Sex is the Inhabiting of Faith
November 22, 2011 4 Comments
In an interview with Christianity Today about her new book, Making Chastity Sexy, Wheaton professor Christine Gardner contrasts American approaches to teaching abstinence with those in Africa. This quote was particularly helpful:
By daily acting on that commitment [abstinence], young people understand through their bodies what it means to become more like Christ. It’s essentially a call to holiness that the Scriptures give us. It’s just like practicing scales on a piano if you want to become a concert pianist. It’s practicing abstinence that allows young people to inhabit their faith commitments in practical and tangible ways.
Let’s think about that for a moment. How a young man handles his own body (and a young woman’s) speaks volumes about the verity of his faith in Jesus Christ. How a young woman practices holiness in her body (and in how she pictures that body to the young men around her) displays the truth of her discipleship under Jesus Christ.
- Our thinking about sex, dating, and marriage reveals the depth of our trust in God’s Word to speak clearly into these issues.
- Our approach to various opposite-sex relationships shows our grasp of the gospel’s application to conversation, non-verbal communication, and idolatry.
- Our practice of the command to “make no provision for the flesh” testifies to whether or not we have “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14).
- Our honesty about our own relational and/or sexual struggles and failures tells whether we have trusted in Jesus to take our guilt, our shame, and our condemnation.
- Our departure from those failures, in repentance and faith, exhibits our grip on the gospel’s power to bring new life.
By the Holy Spirit, God calls us to trust Christ fully, in every area of our lives. Sex is simply the inhabiting of this faith. When we fail, repentance is in order, that we might inhabit the steps of Jesus once again, trusting Him for the power to deny selfish lusts.