The Bachelorette debuted in 2003. A single bachelorette decides between a pool of bachelors; to date, four seasons have resulted in marriages between the bachelorette and the person she chose.
Katie Thurston, the bachelorette for the season that debuted last week, is making headlines because of what she calls her “sex positivity.” She explained that “I talk about sex in a very casual way” and refers to sexual activities I will not describe here. She says fans will see “some conversations” around sex positivity “because it is 2021 and it’s important we talk about it, especially with our partners.”
According to a therapist interviewed in the article, “Being nonjudgmental is at the heart of sex positivity.” Another stated that this is an especially important conversation now, given that sex is still often viewed “as a sin.” She added: “This can be a good move for this franchise to start the dialogue publicly on healthy sexuality. It can be the swing we need as a culture.”
A third therapist added that we should “support and show reverence to sex workers, who provide essential services.” Otherwise, she warned, “sex positivity” is “selective sexual freedom that is often self-serving.”
“It is not good that the man should be alone”
The God who created us made us sexual beings. He designed us in such a way that “it is not good that the man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18a). As a result, the Lord made “a helper fit for him” (v. 18b). God intended sex to be a celebration of their intimacy and the means by which they would “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).
From then until now, God’s intention for sex is clear: “A man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). When Jesus was asked by the Pharisees about divorce, he quoted this verse and added, “They are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:5–6).
As a result, God’s word forbids sex outside of marriage: “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14); “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled” (Hebrews 13:4). His word also forbids sex before marriage (1 Corinthians 7:1–2) and all other sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3), including lust (Matthew 5:28).
“How’s that working for us?”
Tragically, our culture is rejecting God’s intention for sex more than ever before. Adultery is celebrated in popular television shows, music, and movies. Sex before marriage and cohabitation are assumed. Abortion is viewed as birth control. Pornography is at epidemic levels. Not to mention the escalation and promotion of LGBTQ ideology beginning with our children.
This culture-wide normalization of immorality is working:
- 69 percent of Americans say sex between an unmarried man and woman is morally acceptable, up 16 points since 2002.
- 42 percent believe sex between teenagers is morally acceptable.
- 43 percent say pornography is morally acceptable.
- 19 percent view polygamy as morally acceptable (up from 5 percent in 2006).
- A record 47 percent of Americans think abortion is morally acceptable.
- 70 percent support same-sex marriage.
Now let’s ask Dr. Phil’s question: “How’s that working for us?”
Since the sexual revolution began in the 1960s:
- The youth suicide rate is the highest it has been since the government began collecting such data in 1960.
- The percentage of children born out of wedlock has escalated from 8 percent in 1962 to 40 percent today. The odds that children in single-parent homes will live in poverty are high.
- Studies show that as many as half of all divorces involve one party using pornography. Even for those who stay married, pornography sabotages their ability to enjoy normal sexual relations.
- More than 62 million babies have been killed by abortion since Roe v. Wade. Abortion is the leading cause of death in America, surpassing heart disease, cancer, and all other causes.
Four biblical steps
Here’s my point: resisting The Bachelorette‘s version of sexual morality and promoting God’s version is not the puritanical imposition of outdated legalism—it is showing people how to live their best lives. Imagine for a moment the difference in our culture if every person followed God’s plan for sex. Consider the difference this would make for divorce and broken homes, children born outside of marriage, and babies lost to abortion.
Of course, we cannot ask others to go where we will not go or do what we will not do. So, let’s close with these biblical steps to personal integrity:
First, decide that you want to live biblically in every dimension of your life (Matthew 6:33; Romans 12:1–2).
Second, ask the Spirit to empower you each day (Ephesians 5:18), claiming the promise: “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). If you are doing the latter, you are not doing the former.
Third, control your mind, choosing to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Fourth, celebrate sex within marriage and refuse sex and lust outside of marriage (Colossians 3:5; Job 31:1).
If you will seek to live with biblical morality, God will empower you to do so. Br. Geoffrey Tristam of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Boston notes: “It’s not great faith that you need, but faith in a great God. Faith is like a window you look through. It doesn’t matter if the window is six feet high or six inches, or just the tiniest peephole in a telescope. What matters is the God that your faith is looking out on.”
Is your faith “looking out on” your Father today?