I haven’t written much on sexuality in this blog mainly because I know there are so many great voices in the Church already weighing in on it, and don’t feel I have much of anything original to add (and maybe because my mom reads this too). But seriously, if you haven’t yet, check out places XXXChurch and Dirty Girls Ministries for some awesome stories and resources that help us wrestle through this endless struggle of living a life of sexual purity in a culture that doesn’t value it.
As a missionary to a college campus serving in a college church, I’m now witnessing what it looks like when your church is literally filled with people who can’t recall a time when pornography wasn’t instantly accessible to them via the internet. Addiction runs deep and wide when its seeds are planted so early, so often. The following is a sort of opening act for this post; my friend Anne Jackson tells some of her story of struggle with past addiction. What you see and hear in it is quickly becoming the standard of what I see in men and women on our campus:
But since most all the Church voices I’ve heard weigh in on sexuality are of the contemporary variety, I thought I’d share with you a bit of a blast from the past that a friend recently shared with me. It turns out Clive Staples had a thing or two to say on the subject of sexual fantasy and masturbation, so thought I’d share some of his always-insightful words on the topic for those of you who haven’t yet heard them. Here goes:
“For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete his own personality in that of another and turns it back; sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is: always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no real woman can rival. Among those shadowy brides he is: always adored, always the perfect love, no demand is made of his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity. In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself.”
citation: Letter (March 6, 1956) from C.S. Lewis to a Mr. Masson, Wade Collection, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL; cited in Leanne Payne, The Broken Image.