Sam de Brito of The Age writes a blog in which he expounds upon the subject of what he considers to be the business of being a bloke. I'm not a regular reader of this blog; I just happened across it whilst catching up on news. In one column, he was discussing the issue of sexual promiscuity. While acknowledging the damage and heartache such conduct can cause, he also suggested that from a scientific perspective, monogamy may be a denial of natural, instinctual urges, bred into us through evolution.
As a Christian, my views on sexual ethics are somewhat unfashionable, at least among those in my age group. More broadly, they go against ths spirit of this morally relativistic, permissive age. For a start, the human race didn't evolve. Each human being was created by a loving God, who created us for fellowship with Him, and made us in His image. Because we're made in His image, we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by our fellow man or woman, as the case may be.
As I understand it, part of genuinely loving someone means wanting what's best for them. I don't see how using someone for your own gratification meets this definition. Some years ago, when I worked in the secular world, I had female work colleagues who have been wounded emotionally from being used in this way by the men in their life. I'm single, but I don't see how this should stop me from commenting on relationship issues. That doesn't mean that I know nothing about them. In his classic apologetic, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis said the same thing, not that I'd dare compare myself to him.
How they lived their private lives was none of my business, and rather than talk about it openly, I would have preferred that they kept such information to themselves. Initially I felt disgust and revulsion, but over time, my attitude softened. Their stories actually saddened me. Had I been more upfront, I would have said that they shouldn't sell themselves short by allowing themselves to be used in this way, and that they deserved better. They deserved men who genuinely loved and appreciated them for who they were. As far as I could tell, in most cases none of these men genuinely loved them. They were just out for what they could get.
The writings of John Eldridge and Stuart Webber, to name but two, in their books Wild at Heart and Tender Warrior, put forward another model of masculinity, based on the timeless values of Scripture. The Epistles of Paul and Peter shows us how men should conduct themselves in their relationships with women, treating them with purity and respect (1 Timothy 5:1-3), and emulating the example of their Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, loving them sacrificially (Ephesians 5:22-33, Colossians 3:19, 1 Peter 3:7). It seems to me that emotional wounds are the hardest ones of all to heal. How much of this wounding could be avoided if men understood their obligation to relate to women in a healthy, God-honouring way?