There are reasons why we are dealing with so much inappropriate sexual behavior in our culture. Why do we, as a people, prey upon one another more than we pray for one another?
Our culture, if left unchecked, will ultimately seek to move each of us towards depersonalizing one another. We are continually influenced by our culture to make objects of each other. This process is ever so subtle, ever so patient, and ever so effective. If given decades, our culture will intoxicate and condition us into using others, possessing others, and dismissing others. If that momentum isn’t checked and stymied by real love, then we as a culture will experience shame and pain that is so very avoidable.
We are being influenced to make objects of one another daily. The intentionality of that process started quite strategically with Roe v. Wade. When we defined a baby in the womb as a “non-life”, we amped up the process of objectification socially and even judicially. Life necessitates growth. A baby is growing; therefore, it is a life. Eventually, we witness the selling of body parts over a club sandwich and we wonder what happened. Objectification.
Culture continues that process of objectification through pornography. Images of both women and men alike become more accessible to every generation while bringing culture to a decision. Men who will not respect sexual boundaries do so, in part, because the images they are accustomed to seeing feel nothing and ask nothing of them and in no way challenge a man. Eventually, women in real life are discounted and seen in a like manner. At that point, a woman’s feelings, dreams, and aspirations mean little to nothing. A misguided, “powerful”, and influential man begins to see women as objects that exists for his use. Position over personhood. Objectification. Idolatry.
The subtlest of depersonalizing strategies lies within the realm of technology. The lost art of conversation and of looking another human being in the eye to make a personal connection may have already been made extinct by those who “emoji” their way to intimacy.
If a baby isn’t a life, if sexual images are no longer someone’s granddaughter, and if our communication is limited to a digitized embrace, then sexually inappropriate behavior should be the result. Should we be surprised?
The only rescue we have from this pattern is a specific type of love. There is an unconditional, highly personalized Love, found only in Christ. The love we mistake for God’s love is really just an eros “love”; a greek word for a base “love” that is possessive, selfish, and highly conditional. Why do we see so much inappropriate sexual behavior? Look around you: there is a well-executed strategy in place to make objects of one another, to use one another, and to think we are actually connecting with one another. Maybe the One who sees women as God sees them (because He is God) can help us. Christ in us the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).
-Dr. Gary Hewins
Stay tuned for Part 3 in Dr. Gary Hewins new series “Understanding the Inappropriate Sexual Devolution.”
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