In a popular sitcom "How I Met Your Mother," a group of friends moves from one sexual partner to the next in an open pursuit of a good time. It is made abundantly clear that two of the characters have zero desire in marriage. These two characters are then portrayed as having the time of their lives moving from one meaningless sexual encounter to the next. What is truly crafty is one is a man, one is a woman; both are young and attractive. What is deceptive is that both are also unaffected by the pile of past sexual encounters. Obviously this show is misleading as real life never plays out this way. Each time "the two become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24
) outside of marriage, the two need to unbecome one flesh as they move on. Just as the separation of two Siamese twins who share one flesh cannot be separated without leaving scars, no two people joined in sexual intimacy can be separated without leaving scars. How then do we help our students avoid the repercussions of the lifestyle this culture is inundating them with through music, television, movies, video games, literature and education? We can help them by pointing them to God's Word. Let's look at two basic principles: one for guys, one for girls.
Peter wrote to a crowd that was being bombarded with the same things we are today: entertainment, partying and sex. The Roman culture was worse than American culture in this respect. They had already taken the plunge in areas our society has begun tinkering in during the last decade. As a result, morals were a thing of ultimate relativity; as long as everyone paid their taxes, Rome was happy. The effects of this were not being seen only in the non-believing world of the Roman Empire, but also within the believing world of God's kingdom. In response, Peter, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, wrote to the men and women about how to carry themselves amid a sexually charged climate. Speaking to husbands, Peter wrote, "Live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life" (1 Peter 3:7
); and to the women, "Wives…do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit…" (1 Peter 3:3-4
).Gentleness and Respect Over Biceps and Abs
We all forever were changed by the airbrushed abs of the men in the movie 300
. Every man on the screen had not just a six-pack, but a 16-pack! I have to admit, having watched the movie, I was envious of what I saw and wanted to replace my own washbasin belly with a washboard stomach. As a matter of fact, I have set out to make myself more attractive to my wife by hitting the gym three days a week. I successfully lost more than 30 pounds and am in the best shape of my life. Yet, for some reason, my wife does not come home and oogle over my freshly sculpted bod. She continues to want the same thing from me she did before: gentleness and respect. I could have a washboard stomach, but if I don't treat my wife with gentleness and respect, she is as attracted to me as she is to the Stay-Puff Marshmallow man. When I am gentle and treat her with respect though, watch out!