- List All


  • Web   The Point

Blogroll

+ Theology/Religion + Culture + Marriage & Family + Politics + Academia + Human Rights
Christianity Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Religion Blogs - Blog Top Sites
Link With Us - Web Directory



« Re: Rout, Rout, Rout for the Home Team | Main | Open Thread: God’s Warriors »

August 24, 2007

Revealing the More Excellent Way

It is no secret that American culture does not often proclaim chastity as a virtue. Most every corner of media and education seem designed to create or encourage lustful impulse. If that isn't discouraging enough, Roberto notes in his latest column at Boundless that young evangelicals may be as susceptible to that pull as anyone. The question is, how do we convince them to counter the culture?

Today love often has to wait a dozen years or even more while being surrounded by nearly-constant reminders of what it is you shouldn't be doing. If it's difficult to exercise what Rosin called "inhuman discipline ... over [one's] hormones" for three or four years; imagine what doing so for 12 or more years must be like.

This isn't an excuse or even an explanation: It's taking note of the larger context in which teenagers and young adults are expected to be continent, never mind chaste. If anyone is talking about this confluence of biology and culture in Christian circles, it's escaped my attention. (An obvious exception are my friends at Boundless and Pure Intimacy.)

But you can't fight a hegemonic culture with curricula -- no matter how well-designed -- and pledge cards alone. You need to create an alternative culture. By "alternative" I don't mean taking the dominant culture, sanding away the most obvious objectionable bits, i.e., those relating to sexual mores, adding a bit a "God talk" and, as my family says, "¡huepa!"

While the cause and effect might not be clear, surely it cannot be a coincidence that young people are seeking marriage later while being railroaded with sensual imagery and messaging practically from the crib (not the MTV kind). That is a lot of years of potentially unfulfilled desires or "hope deferred."

And Roberto is certainly right to assert that the better road has become a radical, "peculiar" one. Perhaps even a completely backwards one. Marriage is not, after all, meant to be the crash landing after a youth spent dating and partying. Rather it should be the mark of the commencement of a lifetime spent unconditionally loving, serving, and sacrificing for one's beloved.

Tragically, though, the former image has become the preferred one. No wonder it is so begrudgingly entered, or so easily cast aside. Perhaps the solution, then, starts with reminding young people (and old) that commitment and fidelity are precious gifts, not curses.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c635553ef00e54ed03c158833

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Revealing the More Excellent Way:

Comments

labrialumn

As long as Christian colleges, teaching colleges, and DCEs are taught that the youth -will- be engaged in sexual immorality, there will be no significant decrease. The hormones are powerful enough. If your spiritual authority figures communicate that they expect you to be having sex, it will be that much easier.

I'm living proof that it is neither inhuman nor impossible to wait. Self-discipline, will-power, and a total commitment to Jesus Christ are required. Prudence and social support are very helpful.

But tell the kids they are going to, and they will.

Terry Janzer

Thanks to Travis for adding the parenthesized bit in his final statement - "Perhaps the solution, then, starts with reminding young people (and old) that commitment and fidelity are precious gifts, not curses."
We are greatly concerned (and rightly so) about how to support and lead our young people in these matters. But we should remember to that it is not just young people or singles that have hormones. Nor are they the only hormonally endowed group who need to face the constant barrage of sexually explicit, implicit and complicit material thrust at us daily in every possible venue.
Given that sort of morally bankrupt brainwashing and the connivent model of relationships offered by our "hookup" culture, it is hard for people of any age and marital status to navigate a safe course through such a minefield.
It would be all to easy to succumb to the temptation daily presented and to let the lusts of the flesh corrode and destroy our relationships with one another and with God.
For those of us blessed with a loving spouse, the challenge is to fend off all such assaults and to hold fast to the precious gifts of commitment and fidelity we have been entrusted with.
It is indeed hard to exercise control over ones hormones for three, four or even 12 years. Imagine what doing so for 20, 30 or 45 years must be like.
The good news is that the solution to this problem is the same whether the time period is 5 minutes or 50 years. We overcome the world, the flesh and the devil exactly the way Jesus did - by a total surrender to and reliance upon the strength and grace of a God who will never leave us or foresake us. By the Spirit we put to death the misdeeds of the body, taking captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
This is a discipline that must be taught, practiced daily and be firmly grounded in an unshakable faith in the power and goodness of God. Such a faith can only be gained and maintained by a prayerful daily study of God's Word and the support found in regular fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. No matter what our age, it is by these means that we gain victory over temptation and rightly exercise the freedom so dearly bought for us by the blood of Christ.

The comments to this entry are closed.