#5: International Appeal
Football (soccer as it’s known in our little corner of the universe) boasts a world-wide appeal rivaled by no other sport. I’ll never forget watching the US face Ghana during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. That’s because I watched it with my oldest son from a cafe in Guatemala. So we watched our own country play another country. In another country. From yet another country.
But the popularity of the World Cup pales in comparison to the ubiquitous appeal of sex. And why not, seeing as how our very good and all-wise creator made the process for producing people so pleasurable? Even more fun than football (or soccer)! But sex is far more than a way to populate the planet, and have fun doing it.
Football hooliganism sounds silly, but the results are far from it. Take the story of the Brazilian soccer fan killed by a toilet bowl thrown from stadium stands.
What is this, Lord of the Flies?!?
Sex is also becoming more and more associated with violence, from the handcuffed erotica of Shades of Gray to the proliferation of child prostitution. Indeed, in Brazil, this year’s host of the World Cup, an estimated quarter million children are involved in prostitution.
Sex was meant to be celebrated as an precious gift, shared between two lovers, committed for life. But when something so vulnerable is treated so casually and selfishly, abuse is unavoidable.
Unlike in American sports, where play is paused every few minutes for endless commercials, about the only break in the action at the World Cup happens when the ball goes out of bounds. And even then, only for a millisecond. Bottom line, if the ball isn’t on the field you can’t enjoy the game.
When it comes to sex, God designed the boundaries in which this wonderful, powerful and dangerous gift could be safely and freely enjoyed. Despite this, not only does the world ignore the referee whistle, we in the church keep arguing about what is in and out of bounds.
What we miss in this conversation is the fact that sex is – well – a conversation. Had I understood that back when I was dating, I believe this one single sex boundary could have saved me a lot of yellow cards.
Many of the teams in this year’s World Cup make it look so easy, but you know that kind of teamwork ain’t magic. It takes an insane amount of practice to achieve that level of instinct, skill and synergy.
Sex is similar. Regardless of the effortless, wild sex you see in the movies, the reality is a tad bit more complex. I recognize that many a person has enjoyed a one-night stand, but that kind of fleeting sexual experience can’t hold a candle to a faithful sexual relationship between two lovers committed to each other for life.
Understanding how to please your partner in bed, requires a depth of intimacy and honesty you can’t expect from someone who’s only in it for a good time, or even from someone who’s moved in with you to “try things out.”
Only the marriage covenant provides the security to talk and experiment and learn and grow in the art of love-making together over time. It actually is magical, but it doesn’t happen by magic. It takes teamwork.
#1: We like to toot our own horn
This year’s World Cup without the vuvuzela feels kinda like the internet without cats. I mean sure they’re loud and annoying, but so is your little brother and we don’t ban him from the World Cup. Simply put, the reason the loudest horn known to man is the chosen instrument of football fanatics everywhere is because they’re proud of their team. And feel the need to deafen you to prove it.
It’s common to see a similar sentiment when it comes to sex. Whether it’s the worldly pagan relishing the walk of fame back to his dorm on Sunday morning or the faithful Sunday morning attendee wearing their virginity on their finger, we like to toot our own horn. But whether we’re bragging about our sexual exploits or self-discipline, it exposes our selfish motives for doing either.
If you’re sexually chaste, brilliant! But, to be frank, that’s what you’re supposed to be. Your obedience will deepen your intimacy with the Lord, but it doesn’t win any points with Him. And you shouldn’t use it to win points with others.
If you struggle with sexual purity, confess and repent! And stop living in shame. Shame is for the person who won’t confess their sin, cry out to God for help and submit to His Spirit in making different choices.
In closing, allow me to paraphrase a verse from 1 Corinthians:
Do you not know that in a [game] all the [players play], but only one gets the prize? [Play] in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. – 1 Cor 9:24-25 (NIV)
Here’s to seeing you win in Christ!
Here’s more Summer reading to help:
- TOP10 Things Sex has in Common with the Apocalypse
- TOP10 Things Sex has in Common with New Years
- TOP5 Things Sex has in Common with Taxes
- TOP5 Things Sex has in Common with Easter
- TOP5 Things Sex has in Common with the 4th of July
- TOP10 Things Sex has in Common with Christmas
- TOP10 Things Sex has in Common with Graduation
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!