I remember the first article I was invited to write for Truth magazine back in the day had the title, “How far is too far?” so I wrote, “Belgium. Belgium is too far!” and then proceeded to write the rest of my article [for some reason, they let me stay.]
And the main point of the article was that if we are asking ‘How far is too far?’ then we are already in trouble because we are asking the wrong question. From the Christian perspective, basically knowing that ‘Sex before marriage is the greatest evil’ [it’s not, but you’d think so from the trailer!] the ‘HFITF’ questions is pretty much asking, ‘How much can I do with my girl/boy-friend before I have to feel bad?’ ‘How close to the cliff can I get without falling off?‘ [where falling off was a metaphor for ‘having a baby’ or something] or else quite simply ‘How close to evil can I sneak without being called it?’
In essence, the question we were all taught to ask was ‘How much can I get away with?’
And it’s the wrong question!
But we never knew that, because sex was such a dirty topic. It was a dirty topic at home as our parents were from the ‘Children should be seen and not heard’ generation [who must have all had sex by accident one day when they tripped on top of each other and their clothes burnt up in the friction as they fell, or something] and it was definitely a dirty topic at church [Sex was pretty much the ‘Voldemort’ of church. Voldemort being the ‘Saying Macbeth before theatre productions’ of the Harry Potter world. And so on.]
And so, because we couldn’t learn about sex from our parents or our church leaders, all that left was our friends and their illicitly-smuggled-from-deviant-older-brother ‘smuggled in brown paper bag’ magazines [which in my day had these little white stars posted over the n_p_l_s! Who, by the way were not always the best of teachers. [Our friends and magazines, I mean, not n_p_l_s. Although they weren’t much help either]
Oh parents. Oh church leaders. How you might have saved us much trouble and confusion and who knows what other kinds of traumas and complications had we just been able to sit around and have an open and adult conversation about S-E-X. We don’t blame you for it, because you had your own story passed on from your parents and society, and I really think you did the best you could. But it would have helped.
Today all of that is history as we have our good friend Uncle Google who has all measure of wikipedia entries, how-to videos and image galleries to walk us through it. [But it would probably still go a lot smoother if you just gave us the chance of a decent potentially-awkward-but-we’ll-get-over-it conversation before we turn 30 and without merely tossing a pamphlet, book or website URL on our pillows when we are out]
Let’s talk about sex.
This is a relevant conversation for Christ-following people for sure, but I believe it extends way beyond that. I think that healthy sexuality, purity, intimacy and self-control and other aspects linked to relationships and sex are relevant for everyone because I believe that getting a healthy grasp on them [hee hee] is more about living well than merely living christian. So I hope you will find these posts useful:
First up I have two posts by the incredible Jamie Wright who blogs as ‘The Very Worst Missionary’ and has written two extremely helpful blog posts, in her own very unique style, which I think really captures the heart of at least some of what this topic is all about: