Sex. What a great idea!

I can’t think of another topic which with just that one word – – sex – – stops everyone in their tracks. Social science tells us a young man thinks about sex every ninety seconds (women, pretty often too). I mean that’s more than they think about the Bills!! What’s the big deal?

I think it has something to do with the fact that we are sexual by our nature. It’s in our pores. It defines who we are. Saying something as simple as, “He’s a good man” or “She’s a wonderful woman” is talking sex. You are a man or a woman. But for rare permutations that’s how people come.

And that’s how it’s supposed to be because it was God who made them male and female, in the divine image he created them. And then he said, “be fertile and multiply.” (Gen. 1) I think the sexless angels are jealous of us.

From the beginning, sex is God’s idea (Yay God!). So why did he do that? The short answer is . . . to make us happy.

Happy for two reasons. 1. It unites a man and woman (hopefully husband and wife) in a thrilling physical embrace of love. Love, as physical passion, has the power to touch and soften the soul. 2. This embrace carries with it the power to create another human being. A child. This brings family and that lifelong communion among parents and children.

All this sex stuff is geared to make us happy. It makes us happy because it can turn us into Lovers and being a Lover is how we image God who is love. Simple eh?

No. We mess it up. And the number one culprit that messes up God’s plan for sex is . . . . selfishness. Selfishness is the opposite of love. Love seeks always to give; selfishness seeks always to take.

Genesis had it right when it tells us that to separate ourselves from the dominion of God, to manipulate our human interactions with no regard for God’s will and purpose for us is a recipe for alienation. Alienation from God and people. (Adam and Eve hid from God and covered themselves to avoid the now prying eyes of their spouse.)

Think of the ocean of sadness that the selfish use of sex has caused humankind. Betrayal, addiction, abuse . . . the list is long and heartbreaking. And what is the remedy to such societal ills proposed by our culture? “Respect yourself. Respect others. And use a condom.”

Friends, unless we see ourselves as living under God’s dominion, God who made us, who loves us, and calls us his children, we will get lost. Lost as in “Who am I? What is my life supposed to be?” Things like sex appeal, passion, orgasm . . . all that draw men and women together, are not by themselves powerful enough to tell us who we are. Our meaning as human beings comes from God. The old Baltimore Catechism said it wonderfully: Why did God make me? God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world. And to be happy with Him in the next.

So how does all this “God made sex and tells us how to use it” guide our actions with each other? It’s called living chastely. It includes a love of one’s virginity (imagine that!). It includes moments of self-control so that God’s purpose for sex is protected.

It is not a life of prudery or fear of sex. Living chastely is a joyful discipline that proves a lovers’ “true heart”.
You are a child of God.

Fr. Tim

PS. Next week we’ll look at “Eros”. It’s a good thing!