Admit it. Some of us guys can’t help but see sex as the end-all be-all of our existence. We may deny it – even rightly recognizing the flaw or sin in such a view – but it is how we frequently act. For married and single guys alike, sexual intimacy is generally placed on a pedestal situated somewhere between clothing and oxygen.
The guy who’s had it is cool, suave, he's a man. The guy who hasn't is either an awkward teenager whose voice cracks and whose face resembles a pepperoni pizza, or some middle-aged nut who paints pants on miniature figurines and blows on a tuba in his spare time. So that's sex.
Well, this is awkward.
Then there's the ever-unpopular alternative–and the one a Christian seems condemned to: chastity
. The very word induces nausea for many. To most of us, the idea of not having sex is like being confronted with a handful of kryptonite: debilitating.
So is that it? Are we all just obsessed with sex? Moreover, what is a Christian man supposed to do about this? If God is the one who has allowed for us to be sexual, and sex was, for lack of a better term "invented" by Him, how then should that practically influence our attitude about it?
I asked a couple of dudes who aren’t having sex, well, why
First, I met with Curt. Have you ever seen the movie The Princess Bride? Remember Andre the Giant
? Ok, so Curt’s better-looking, but that
tall. At 6'5", the 29-year-old towers over me, and I initially assumed I’d lost my right arm when we shook hands. We sat down and I asked him a few questions. Here’s our conversation:
You’re a celibate Christian. Isn’t this kind of like being a curable leper?
[Smiles] "I can see how it is, but it’s difficult for me to view it that way anymore. Even if sex or lack of sex is something that society ostracizes me for, the worst response I usually get when someone finds out I’ve chosen not to is, ‘Oh I’m sorry about that.’"
Do you have the desire for sex?
"Oh yeah. I’m a dude." [Laughs] I’ve had the desire for a very long time now and will continue having it I’m sure."
Have you ever slept with a woman?
"Yes. I actually had a series of one-night stands prior to a failed three-year marriage, and then had one girlfriend after that which lasted awhile."
So what’s keeping you from being a proverbial "repeat offender" in this area?
"For me it’s a two-fold thing: First, I’m a Christian and I love God, and so that translates to me wanting to obey him. Second, I’ve had the experience of meaningful love-making as opposed to meaningless love-making. There’s a big
difference. Sex outside of marriage really tends to de-emphasize getting to know each other well. Those times that I had it were not as meaningful as they should have been, nor could they have been."
What does the current culture tell you about dating and sex?
[Chuckles] "What do they not
tell us is the better question. Sex is continuously portrayed in culture. I mean, how many romance movies can you watch anymore that don’t end in a night spent together? And if I go to a bar with my buddies or rafting or anything, I also see what our society thinks about sex. Temperatures don’t have to be hot for clothes to be scant anymore. It’s fashion. Sex is always in style."
Where do you get your ideas about dating and sex then?
"Growing up in a more conservative church, I remember them saying ‘Don’t fornicate, don’t be an adulterer, don’t be gay!’ But they never told us what we were to be
or how sex fits in to things. So, I guess the pat answer is it’s something to be enjoyed between two individuals in matrimony. But the key words are ‘something to be enjoyed.’ Sex is also a physical representation of the spiritual union which occurs. The spiritual union loses a lot of its meaning when the physical is taken out of the context of marriage. I get these ideas from God."
So you’d like a relationship, but I’m guessing you won’t let it define you? What exactly will it say about you when you’re in one?
"It’s funny because I actually think a relationship does
define you. The nature of your relationship reflects outwardly to other people and if you have Christ at the center of your relationship than that’s what people will see. I’ve had a relationship that didn’t involve Christ. Not having him define it will wreck her or wreck you or wreck you both."
Do you feel like obeying Christ is holding you back any from having some real fun?
"Yes. In all honesty, there is
some very strong temptation at times. Sometimes it really does feel that way. I mean, wouldn’t it be easier to just turn tail and walk away? Yeah, sure. But I do know in my heart that that isn’t the full truth. My mom always used to say, ‘True happiness in life is sacrificing what you want now for what you want later.’ She used it a lot when giving financial advice, but for me it works for sex and marriage as well."
What do you look forward to about marriage?
"Uh, what have we been talking about again? [Laughs] That’s an obvious one. It’s definitely one of the things I really look forward to. But, like I said before, marriage is definitely about spiritual union too. I look forward to that unity and the way in which my we’ll both be together in ministry and together in spreading the gospel. I look forward to that just as much."
Curt is a member of the Federal Way campus. He was interviewed and photographed by volunteers Joe (Ballard) and Charlie (Shoreline), respectively. Kelsey (Ballard) contributed the graphic art. Next week, we'll meet another guy who isn't having sex either: Luke.
This is hardly the first time we've discussed sex from a Christian viewpoint. In fact, it's at least the 48th.