One last lie to close out this series… (after a couple months of not finishing the originally intended 7)
In western culture today, sex is used to sell everything from domain names to beer to cars to fat, greasy cheeseburgers that are anything but sexy. Advertisers have connected sex with just about every product line out there in their efforts to entice buyers. At the same time, popular opinion seems to be that sex (for our species) is little more than a recreational way for our continued survival. It’s just sex... It’s no big deal… It doesn’t mean anything…
Our kids are told to do it safely, but let me ask an honest question… How many 17 year olds are primarily concerned about safety in any area of life? We’re being told the lie that sex doesn’t really matter, but shouldn’t it matter? Isn’t there more to it than biology or a sales pitch? Shouldn’t there be some meaning to our sex (and our lives as a whole, but that’s another issue)? If sex is indeed more than just a biological issue or a sales tactic, what kind of damage are we doing by treating it as less?
- We’re forcing children to raise children, often without a dad to help guide the way. In Fatherless Generation (which I highly recommend you read), John Sowers shares that “children from fatherless homes account for 63% of youth suicides, 71% of pregnant teenagers, 90% of all homeless and runaway children, 71% of all high school dropouts, 85% of all youths sitting in prison.” Fatherlessness often starts with an attitude that sex doesn’t matter. “Hey, we were just having a good time, I’m not responsible for the kid…” One of the consequences to the “It’s just sex” mentality is that many young girls are left to figure out on their own how to raise the children created. (SIDE NOTE: Ministries like The Sparrow’s Nest near St. Louis are a great responsive step to help girls gain some solid footing as they start their parenting journey. Check out what they’re doing and support their efforts or find something similar in your area to help.)
- We’re causing a trail of broken-hearted teen moms who thought their only hope was to terminate their pregnancy, or girls who thought her boyfriend would really love her if she just gave him what he wanted. Only, now that he got what he wants, he’s gone, headed for the next conquest. The sorrow these girls carry lamenting what could have been, can be a devastating weight at a critical time in their lives.
- We’re leaving a bunch of angry and confused boys who thought having sex would earn them the respect they so desperately want, the recognition that they’re a man. Only, after the sex and the bragging were done, they’re still as unsure as ever of what it means to be a man and they still feel like they’re treated like little boys with no self-control. They feel like less than what they really are and can’t figure out what the problem is.
Often, the refrain is that “They’re consenting young adults, what’s the harm?” But there really is a great deal of damage being done in the name of the young, virile, & consenting. This lie is much more damaging than it might seem, so how do we shed the light on the truth?
Where culture wants to reduce sex, what if we made a bigger deal out of it? Instead of failing to teach about sex, what if we recognized and taught about sex as the incredible way God made of connecting man and wife? Sex is a spiritually and emotionally shared experience that is unlike anything else we can share. What if we did a better job teaching this? Health class isn’t going to cover it. If it’s just biology, then health class is right ~ be safe and do what you want. But it’s not just biology. The animals on discovery channel aren’t like you and I, so maybe we shouldn’t just follow their lead.
Additionally, we need to offer hope and redemption. In my experience, two things have led students to check out of student ministry more often than anything else: When they got car keys and a job to pay for the car, and when they had sex for the first time. The first is an issue of being too busy, but in the second case, they stop coming because what they hear causes them to feel worthless, like they’ve trashed the best thing they could ever have with no hope of restoration. The guilt piles onto the shame and leaves them blind to the fact that there is no sin that can drag them so deep they are beyond the reach of God’s love. We need to be careful not to just pour on more guilt. Remember the woman who got dragged in front of Jesus after being caught in the act? (Where was the guy by the way?) Jesus lovingly forgave her without adding to her shame. We need to follow His lead.
Finally, we need to teach our boys that being a man is about valuing humanity, not adding up scores. If we can teach them that, we can show this lie for what it really is.
As I’m closing this article, I just found another post from Matt Walsh digging into this same lie. Check out “Abstinence is unrealistic and old fashioned” for a deeper look at one aspect of this lie.
Check out the rest of this series here or each individual post at the following links: