I’m a strong dualist. If you’re not one, I still suspect you’ll agree with what I say here largely because I’m not talking about the soul. I believe that is a fundamental aspect of who we are and a part that survives our deaths, but I also believe the Bible teaches that the body is pretty important as well. We are not complete unless we are in bodies. I believe this is the nakedness Paul has in mind in 2 Cor. 5.
I bring this up and I find it fits with what we’ve been saying lately about sexuality. Oddly enough, it came when pondering the meaning of the incarnation and having a cogent theory of it which I could write on soon. We often forget that we really believe that our Lord took on a body. This should tell us that the body is ontologically good.
For a lot of us, this is hard to accept. I realize, for instance, as a guy, that I will never be a muscle-man. I will never bench press 100 pounds. I am a very skinny guy and with a steel rod on my spine that can only hold so much weight, that is just not going to change. Some of you might relate to some extent to what I am saying. It’s the idea that when you look in a mirror, you don’t get too much of a sense of pride.
Yet I must realize the truth. This body that has been created for me is good. This is something every man needs to realize and every woman. Our women today often deal with anorexia and bulimia in a society that makes them think they have to be thin, thin, thin. I am often amazed at how many women I hear say they are not attractive. Ladies! Most of the time, we guys are going crazy when you say that wondering if you even have a mirror at your house.
Believe it or not, while we do look for attractive ladies, we’re not expecting you to have a magnificent figure or to be as thin as a toothpick. We are expecting you to be you. I remember watching Price is Right years ago and thinking that the really beautiful ladies were not Barker’s beauties on stage, though they were beautiful, but the random contestants called out of the audience.
This is part of the problem when the church takes a hands-off approach to sexuality. I’m not sure how many had this experience growing up, but for me in my house, sexuality was just not really talked about. My Dad told me the facts of life once, but other than that, I can’t say we really talked about it. Perchance this is something that drove me to study this topic so much later on to learn more about what wasn’t openly discussed.
If we treat sexuality as something dirty, is it any shock that we treat our bodies the same way? Our bodies are beautiful things though and the sexual system is a beautiful thing as well. All of this is the design of God. What we look forward to on our honeymoons is what God had designed for us to look forward to. He designed it so we could enjoy it and would enjoy it and he designed our bodies so that they would give us great pleasure in the act.
This is also part of the problem in our culture with pre-marital sex. We have this idea that a man is a man if he can sleep with a woman. Anyone can do that. It just requires basic anatomy. A man though should accept himself as a man and then go to the woman. You are not going to sleep with a lady and then be a man. You are to be the man first and one of the ways to be the man with the lady is to marry her. You don’t get the treasure until you make that commitment.
Let me say this side-note at that point. A recent magazine talks about Reese Witherspoon committing to the guy she is dating by having him move in. I look at that and think “That is not a commitment. That is a test.” What’s commitment? It’s looking into their eyes before God and your family and friends and saying “I do for better or worse till death do us part.”
In the same way as the men, ladies need to learn they are women before they engage in sexual intercourse. You are not going to become a woman by having a guy get you pregnant. That won’t validate your identity any more than a guy sleeping with you will validate his. It is just usually two people trying to find who they are in the wrong place.
A proper view of ourselves biblically in the area of sexuality will be self-acceptance as well. I have to say that even if I’m not the best-looking guy, there is a lady out there that will consider me a catch and will make a commitment to me. The good news for us guys is we only have to please one! If 999 girls don’t like us and 1 marries us, we win! The reverse is true for the ladies.
This means for me being less shy as well be it socially or physically. (Socially is probably one of the hardest for me at this point.) Now suppose someone out there does think there’s something they can change about themselves. Someone might want to lose weight and get in better shape. By all means if you can and want to, do so. Just remember that your body is still good regardless. Don’t do it so your body will be good but because it is good.
For us men, we need to see ourselves as men and realize that that also is a good thing. When I see a truly beautiful lady, I often do want to thank God that I am indeed a guy. God made them to be beautiful to me and who am I to complain about the work of the master? I have to remember though that I also am the work of the master and if I complain about his handiwork on me, I am denigrating not only myself but him as well.
What do I do then? I accept my lot in life and look for the good I can do with it. I may not be Fabio, but who really gives a darn? I’m not out to impress everyone in the world physically just like I shouldn’t be out to do so intellectually. (A huge challenge for someone like myself with an intellectual bent.) I only have to please one lady physically and if I do that, then who cares about the rest of them?
This is something that I believe must be recovered today. We need to recover the idea of masculinity and femininity. I believe our bodies represent the souls that we have that are either masculine or feminine, but we need to learn our masculinity or femininity does not depend on the accidents of our body. They depend more on our character and virtue.
A real man is a real man body and soul and a real lady is a real lady body and soul.