“But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” –I Corinthians 7:9

We’ve been doing Friday Night Date Place for a while now, but can I tell you something? It is hard being a man. Fellas, think back with me. It started in high school. Your mind keeps wandering, you can’t concentrate. Your body starts going through all these changes. You have to wear your shirts untucked, hold your books in front of you, and have difficulty walking up to the chalkboard when called upon. It doesn’t get any easier. I’m surprised many of us can even hold down jobs because we think about, you know, so often. [I’ve been informed that my blog is being read by a larger contingent of people than I originally thought. In a nod to trying to be a more responsible blogger, I won’t do any more random digressions into boobies. The last thing folks want from someone is a pastor-ish role is blogs on how boobies obviously prove the existence of God. That blog has been scrapped. Though I did have Scriptural proof-texts which, I felt, backed up my position.] From puberty until sometime after our mid-life crisis, we are captivated, no, seemingly enslaved to thoughts of … you know.

Now, let me fill you in on a dirty little secret: women struggle with desires, too. You know, it was the one thing that growing up in church, that no one seemed to talk about. They made it sound as if as long as boys could keep it in their pants, there would be no sort of struggle. I mention a few times that women get horny too, and you’d think that the walls came crashing down. I know that our often Puritanical mindsets tend to preclude us from discussing such things aloud but there’s really no point in acting like Sex in the City spoke to men nor pretend like it is only men who think about, you know, all the time. Women have hormones to. They just don’t have to untuck their shirts.

It’s quite the tight rope that single folks have to walk. To try and not place themselves in tempting situations while not letting their “burning” lead to bad decision making (read: using sex as a band aid for their hurts or settling for fear of loneliness). This also doesn’t mean that you can just write off your battle with lust and temptation off as a lack of self-control. Learn self-control. If there’s one thing that being married has taught me is that if I didn’t have self-control or discipline before I got married, I’m not going to have it after I get married. There’s no switch that gets flipped when you say “I do.”

There are two central ideas I think we ought to consider. First, there are three words for love presented in the Song of Songs (yes, the bible’s sex book that reads like the first recorded booty call and yes, one of the verses backing up my “boobies as proof of God” blog was coming from this book):

a. raya – translated literally as ‘friend’ or a ‘companion’, you know, that person that you hang with. (4:7).
b. ahava – is the love of the will. This is beyond the romantic notions of love, the ones that accompany the flush of dating, the “falling in love” that we get swept up in. No, ahava is the decision aspect of love, the love that binds even when you don’t particularly ‘like’ the person. This is the love that’s kind of handy in a marriage since it’s the kind of love that leads to commitment. (8:7)
c. dod – would be translated to ‘carouse’, ‘rock’, or ‘fondle’ (did i mention the booty call aspect of the book? (1:2)). This is the physical, sexual aspect of a relationship.

What I would propose is that all three, friendship, attraction, and commitment are necessary to truly satisfy, to truly express how we were created to be. We often separate them, thinking that great sex alone can carry or express our feelings in a relationship. Of course, the other thing is that one could have all three of these elements of love in a relationship and not be married so what’s the big deal about being married?

That’s a great question. Let’s talk about it next week (it’s either that or a REALLY long blog this week).

*For the record, the alternate title of this blog was “Horny as Hell”

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