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[We’re wrapping up our online class for Relation^ology. If you want to start at the beginning, click here. Otherwise, read the posts linked below (if you like, invite a couple friends to do the same and discuss with them) and then share your thoughts and questions with us.]

DNA-teenage dream

Sex is amazing.

But you’ve probably heard that before. Indeed, that’s probably why so many teenagers dream about it.

But that’s only half the story.

Here’s the whole truth:

Sex is amazing, but it won’t satisfy; not when pursued as some kind of teenage dream.

[insert sound of metaphorical power cord being pulled out of proverbial jukebox here]

Conceded: sex is probably one of the most amazing creations of our Creator. However, like any good inventor, God gave us specific parameters in which this most incredible of inventions might be best enjoyed.

Sadly the way sex is portrayed in song and on screen cheapens it down to a 9th grade level, but here are three realities that make sex less than you might have thought it was. And far more. Certainly more than any teenager could dream. After all, sex was never meant to be enjoyed in dreams. It was meant to be enjoyed in real life.

#1: Sex is an experience

What does having sex, graduating from college, swimming with dolphins, falling in love, and hang gliding in Rio all have in common?

They’re experiences. For most, they would qualify as positive experiences, but positive or negative, experiences come and go.

Even your most amazing experiences don’t come with a lifetime emotional high.  This is why sex by itself (even all a teenager could dream of) will never satisfy you.

But here’s what does offer deep abiding satisfaction: Life-giving relationships!

The reality that we were made for relationships more than experiences is why our culture’s bi-polar preoccupation with the sexual experience is so destructive:

  • Sex is the ultimate! You haven’t lived until you’ve had it. A LOT!
  • Sex is no big deal. You don’t need to wait for some special relationship to enjoy it.

So what kind of experience is sex: “The ultimate” or “no big deal?” Or perhaps “the ultimate no big deal?” Apparently it’s whatever you want it to be as long as you get to experience it whenever you want it.

Encouraging the pursuit of sexual fulfillment apart from the relationship for which it was designed (which is marriage, by the way) would be bad enough. But, with the hook-up paradigm, we’re encouraged to pursue sex apart from any relationship at all.

Here’s the dealio: sex can’t satisfy by itself, because it can’t make you a real man (or woman) or empowered or mature or complete. That’s what healthy long-term, sacrificial relationships are for!

So instead of pining away for sex, why not prepare for the relationship for which sex was designed, because the stronger your relationship, the greater the likelihood of great sex. (Though, no, that’s not a promise.)

#2: Sex is symbolic

The two shall become one flesh. The Apostle Paul calls this a mystery. Many understand this mystery to be about sex, but oneness isn’t about sex. Sex is about oneness.

The sexual union is symbolic, intended to represent and celebrate a oneness that is far deeper and greater than the sex act itself.

This is why our culture’s perspective on sex is so destructive. It casts a vision of sex that is far too small, even while it inspires adolescent fantasies.

Of course it’s absolutely natural for a healthy young person to long for sexual fulfillment, but what drives your sex drive (whether you’re 16 or 60) runs far deeper than hormones and the pursuit of happiness. Your body may desire orgasm, but your soul is longing for a different “O” – ONENESS.

This is why even marital sex will fail to satisfy when the two legally united in marriage aren’t sacrificially united in convictions, priorities, passion and vision. So if you’re hoping for the kind of sexual compatibility teenagers dream about, you better start focusing on a deeper compatibility that has nothing to do with your body.

#3: Sex is physical

You’ve probably heard somewhere that we are sexual beings.

But is that the essence of what we are?

In our culture, with the maturity level of a middle schooler, the answer would be, “yes!”

But according to God’s word, we were made in the image of God. If that’s the case, according to God’s Son, God is Spirit, and those who worship Him will do so in spirit and truth. So ultimately, we are spiritual creatures.

Why does this matter?

Well, if we’re primarily sexual beings then sexual understanding, expression and fulfillment would be the ultimate source of soul satisfaction. (And to teenage dreamers everywhere that seems to be the popular belief.) But…

Since we are first and foremost spiritual beings then spiritual understanding, expression and fulfillment is what will bring the deepest satisfaction to our souls.

Here’s what that means:

  • On the one hand, you don’t have to ever experience sexual fulfillment to live a fulfilling life. That’s the good news!
  • On the other hand, you can enjoy countless sexual encounters and still feel incredibly empty. That’s the bad news.

So quit dreaming about sex and start devoting more attention to the condition of your soul. Then when your soul is united to another in the life-long covenant of marriage you’ll find sex takes on a spiritual dimension that dwarfs the physical pleasure. And even better, the physical pleasure can be enhanced by the spiritual dimension.

More Sex

We’ve written extensively on the topic of sexuality! For a further taste, look no further than this post: How not to Wind up a 40-year-old Virgin (or a 40-year old who has had lots of sex, but is still desperately lonely).

Finally, we’ve addressed the topic of sex many times on our video blog, LoveEd with Julie and MJ. For starters, check out the TOP10 Benefits of Saving Sex for Marriage. Here’s the first video in that series.

That’s All Folks!

This wraps up our online class for Relation^ology. But, let us know your thoughts after reading through the posts in this lesson. Does it answer questions? Raise new ones? Open doors of understanding? Open doors for ladies? Comment below!

DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

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The LoveEd study guide series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE YOU FALL IN LOVE! It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. Check out the first two 8-lesson study guides in our store. You can walk through it on your own, but it’s more fun with friends, so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study. Even better?  And ask a married couple you respect to lead it!