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Extreme Intimacy

Genesis 39:7-9 

 

Twenty-five year old, Trina Miller isn't content riding her bicycle through a park or along the streets of Australia, like many of her generation, she insists on living life to the extreme. She is an extreme athlete, competing in SNOW MOUNTAIN BIKING, and this winter, she pedaled her way down a snowy mountain slope to Biker X gold in the Extreme Winter Games. (http://espn.go.com/extreme/winterx00/av/index.html)

Today, people quickly abandon the ordinary to live life to the extreme. While I'm not willing to ride a bicycle down a snow packed mountain, I too want to get the most out of life. I'm not satisfied with the ordinary paths, I want to live it to the extreme too.

Those who live life to the extreme, think outside the box. They see a bicycle and a snow packed mountain and say, "Hey, wouldn't it be fun to put those two things together?" And before you know it, someone is winning a gold medal for riding their bike down a slippery slope faster than anyone else.

Living life to the extreme means not following the crowd and doing what everyone else is doing. Or in the words of all of our mothers, "If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you?" Trina Miller would probably respond, "Of course not, I'd ride my bike."

There is a difference between being a non-conformist and living life to the extreme. Have you ever noticed how non-conformists all look alike? It can be just another kind of conformity.

Living life to the extreme means you are willing to use your own brain and your own faith to make up your own mind. It is a willingness to take the road less traveled by, not just to be different, but to experience the difference.

In his poem, The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost wrote "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."

(http://www.poets.org/lit/poem/rfrost01.htm)

Do you want to experience the difference? Are you willing to take the challenge and live life to the extreme? Are you ready to take "the road less traveled by " and experience extreme intimacy?

For years, there has been a disturbing silence emitting from churches about God's plan for intimacy. And then we wonder why believers are following the agenda set out by governmental and social agencies. Today we'll discover God's plan for extreme intimacy. There is a difference between sex and intimacy.

Free Sex

The Hedonistic "free sex" movement may have pushed sexuality to the extreme, but it didn't lead to extreme intimacy.

During the mid 80s, Josh McDowell debated the co - founder of Playboy on television for three hours. He agreed with Josh that the nation did not go through a sexual revolution. The free sex movement was a search for intimacy.

One woman called him at a university. She said, "Mr. McDowell, in the last five nights I've gone to bed with five different men. I got out of bed tonight and looked back and said to myself, 'Is that all there is to it?'" and she started crying. She said, "Please sir, tell me there's something more!" (copied)

The Hedonist believes that sex is appropriate if there is an opportunity and the desire. Longing for connection and intimacy, they exchange their soul for pleasure and end up feeling lonely, confused and in pain.

That's why Paul wrote, "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart." (2 Tim. 2:22 KJV)

Safe Sex

With the advent of AIDS and STDs, the culture shifted a bit in the end of the 20th Century. The Modernist added one element to the Hedonists view of sex. They kept, Opportunity + Desire, but added Appropriate Precautions to the formula touting "Safe Sex."

How has the "Safe Sex" movement helped?

Focus on the Family compiled the following conclusions of the effectiveness of 25 years of addressing the search of intimacy with "safe sex" ideology. (From Fresh Illustrations)

Ten percent of all 15 to 19 year-old females become pregnant each year. ("Kids Having Kids," A Robin Hood Foundation Special Report on the Costs of Adolescent Childbearing, June 1996, p 1. )

More than 80 percent of pregnant girls under age 17 who give birth and keep their babies end up on welfare, costing society a staggering $21 billion a year. (Ibid, 20. )

Three million new cases of STDs among teens are reported each year. (Division of STD Prevention. The Challenge of STD Prevention in the United States. Accessed August 5, 1998, available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/dstd/STD_Prevention_in_the_United_States.htm. )

Unfortunately, safe sex isn't all that safe. Even if it could deliver the promised results to protect the sexually active from STDs and pregnancy, how can it protect from the emotional damage it inflicts on the unsuspecting?

Ethical Sex

Similar to the Safe Sex movement, the ethical sex movement keeps opportunity + Desire, + Appropriate Precautions to their formula for sex, but add appropriate emotions. They say sex is all right if the two consenting participants are "in love." This may very well be the most dangerous of the intimacy counterfeits because it mascarades in respectability.

Crystal Michelle, a 10th Grade in Bigelow, Arkansas isn't buying it. She won't settle for anything but extreme intimacy, here's an excerpt from an essay she wrote.

"Hey, My name is Crystal Michelle. I decided to wait for sex among other things a while back. I have pledged to God that I would not even kiss until the pastor says "and NOW you may kiss your bride." 

She understands that being "in love" isn't reason enough to become sexually active. One of her favorite quotes to spread her message of abstinence comes from Ann Landers, it goes: "I met him; I like him. I liked him, I loved him. I loved him; I let him. I let him; I lost him."

Michelle has some answers for boys who pressure her, if a boy says to her: "Real men are sexually active." She will say, "So is my REAL dog." If he says, "If you loved me, You'd let me." She'll say, "If you loved me, you wouldn't ask." He says, "But I want to." She'll say, "But I don't!" If he says, "Everybody's doing it." She'll say, "Not true. I'm somebody, and I'm not doing it!" If he asks her "Have you ever done it?" She'll respond with, "Have you ever made the wonderful discovery of knowing Jesus Christ?"" If he asks, "Don't you love me?" She'll say, "Yeah, But I love God more." If he says, "I won't get you pregnant." She'll say, "That's right, because you aren't going to touch me." If he says, "If you won't let me, I'll find someone who will." She'll say, "It was nice knowing you." And my personal favorite, if he says, "But you owe me!" She'll say, "Okay, I'll get you a key chain or something."

(From Fresh Illustrations)

Michelle is a part of an extreme intimacy movement. These believers are guided by their own minds and their own faith to decide what they will do with their own bodies. They believe that the correct formula for sex is love + commitment (marriage.) And they are in the majority. A recent National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health by the Center of Disease Control say that only 49.3% of all teens have EVER had sex. The majority of today's youth are saying no to free sex, safe sex or ethical sex and yes to extreme intimacy-they are waiting for marriage before they have sex.

Like the young lady who wrote Ann Landers: "I'm a 16 year old girl who didn't think your advice to teenagers who were having sex was "unrealistic." I thought it was right on. I have a steady who is very good looking, very smart and very tempting, but we have established some guidelines so we won't get into trouble. We both believe that if two people really care about each other, they will not risk one another's health, reputation and future for a few minutes of forbidden pleasure."

Or the senior in high school who shared, "When we date, we start giving gifts, like flowers or candy. When a couple becomes engaged, they give special things - a diamond and very personal things. The most personal gift that I can ever give is myself. I have nothing more precious to give. When I marry, I want to give my husband the best that I have - my whole self as completely as I can." (Copied)

Or Joseph who avoided the entrapment of a temptress and ran.

"And about this time, Potiphar's wife began to desire him and invited him to sleep with her. [8] But Joseph refused. "Look," he told her, "my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. [9] No one here has more authority than I do! He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I ever do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God." (Genesis 39:7-9 NLT)

You want extreme intimacy? Moses describes it this way, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Genesis 2:24 KJV)

Moses defined marriage with two words, leaving and cleaving. A man leaves his parents and cleaves unto his wife. They are poetic opposites. As a skin graft cleaves and grows together, so husband and a wife slowly are joined together to become one. Sex has its place in a loving growing relationship between a husband and a wife. That's intimacy-to the extreme!

Impact Preaching: A Case for the
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