Today’s blogpost is from a guest-writer, Mr. Owuor Kuyoh who has written for Pen Strokes before. His writing is one I admire and his ministry is one that inspires. We are of the same body, same doctrine and same spirit with Kuyoh. This particular piece I highly recommend to anyone experiencing sexual struggles, especially those in the body of Christ.
UNLIMITED SHADES OF GREY
By Owuor Kuyoh
JJ is a worship leader, darling of the church and a number of girls as well. He got his girlfriend (she sings BGV), pregnant – by mistake (yeah right), and he had to shed tears of apology and confession in front of his church. That was in July. After waking up when September ended, they were banned from said church because it’s like a horrible disaster movie trying to explain what went down (obviously their pants!). You know? The type of movie whose end credits have a more exciting storyline than the 2hrs you spent fiddling with the stop button. Cue Twilight meets Battleship. Now that’s Titanic right there. That ship is going deeown!
Box office aside. For some reason, JJ opened up to me on his issue at hand and he wanted some advice on what to do, or what not to. When I look back, I’ve often learnt from the mistakes of those who took my advice. *evil laugh*
This conversation I had, it kinda made me think about sex…noooo, not like that…just hear me out. I’ve always wanted to know “What percentage of unmarried, self-identifying evangelical young adults (ages 18-29) have had sex?” Well my short stint at Google University revealed estimates around 80%. Whether those stats are accurate news or inaccurate no news to you, it suggests that for the vast majority, chastity is a virtue just as difficult to live out for Christians as it is for anyone else. The reality is few single Christians talk about sex, yet much more are having it or have had it. It’s hard not feeling like we’re just subscribing to a confusing legalistic standard that is unnecessarily keeping us from ultimate happiness in life, right? Or maybe we’re just driven by fear from the class of “you’ll get pregnant herpes!” or “dude, if my mum found out! I’m dead!” The bible says that your body is a temple but some of us treat it like a bar and restaurant. It’s not treated with respect, it’s used for recreation. What you do with or to your body reflects your understanding and value of it. So for example if you have the body of a goddess you’ll probably it treat like the idol it is. It defines you and more often than not is an obsession rather than an instrument…but more of that in the next episode.
We live like we are in charge of who we are and what we do with our bodies. You’re not in charge, you’re just responsible for it and there’s a big difference there.
News Flash: God cares about your genitals!
Has the Christian community failed to find a compelling reason to set an example that the Christians themselves feel all alone in the attempt to live chastely?
“I’ve had sex even before this, and I suffered some consequences but I don’t really think I understand what sex out of wedlock does to me or the other person. I just don’t understand why God wants it that way.”
In as much as unmarried Christians have been given practical steps and reasons to remain pure, I think we lack that compelling vision that God designed sex for marriage. It was either never sold to us or if it was, we never bought into it coz that’s not what we were looking for. Does God really have to satisfy your expectations for you to obey? Probably not, but why does He want us to “preserve the marriage bed and keep it holy?” Well, sex is an act of sacrifice, like worship. It’s what God intended it for. Because it’s supposed to build and fully express intimacy. Not just to each other but more importantly to God. You give yourself to someone else willingly to see and experience the very essence of you, that’s why victims of sexual abuse feel robbed and ashamed. When you give yourself out of the context of marriage you rob yourself and your future wife/husband of something that God created for only them to enjoy- intimacy – and soon enough you can’t even remember who you are any more coz you no longer enjoy this and you want out but don’t know how. God didn’t create sex for the selfish reasons. I guess that why sexual abuse evokes such fury. Coz it’s self-seeking, self-serving and degrading. God wouldn’t create something that goes against His character and sex has God in its DNA. He created sex to be enjoyed, to be an expression of covenant between a man, his wife and God. Period. You are united by sex; the fundamental nature of ‘becoming one’ is sealed by this act.
Dude, you know all this time I’ve felt so distant from God. You know that feeling of being so far removed, so alone, like I was behind the glass of God’s memory museum. I’m on stage watching others have an encounter with God; eyes closed, hands raised, knees to the floor. I tried. Maybe it would work if I did the same. It didn’t. Maybe God is behind closed eyes. He isn’t. Then it hit me, that the hands I was raising were the same ones I used to unhook her bra yesterday.
Call it what you want, catching rubs, making out, hanky panky, doing the naughty etc. It ruins intimacy with God. See God wants our bodies to be kept pure for a reason, that we may enjoy intimacy with Him. The minute you share a kiss with the sweltering hot guy in that bash, the minute your hands go under your girlfriend’s top you are ruining intimacy with God. It’s probably why you feel guilty afterwards. Cause you feel robbed and you made someone else feel the same way. If that feeling escapes you, if you can define a kiss as a joyless prerequisite to getting naked then something is wrong. So you have no business knowing or finding out what turns him/her on unless you are married. Living in a hyper-sexualized generation doesn’t help. Our media has made sexual purity a hard value to conform to and we have grayed up God’s standards with our own in order to find a perfect middle ground. But there’s a problem with that…
And it started so innocently, one day we’re seated on the couch watching a movie and it’s like something else just took over. I can’t remember how I ended up staring at the double line of the pregnancy test in my hand. We just kept pushing the lines, it’s like we wanted to answer the question “How far is too far?” I think we asked the wrong question but got an answer either way…
God doesn’t care for excellence as much as He does for obedience. When He says that there should not be “even a hint of sexual immorality”, He actually means it. Isn’t that too high a standard? No one can even get there, so now what’s the point? For crying out loud, I have a better chance finding Nemo than I do at not hinting at this purity thing! Am I right? So isn’t it better to just have my own standards, like a fusion of God’s and mine? Rather than have black and white I’d be comfortable with a few shades of grey…even better, 50 shades of grey! That way I could try out which shade is in fashion and switch the style up. Perfect! I love it! This works for me, I can shift my boundaries based on my preference. She likes to make out? Perfect my fence is right by that make out. His fingers won’t do the walking? Cool we’ll work with that. See, sex isn’t just penetration. It starts all the way from foreplay and arousal. That’s why God has such a high standard, because he knows that for men, our sexual needs can be met from Megan Goode on an A4 paper or Paula Patton on a 5 second screenshot; and for women a 6 inch battery stick is guilty as charged (pun intended).
We may not understand why God set such a high bar but I think it was to protect us from the issues that people have to deal with marriage, concerning sex. Just imagine being in a space where you have to confess all your sexcapades to your spouse and it’s not like you’ll be high-fiving each other for all those frogs you played lip wrestling with. Our example should be Christ, and it cost something to know and acknowledge Christ but it cost a lot more to live like Him. Are you willing to pay the price of avoiding the sensual scenes in movies, series and music videos? I once went to this fancy restaurant and ordered for a black forest cake, unknown to me the waiter for some unexplainable reason put in the microwave so when it came to me it looked like melted cream and steaming beans instead. It’s like he had taken something that was rightfully mine and robbed me of everything it represented. From the appearance, to the taste to the thought of satisfaction to come. Everything was ruined and I was mad. I couldn’t take that as cake and I didn’t even want cake anymore! I wouldn’t want that feeling to be reflective of when my wife tells me of her past and I don’t think any one of us wants that to be our story.
“I really didn’t know what to do when I saw those double lines and for a moment I wished it wasn’t me in my shoes. All this time I knew we should have stopped playing bed games. Trust me, we wanted to stop, we just didn’t mean to. It was so much fun but now all I have is pain. We’ve gotten to that point where the pain eroded the pleasure.”
God has called us to a life of purity not to live with pain. A call is preceded by a command, that there should not even be a hint of sexual immorality in us. That means living a life with defined boundaries and let it not be one of those -how far is too far? – boundaries. See, obedience is a fixed standard, you can’t half obey, you either do or don’t. So count the cost of obedience to God’s call. It’s a tall order, it’s challenging, but it can be done (Job 31:9-11). Obedience is costly and takes commitment and many of us will have to count the cost and commit to live by God’s standard. Take a purity vow and commit to it. Print it out and carry it with you to remind you of your commitment. Pick a few of your trusted friends and allow them to hold you accountable and allow them to meddle in your life. Pray. Pray. Pray
See, sexual impurity isn’t a demon that you go for ashes and sackcloth, 40 day fasting and deliverance from. It’s not like a tumor that you yank out from the inside. It’s a character issue, a habit that is built over bad decisions made in sequence. Deliverance won’t deliver you from bad decision making. Character needs work. So in as much as you may be free from the power of sexual immorality, you are not free from the habit of it until you make the continuous decision to live in purity.
Jesus is knocking. He wants freedom to enter every room in your house, every part of your life. Don’t keep this door locked.
Oh and I had chocolate fudge cake instead.