October 2010: Featured Post
On a monthly basis, lifeseek.org will be featuring a thought-provoking essay that is designed to stimulate healthy dialogue and a collective resolve to seek the face of God for answers of some of the most pressing issues of our age. Your participation and feedback is very important to us and we encourage you to leave your comments, facebook or tweet this post after reading.
Depending on how old you are, some of you may recall when Salt-n-Peppa released the song “Let’s talk about sex”. I remember when I first heard the song as a 9 year old girl; I thought the song was quite catchy; I had memorized the hook, which quite frankly wasn’t hard to remember because it just said “Let’s talk about sex”. BUT I did not dare want my parents to catch me listening or singing this song.
It wasn’t until recently that I actually read all the lyrics to this song and realized their message actually may have been one my parents would approve. The lyrics to the song was not promoting young people to go out and have sex, but they were telling us that sex without real love and commitment leaves you empty. This song really could have been a teaching moment in my family. The issue, I am learning, is that neither families nor society as a whole know how to effectively talk about “taboo” subjects, such as sex. Yes, we try to sell products with it, we broadcast it, we desire it, but we don’t talk about it. And I’m not referring to having sex education classes (where you learn about STDs, contraceptives etc.). I’m talking about having a meaningful conversation about the purpose of sex, and what our desire for sex tells us about our identity as humans made in the image of God.
Henri Nouwen states that “desire is often talked about as something we ought to overcome. Still, being is desiring: our bodies, our minds, our hearts, and our souls are full of desires. Some are unruly, turbulent, and very distracting; some make us think deep thoughts and see great visions; some teach us how to love; and some keep us searching for God” (Bread for the Journey). So what does our desire for sex tell us? Does it just reveal the “animalistic” side of humans, or our need to procreate in order to keep the human race in existence, or is it deeper than that? Does it reveal our need to be intimate with others, to be in relationship with others and loved?
Nouwen goes on to say that “Our desire for God is the desire that should guide all other desires. Otherwise our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls become one another’s enemies and our inner lives become chaotic, leading us to despair and self-destruction.”
So I end my musings with this thought, how can our desire for God, who knows us fully and accepts us completely, guide our desires for sex and our desires to be intimate with another human being?
Minister Alisha Tatemwas born in Allentown, PA to Pastor Melvin and Jacqueline Tatem. She attended Messiah College and received her bachelor’s degree in social work. After graduating from college she worked for Early Head Start as a Child Development Partner, and served as a youth minister at Grace Deliverance Baptist Church for three years. She was licensed to preach on May 20, 2007 at her home church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and presently serves on the ministerial staff at Total Grace Christian Center, in Decatur, GA. She will be graduating from Columbia Theological Seminary, May of this year with her Master’s of Divinity, and looks forward to pursuing further education in pastoral counseling. If there is one thing that describes Minister Tatem best it would be that she has a heart for young people and she is passionate about seeing young people give their lives over to God in the midst of competing societal pressures. It is her hope that she would be able to touch many people’s lives on this life journey and one day hear God say, Well done my good and faithful servant.