Posted: Apr 18, 2001 12:00 AM
By the time a child is in school, he will have received countless sexual impressions from observing the customary interactions of his peers and parents. Like a match tossed into a barrel of explosives, these impressions will detonate in our youth's imaginations, sparking a whole dizzying and delirious range of sexual possibilities. Some parents ignore this fact, preferring to keep such urges shrouded in darkness. Rev. Donald D. Robinson, director of the mayor's office on religious affairs in Washington, D.C., speaks directly to the topic of sexual promiscuity. During the course of his sermons and community work, he plainly tells his audience that, "God's will is that they abstain from sexual activity until they are married." In case anyone misses the point, Robinson offers an analogy: He takes a pack of gum and gives everyone a stick. About 25 minutes later, he'll casually return to the topic of the gum. When participants remark that the flavor is fading, Robinson offers to share his stick. Before they can respond, he plucks the gooey wad from his mouth and holds it out like a precious offering. The would-be recipient invariably lurches back in disgust. The point, explains Robinson: "If you are prematurely sexual active, by the time you have become married, you're like a chewed up piece of gum - all of your flavor, freshness and sweetness is gone." That is merely to say, the pleasure of sharing your world with a loved one encompasses the raw embrace of life. From such unions, spring the full range of human emotion, from our understanding of the word passion, to our simplest trifle. Such unions, contends Robinson, should occur in the context of the sacredness and "specialness" of a loving union under God. In lieu of the sort of love that nourishes our earthly existence, many of our children simply choose sex. The more liberal element in our society tends to see nothing wrong with such "willing encounters." After all, sex is bound up with our most deeply ingrained instincts: survive, procreate, survive, procreate. To deny these basic instincts, would be to deny very real parts of our identity (not to mention countless Barry White hits). Just one thing: Too often, young children simply lack the emotional component to understand sex. Children who engage in sex with other children are not engaging in a mutual interaction, but rather treating each other as objects to be petted and prodded. Such inglorious and awkward interactions can cloud future relationships and lead to a lifelong confusion between sex and love. (Such rousing points are lost on a culture that glorifies sex in its popular culture). For all of these reasons, sex is a matter that must be handled delicately. It is important to know the reasons for engaging in sex before going into it. Sex is not something to be treated lightly, because it could have unintended consequences. If it is engaged in merely for the sake of pleasure, then it should be avoided, put off until one is more mature to handle the responsibility that goes with it. Remember, the desire for pleasure is dependent on the reality of love. If the sex is separated from real love, there will only be a brief and hollow pleasure - the fix that rewards the junkie. True love for another human being means respect for them and what makes them happy. That respect may require sacrifice at times. The natural attraction to other people must be kept within a context of the good. Any search for pleasure has to take into account what is really good and what is an immediate good. You must sacrifice (not surrender) the lesser good for the greater good. To eschew our baser instincts is to open ourselves to the truly beautiful possibilities of human interconnectedness - the act of two people guarding over each other, body and soul. Such unions have always been the embryo from which a successful society is sprung.