There’s a movie I watched -admittedly much to my embarrassment- about a man who experienced the late onset of puberty due to a medical condition. One of the most disturbing things about the film was that it highlighted the self-obsessive, self-gratifying, self-debasing nature of uncontrolled sexuality of the teenage male. Maybe the movie was intended to be satire, nevertheless, it was a pitiful depiction of reality.
Sexuality may be the most potent force in the life of a male.
Jerry Seinfeld, in one particular memorable episode of Seinfeld made a comment something to this effect: “A man will watch a movie no matter how pointless, if there is a slight chance of frontal nudity.” We laugh at this line because it’s funny, but deep inside we know it’s true.
Your sex drive is called a drive because, well…it drives many aspects of our lives – maybe even every aspect. For some it resembles a 2.2 Litre Chevy fourbanger, and others a Tuatara 6.9 Litre V8 Twin Turbo -they both drive… As a matter of fact, you may have driven your life, integrity, reputation and precious family relationships right over a cliff into a spectacular fiery carnage of infidelity, pornography and broken commitments. (Or maybe you’re in the process of doing that…)
Sexuality, in spite of being an amazing, wonderful gift from God, is a giant that can cause wreckage and havoc in our lives and those around us.
In high school, I experienced a growing sexual awareness. I wanted to have a girlfriend, but felt quite a bit of frustration because things just never worked out. (In retrospect, that was a great blessing.) I was well liked and popular, but nevertheless with my shyness and the self-consciousness of my –what I thought at the time– big ears… (which I now think are perfect), I just never really had the confidence to commit to the single-minded pursuit of a relationship.
In today’s setting teen relationships and sexual exploration are encouraged, supported and accepted. More young men desire to wake the “sleeping giant”. Why such a rush? Do high school aged young men need to have girlfriends? Do they need to be in relationships?
In a Discussion Club of high school males, we tackled that very question. Surprisingly, in their minds, having a girlfriend equated to having experience with females. They rationalized that if they didn’t have those intimate relationships, how would they ever know how to understand and relate to women and grow from the hurt and loss that may occur?
It seemed that having girlfriends (to them) were noble, necessary life lessons. Personally, I suspect it had to do more with the unrestrained, sexuality of the hormonal teen aged impulses, cranked up in a fallen, lustful world.
It’s interesting though, on one hand, those young men all agreed how easily girls could be a distraction, (some boys have torched whole semesters…) yet somehow, they felt they should be able to handle relationships…
Well… intimate relationships lead to intimacy. It all leads to sex, eventually. (What’s the point of just holding hands or kissing?) I supposed it doesn’t matter -if you believe that premarital sex is fine… But, if you don’t believe it is, why not avoid the temptations? Why poke the bear of your sexual drive?
A close Christian friend told me that he lost his virginity in high school. One of the most painful things he had to do was tell his fiancé (now wife) that she wasn’t his first time. (Can you imagine that conversation?)
Young men sometimes view women as objects of sexual conquest, and the mindset is to “take” so that “I feel good…” It’s all about personal gratification.
I want my three daughters to know that a man is supposed to add value to a woman’s life. (It’s the kind of value that comes with maturity and spiritual depth.) It’s not about taking, but giving. Married men take a large chunk of their early marriage life learning about sacrifice and unselfishness (with their wives being in the safety of a committed matrimonial relationship). Those lessons are intensified ten fold with the introduction of children. We (present company included) learn that sex is more than sex, but part of intimacy and relationship and commitment.
What kind of value can a grade 9, 10, 11 or 12 add to young woman? Listen, if I were running things, I’d ban guys from dating… at least until their 2nd year university. (Can you imagine how many young men would then pursue post-secondary agendas?)
Young men, your sexuality, your sex drive will be there your whole life, wouldn’t it be better to wait on God’s timing before you wake that giant? As a matter of fact, you must put him (that giant) under the influence and guidance of a really big God. We’re lying to ourselves (big time) if we actually believe that we can handle things in our own strength. (Ask King David about that…)
What’s my counsel? Don’t pursue intimate relationships, avoid pornography like the plague, and (for the love of Pete), figure out who you are before you even think of joining yourself to someone else.
One more thing…
My strong recommendation is a pre-teen program which fathers and close male mentors can participate in together, called “Passport to Puberty.” (By Family Life Today -check out the link… Passport to Puberty) This powerful resource can help your preteen boy (if I can continue with the metaphor) to scope out the giant before he awakes.
Thanks for reading, and as always, feel free to comment. (It would be nice to know if anyone is out there.) We share the same struggles and walk a common road. I encourage you to share your thoughts and experience with someone else. Start a conversation, you would be surprised how valuable that may be to another person.