In Control and In Perspective

Last Sunday, we saw in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 that God’s people are to control their bodies (sexually), unlike the world, who doesn’t know God and lives out of control (again, sexually). We also saw that there are consequences for living “out of control”.

It didn’t take long for the issue to be in the news again, proving the truth of God’s Word. Jared Fogle, the famous Subway spokesman who dropped a ton of weight eating their submarine sandwiches, topped that crazy story by being accused of sexual activity with minors and being in possession of child pornography. Aside from the lives of children that have been ruined, think of the damage Jared has done to himself because he didn’t control his sinful sexual appetites. Worth 15 million dollars and the face of a franchise, he has lost his job, his wife, his 2 children, his reputation, and is heading to prison. Was it worth it? Reeling from that news, we were hit with the Josh Dugger accusation of having two profiles on a website designed to help people cheat on their spouse. Out of control. Destructive.

The church is not exempt from the dangers of sexual immorality, either. We must guard ourselves or else destroy our families, our reputation, or our testimony for Christ.

And I also want to caution on buying into some of the popular church teaching that good sex is the key to a good marriage. Yes, sexual fulfillment is meant to be enjoyed, yes it is meant to be apart of the oneness of marriage, but sometimes the teaching from the church creeps into the territory of “sex is the main event”. The way I have heard some preachers preach on sex, you would think sex is the main reason to get married. That’s not good.

Why the caution? We love to hit the extreme side of the spectrum. I grew up in church and always believed sex was a bad thing by the way it was talked about. That’s a wrong presentation. But if we jump to the other side, the “sex is ultimate”, the side of “good sex = good marriage”, we can end up concluding on that extreme side of the spectrum that “no good sex = no good marriage”. It puts eros (the Greek word for love that means “passion”) over agape (the Greek word for love that means “your needs over my needs”). In other words, physical intimacy becomes the focus instead of self-sacrificing, “lay my life down for you” love. If some physical anomaly resulted in a husband and wife unable to have relations, does that mean the marriage is over? Does that scenario justify marital breakdown and sexual immorality? “If I can’t have sex, what good is the marriage?” Whoa, wait a second, do you truly love your spouse or do you just love what they can do for you?

I’m not being some hyper-prude. Yes, enjoy your spouse. But make sure the physical intimacy is an overflow of the oneness that comes from the highest love. Don’t buy the world’s propaganda that the physical act is the highest priority over everything. Agape over eros.

p.s. - not a hyper-prude, or even a calm prude