A Counselor Reflects on Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
“The old Christian teachers said that if man had never fallen, sexual pleasure, instead of being less than it is now, would actually have been greater (p. 98).” Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
If you had to fill in the blank on, “If [blank], then it would have been the best sex ever,” how would you fill in the blank? It’s an important question, because whether you’ve ever articulated the answer, chances are you are rating your sex life by the answer and in some way trying to make it a reality.
If only I were 20 pounds lighter or 10 years younger. If only my spouse were 20 pounds lighter or 10 years younger. If only sex were not such a big deal, and there wasn’t so much pressure. If only we could get that spark back or have a spontaneous moment like on “those” commercials. If only we dated more. If only we took more romantic get-aways.
Honestly, any of those things might improve your sex life in some sense of the word improve. But if we made a list of the biggest sex killers it would not include weight, figure, anatomy, culture, lack of romance, age, lack of creativity, or lack of spontaneity.
The list of top sex life killers would include shame, fear, selfishness, laziness, insecurity, infidelity, promiscuity, comparison, and lust. What kills our sex life is not outside of us (our body, our spouse, or our culture). What kills our sex life is inside of us (sin).
Imagine the opportunity to express yourself sexually with one person in a context of complete commitment without any sense of self-preoccupation or shame. You were solely devoted to enjoying their pleasure, and they were solely devoted to enjoying your pleasure. Neither of you were comparing each other to another partner, and discontentment was not present to make the relationship feel mundane. That was the design of sex before the Fall.
That would have been the best sex ever.
What’s the point of fantasizing about such an ideal? The point is that we are already fantasizing about an ideal, but it is not one that leads us towards God’s design. Because we do not truly believe that God’s ideal would be the most satisfying sex possible, we try to improve upon it.
But all our improvements on God’s design destroy us. It would be easy to rail against our pride and rebellion at this point. But let me make an appeal based upon our foolishness and short-sightedness. We have been so wrong about what we were looking for (a misguided definition of good sex), for so long that we are now getting upset when we find it.
So let me propose that we daydream about great sex (as God defines it). What would this change? Us. What we daydream about has a powerful influence upon our entire person. It would change the things that had influence over us.
What would it require? Jesus. Admittedly, this entire reflection is highly idealistic without a radical change in human nature. Apart from the intervention of God’s grace in our life we do not want what is best for us. We need the new heart that God offers through Christ. But until we begin to fantasize about the kind of life that would be actually satisfying, we will continue to chase a multitude of “if only’s” that lead us to false gods and crushed souls.