"I was awakened by a large boat passing by that almost tipped over the inflatable I was on," said the man. "In a state of momentary drowsiness I tried to sort out the pieces in my head. Myrtle Beach...on vacation...relaxing on a pool inflatable in the ocean. As my head cleared from the slumber, I suddenly realized I had fallen asleep and that the float I was on had drifted out to sea."
He had my attention as he continued!
"Startled, I looked around to see if I could see land, but to my amazement there was no land in sight. Only the sea and more of the sea! The sun was directly over my head, I was completely alone, and I was clueless about which direction I needed to take in order to find land. Everything I knew about reality seemed to be lost in the body of water I found myself surrounded by."
Fortunately, for this young man, a Coast Guard boat happened along and carried him to shore, but not until he had been severely burned.
Life and Love in a Sea of Sex and Sensuality
Life and Love in a Sea of Sex and Sensuality
Now, I wouldn't bring you all the way over here just so you could read a story about a man pulled out to sea would I?
That is a great observation!
This article is less about what happened to this young man and more about what is happening to us.
I want to focus in on the statement, "Everything I knew about reality seemed to be lost in the body of water I found myself surrounded by."
Just a casual look at Western culture and one can't help but notice that this is happening to us morally. One of my great concerns as a father is that we are losing, or completely missing, several realities about life and love as we are being swept away by the sea of sex and sensuality that surrounds us.
Before you toss this article aside and label me as a prude who thinks sex is dirty, guess again. I believe we are DESIGNED FOR DESIRE, but I also believe that we DESIRE FOR DESIGN. I believe sex is a wonderful treasure given to us for intimacy, and I believe certain realities exist that either protect or destroy the blueprint of that treasure.
All this leads me to the first reality I feel we are losing in the sea of sex and sensuality that surrounds us.
Reality Check: We are Losing Our Intent to Protect the Blueprint
For several years I worked inside a large factory that operated its fast-paced production facility with specialized machinery. A person couldn't be there very long without noticing the value placed upon the blueprints of each machine. These blueprints were esteemed with so much value, only specialized personnel had access to them. Protecting the blueprint was so important they kept them in concealed compartments under lock-and-key.
Interesting, isn't it, how we treat things we value?
As a result of the sea of sex and sensuality that surrounds us, one of the first realities I feel we are losing is our intent to protect the blueprint.
Sex used to be highly valued as an act of marriage. It was something people who had committed themselves in marriage to each other enjoyed and embraced for bonding and intimacy. Fast-forward to today and you can easily see this is no longer the case. We've relaxed the requirement from "committed" to "like", and sex has been so far removed from the act of marriage until it has just become the act of sex.
Not much sacred!
Not much special!
Something two people do for fun, entertainment, excitement and thrills when they like each other.
Culture has been selling us the sizzle and stealing from us the soul of relationships for so long that we've become a generation of DESIRE JUNKIES and DESIGN FLUNKIES. We know so much about DESIRE and so little about DESIGN. The blueprint is no longer valued!
Not protecting the blueprint has us seeking out the promises of passion but having no passion for promise. Millions are so caught up in the dance of desire that they are living for the moment and missing the lifetime, making human sexuality about how much LEG-I-SEE instead of LEG-A-CY.
In a world where night of a lifetime ideas abound, my hope is to challenge each of us to never forget to elevate the lifetime. After all, what we ELEVATE becomes what we CELEBRATE! The way of the heart is now, and always will be, to be wanted for a lifetime of nights and not just a night of a lifetime.
Losing the placement of value that used to be given to sex just makes it all seem so trite and trivial these days. I long for the day we start to realize once again that sex is really less about release and more about embrace. Perhaps, then, we will again start to see the importance of the blueprint.
Reality Check: What we MAGNIFY we have to MANAGE
As I write this, Sex and the City 2 has just opened in the Box Office. Ironically, just today I heard Kim Cattrall (who plays Samantha) being interviewed about the movie. I almost fell out of my seat listening to her explain the value the movie Sex and the City has brought to families and the world.
She was sharing about a man that approached her in a grocery store expressing how Sex and the City has opened up the communication lines for him and his daughter to openly talk about sex. The implication was that, prior to Sex and the City, speaking openly about sex was considered taboo.
My response to the absurdity of her statements is as follows. You may or may not agree, but hey, you've been wrong before (smile).
I, too, believe communicating about sex is important for parents and their children, but I have to wonder if Sex and the City has ENABLED us to talk openly about sex or if it has FORCED US TO? You see, WHAT WE MAGNIFY WE HAVE TO MANAGE!
Now, what do I mean by what we magnify we have to manage?
Have you ever test-driven a car because it was a unique, one-of-a-kind pearl that nobody else was driving? What happened shortly after you bought it? You started seeing them everywhere, right? Has someone you know ever sung a verse to a catchy tune, or a not-so-catchy tune, and you found yourself on the brink of insanity because you couldn't get the crazy song out of your head all day long? These are a couple examples of how things can get magnified.
Here's another example!
Consider the warmth of the sun. Naturally designed to radiate heat to warm our lives, but when magnified, that which is naturally designed to warm us can be the very thing that burns us instead. We've all seen it and most of us have done it a time or two in our life. A magnifying glass positioned in direct sunlight over leaves or paper takes only seconds to ignite into a flaming mass of fury.
When we magnify something it shouldn't surprise us when we have to manage it. Why do we think sex crimes, STD's and teen pregnancies have all increased in the sea of sex and sensuality we're swimming in?
It is this young father's belief that movies like Sex and the City are just part of an existing trend that magnifies sex and sensuality for profit. As a result, parents have to become the pop-up blockers children need against a culture lost in sexual mania.
That's right parents! Go ahead and add POP-UP BLOCKER to your job description!
No, movies/shows like Sex and the City aren't doing parents and society any favors, here. Smart parents know it is wise to openly talk about sex with their children. If they do not, the voice of culture around them is going to suck their children into the same cesspool of sexual irresponsibility it displays and embraces. You know, like the kind of sexual irresponsibility you see on programs like……well…..oh yeah, Sex and the City.
Reality Check: Losing our BLUSH in a World where TOYS-ARE-US
"Nothing makes me blush, anymore," has become a very common catch phrase. Most of you reading this have either said it yourself or heard someone else say it.
So, why is it? Why don't we blush anymore?
Diogenes, an Ancient Greek Philosopher once said, "Blushing is the color of virtue."
I think Diogenes was onto something!
People of virtue BLUSH!
In this sea of sex and sensuality that surrounds us, has the voice of culture so desensitized the masses with its sensual packaging that purity and virtue have become lost in the process?
I have to believe there are other dads like me who are totally put off being sedated by all the seductive imagery flaunted by culture. Culture has turned girls/women into eye-candy and toys-for-boys, and it seems way too many are okay with sporting this TOYS-ARE-US identity.
I have to believe there are fathers like me who find it really sad that the age of innocence has become younger and younger. Fathers whose hearts break that ten-year old kids already have to decide if they are going to show and use their bodies in order to be valued. Visit your local mall and you'll see it. The age for dressing to sexually attract has gotten younger and younger. Trying to seal the deal through sex appeal has become the norm for kids barely out of elementary school.
Why are we allowing the sexually irresponsible to have so much power and influence over our lives? Yes, I did indeed say SEXUALLY IRRESPONSIBLE! Our sexuality is not something we are given when we prove we are capable of handling it responsibly; it is something we must handle responsibly throughout our lives. But so many mismanage it and live sexually irresponsible lives. They don't just live it, they get applauded for it.
Shock-jocks have millions of devoted fans following their pleasure pushing wares, music videos have become muSICK videos, television should be renamed TAILevision with all the fanny shaking and bump and grinding being flaunted. Magazines shouldn't call it FRONT COVER anymore, they should rename it FRONT UNCOVERED, as this is a more adequate description of the person on the coveted cover page of so many magazines.
We are losing touch with reality when it takes more and more wearing less and less to make us blush. The primary purpose of modesty is not to cover up skin but to preserve our appreciation for what is pure and wholesome.
I can't help but wonder if losing our virtue is the reason we are losing our blush.
How Far We’ve Drifted
How Far We’ve Drifted
These are just a few of this father's thoughts about some realities of life we need to be conscious of. Losing touch with these realities in the sea of sex and sensuality that surrounds us shows me how far we've drifted from shore. The further we drift now makes it more difficult for the little feet that are sure to follow behind us to see land. If we continue drifting, we can only hope there is a Moral Coast Guard to bring them back.
by Stanley J. Leffew
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