Miley Cyrus’s recent, sexually-explicit performance at the VMA awards set the internet ablaze, serving as a reminder of just how not innocent she is, influencing a large number of young girls to follow down the same path. Like it or not, we’re living in a sex-crazed culture. Everywhere we look, we’re bombarded by images of scantily-clad celebrity’s, models and music artists. To put it simply, sex sells. This is nothing new. In fact, sex has been one of the most powerful influences on many of us than we’re willing to admit. It’s no surprise that so many young Christians are throwing in the towel on their sexual purity, and giving into sex as the same ages of non-Christians.
The most common reaction for many Christ-followers striving to live holy lives is to close their eyes completely to anything sensual, as if ignoring it will make it go away. It’s unfortunate that the obsession of sex in our society today has made people in the church so uncomfortable that many churches refuse to even address it. Many religious people within the church would love nothing more than for Fifty Shades of Grey, the 2011 erotic romance novel by British author E.L. James, to disappear. Likewise, many pastors merely preach ‘abstain until marriage’, which little else to help the horse-sized pill do down any easier. It’s the same angelic teenagers that attend multiple church functions a week that are also experimenting sexually, and no matter how much we like or don’t like it, will continue to do so. No amount of preaching or guilt-inducing Bible messages are going to change this.
The fact remains that we’re sensual beings. All of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, will admit that we have a natural draw to sexual things. Our sexuality contributes to our personalities, as well as our relationships. Contrary to what many churches preach, sex in itself isn’t bad or evil. Feeling sexuality stimulated is part of the human experience, and is something our physical bodies were created to feel. Many Christian circles completely ignore sexually-related topics completely. People of faith are left to wonder about homosexuality, bi-sexuality, sexual fetishes, oral sex, and self-gratification. These terms are often ignored all together because of the images they may conjure.
The Bible itself contains graphic sexuality and erotica. It’s true! The Song of Solomon in the Old Testament has very explicit language regarding the sexual expression of love between a man and a woman, husband and wife. Many Christian scholars, mainly those uncomfortable with the Bible containing anything erotic, believe the book is to be interpreted allegorically, describing the love between Christ and the Church. However, the overtly sexual nature of many of the passages paint a different picture. Beautifully written, using various things found in nature to describe sensuality and sexual pleasure, the book makes it clear that sex should be enjoyed immensely, and that it isn’t just for reproductive purposes.
Our physical bodies were made to crave and enjoy sexual contact. We, as Christ-followers, should also realize that God created sex to be enjoyed within specific parameters, and that it’s alright to feel sexually turned on, then we can begin to discuss it more openly. Ignoring anything sexual will only lead to frustration and ultimately, guilt. Although sexual lust is discouraged due to the selfishness it breeds, pointing our sexual desires in the right direction will help us cultivate a close relationship with God, and others. Hopefully we can embrace our own sexuality in a healthy, spiritual way instead of allowing ourselves to be controlled by it, and allowing the world around us to control us with it’s perversion of sex.