My poor newlywed husband. We just waded through a conversation brought on by this blog series. It was a sharing of secrets … a “You tell me yours, I’ll tell you mine” type of thing. The conversation got very deep. I was overwhelmed by the reality that I am so fully loved by this man that I am able to share things with him I never thought I would share with anyone. Which sort of makes them something other than secrets, doesn’t it? But then, what does it make them?
It seems to me that the things we keep hidden from others are often those things associated with our sexuality – with our sexual nature, actions and desires. I believe, in part, this is due to an underlying misunderstanding of these things. This misunderstanding leads to unfair judgment and manipulation.
Some examples of this unfair judgment and misunderstanding might help clarify my thoughts here. Take porn addiction … it has a much uglier demeanor [in society], then any other addiction. This is even truer when we compare it to other addictions. We have probably all known people who have taken a sort of pride in their food indulgence, binge drinking, shopping habits, drug use or those who boast being a workaholic. Or we could look to victims of rape. Why is it so hard to come forward for victims? It is so hard to do. I know because I didn’t always come forward. There are experts who believe we are only aware of half of all sexual assaults that occur. Or why is it a large majority of women don’t want to admit to masturbation, because of – what I assume – is embarrassment. And having the sex talk with our children can be so uncomfortable for some that it is often avoided all together.
As these thoughts are entering into my brain, I’m brought to Genesis. After eating fruit from the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve’s eyes were said to be opened. And the very first thing that happened was ‘They realized they were naked, and sewed leaves to cover themselves’. This realization of nudity happened so fast after the fruit incident, we find no other action between these two in Genesis. And when verses were added for reference, they didn’t even give this sentence two notations. Instead Genesis 3:7 says to us in one complete breath that … their eyes were opened and both Adam and Eve ran to cover themselves. There were, no doubt, other eye opening judgments that they pointed out to one another later this very same day … judgments that were easy to hand out once they had covered up their sexy parts.
It seems sexual nature, and the subsequent judging of that nature – both our own and others – was at the very forefront of the mind of Adam and Eve. That questioning (or misunderstanding) of their sexual nature came first. The questions probably were along the lines of …
How did they look? Who was looking? What were they looking at? What was the other person was thinking? And how did those fig leaves accentuated what was beneath them?
Since the Fall brought with it shame, one might also say this questioning of their sexual nature was the deepest rooted point of shame in regards to the judging of other’s sin.
So, how does this theme of misunderstanding of sex affect society today? And more importantly, how can we become better at exposing those things that are in desperate need of light? The job of the advertiser is to get us to purchase their product by any means necessary. The easiest way to do this is to sell us what we desire the most. Sex seems one of the obvious answers, but there is something that is more compelling to the advertisers than just our deep desire for sex … it is our shame and insecurity in sex that makes it an easy sell every time. If out of shame and misunderstanding (coupled with fallen desires), we refuse calling out the advertisement as a lie, it becomes an easy win for the corporate world. But by allowing this to continue, we are letting the world succumb to a “new normal”. A new normal that is no normal I want to have anything to do with.
Well, I’ve been writing this post for a week. Actually, I wrote it in an hour or so and I’ve been editing it for a week. What I’m missing is an ending. What I hoped for was a solution. But maybe it’s not the solution God wants me to end with, maybe it is just a continuous, repeated exposure to the problem that He is asking for. So although I’m frustrated by my own post, I’m going to end it here, in hopes of moving forward. But I will offer this thought in closing – the next time someone tries to sell you a grotesque hamburger by means of tugging at your lusty loins …. recognize the lie, expose it to the light, and say no to that sale.