More than sex…

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Song of Solomon 3:1 Upon my bed at night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not; I called him, but he gave no answer. 2 “I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves.” I sought him, but found him not.

The writer describes something like a dream in which a woman seeks her lover. What struck me is the description of “him whom my soul loves”. The love described is much more than a physical attraction, but penetrates to the deepest parts of her personhood. In my mind I’m comparing this bible passage with the so-called “hookup culture” of our modern day.

Wikipedia describes, “A hookup culture is one that accepts and encourages casual encounters, including one-night stands and other related activity, which focus on physical pleasure without necessarily including emotional bonding or long-term commitment. It is generally associated with Western late adolescent behavior and, in particular, American college culture.”

Guess who has three college-age children? This guy. And while I certainly acknowledge my own lack of appreciation for the power of physical intimacy when I was a young man, I hope for more for my own children. As I read in a recent newspaper article on a the topic, the author (a dad like me) describes a “loneliness that comes from giving fully of yourself in the hope of finding intimacy—and in return getting only intercourse…”. It seems that appreciating sexuality for the profound gift is is requires swimming against the current of popular culture.

Gracious God, you gave physical intimacy as a profound blessing to humankind. Give us all a deeper appreciation and care as we steward this precious gift. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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