About a month ago I read an amazing book called Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity, and it was a real eye-opener. There are many things to admire about this non-traditional approach to sex, but one thing in particular has really caused me to question a lot of my assumptions about the community’s role in our sex lives. There is even a chapter called Communal Sex: Or, Why Your Neighbor Has Any Business Asking You What You Did Last Night. Here is an exerpt from that chapter:
“…the Bible tells us to intrude – or rather, the Bible tells us that talking to one another about what is really going on in our lives is in fact not an intrusion at all, because what’s going on in my life is already your concern; by dint of the baptism that made me your sister, my joys are your joys and my crises are your crises. We are called to speak to one another lovingly, to be sure, and with edifying, rather than gossipy or hurtful, goals. But we are called nonetheless to transform seemingly private matters into communal matters…[Sociologist Wendell] Berry claims that “the disintegration of community” began when we started treating marital sex as a wholly private matter, when we severed the connections that link marriages to households and neighborhoods and communities” (56-7).
It is curious the many things we take for granted and assume in the ways we think. For most of history, even up until the 20th century, marital sex wasn’t just between a husband and wife. How could it be when the majority of the populations lived (and still do in 3rd world countries) in one-room houses or huts? Your kids knew when you had sex. Your kids heard when you had sex…Scary thought?
In any case, my point is that we are to live in community because we are the body of Christ. What affects one part of the body affects the whole, whether we confess it or not. And our sex life is just one of those areas that we should be able to share about if need be, it just happens to be one of the hardest. But in the end we are free. We are free to be open and free to share because our worth isn’t based on what we can hide from people about our sin and our humanity, but is based on a love by a God who already knows it and loves us anyway. Yet sometimes I think we value people’s opinion but not God’s. It’s okay if God knows, but not so and so. Hmmm, interesting. But, as always, I am open for correction, rebuke, wagging fingers, etc.
“The best thing that could ever happen to any one of us is that all our sins would be broadcast on the 5 o’ clock news.” – Derek Webb