Modern Day Revolutionaries

Sex 180: the next revolution by Chip Ingram and Tim Walker will equip us to be modern-day revolutionaries to change the way our culture views sex. With a modern style, the book catches your interest right away, resulting in a compelling book that led me to renew it from the library at least 7 times. I’ll review some of the basic ideas of the book. How can we start a revolution though…aren’t we just young adults trying to make sense of our lives, not to mention love? The authors say that we don’t have to have fantastic speaking skills or a mesmerizing personality because the revolution will start in our hearts and lives before it moves outward: “You just have to believe what God says about sex and live out what you’re talking about.” (p. 41) As they put it, it is a revolution of one that begins in us first before moving outward. The authors describe how the first sexual revolution started in the ‘60’s and resulted in our over-sexed culture, which believes that sex comes without a price tag. In the 60’s a small group grew and changed the culture’s views on sex. If they did it, so can we! If we want to understand God’s rules about sex, we need to see God behind them since He cares for us, and we need to join the “revolutionary” view of sex the book provides. I.e. do we look at sex as one of God’s gifts, a sacred, soul-changing, emotional experience not to be enjoyed outside of marriage, or do we see it as a way to satisfy carnal desires? Of course, Sex 180 gives the usual tips like “dress modestly,” “don’t lust,” etc., but it goes deep into the “whys” of the rules God has placed on sex. Are we going to do sex Hollywood’s way, with the physical first and spiritual last, or God’s way, with the spiritual first and the physical last? “Sex is a heart issue, one that our culture has made purely physical. The only time the heart is mentioned is when we’re trying to justify the physical….” (p.30). That is, we justify they physical with excuses like, “But we love each other!” I really liked what a boy named Bobby had said in the book:

“You have to stand up and be proud that you’re going to abstain, that you have a reason. There are so many good kids out there who just don’t know about not having sex before marriage. That is why Christians have to take a stand.” (p.38)

The authors put it a good way again: “God gave us wonderful and beautiful bodies. They were not intended for manipulating others.” (p. 77) “…before you can live out this 180, you have to grasp an important element of sex: it’s selfless. What you think about sex and how you live it out isn’t just about you.” (p. 100) The authors remind us that God is the only one that can give us perfect love–a human isn’t capable of perfect love as popular culture expects. You can’t have such high expectations of people. Being friends before having a romantic relationship is “the best way to guard your heart and someone else’s.” (p. 106). As I mentioned the physical is kept last, or as one boy said pertaining to getting physical with your bf/gf: “It’s like you’re going down a hill–the faster you go, the quicker you fall.”( p. 123) Tim Walker said: “Love isn’t just romance; it’s honoring the other person.” p.114 As friends, you get to see how a person lives out his life and treats family and friends. Does he/she “walk the walk”?

“Respecting the other person as a brother or sister means recognizing that his person is not an object, or a play toy. He or she is a human being, someone God considers valuable–so valuable that he sent his Son to give his life for that person.”( p. 127) Thus, we start to think of the person behind the looks or great body, to see them as people with history and a life. And if we spend time with the family, then we will see how poor decisions will not only affect our love interest, but the whole family as well.

Guys and gals need to help each other do the Sex 180:

“You [guys] can be a leader in your relationships now by stepping up and not putting your girl in a situation where you know you’re both going to be tempted. Just like girls can help you out by watching what they wear, you can help a girl out by protecting her and not manipulating her though situations and emotions.” (p. 131)

As followers of Christ, we are called to live a radically different lifestyle and be a light to others. “Imagine a relationship with a person of the opposite sex in which you became good friends, treated each other as brother and sister, and wanted the other person to walk away, no matter what happened, saying, ‘You know what? Nothing romantic happened like I kind of secretly hoped, but because of my relationship with you, I’m more like Christ.” (p. 149) We can have the best relationship when it is built on a strong spiritual foundation and respect for the other person. For those that catch the “love bug” a lot, this book is helpful since one chapter explores the difference between love vs. infatuation. For example: “Love takes time to grow. Infatuation explodes in an instant.” (p. 161) So what are the benefits of abstinence and sex 180? They are:

“If you stay sexually pure, then you can expect to have better sex in your marriage.” “If you stay sexually pure, then you can expect your relationships to add to your life, not take away from it.” You’ll avoid STDs. “If you stay sexually pure and look for a potential mate who lives by the same values, then you can expect that when you marry, you will remain faithful to each other.” (all from p. 182)

“Live out this revolution and telling others about it has nothing to do with people seeing how great or how pure you are–it’s about seeing how awesome and loving God is. How he created sex. And how he desires to give it to you–with the right person at the right time in the right place.”( p. 210)

God wants us to have the best sex possible, but we can only attain it if we follow the rules he has set for us and remain pure. “We’re going to do relationships in ways that quit using and manipulating people. We’re no longer going to leave a trail of debris behind us. We’re going to stop living with regrets. Relationships are no longer about us–what we can get from the other person emotionally and physically. They’re going to be about what we can give to someone else–spiritually.” p. 214 God will give us the opportunity to stand up and make a difference. We need to be revolutionaries and change our culture. This book will equip you to do so–just don’t take as long as I did to get through the book! (all page references from copyright 2005 by Chip Ingram)

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