We live in a society obsessed with sex. We cannot turn on our radios or televisions, head out to the movies or even pick up a newspaper without being confronted with sex. In an age of too much information, does it surprise you that the biggest area of pharmaceutical growth is sex related, and the fastest growing field for new therapists is sexual dysfunction? We have too much of the wrong information, and have looked for “love” in all the wrong places.
It astounds me that it never occurs to modern man to look to the One who designed our bodies, our sexuality, and read his instruction manual. Like that overconfident father on Christmas who tosses the directions to one side, thinking “I’ve got this,” we plunge headlong into sexuality and relationships thinking that Dr. Drew and Dr. Phil have given good advice. I think it is finally time to take a look at the manual we set aside.
After generations of “thumbing our nose” at God and telling Him we would rather do it “our way”, we are now faced with the consequences of rebellion. One in four teenagers today is infected with a sexually transmitted disease, many of them incurable. What a wonderful “wedding gift” herpes makes! Thousands of babies will die today simply because they were inconvenient. And thousands of families will be torn apart and destroyed because lack of sexual discipline prior to marriage greatly affects sexual discipline within marriage.
Listen to these words of wisdom I received from a parish minister, taken from my new book Nobody Told Me. Gigi poured out her heart to me in this email:
Almost ten years ago, I sat in the office of a new doctor and as usual, they drilled me with questions. “Do you use drugs?” “No.” “Sex?” “Never.” Stunned, the nurse replied, “What? You’ve never had sex? How old are you?” Getting slightly annoyed I answered, “23.” They looked at me like I had 8 heads. “Don’t you ever want to have sex?” she asked, to which I told them, “Well of course! But with my future husband.”
I have just finished three years as a parish youth minister. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done. The teens are faced with so many trials but the thing that seems to get their attention the most was the subject of sex and their relationship with members of the opposite sex.
We see gangs, drugs, suicide, war, rape, abortion, and a litany of other problems that our teens face today. What does it all mean and how can we bring about change in such a sick, lust-saturated world where sex is degraded [to the point that we] look at our fellow human beings as mere objects? [It has become vital that we] reflect upon the meaning, sacredness, and value of the human body, and then embrace it and live it in our own lives. Think about it. Do you think if we valued our bodies, gangs would kill one another? Do you think if we valued our bodies, we would infest it with drugs? The list goes on and on.
Many Christians sadly grow up thinking of their bodies as obstacles in their spiritual life, when in reality Christianity says the body is “so good you can’t even fathom it.” (Theology Of the Body for Beginners, pg 3-4). It says how amazing, how sacred, what a glimpse of heaven not only our bodies are but when a husband and wife make love; each time they are renewing their wedding vows. Many people may see the teachings of the Church as oppressive rules; however, the Gospel is meant to change our heart so that we no longer need the rules. To the degree that we experience this change of heart, we experience “freedom from the law” (see Romans 7 and Galatians 5). What a glorious, redeeming message of hope for all of us!
I turn 33 on April 15th. I have lots of male and female friends that I laugh, cry, and pray with. I hope one day to meet my earthly husband who God designed just for me and give and share with him two of [the] most precious gifts [I have]: my faith and my virginity. I hope he is out there but whether that day comes or not, I know one thing to be certain – I am a bride of Christ desired, loved, and cherished for all eternity.
Gigi said it all so well. God’s design reflects His image, which reflects His love. We are called to love each other as Christ loved us—not selfishly, as the world loves. The world screams “Mine, MY, I need, I want;” contrast that with the real love that says, “I will lay my life down for you, sacrifice everything for you.”
In a political climate that insists on its right to contraception and abortifacients at the taxpayers’ expense with no right of conscience, the Church’s teaching on the sacrament of marriage, the sacredness of fertility and the beauty of Natural Family Planning stand in stark contrast. I think the reason I love NFP, is that it teaches us to be in “awe” of God’s design, to cherish our sexuality and our fertility. It calls on couples to communicate, to love deeply, give to each other without reservation, and to sacrifice personal need for the common good.
What kind of real transformation would happen in the Church if we called a new generation to “love one another as Christ has loved us”? What would happen in the church if our shepherds ceased to be embarrassed, hiding from moral truth, and became willing to unashamedly proclaim the truth from every pulpit?
The good news of the gospel is that God created us in His Image, loves us beyond measure, and has provided a way for us, even when we fail, to be one with Him through His son Jesus and the sacrifice of His blood on the cross. All we have to do is say “yes” to Him and turn away from the distractions of the world around us.
Do you want the real deal? I know I do!