The sexual union is such an intimate aspect of our lives that it has to be protected if we are to be protected. It must have a tall covenantal fence all the way around it. But because the one-flesh union occurs any time there is a sexual union, whether moral or immoral, we must sanctify and seal the sexual union with the lawful covenantal oath of marriage.
Christians (young people included) often have a view of sexual relations that is out of balance because they’ve allowed themselves to be propagandized by the entertainment industry. But suppose one afternoon a neighbor came to a Christian’s door and said something like this:
“We would like to invite you over this evening …”
“Why, thank you!” he says, innocently enough.
“Wait, wait, that’s not all. We would like to invite you to come into our bedroom and watch us while we have sex. It could be a really exciting time for all of us.”
The Christian recoils in horror. “We couldn’t do that. You see, we’re Christians.”
“Oh, I see,” he says, scratching his head. “That could be a little much for you then. I’ll tell you what! We have a video camera. Why don’t you let us tape it, and I’ll just bring it over in the morning. Then you watch it whenever you want.”
The Christian explains that this wouldn’t be possible either.
“I don’t understand,” the neighbor says with a puzzled look. “Last week you invited us over and we all watched that new DVD release. It had a couple of skin scenes in it. Why are you willing to watch another’s man wife, but not mine? My wife may not be the best looking …”
Here the hapless Christian interrupts and explains that her looks have nothing to do with it. He goes on to explain that they are not ordinary Christians. They belong to that very special breed—hypocrites.
Is hypocrisy too strong a word? I don’t believe so. Many Christians are willing to watch, by means of a movie camera, what they wouldn’t dream of watching in person. You couldn’t get them into a topless bar, and yet they cheerfully go to films where they see far more. Would most Christian men be willing to be peeping Toms, roving the neighborhood? Certainly not. But what if they discovered a woman who knew of their presence and was willing to undress in front of a window? That would be worse. What if she were paid to do all this? Worse, worse, and still worse. But what if she is paid lots of money, has a producer and director, does all of this for the movie cameras and has millions of men drooling at her windowsill? This is suddenly different and becomes quite a “complicated” issue—as it may have been this summer for some who lined up to see the R-rated comedy Wedding Crashers.
Christian teens and adults across America express love for Jesus Christ yet try to excuse this sort of behavior on the basis of contemporary standards. Many Christians don’t want to be different in what they watch. They don’t want to admit that their discipleship applies to this area. And they also don’t want to admit that sexual activity and nudity on the screen is sexually exciting for them. But those who deny that such things affect them are simply deceiving themselves.
We need to recognize sexual voyeurism for what it is and learn to value the marriage covenant long before we enter into one. Can a couple gain short-term excitement from movies, books or magazines that range from suggestive to explicit? Perhaps, but that does not make it right. Lust always demands more excitement—always more, more! Consequently, lust attempts to get from a finite thing what only the infinite can provide. God created sex as a blessing. But sex in the real world is not at all what we have come to expect from the world of sexual fiction.
Adapted from the book Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson, pastor of Community Evangelical Fellowship, Moscow, Idaho. Wilson is also the editor of Credenda Agenda magazine.