Every Friday we’ll take a break from topical posts and will post some random personal thoughts.
A Cuppa Joe - Random Ramblings from a Fellow Struggler
Don’t Forget God’s Precious Gifts
Fine looking couple, don’t you think? That’s my son Jeremy and his lovely girlfriend at Prom Night last weekend. I’ll bet you just said “cute” or “sweet”, and you’re right, but the word “glowing” keeps coming to my mind. The kid’s in love with a beautiful, smart, classy young lady, and they’ve got each other glowing. They met through the youth group at our church, and truthfully, if my boy’s gonna bumble around like a crazy drunk over a girl, his mother and I couldn’t have asked for a better one. Both my sons have terrific taste, in fact, evidenced in the ladies they’ve chosen. So for Renee and I, this is the season of life where we’ll see what manhood does to the former boys we’ve loved so much.
Considering the work I do, not to mention my own life experience, it’s funny that I’m not more scared. After all, I talk almost daily with Christian men who’ve made all the wrong decisions about sex and love, plunging themselves (and often their families) into any number of agonies. Then there’s my own history, which reads like a tacky Lifetime Movie of the Week. I’m reminded 24/7 about the power of passion and erotic drive, and what nightmares come when they’re mishandled, and now my son’s of age, in love, mature. So where’s my panic? Why aren’t I stressing over whether or not his heart will get broken, and why aren’t I bombing him with daily lectures about keeping it clean, remembering what’s allowed versus forbidden, and how to make right choices when everything in you demands the wrong ones?
Well, he’s heard all that, regularly and for years. Jeremy’s a committed believer, baptized and well grounded, ministering with his worship team and showing more good fruit every year. His heart’s a good one – a very good one, to my thinking, and yes that’s a Dad talking – and the zeal he shows on mission trips, combined with his musical and communication skills, keeps me joyfully guessing as to what doors God’s waiting to open for him. I believe in him; that’s one item for the Don’t Worry column.
But I’ll not kid myself. Plenty of men sitting on my couch were well grounded too, spiritually seasoned, knowledgeable in scripture, zealous for ministry and deeply loving their wives and families, none of which kept them from derailing their lives. Neither of my sons is exempt from the same, which I know and grudgingly accept. Considering all that, why aren’t I sweating?
Because it’s worth it. Because the sexual responses a young man feels may drive him nuts, but they also make him feel alive, vibrant and masculine. Because I wouldn’t want my sons to miss out on the roller coaster ride just because of its downs because, downs notwithstanding, it’s still worth the trip. Because there’s no reason to think that just because I messed up, they’ll mess up, too. And because even if they do, and to some point they will, I’d rather they engage risk than run from it. Besides all of which, God heard their mother and I when we committed them to Him. He watches when we can’t and shouldn’t; His Spirit can convict, guide and correct our sons without any help from us. Yes, we still lecture, draw boundaries, and occasionally yell, but like all Christian parents we know our influence is limited but His isn’t. God created the male-female drive as surely as He created the male and female, blessing it and honoring it as the answer to man’s relational heart-cry. And what He created and blesses, He can be trusted to protect as well.
Sometimes, I guess, too much focus on how man has perverted God’s gifts can cause you to forget how precious the gifts themselves are. Pornography, fornication, adultery and all forms of lust are always hovering, but so is deep bonding, the mystery of “otherness” between the sexes, and the giddy, potent ocean you drown in when you’re in love, an experience that’s still by no means overrated. So I can choose to look at all the misery love and attraction open us up to, remembering the hundreds of men I’ve worked with representing the thousands of messes this whole darned sex thing can create.
Or I can glance again at the handsome kid in a tux with the beautiful blonde on his arm, and recall that it was God Himself who looked on all He’d created, man and woman being the crowning point, and concluded, That’s Good!