Scenario: The girl decides she is going to have sex with her male friend, taking their casual friendship into what she believes will be a romantic involvement. She follows her plan and comes away thinking the sex is great, and they spend as much time together as possible. Soon, though, she’s trying to figure out why he’s acting strange, why their relationship is falling apart, and why their longstanding friendship is ruined.
Lessons: In just about every area of life, there are rules that result from knowledge about how things work. People’s experiences show them the best way to do things. Some rules are mandated by the laws of nature, others by the properties of the elements involved. Other rules are inherent in the situation because of predictable outcomes. Still other rules involve parameters laid down by our Creator, because He understands what works best for the happiness, joy, and long-term well-being of His creations.
Think of some of the folk wisdom we all grew up hearing: “Haste makes waste,” “Save time, do it right the first time,” or “A stitch in time, saves nine.” Think about the rules of various professions: the carpenter’s rule, “Measure twice, cut once”; the mechanic’s rule, “Use the right tool for the right result”; and the high-rise steelworker’s rule, “If you have to reach for it, don’t!”
Young children quickly learn that a Band-Aid won’t stick as well the second time it is applied. Welders wear a protective mask with smoked glass. Likewise, astronomers know not to look directly at the sun. Deep sea divers know you must take time returning to the surface to avoid the “bends.” And we have all learned lessons about using plain, ordinary glue.
When working with glue, you must: choose the right type for the job, apply it in a manner consistent with its properties, and remember that quick drying glue can be very tricky; sometimes it sticks things together that shouldn’t be stuck together, like your fingers. Certain types of glues take a long time to set up, while some stick on contact. Some glues work only on dry surfaces, while some require moisture. Some glues that work wonderfully in one circumstance are totally ineffective in another. Selecting the right glue requires understanding the nature of the things that you want to bond together. Some glues require heat, and some glues require the pieces to be clamped together under pressure for good bonding.
One further aspect of understanding the properties of things being bonded is knowing the consequences of inappropriate use. And please note: someone who knows the properties of the glue and how to use it is not being a killjoy, a dictator, or a prude if they provide instructions.
During the Christmas holidays, our son related the story of a young friend whose heart had been broken after she and her boyfriend, with whom she had been intimate, parted company. Our son has built a number of pieces of furniture for their home and used his knowledge of woodworking to provide a wonderful object lesson to his teenaged boys and their cousins. He described what happens when you attempt to pull apart two things that have been tightly glued together and how it is often impossible to do without damaging the materials that have been attached to each other. If two pieces of wood have been glued tightly under pressure and you apply sufficient force, it is not the bond that gives way. Instead, the wood itself comes apart, leaving fragments of each piece still attached to the other. Often there is no way to re-glue the pieces; the damage from the separation is so extensive that rebonding is, at best, imperfect if not impossible. Sometimes, the separation leaves both pieces so badly damaged that they are ill-suited for further use.
Moral of the Story: The lesson our son wanted the teens to learn from his “way-things-work” discussion is that intimacy produces bonding, and separation once bonding occurs produces injury. Make no mistake, sexual intimacy was designed so that it produces bonding, whether we expect or desire it to or not. This is true, especially for girls, but it is also true for most boys. The Creator made intercourse not just as a functional means of producing offspring; since an infant’s period of dependency on its parents is so lengthy, He gave sex another dimension. He made sex one of the most – if not the single most – pleasurable (i.e., exciting, joyful, exhilarating, soothing, comforting, passionate, mind-blowing, tender, wild, explosive, compelling) experiences a man and a woman can share together. He intended for sexual intimacy to be the means for producing a happily bonded couple capable of coping with the demanding responsibilities of child rearing.
Conclusion: Sexual attraction is an incomparable force, and intercourse is a powerful glue – just as God intended for it to be; it has such awesome properties that, like dynamite, it must be used carefully in accordance with the purposes for which it was designed. And, like dynamite, the consequences of its misuse are calamitous. And that’s just the way things work.