Joel, who is expecting his 3rd little baby any second now, jumped over to Song of Virginity from his own blog In the desert with Jesus to write this guest post.
With great thanks, this is his post, titled “The Pursuit”
A mist comes through the blue air. The picture comes into focus. There’s a deep, unending ocean running out to the horizon. A sapphire blue sky with a piercing white sun illuminates this watery world. A gorgeous beach is off to the other horizon. The wind blows like whispers upon the skin, dappled with drops of water vapor from the sea. And there, standing in front of you, eyes gazing out into the deep, she stands. Her gorgeous hair tossed ever so slightly by the wind, her eyes gaze into yours and you know there is no doubt she is madly in love with you. There she is. Lips of red, skin darkened in the sun’s gaze. And then it fades out. You wake up. Your eyes opening to the ceiling of your bedroom at 3am. You just stepped out of Eden and back into this world.
Men; What is it about women that create such a cry in our hearts? I just made up the above story, but it’s a scene most of you men know from heart. You know what I mean…the tug of the heartstrings when you are jogging and she runs by, or maybe when you are waiting to order your coffee and she walks by and there’s that irresistible urge to do a quick double take… What is it? Why are we so, to use a strong word here, obsessed with her? Or better, why do we worship her?
Why is it too easy for men to turn her into an idol rather than a partner, a sister, and then sometimes a wife? Why do we pursue beauty so hard, inevitably mixing some of the worst sins in, with our desire to hold beauty? In the process invoking violence, emotional and/or physical abuse, lust, and adultery. What’s going on under the surface?
Genesis 1:27 says we are made in the image of God as male and female. Our masculinity is the way male human beings bear the image of the Living God. Let’s clear the air on a few things first. The innate strength, passion, desire you have within you is good and are ways you bear the image of God. The, at times, overwhelming desire to have and hold beauty is a good and holy desire. A desire given to you by God.
The choices we make with that desire can either be for good or for evil, but it’s each man’s own choice.
We pursue beauty because we really want to pursue God.
You were created for intimacy with God.
Eve’s daughters are created in the image of God too. They image him in many ways, including their wild beauty, allure, tenderness and care. Mike Mason wrote once;
“My wife’s body is brighter and more fascinating than a flower, shier than any animal, and more breathtaking than a thousand sunsets. To me her body is the most awesome thing in creation…if even the image is this dazzling, what must the Original be like.”(The Mystery of Marriage)
The ultimate soul ache you are seeking satisfaction for in women, can’t be fulfilled, because only through pursuing God’s beauty, through Jesus, will you ever be filled. We cannot put the expectations upon any woman to fill this ache within us. It is an eternal ache and can only be filled by the Son. The Bible frequently uses imagery of lovers to describe our relationship with Jesus. Marriage, sex, a kiss, an embrace, these are all fleshly methods of intimacy that image spiritual intimacy with God. The ache of physical oneness with a woman can only truly be soothed in the spiritual oneness with God. This is why the end of mankind and the beginning of eternity starts off with the wedding of the Son and his people. It is the deepest kind of intimacy possible, that of a husband and wife.
The difficulty and reality of dealing with our male sexuality cannot be addressed in five easy steps. We must take our worshipful stance of women, of beauty, and pursue Jesus instead. We must then see women for what they are: equals. Sisters to be treated with respect. Friends, and no, not friends with benefits, but as coequals to walk the path of redemption along side us. And yes, for one lady whom God has set aside for one man, to call beloved. Not as a source to fill our every ache, but as a wife to walk alongside us in life, to love and cherish as Christ does for us, his bride.
The passionate affair with God should be the bedrock of our virginity. We were not created to adulterate ourselves by manipulating women into sex, or to lust in our eyes be it at the pool or on the internet. We were created to bask in God’s loveliness. And only in his goodness he gave us Eve. But our primary design is to pursue Jesus. I’m not asking anyone to give up ecstasy or pleasure, just illicit pleasure. The ecstasy and pleasure you can have in the arms of God, the Lover of you, is more than you could ever hope for with any woman, even with your own wife.
If you don’t believe me, try it…
The questions that we are asked as men are:
Who are we idolizing? Ourselves or Jesus?
Who is your heart dreaming about and worshiping in Eden? God or Eve?