Respect is at the heart of God's intention for sexual expression. Lean in while I unveil to you one of the best-kept secrets in the Bible: a single word. The Hebrew word for sex. The Old Testament uses the word yada for sex. It means "to know, to be known, to be deeply respected." God's very definition of sex transcends the physical act and emphasizes emotional knowing and an exchange of respect. Respect of others, and even of ourselves, requires self-control. This is one, though not the only reason, that our sexual lives must be characterized by self-control. Morality aside, sex thrives in an atmosphere of control and respect. A study referenced in Sex in America found those having both the hottest and most frequent sex were not college co-eds with a variety of sexual partners but middle-aged people who embraced mutual lifetime monogamy out of respect for themselves and their partners. Another study concluded having more partners in their lifetime actually predicted less sexual satisfaction for men. Sexual self-control makes sense for both moral and practical reasons. You wanna have a great sex life? It’s got to begin with self-control.
One of the most critical on-going conversations mothers can have with their daughters is on the topic of sexuality. My head spins with all the risk and hope that teeters on the existence of such a dialogue. Let me share the best news first: the number one risk-reducer for your daughter is parent/child connection. What you think about sex informs her view of it, and what you communicate about sexual risk and sexual theology helps to steer her towards healthy choices. You're that powerful, Mom. Most girls I've spoken with wish their mom would bring the subject up more often. Most moms I've spoken with feel insecure about talking. Let me fuel your interest by sharing these top ten reasons why every mom must talk about sex early and often. They aren't pretty, but remember talking about sex reduces the risk and puts you in a place to reduce the pain if any does come your daughters direction.
"The truth is that God designed sex to be enjoyed within the context of a marriage bed. It’s as simple and as terribly frustrating as that. While it would be nice if there were a caveat for those who never get married, that would deny the sanctity of the act of sex altogether wouldn’t it? The marriage bed should be honored by “all,” not just those who have one. (Hebrews 13:4) This is difficult but true." (From "How Can I Satisfy My Sexual Desire As A Single Woman?") And yet, I promised you when I started this blog series that I'd dig hard and try to find answers to your questions. Specifically, I promised that I'd look for ways that you can meet the five legitimate longings that Dr. Juli Slattery and I wrote about in Pulling Back the Shades. And one of them is this: God created women to long to be sexually alive. A rich theology of sexuality demands a robust desire for sex, and God did not create the boundaries of sexual expression to frustrate us. So, what plan exists to relieve the sexual tension? I think there are four ways that God enables a single woman to have her sexual desires released in a healthy manner.
"Get your rosaries out of our ovaries," chanted a group of topless feminists as they sexually assaulted and spray painted Catholic men who were peacefully praying outside of a cathedral in Argentina. When I first heard about it, I thought "Yeah, right! The religious right has found another story to exaggerate, dividing the lost from the saving grace of our Lord." Then, I saw the video footage. Before I show it to you, I want to carefully navigate through another sexual myth because I believe the video footage is the logical conclusion if we allow this myth to become rooted. Myth #3: Teaching Modesty Promotes Rape Culture.