Last Friday, I wrote about Why I Haven’t Seen Nacho Libre, or Attack of the 50-Foot Boobs. In that piece, I talked about accidentally seeing a generously-endowed chest on the screen adjacent to ours at a drive-in theater (yes, they still have those; quaint, I know).
I want you to know: I have absolutely nothing against breasts (unless they’re on a guy–man-boobs=ugh!). Breasts are great! Unless our mothers had some kind of limiting condition, our first meals came from breasts. They are a wonderful, beautiful, versatile organ.
Therein lies the trouble: they’re hard not to notice. I think part of this hard-wired into our natures as men, and part is societal conditioning. We live in a sex-soaked society. It’s used to sell everything. Want to sell something, want it to sell well, want to be noticed: include some cleavage. I’m serious. And it works.
When we were at that drive-in, and I instructed my son to focus on the feature in front of us, I did so because I firmly believe that, with regards to the naked human form, context is king. You see, he was then eight, and didn’t have the requisite mental, emotional, and spiritual frameworks in place to understand the context in which those giant breasts appeared. (Even now, at the age of twelve, I still don’t think he does). I think this is by design. This may not win me any points, but I believe a healthy sexuality is best modeled in a loving marriage. It’s good for kids–despite their protestations to the contrary–to see mom and dad hug, kiss, hold hands. To know their privacy needs to be respected.
The other side of that directive that night was simply a desire to protect him from some of the pitfalls I’ve encountered in life. You see, I had a very humanistic, permissive upbringing, and the values I now hold are hard-fought ones. It took work to get where I am, and if I can spare him some of the pain, I will. (I know better than to think I can spare him all).
I know in my case that the values of society, via all that I was exposed to, taught me to objectify human sexuality. Nowhere is this more evident than in the pornographic industry. I once saw an E! True Hollywood Story featuring Jenna Jameson, wherein she lamented some rude comments made to her by Wesley Snipes. What I thought was “Well, doh! If you’re going to make yourself a sex object, you will be objectified.” In her mind, apparently, there was a distinction between the “day job,” and who she really is. That may be, but she knows full well that her “day job” played upon the lusts innate in the human heart. And lust, as we all know, is a powerful force. The simple fact is that one can’t “put it all out” there and still expect to be treated like a lady. What the Bible calls “the flesh” just doesn’t work that way. Hence Mr. Snipes’ inquiry.
Biblically speaking, I think 1 Corinthians 7 has it pretty well nailed down: “1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”
2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.
3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.
4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
That is sage advice from no less than the Apostle Paul. True, he goes on to say that what he says above is a “concession,” that he wishes we could all be as he is (celibate), but it was to the church of Corinth that he wrote. And Corinth was a notoriously, shall we say, “loose” society. Not at all unlike our own.
Paul goes on to say “But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” Meaning: if you can’t keep your hands off her, marry her. In today’s world, we would do well to follow Paul’s advice. Because the message is around us all the time, enflaming, and indeed inflaming, our hearts with lust.
In addition to the warped view of sexuality that porn portrays, preying upon our lusts, at its heart is a lust of another kind: greed. People often misquote the Scriptures, and say that “money is the root of all evil,” but that’s not what the Word says. 1 Timothy 6:9-10 says “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” The fact is, pornographers don’t care at all what message they convey as long as that message makes them money. They worship nothing so much as the “almighty dollar.”
All of which may seem far afield from where I started today. Perhaps. Despite the messages the world, the flesh, and the devil whisper in our ears, here’s what God has to say about the appreciation of breasts, and the healthy expression of sexuality in a marriage:
“15 Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.
16 Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.
20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths.” (Proverbs, chapter 5).
In summation, as He made us, I would say that in this, as in all things, Father knows best.