Understanding and navigating our sexuality is often a challenging and lonely road. Many times, it feels like our sexuality gets the best of us – beating us up and leaving us in a pile of shame, full of fear and frustration.
We may even come to hate ourselves for feeling what we feel, thinking what we think, and doing what we do. We see no escape other than trying harder to “do better.”
The freedom and goodness we seek will not come by trying harder, but rather in learning to train ourselves toward godliness. This will require us to find good teachers and unlearn many of the lessons from bad ones.
Without exception, we have all been taught how to live sexually. This is just the human condition; we cannot not be taught. We learn and keep learning how to live from others, and this includes how we live our lives sexually.
So, who teaches you?
Silence has been the teacher for many. While there is an aspect of privacy taught through silence, often it teaches us that our sexuality is too embarrassing or shameful to talk about openly.
Television, movies, and the Internet are also frequent teachers of our sexuality. And, again, these teachers are not always bad. They can teach us a bit about romance, how our bodies function, and even that we are not alone in our desires.
Still, where are the teachers that teach men how to live out their sexuality with Christ?
Who teaches us that our sexuality is part of God’s good creation – and that, in fact, our sexuality reflects God’s divine nature? Who shows us how to walk with God as sexual beings?
All too often boys are left on their own to figure out their sexuality and then harshly condemned as men when they fail to do so well.
As boys, for better or worse, we did not get to choose our teachers. However, as men we now have the freedom and the responsibility to decide.
It is the mark of a mature man to consider who has taught us sexually and then to evaluate the results of their teaching in us.
If the fruit of our sexuality is shame, frustration, and fear, maybe it’s time for better teachers, teachers who will help us discover the power, freedom, and joy of living our sexual lives for God, and with him.
For example, good teachers help us to understand the nature of our sexual fantasies and show us how our fantasies can remain free in the service of Love.
Who teaches you how to live sexually? What are the results in you of their teaching? Is it time to find better teachers?