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Sex Tapes: Teaching our kids about intimacy and love

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If you believe what you see on television and in the movies, sex is the only thing that seems to matter these days. No wonder so many adults and teenagers are obsessed with it. They may not all be having sex, but they're thinking about it. Sex is implied almost everywhere you look nowadays. OMG, now it's even spread to "The Cloud," so says the new movie, Sex Tape. This not a review of that movie. Rather, it's about what our obsession with sex is doing to our kids, and to society, in general.

There are no boundaries anymore. Forget about what used to go on behind closed doors, sex is out in the open. Parents who are afraid to talk about sex at home, can rest easy. If your kids aren't hearing it from you, they can get it from "the streets." Like everything else that was considered topically "taboo" outside the home, sex has lost it's virginity and become fair game for anyone to exploit. And herein lies the problem. In relationships, sex has become the goal, rather than a destination along the ultimate path toward intimacy and love.

Sex isn't a substitute for real intimacy or love. Some people have sex hoping it will satisfy their need for a love connection, only to wake up the next morning feeling cheated, unfulfilled and confused. Dr. Henry Brandt explains why:

This syndrome is what I call the morning-after syndrome. We wake up and find that intimacy is not really there. The sexual relationship does not satisfy us anymore, and what we end up with is not what we really wanted in the first place. All you have is two self-centered people seeking self-satisfaction. The elements of genuine love and intimacy cannot be obtained "instantly," and you find yourself in an unbalanced state, searching for harmony.

Picture a little hummingbird fluttering from flower-to-flower searching for the sweet nectar that sustains it. Likewise, there are people who view sex in the same way. To them, it's not about intimacy or love, it's about the conquest --- to have as many sexual encounters as humanly possible without a commitment or a deeper relationship with one person. Hummingbirds die when they can't find nectar; human beings are less healthy when they lack love and intimacy. When two people have intimacy and love in their relationship, there are significant benefits.

Love lessons start in the home. At an early age, children need to see and experience love in action from their parents. They need to be taught the difference between sex and love so that they will recognize the one from the other later in life. They need to understand that their sexuality is God's gift to be reserved for marriage. It matters little that these views of intimacy and love are considered out of date compared with more modern views like Hollywood's scripted "one night stands and instant hook-ups." There's clear evidence that following after Hollywood has eroded the very moral fabric of our society; and eaten away at any hope we have of raising a generation that knows what genuine intimacy and love are all about. Real intimacy, love's natural outgrowth, between two people needs time to develop. It just doesn't happen overnight. From his article, "Sex and the Search for Intimacy, " Dick Purnell writes:

On campuses all across America I see men and women searching for intimacy, going from one relationship to another hoping, 'This time will be it. This time I am going to find a relationship that will last.'

I believe that what we really want is not sex. What we really want is intimacy. Today, the word intimacy has taken on sexual connotations. But it is much more than that. It includes all the different dimensions of our lives -- yes, the physical, but also the social, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects as well. Intimacy really means total life sharing. And haven't we all had the desire at one time or another for closeness, for oneness, for sharing our life with someone totally?

Less we forget, this is what God intended for us from the beginning ---oneness with Him and oneness with our chosen life partner in an intimate and loving union. Most of society's ills ---poverty, drugs, crime, juvenile delinquency, school dropout rate, anti-social behavior, sexual promiscuity, and moral depravity --- can be traced to society's rejection of God's plan for us.

Throughout the Bible, God's attitude toward sex is very clear. God has reserved sex for marriage and marriage only. Not because He wants to make us miserable, but because He wants to protect our hearts. He wants to build a security base for us, so that when we enter into a marriage, its intimacy can be based upon the security of God's love and wisdom. -- Dick Purnell

God showed us what love looks like by doing the most intimate thing a person could do for another. Surely, we can trust him to meet our need for love and intimacy?

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