I first learned about sex in a barn. Goat milking taught me the how and why of fertility hormones. A flock of chickens offers a lesson in fertilized eggs. And when the cat gives birth under Grandma’s bed I learned how to identify my kitten’s gender when I was just five years old.
with the shape of modern life So my experience has become more and more extraordinary. And it shows in our conversations about sex. We don’t lack the knowledge of our own impulses so much as we lack the ecosystem in which to place them. As a result, we have sex wrong. in the circle of evangelists This means that the relationship between the material realm and the non-material realm increases accordingly.
For example, the ongoing debate about Josh Butler’s beautiful union caused by his misguided attempt to While some have argued that his mistake comes from a theology that places an inappropriate emphasis on the male gender. Perhaps his first mistake was to put human sexuality first.
The ecological perspective brings things back in balance. It invites us to be silent long enough to “Hearing the world,” as theologian Katharine Dell said, requires us to turn our attention away from ourselves. Reframe questions about gender to a larger set of questions about God’s work in the world. And it forces us to admit that our conversations often stop because we started in the wrong place. To beat Chesterton How much bigger would the world be if our sex lives were smaller?
An ecological perspective also helps us avoid overly sexually arousing sex. to understand this which is a move that Butler make In a rather unfortunate way, if we ultimately lack understanding of our relationship with creation, We will only be left with a mysterious and metaphysical type.
Because so often we turn to nature in debates about sexual ethics. The tendency to become overly obsessed with sex may not be immediately apparent. But too often this approach is based on the natural world and values its comparative potential.
in other words The ecological approach reminds us that human sexuality is, first and foremost, a question of the material realm. It’s not a way to break out of the mundane or ascend to heaven. It’s no more a mystery than good food. good drink or a beautiful work of art Sex is the realm of physical and bodily pleasure. And it is this fact that makes this a lovely gift from our creator. Due to the nature of soil Sexuality is therefore not something to be said in a hushed tone or blush, nor should it be seen as the bearer of the secrets of the universe.
I don’t mean that sex isn’t powerful, good, or awesome. Nor should couples protect their secrets. I just mean we don’t have to “create sex” because it’s already part of the creation. We don’t need to enchant things that are already enchanted. in the cosmology of God object thing is wonders
Moreover Placing sex within the ecosystem of the material world invites us to understand the science of sex. Provide context for conversations about gender identity, sexuality, thoughts, arousal, pleasure, sex. and the psychological reality behind it. These are, first and foremost, not abstractions or political debates. These are questions about real physical bodies. of people really and the purpose given to them by God
Just as sex invites humans to relate to one another. It also shows the interdependence between human activities, the universe, and God.
Consider how Genesis introduced the first humans. we meet with them after The world already exists more precisely The world did not wait for them to appear to give it meaning. They define themselves as being part of being creative and different. inside And that makes them rightly related. not only between them but also with God and the earth.
in the end Gender is given to humans for the same reasons it is given to other living beings: it prepares us to meet our special needs in this world. As Professor Norman Wirzba, Duke Divinity Professor, puts it. Agricultural Spirit: Cultivating Faith, Community, and the Land“It is in each living being that realizes its own unique potential that glorifies God.”
with the rest of the building We are further driven by the godlike impulses that God gives to life. But we pursue this impulse in different ways. Questions about human sexuality—to whom, how, when, and even whether We engage in sexual activity – less about the shape of our ultimate reality and more about our identities and careers.
for christian Human identity and vocation is rooted in a call to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Our sexuality comes from the same invitation. In this way, its meaning is best understood ecologically. Sex is about fostering relationships and communities that build and sustain life. and defining it can lead us to hold back from having sex
But when we use sex for personal and selfish purposes, We reject the God-given vocation to love Him and others as ourselves. And we reveal man’s unique ability to sin. in the end Humans are those who use sex to dominate and abuse others. It’s human beings who use sex to ease our pain. It’s human beings who use sex to humiliate and control. It is a human being who uses gender to replace the true soul.
Humans use sex as a shortcut to God.
No other creature does this, for no other creature has the ability of us to intentionally rebel against God. No other creature accepts good gifts and converts them into idols. In that context, an ecological perspective reveals that we need Him who can make us whole again.
with all creation We are invited to the work of Christ. which by him created all things and through him restored all things “No matter what on earth or in heaven by making peace by His blood crossing” (Colossians 1:19-20).
If we are healed by Christ creative work We can put sex in the right place. We can see how we fail to care for our sexuality. We can learn to confront and expose violations. We can reject a pornographic culture that mistakenly calls fellow human beings an object. We can receive our bodies as good gifts and learn to treat the bodies of others with dignity, care, safety, and love. relying on its soil
Hannah Anderson is the author of Turning of Days. Humble Roots: How Humility Nourishes Your Souland god created the world.