We then started to talk about sexual consumerism—no, not human trafficking, but rather sexuality being consumed to fuel one’s self worth and give them validity as ‘fully human’. So often people feel that they cannot be ‘fully human’ living in the way God created us as sexual beings without the ‘sexual’ part. But what so many miss is that God didn’t create us to idolatrize sexuality, but to be conformed to His image. And if His image was made manifest in Jesus, and Jesus was single (and peep this from the Book of Isaiah), what’s the deal with the world today?
Culture (Mainstream: Christian and secular) look to marriage as the end-all-be-all of ideal human sexuality (gay and straight). In his book, The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries, sociologist Rodney Stark notes that in 59 BC Julius Caesar secured legislation that awarded land to fathers of multiple children, and Cicero fought to outlaw celibacy. Then in the year 9 AD emperor Augustus passed laws that:
*Imposed political and financial sanctions upon childless couples, unmarried woman over the age of twenty, and upon unmarried men over the age of twenty-five
Stark goes on to document how each successive emperor after Augustus added additional perks for married couple with children and additional penalties for unmarried people and married couples without kids.
Here’s my problem—during Jesus’ time and the disciples time after that, marriage, in their culture, was being stripped from a God-honoring covenant to a legally sanctioned relationship with political and financial gains associated with said relationship.
At that moment, sexuality and marriage, became a product to consume to give worth. It’s a shame that mindset has lasted so long.