WOW! This is a great article.
Principle One: DESIRE MORE
By Dave Sloan
Late one Saturday night I found myself in a club in the funky, frenzied, pierced and tattooed part of town. I was with an old friend I’ll call Silly Sammy. There was a young gal bopping about the place full of vim, vigor, and vivaciousness, getting lots of attention, and, through the sparseness of her attire, making everyone keenly aware of the gifts the good Lord gave her.
Silly Sammy, knowing me from the wild old days, and knowing of my more recent fondness for espousing Christian dating principles, decided to put me to the test. He made some very crude remarks about what he would like to do to this young woman who was garnering so much attention.
I said, “Silly Sammy, you know what your problem is? Your problem is that you desire so little. You have to learn to desire more. Can I tell you how much you really should desire with a woman like her?”
“Sure,” he said, “go ahead.”
“Sammy, you were made to be capable of, and to desire, a nuptial union so potent, so absolute, that it has the power to transport you back through time to the very beginning, to the first nuptial union, in what the Douay Rheims Bible calls the ‘paradise of pleasure.’ You were made to desire a sexual union with the power to bind you two together irrevocably as one and reveal to you both the mystery of your creation in the image of God as you participate mystically in the life-giving power of all the nuptial unions from the very first one.
“And that’s not the half of it. The union you were made to long for, and for which you do long in the deepest recesses of you heart, not only has the power to take you back through time to the beginning, to that paradise of pleasure from which we all descend. The sex for which you long, for which you should long, also has the power to transport you forward in time, into eternity, to the nuptial union in Heaven, which is so often referred to in scripture as a marriage between God and his church, as a great wedding feast, as a union of bride and bridegroom. Every time you come together with your bride in sex you should participate in these greatest and most transcendent mysteries. That’s what you were made for, Silly Sammy, and nothing less can ever satisfy you.”
Sammy said, “I’ll admit, if a union like that were possible, it would be better than what I said I wanted to do with her.”
So, how do we make the long journey from the belittling experience of lust, and into the fullness of the desire for which we were made? We begin by recognizing that the journey, ultimately, is a journey into the heart of the God who is the creator of our desires.
“Delight in the Lord, and he will grant the desires of your heart.” –Psalm 37
“Our problem is not that we desire too much, but that we desire too little.” –GodofDesire.com
We must learn to complete our desires for one another by allowing them to draw us into an even greater desire. When we gaze in awesome wonder upon the splendid creature who is the object of our affections, we should realize that she didn’t make herself so wonderful. Her creator did that. Her creator made her so sublime and so loveable. The truth, which we are capable of recognizing and embracing, is that in desiring to love one another, we are being drawn into the heart of love himself, the God who is love.
We are being drawn right up into paradise. For not all of us will marry, but all of us are called to the great nuptial union in heaven, the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. Over and over again scripture describes the heavenly union of God and his people by comparing it to the union of a bride and bridegroom.
When we long for a mate, we are also longing for paradise. And so we will not repress or deny these desires, but we will untwist and redeem them. We will overcome our shame; we will be restored to wholeness; we will know what it means to have been created in sex, and to have been created, every one of us, as male or female, a sexual creature from the beginning. “Man and woman he created them. In his own image he created them.”
BE NOT AFRAID OF DESIRE.
Yes, our culture is fallen, and has largely succumbed to lust, to desire which is not more, but much less than it ought to be. But where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. Our redemption is real. God has promised to cleanse us, to restore us, to take from us our stony hearts and to give us hearts that can love. He has promised, and, if we allow him, he will do it.
We as men and women should not be afraid to get to know each other. We should not be consumed with anxiety if we begin to like each other a lot, and our desire for each other begins to grow. We should be free to discover the wonder of one another, with the confidence that in doing so we are leading each other closer to paradise.
We must untwist the lies of our twisted culture and recover what it actually means to be men and women.
Men must learn what it means to court a woman by demonstrating the virtues of honor and integrity and courage. We must show that we have the strength to be tender. We must prove that we can properly treasure the mysteries and the miracles of a woman’s body and her heart.
Women are called to recover the glory and splendor of femininity and all of the fruitful power of womanhood. Women must recognize the great gifts the Lord lift has bestowed upon them and engage in courtship only with men who will strive heroically, even sacrificially, to earn the privilege to share in those gifts.
It is on this road from dating to courtship to paradise that we learn what it is to live the roles the Lord has given us. We won’t learn it from rules, but by being set free from the lies which would blind us to the truth of who we are as men and women made in the image of the living God.
Principles 2-12 of the dating and courtship program based upon Pope John Paul II’s The Theology of the Body can be found here.