Thursday, August 18, 2016

does true love wait?

Lewis talks about what chastity means today in A Year with C.S. Lewis.

He says that the lie we're being told by the world today is that it's good and healthy to give in to any sexual impulse we have at any moment. The truth of chastity is pretty much the opposite.

A common idea among Christians today is that "true love waits". And if you take it one way, it's true and helpful. It means that we should avoid having sex until we're married. But it leaves out a great deal of further wisdom, and denies it by implication. "True love waits" implies that, once we've waited, we can subsequently have all the sex we want all the time. Of course this is nonsense.

Every human on the planet has been given a sexual impulse. And it's a great gift. But it's also a responsibility. God has given us the gift of sex in order for us to enjoy making children. So sex should only take place within a marriage, where the holiness of sex can be protected, and in a nurturing environment where children can be treasured and raised with love.

All of us, even those of us in marriages, have to control our sexual desires. We can't just have sex whenever we want. Married people only have sex with their spouses, and only when they agree to. They are not allowed to have sex with anyone else on the planet, no matter how strong the temptation or how well they get along with them, or even how willing their spouse is to let them. Single people, regardless of their sexual desires, are called to avoid all sexual activity. This is not an easy calling, but it's not as impossible as Hollywood makes it out to be, either. Everyone has to master their sexual impulses and only engage in sexual activity within the protecting structure of marriage.

So does "true love wait"? In one way, sure. We should definitely encourage young people to wait until they're married to have sex. But in another way, we need to teach that true love doesn't just wait. It continues to keep sex in its proper place in our lives. True love shows us that loving our spouse doesn't mean using them for our pleasure, but giving ourselves to them with our minds and emotions and wills as well as our bodies.

It's not easy. Following Jesus means taking up our cross daily. But we find that when we do take up our cross, His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

God, thank You for the great gift and responsibility of our sexuality. Please help us to enjoy it exactly how you intended... which will of course bring the most joy into our lives.