Ironically, I am going to blog about a very special kind of togetherness in this post. Its from a decidedly Christan perspective so before we even get into the topic, if you don’t want to have an open mind of that POV, just go away.
Long days with very little to do result in much reading and then thoughts about that reading. Right now I am reading “Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity” by Lauren Winner (who is among my favourite Christian writers) so the biggest thing that is on my mind is sex. Please wait a few more sentences instead of clicking away in disgust. I promise nothing graphic, perverse or obscene, just thought provoking thoughts that have been mulling around in my brain.
We live in a society that is so highly sexualised that we think nothing of next to naked photos, movies with steamy embraces, passionate kisses, actual sex (though hidden under sheets but not hiding the staged moaning), hearing about various celebrities sexual peccadilloes and even have knitting patterns for lingerie, whips and pony-boy hats. We put it all out there to be talked about, even give indiscretions ‘fancy’ names like “the walk of shame” and let friends tease us the morning after about that guy/girl we went home with the night before. There is a level to this teasing though. Its all good until someone says you shouldn’t have.
Some of us have friends that we disclose our actions to but for whatever reason we have decided to put the brakes on when it comes to telling each other what we think about their sexual actions. Think about it. If someone cheats on a test, most of us have no qualms about saying, “Wow dude, you really shouldnt have done that” or ” ‘Fess up” when we have caught them in a lie. We will be honest and say that “Stealing is bad”, “That was a mean thing to do” or even something as mild as “That sweater really isnt for you” but when it comes to sex, all bets are off.
Why is it that we question all other sinful behaviours and make our views known but draw the line at extra-marital (both unmarried and adulterous) sexual actions?
“Shes a big girl” “He knows what hes doing” “S/He was drunk” “They are nearly married” “Its his/her life and his/her choice” “Its going to suck if she/he finds out” “Its none of my business”
Really, sex outside of marriage is just as much as a sin as stealing, lying, cheating or any other barrage of sins. In typing that, I know that I am damning myself. While I am reading about chastity, I have lead a far from chaste lifestyle. But heres the thing…Reading this book wouldnt have been nearly as thought provoking if my friends had helped hold me accountable for my actions. Before thinking that I ‘blame them’ for my relations, think about the last time you helped a friend with their actions. Did you help them face an adversary? Talk frankly about their relationship with their partner? Encourage talking openly and honestly with a parent or other friend about issues? Give them the kick they needed to get out of doors and working off those Christmas cookies? Those of you with kids, do you think that they will ‘blame’ you for reminding them not to lie? For teaching them over and over again what behaviour is acceptable? Its those frank conversations that generally do us the most good. There are clear lines set out, expectations for behaviour defined. Do you really think the person who cheated on the test didn’t know better? Or the one who stole didnt know they shouldnt? Of course they did. They just needed a reminder to correct the behaviour, stop doing it, get right with God and move on on the “right” path. Blame my friends for not reminding me of the sin I was committing? No because I have been as guilty of sidestepping the sex issue as much as they. There is no blame in accountability. But here is where the sidestepping stops and my path can be re-created.
I want to be able to face my friends questions about my conduct, all my conduct, full in the face. My life is their business because we are all in the same family, the family of Christ. I want to be able to look into their eyes and tell them truthfully that No, I’m not doing anything that I wouldn’t want my mother to see me do. 2010 (and the end of 2009) is the year of beginning again on the chaste path. The path were I am not afraid to talk to my friend frankly about my actions and ask about theirs because I want whats best for both of us. I won’t ever claim to be perfect but with your help, I can work on it.