By: Franci Williamson Call it what you like; a raging fire or flaming passion – sex is a hot topic. There isn’t an advertising campaign, movie trailer, song or simple pair of jeans that won’t try to turn to sex in their marketing. We know: sex sells. We think of James Dean and Justin Bieber. FHM and Bond Girls. God and the Bible – Whoa! Pause. You see? There it is. Suddenly that raging fire is out faster than a blown light bulb and resembles something more of a soggy tissue. So who do we let steer / guide our path? Conventional Media? Or God? “Close your heart to every love but mine, hold no one in your arms but me. Love is as powerful as death; passion is as strong as death itself. It bursts into flame and burns like a raging fire. Water cannot put it out; no flood can drown it.” (Song of Songs 8: 6-7) Scripture has no qualms speaking about physical intimacy. In fact, it frequently tells us that this is a great and powerful thing, something to be celebrated and enjoyed. But, as with all power and greatness – there is an order, a correct “going about it” so to say. People often get the idea that Christians are for some reason squeamish when it comes to speaking about sex. And perhaps they have good reason to. Thank God truly for the brilliance of St. JP II (previous, previous Pope) and his Theology of the Body in which he painstakingly and in detail (crazy detail) explores this. He opened the gate to true and meaningful discourse and showed that speaking about the subject is not only “acceptable”, but necessary. So sex… wow. Where does this fascination (and borderline obsession) come from? Have we always been this way? The obvious answer is yes and of course simultaneously no. Sex, by its very nature, is one of the most intimate and powerfully-moving possibilities open to the human experience, and has always been something that is very much at the forefront of human thinking. But, until fairly recently, was not always at the forefront of human talking. In fact, sex was very much a taboo, behind-closed-doors, shocked-and-wide-eyed topic that even the most risqué of writers would only allude to. So what changed? Well, the 60s. Yip, flower-power, Forest Gump, Woodstock and hippies revolutionized the world of sex as we know it. Suddenly everything taboo and forbidden was now blasé and ordinary. Sex became dinner time conversation, something to be sung about, written about and yes, certainly experienced. It was high time that sex and human sexuality was brought into the public sphere and addressed in a more open and honest manner but by doing so, the actual meaning and place of sex became diluted. What is the point of sex? If it’s the greatest expression of romantic love, why does it have to be within marriage – can I only love properly once I’m wed? What about contraception? Can it only be between a man and woman? etc etc etc. There are so many important questions to ask and be answered. Our sexuality is a substantial aspect of who we are and so these issues touch very close to the bone. Ultimately though, there can only be one truth; God’s Truth. It is our job to – lovingly – try and discern what that is exactly and practically speaking, what that looks like. Sex is God’s gift to us. Some may even argue one of His greatest gifts. Certainly it is a formidable one, one that, as scripture suggests, can rage up like a burning fire for which even a flood cannot quench. We need to make sure that that fire is raging in the kind of way that we are happy with because as we know fire can fry up a man’s dinner but it can just as easily fry the man. So if it is out of control, dominates and blinds us; well then there is a problem. We need to relook at those hard questions and find relevant answers. These discussions will hopefully open the dialogue and provide some thoughts to how to fuel our fire, how to direct the shape of it and understand exactly what it is for. In the end, we are the authors of our own lives and decide how to live it; we can only pray that the shape of our raging fire is what will lead us to the best possible outcome – our happiness, both now and eternally. So I challenge you to think about what messages it is that you are listening to. Where do you get your perceptions about what sex is meant to be for? Who are you listening to? And most importantly, ask yourself – what are the intentions of the people/ pop stars/ magazine editors etc that you listen to? Do they really have YOUR best interest at heart? Why are they telling you to believe them; because they want you to buy their product or because they want you to have a good life? *Next week Franci will explore part 2 of this topic. Follow us on Facebook for the updates. Please share your thoughts About the Author Franci Williamson Tea, rainstorms and great literature are what make my world go round. When I’m not enjoying one of these I am a high school teacher who is in love with her job and the chance to help form young minds. The really and truly NEVER ending discovery of the joy of living the faith as a daughter of God constantly surprises and sustains me. I hope to always be enthralled by God, make perfect carrot cake, live in Rome and learn to play Dylan on the guitar. Roremae Gacho Thank you Franci:) This is one of my favorite post. I pray, pray and pray for a Mr. Right whom I can share God’s gift: Sex, which is the greatest expression of romantic love within marriage.