Five lies my culture taught me about Sex

Introduction

As someone said “if a lie is told consistently people eventually end up believing it.” This statement is very true about what my culture taught me about sex. There were certain lies about sex that were repeated and made popular and they really do influence how people view sex. In this article I want to focus on five (5) lies that I was particularly exposed to growing up in my culture. I want to point out these lies and respond to each of them with what the Bible teaches, and how we should apply what have learned from scripture.

Sex is ultimate in life

Growing up, it was always exciting to be part of a group of gathered men sharing really funny stories which were quite captivating. It was fine until they begun to speak of their sexual adventures. The passion and enthusiasm with which they spoke made me assume that sex brings ultimate pleasure and fulfillment. It gave others the impression that nothing in more important than sex in this life. And if you never had sex at that point you longed for a day that you would experience it. The way it was communicated was as if nothing else really matters in life but sex. It was the chief end of man so to say. But is this really true? Is sex really the chief end of man, does it really bring ultimate pleasure. Well I beg to differ, according to the Bible God is the only one who brings ultimate pleasure. Everything else even sex brings only temporary pleasure.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Psalms16:1 ESV

Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Psalms 73:25-26 ESV

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ”

Philippians 3:8 ESV

You are a man if you sleep around

One way to be accepted as a man in my culture is when you have sex with multiple women. Other men sing of your achievements, they even give a title “ondopore” literally meaning “driller”, you have drilled your way into women. This is not viewed as a shameful title instead it is something to be proud of. It does not really matter if you are single or married as a men you need to sleep around to proof your manhood. This is still the order of the day. If you are married you are also expected to have a side chick (a mistress) for sex and the wives have even come to except such practices. This is the picture painted in the minds of young man as they grow up. If you don’t participate in this you are considered a weak men. This is clearly a practice of multiple fornication and adultery but is highly championed among men. The Bible clearly teaches that sex is an act only between a men and a women in a covenant marriage. It is only authentic according to God to have sex in that setup, above and beyond that it’s either fornication or adultery. The Bible calls men to be committed to one women and that’s true biblical manhood.

Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?”

Proverbs 5:18-20 ESV

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”

1 Corinthians 7:1-2 ESV

Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,”

1 Timothy 3:2 ESV

Sex before marriage is necessary

A groups of my cousins once called me and set me down for a serious conversation. They asked me if I have ever had sex before. Replying to them I said no, I never did. They suggested that I should start having sex now because if I don’t start to practice this now I will have a heart attack on my honeymoon. I laughed it off but after sometime I started wondering if it was true. If this lie is told long enough it’s easy for boys and girls to start to believe. This conveys the message that Sex before marriage is not a problem, in fact it will help you to have better sex when you are married. You are considered a disgrace of a men if you don’t have sex before marriage. But this is a complete opposite of what the Bible teaches about sex. Someone once said “the devil wants people to have as much sex as possible before marriage and as little sex as possible in marriage.” I think he was right, and indeed he uses our cultures (at least my culture) to bring that massage across. The Bible is clear that the place of sex is in a covenant of marriage between a husband and wife.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”

Genesis 2:24-25 ESV

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.”

The Song of Solomon 2:7 ESV

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

Hebrews 13:4 ESV

Sex is all about you as man

From what I have come to read between the lines and this is not explicitly said but rather strongly implied. According to my culture sex is ultimately about the men’s satisfaction, the women is there to satisfy the men’s desires. It is selfish on the side of the man, the men is out to get what he wants and she must supply that, she an object of satisfaction. The women is viewed as a sexual object. I have particularly noticed this in conversations when someone (a guy) shares about their new found girlfriend and it is always inevitably clear that what he means is that he has found someone to have sex with. Well this is again another lie, God did not intent for sex to be a selfish act but rather a selfless act between a husband a wife. Each person in the act of sex should be primarily concerned about the satisfaction of their partner (husband/wife). We should never reduce women to sex objects that is the undermine someone made in the image of God (we are all made in the image of God, men and women).

The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”

1 Corinthians 7:3-4 ESV

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Genesis 1:26-27 ESV

Use every opportunity you have to have sex

Growing up I knew that or at least it was conveyed to me that one of the biggest regrets you can have in life is that of not having sex when the opportunity presents itself. I remember friends of mine from high school being disappointed in me that I did have sex with a girl who used to stay in our house. The message they conveyed was that I should regret ever wasting such a chance because I wasted a lifetime opportunity. This was not the only such incident. It was almost unheard of that there is a girl staying in your place without having sex with her. Sometimes even girls knew that and they were waiting for it to happen or would even take initiatives. This is the kind of mindset that can lead to rape, I mean think about it, what if you find a girl and she doesn’t want to have sex (you can’t stay with the regret of not having sex) so you force yourself into her. Some of what my culture taught me about could have easily turned me into sex machine or even at the worse a rapist. These are all lies. The truth is this, sex is only between a husband and a wife who are committed to each other in a covenant of marriage.

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”

1 Corinthians 7:1-2 ESV

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

1 Corinthians 7:8-9 ESV

There is Hope

You see it is not only culture that influences us in this, fundamentally we are sinners, we are wicked and fallen sinners, born in sin, we desire sin. Sexual immorality is not one culture problem it is a humanity problem because we are all wicket sinners (Romans 3:23, Psalm 51:5, Ephesians 1:1-3). This is our state before God, and the end result is that we will face the wrath of God in Hell forever and we will not inherit God’s Kingdom (Ephesians 1:3, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21).

But there is hope, in 1 Corinthians 6:11 it goes on to say that “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” Some of the people in Corinth were like this and received salvation through Jesus Christ. Dear friends go to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith, he will indeed save you. He will deliver you from sexual immorality and give a new heart that hates what your culture has lied to you about sex.

Dear Christian continue to depend on Christ to put sexual immorality to death, “Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Romans 13:13-14. Live a Christ-honouring life by his strength (Colossians 2:6-7, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5). To get rid of the wrong and sinful ideas you have been tough by your culture intentionally look for Bible passages deal with how God intended sex to be and you will not confirmed to the pattern of the world but will be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). Memorize and internalize God’s word to keep you from sinning against him (Psalm 119:9, 11).

Recommend resources:

1. Maintaining Sexual Purity (in a sexually permissive society), by Conrad Mbewe

2. Sexual Detox (A guide for a single guy), by Tim Challies.

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