Alice said, “We met in a bar, went into the alley, and well, sort of never left.”Their story always serves to remind me that when it comes to love, there are no hard and fast rules or formulas.Even so, it is very rare that a one-night stand evolves into a healthy, long lasting relationship.But it was Sex and the City that instilled in us the notion that there was something a bit wrong with you if you didn’t want to have sex with somebody after a couple of cocktails and a dinner date.
Such a legal arrangement is called a stay of adjudication.
It means a defendant won’t be adjudicated as guilty, as long as he or she complies with the court’s conditions.
Our romantic culture generally consisted of hanging out with mates down the pub, doing some drinking, and then sort of somehow ending up with one of them and not really discussing the matter until six months in.
But with the ascent of online dating – which is reportedly now the way one in five relationships start – we have become a date-centric society, particularly in London where it seems that anyone who’s single is on Tinder.
The goal should be safeguarding the gift, protecting it as much as possible until we can use the gift the way God designed it to be used. That’s because avoiding temptation is a lot easier than running from it.
If you’re running from it, you’ve already seen it, and its power to stop you dead in your tracks is immense. If you don’t buy or bake any, you’re not going to blow your diet. If you don’t put yourself in situations that can easily lead to sins against chastity, you’re going to have an awful hard time sinning against chastity. The book just came out a few weeks ago, so thus far no one has rolled their eyes to my face.We ask ourselves, “How much can we do before I have to go to confession.” But if that’s the question we’re asking, the battle is already half lost. Partly because the farther we go, the harder it is to stop, both physically and emotionally. And the more we give our hearts, the more we want to give everything else. The ability to give ourselves, body and soul, to another is a tremendous gift. It’s one of the most beautiful and powerful ways in which we image God, who is self-gift.Most of us understand the physical part of the problem. A romantic kiss between a man and a woman – as opposed to a peck on the cheek – isn’t just a kiss. And when we understand just how very precious that gift is, the goal shouldn’t be to use it and abuse it as much as we possibly can without getting into trouble. As I explain in the book, avoidance has always been strongly recommended by those men and women who have “St.” before their name.I met Alice, Gary and their three kids at a Caribbean resort.When I asked how the couple met, they turned to each other with sparkles in their eyes.If you are acting like Alice and Gary – jumping into the sac and hoping that a true relationship will come of it, you’re probably finding that the “sac” has plenty of holes.◊♦◊As a culture, we have forgotten the power of physical intimacy and the vulnerability it evokes.