Thursday, February 18, 2016

3 things I've learnt about {holy} sexuality

Just a couple of things I've been learning from my brothers and sisters in Christ, here in Israel...

1. Singleness is not purgatory and marriage is not Heaven.
Your singleness is a gift from God; it's not to be treated as a "preparation stage" for that which is better and simply yet to come. As a single believer, you get the opportunity to honour the Lord with your abstinence and undivided attention to the Father. This is a beautiful gift. You shall not covet the marriages of those around you and you shall not view their lives as "easy".

Your marriage is a gift from God; it's not to be treated as an "end all; be all" conclusion to your life. As married believers, you get the opportunity to honour the Lord with your faithfulness to your spouse and partnered glorification of the Lord. You shall not feel sorry for or try to fix the singleness of your brothers or sisters and you shall not view their lives as "easy".

2. Heterosexuality is not the cure for homosexuality.
After a chat one of my professors gave last night on the Church's response to homosexuality, I've come to realise the skewed opinion that many of us, as believers, uphold. We often treat those who struggle with homosexuality as though their cure is ultra-heterosexuality. We rejoice when those among us begin to have attractions to the opposite sex again and we throw masculinity at male homosexuals (as seen in sports, dirt, and muscles) and femininity (as seen in dresses, makeup, and heels) at female homosexuals. But as Christopher Yuan says, "The Lord doesn't call us to heterosexuality, He calls us to holy sexuality". And your friends who struggle with homosexuality don't need heterosexuality, they need Jesus. Don't try to "fix" them, love them by getting on your knees before Jesus Christ on their behalf.

And if you ever get the notion that homosexuality is abhorrent or absolutely disgusting, I want you to take that feeling, multiply it's intensity by a million, and experience how God feels looking at any of the sins in your own heart.

For a better, more thorough explanation of this topic, you should check out my professor's story and lecture on how to respond to homosexuality @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEDG2xxDGAg

Really, watch it.

3. Women often struggle with lust even though it's not frequently discussed in the Church. 
Your desire for marriage may very well be idolatry. Pornography isn't just what our culture classifies as X-rated; it's in almost every chick-flick made this century.

This is one near to my own heart because I've struggled with lust, especially during my early teen years and it wasn't something that was ever really talked about. I think one of the big issues too was that it was almost encouraged. I'm not a guy, so I don't understand their minds, but I think women struggle with a different side of lust that is often elevated as a desire for God-given marriage instead of called what it is, "sin". The Church often sets up marriage to be some sort of height in spirituality and somewhere along the way, something that is good and created for God's glory is twisted into something to be sought after, something that completes people, and something that satisfies. I remember so many youth girl Bible studies that turned from discussing the Word of God to discussing the importance of purity because it would make our marriages better, which often turned to discussions on how excited we were to get married, often spurred on by our leaders who were married, and therefore had it altogether. Somewhere along the way I came away with the idea that purity was for marriage and marriage satisfies. But these are fallacies - we seek purity because our God is holy and He calls us to be holy. Marriage is a gift from God for His glory, not for our satisfaction (and it doesn't satisfy, He does).

And let's remember that our sin is the result of our rebellion lest you become bitter and assume that our personal sin is the Church's fault. However, as the body of Christ, we are made to edify one another, keep each other accountable, and strive to seek the Lord corporately. Therefore, I think it would be helpful to open the room for this conversation a little wider. I'm a sinner. I don't have it altogether. I am saved by the grace of God alone. And in that grace, the Lord has given me His Holy Spirit to fight the temptations of sin and shame. We are called to holy sexuality, friends. Let us glorify Him by falling on our knees in repentance, opening the door to transparency, and arming together to fight the battle against Satan. He doesn't want us to have this conversation.

I still have much to learn in this area, but I am thankful for those in my life that are willing to be honest, willing to teach me, and willing to point me ever closer to the Lord. More than anything, I'm thankful for the Lord's redemption in my own life and in the life of those around me. Praise the Lord, oh my soul!