Somewhere an awkward boy is asked THE question. The question that causes every gawky young man to squirm and feel a little squeamish. It’s a question that will slowly shape his identity:
“You been gettin’ any…”
Here, with budding hormones raging, his sexual identity is slowly shaped. He learns the lesson: those that are “getting” sex are the ones of value. It is from these words that the inept lad will begin his quest to be everything but inept—he’ll be somebody and he will do it by means of sexual conquest.
The next time he gets the awkward question he can puff his chest and say, “yep, I’ve been gettin’ some”. Now he’s part of the “in” crowd. Inept no more, now he’s a man. Or so he thinks…
At some point this awkward boy will be drawn into a relationship with Jesus. Through his new found love for the Lord he will discovery that his sexuality has to change. No more illicit sex. He will get tips for battling pornography and help with not having sex with his girlfriend.
Still the question remains in the background. “You been gettin’ any…” This time, though, with puffed chest he gives a negative answer. “Nope, I haven’t. I’ve been 45 days porn and sex free.” Yet, inwardly he is burning. He can’t wait to get a ring on his girlfriend’s finger so he can finally have an outlet.
He’ll get married. He’ll have children. His marriage will go through ups and downs. He will have times of being a good husband. Times of being a dolt. There will be times when the sex is vibrant and frequent—and others when he’s in a parched desert of sexual lack.
Eventually he and his dear wife will attend a marriage conference. Nervous laughs will fill the room as spouses talk about their differences in gender. Finally, the men and women will break apart and have individual sex talks. They’ll be transported back to junior high and the question will be asked again:
“You been gettin’ any?”
It won’t be that crass, of course. But it’s there. Underneath all the tips and pointers. This session will stand out for this man; who somewhere down deep is still that bumbling-hormone-raging-little boy. It will be in this session that he will learn how to change that sexual desert into a lively oasis.
He will go home and apply the principles. They’ll work for a season. And with puffed chest he’ll once again be able to answer that haunting question with a proud affirmative. That is until the facade wears off and his wife discovers that those romantic dinners are only a means to an end. The flames will flicker, the oasis will wither, and he’s back to being the awkward boy that has to sheepishly confess that “he’s not gettin’ any”.
This little boy is in your church. He might be a pre-pubescent teen or he might be a fifty year old deacon. He is driven by this question. His identity is wrapped up in his sexuality.
Will your preaching and marriage conferences confront this false identity? Or will you foster it? Will you be bold enough to confront his idol? Will you tell him that his identity is to be found in Jesus Christ and not in his sexuality? Or will you give him tips to help him be a more successful idolater?
I pray that as churches navigate the choppy waters of 21st century sexuality we realize that our answer is in the calmed waters of a sovereign Messiah. It is He that gives identity. And until our identity (sexual and all) is firmly placed in Him we’ll struggle with jacked up sexuality.
I urge you don’t counsel this little boy with a list of do’s and don’t. Confront the question that is haunting his soul and show him how the conquering Lamb obliterates and exposes that question as a foolish foundation.