Your sex life is whose business?

A story which Lauren Winter shares in Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity (Brazos, 2005) illustrates the right answer well:

Carrie was two years out of college, living in Minneapolis in a funky, rambling Victorian with six other Christian women. Her boyfriend, Thad, lived down the block. Carrie and Thad were not having sex, but they were doing everything but having sex, including spending the night with each other regularly. And of course none of Carrie’s roommates knew for sure that they weren’t having sex–all they knew was that Carrie and Thad spent a lot of nighttime hours together in his apartment. But not one of Carrie’s roomies ever asked her a single question about what was going on behind closed doors. No one ever posed a loving inquiry, or a gentle rebuke, or even an oblique offer of an ear. Probably Carrie and Thad’s friends were simply made uncomfortable by the prospect of raising the tough issues of sex and chastity. They probably did not want to intrude, or seem nosy.

Winter then mentions two things that make this scenario all wrong, the Bible and baptism:

But the Bible tells us to intrude–or rather, the Bible tells us that talking to one another about what is really going on in our lives is in fact not an intrusion at all, because what’s going on in my life is already your concern; by dint of the baptism that made me your sister, my joys are your joys and my crises are your crises. We are called to speak to one another lovingly, to be sure, and with edifying, rather than gossipy or hurtful, goals. But we are called nonetheless to transform seemingly private matters into communal matters. Of course, premarital sexual behaviour is just one of many instances of this larger point.

This comes from a gal who became a Christian as an adult, but already as a teenager had treated casual sex as the norm and discovered how empty and wrong it was.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Wow, thank you for sharing that. Behind every sin there are belief(s) in one or more lies. One lie coming out of our culture (and our nature) is that being “loving” and “gentle” and “peacemakers” means that we won’t ever bring up anything that might possibly be painful for a brother. And we ought to seek to avoid hurt, but never at the expense of greater truths (and greater hurts).


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