January 8, 2015

The Love We Must Unlearn

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Let's do our part to aid and heal the broken. And not just for this month, but for every month of the year. There are many branches to fighting slavery and human trafficking, but none so closer to my heart than that of the sex trafficking. Below is a re-post of just one blog post I recently wrote on the matter.

*Every once in a while I'll log into my account at Tumblr. It's usually a goldmine of quotes and poems. I scrolled through my feed and saw this small piece, I questioned sharing it here, because it is blunt, is it not? A bit uncomfortable for the conservative I imagine, but I admire and respect whoever wrote this. Because they hit the nail on the head.
"Tell me what happens the first time you see a woman naked."

       "The first time you see a woman naked will not be like you imagined. There will be no love, no trust, no intimacy. You won’t even be in the same room as her.
         You won’t get to smile as she undresses you and you undress her. You won’t get to calm her nerves with nerves of your own. You won’t get to kiss her, feeling her lips and the edge of her tongue. You won’t get to brush your fingers over the lace of her bra or count her ribs or feel her heartbeat.
       The first time you see a woman naked you will be sitting in front of a computer screen watching someone play at intimacy and perform at sex. She will contort her body to please everyone in the room but her. You will watch this woman who is not a woman, pixelated and filtered and customized. She will come ready-made, like an order at a restaurant. The man on the screen will be bigger than you, rougher than you. He will teach you how to talk to her. He will teach you where to put your hands and he will teach you what you’re supposed to like. He will teach you to take what is yours.
          You must unlearn this. You must unlearn this twisted sense of love. You must unlearn the definition of pleasure and intimacy you are being taught. Kill this idea of love, this idea of entitlement, this way of scarring one another."

This pixelated "love" doesn't come even close to what real love is. It's twisted and warped--A con man's advertising scheme of "love." There are a great deal of people who will say that sex is just physical. If there were ever a lie from the pit of h-e-double-l this would be one of them.  

This pixelated "love" wires humans to see and use one another as objects--play things that exist for self-gratification alone. God created man and woman as living, breathing poems formed in His likeness and image. He gave us hearts with the capacity to dream, desire, and truly love one another. He gave us minds to know one another--know each others fears, likes, dislikes, plans, passions, what makes us laugh, what makes us cry, what speaks to the deep crevices of our hearts. He gave us hands and feet not to take, manipulate, coerce, or abuse, but to give: "For God so LOVED the world that He GAVE." Pornography degrades every aspect of that, and infects everyone in one way or another.   

And it grieves God deeply.  This pixelated "love" was so twisted, and warped that Christ died for it. 

You cannot know the fullness of that woman on the screen--her thoughts, her heart, her dreams and passions, what she fears, what she prays, her family or friends, how she actually looks without all that makeup caked on, the tears she cries, or the things that make her deep-belly-laugh. You won't ever know those things because those things come from a place of genuine--true--love and intimacy. 

What's saddening is that for those who click on the images and videos they've become blinded to another person's worth, dignity, design, and value--as well as their own worth, dignity, design, value. Because you know what? She doesn't know anything about you (other than what you take). She will never know the fullness of who you are either. She will never fill your hollowness or longing. 

Man was created to hold the glory of God, but there's nothing glorious about the man who steals and clutches what is not his. It makes for a lousy, shallow legacy; those men are never honored in the grander scheme of history. And seriously ask yourself if you want to live your life leaving a wake of scarred women?

It's time to heed the whisper, "You were made for more."

Love is patient. It waits for the appointed time gladly. It practices self-control and never demands it's desires be met on terms based out of selfishness. Love is kind--not cruel, indifferent, or harsh. Love does not envy--it does not take what is not theirs--or boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, nor easily angered... this is the true definition of love, and this is the call: That love keep no record of wrongs. True love seeks and accepts forgiveness. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. True love repents--meaning to turn away from evil--then makes way for transformation out of truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love seeks to fully know and be fully known. 

The twisted love you think you're finding through the computer screen is not love at all. Sex is not merely physical. God designed it to encompass every aspect of our image bearing of Him. Sex was designed to reflect "whole-life entrustment" (to steal a quote from my pastor), but you cannot and will not have that with pixelated images. 

And you cannot see another human being as the valuable treasure they are, a child of God, to be protected and cherished.

For God so loved the world that He GAVE. 
Give. Don't take. If you want to know what love really is you must give of yourself. 
Lust is a sin against God because God cares deeply about women and wants them to be revered, cherished, and respected--not treated as objects of gratification. When men reduce women to sex objects even in our minds, we not only dehumanize women but we offend the God who made them in His image. He loves women and cherishes them much more than we realize.
~Darrin Patrick

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