evil. A loving god has not given us this power without also protecting us from its devastating potential. So God has given us this power to be used only in the confines of a lifelong marriage. Even there the power can be misused, but most of the negative aspects of this power are rendered harmless when sex is reserved for marriage.
However, our society has despised the Sixth Commandment. It has unleashed the negative consequences of this power and will taste its bitter fruit for years to come. And we who know God's law will rush to save our children from the plague. "Just say no" is the simple solution to the problem.
But it is also simplistic. For one thing, our children cannot escape society's distortion of sex. But even more important, our children possess from birth the latent power of sex, and they will need to handle this power in a way that will be blessing and not a curse.
Saying "no" may be best for shortterm situations. But for the long run our children need to say, "Yes, sex is a powerful gift from almighty God that deserves my highest respect. Yes, I will guard this sacred treasure with all the strength that the Holy Spirit gives me. Yes, I recognize the distortions of sex that constantly crowd around me, and I hate what they do to my attitudes toward this sacred gift from God. Yes, I will keep this treasure safe within me until God gives me a spouse who will help me provide a secure home for the offspring of our intimacy."
It will not be easy to impart such attitudes to our children. The world has magnified the pleasures of sex beyond all realistic expectation. Our children have a sinful nature which is drawn to such sordid lies.
But the home still holds the most powerful influence for a child, if only we will use it. And the Spirit's power is greater than the power of the flesh. Our children can learn to say "yes" to sex in a way that is pleasing to God and claims his blessing.