Wow… what a difficult chapter all about the lies and broken promises of “just sex.” After last week’s easier read, I was glad to see these topics addressed. The example he used of “Jenna” was a sad one, but one that resonates with many of us. I know a couple of “Jenna’s” myself. Not with the exact same past & circumstances, but close. People can make some bad decisions based on feeling lonely and needing to feel loved.
I agree that sex is never “just sex.” In most of these chapters, Mr. Gardner has talked about the wondrous intimacy and oneness that sexual intimacy can bring between a husband and wife. This chapter, however, is different. He tackles serious subjects and discusses the things that cause sex to destroy rather than build up. Among these topics are what he calls:
The Four Horsemen of Sexual Degradation (pgs. 177-182)
- Sexual Abuse
- “Casual” Sex
- Broken Promises
I’m not going into lots of detail here about each one (because you have already read that) but each one of these things causes pain and destruction. Gardner continuously points out to us that the cross is the answer. People who are hurting and making bad choices need to be led to the cross. For many people, sex is tied to horrid memories of the past, and they cannot comprehend how sex can be holy. The cross used to be looked at like that. Thousands of years ago it reminded people of humiliation, pain, suffering, and death. Today the cross has been transformed and renewed. We wear it around our necks proudly as a sign of hope and God’s grace. Just like the cross, sex can be renewed. Gardner quoted Colossians 2:13-14 and then said: “Jesus Christ has conquered the death of the cross and brought us life; and He can bring to life what is dead in your life as well. And that means that He is able to redeem and heal your view and experience of sex.” He then goes on to elaborate on how grace can destroy the four horsemen mentioned above. I bet we all can relate to one of them, or know someone close to us who does.
For some reason I’m sitting here singing an old hymn in my head now. I know this is a simple song, but it so applies here. Marvelous Grace
In the end Gardner does say that some cases do need professional help or accountability helpers. There is no shame in needing a Marriage or Sex Counselor to help you work through your issues. “Through the hope of the cross, Eden has been redeemed.”
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