You Get What You Pay For

BlackCouple10

First and foremost, married sex is the best sex. It’s free. There is no guilt. There is no awkward follow-up conversation. There is no walk of shame. Your spouse is allowed to spend the night and leave clothes in one of the drawers. Did I mention you don’t have to pay for it? God honors it. More than that, He encourages it.

God designed sex to be sacred and set aside exclusively for a marital relationship. Anything other than that cheapens the experience. If you are single and reading this, with all the sex you have had in your life, do you realize, you haven’t had your best sex? It may have been good, but it wasn’t your best. Matter of fact, it was a knock-off.

You know what a knock-off is. It’s an imitation, a carbon copy, but not the original. No matter how much it tries to measure up, there is just something that is off about it. The time, the stitching, the quality, and the love that went into making the original was left out of the cheaper version so someone could pay less in an attempt to fit in.

The issue we are currently facing is that knock-offs are getting better. It is getting harder and harder to distinguish from the original. There used to be a time when wearing a knock-off or imitation would cause embarrassment amongst your peers. But now it is getting harder to distinguish between what is real and what is a forgery. The legitimacy of a product becomes the personal knowledge of the consumer.

In fiscal year 2013, the Department of Homeland Security seized counterfeit goods valued at over $1.7 billion at U.S. borders (“About Counterfeiting”). Those numbers put imitation goods in the same conversation as the international trade in illegal drugs. By 2015, the International Chamber of Commerce expects the value of counterfeit goods globally to exceed $1.7 trillion. That is over 2% of the world’s total current economic output.

If the bootleg community has done such a good job at stepping their game up, why hasn’t everyone else? If the rest of the world has made it so popular to sleep with whomever you choose under the mask of imitation love, knock-off joy, and bootleg happiness, where does that leave the rest of us? Some of us have gotten caught up, because while we were in the moment, it looked like the real thing!

It wasn’t until you went to pull a loose thread and the entire garment came apart that you realized what you saw under the dim lights at a party was nothing more than a poorly crafted reproduction.

The International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition gives tips on how you can avoid purchasing fakes. They advise consumers that when making purchases,they should look for “3 P’s” which I thought fell in line with some of our struggles with premarital sex:

PRICE: If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Sex before and outside of marriage will always cost you. And typically more than you can afford. Not to mention, you rarely get a return on your investment. Relationships and the automotive industry are the only places where they encourage you to try it before you buy it. Both lose value and depreciate after you take them off the lot. Thanks to David Burrus for reminding us that, “Neither your heart nor your body were designed to be test driven.”

PACKAGING: If the product is being sold without its packaging, or the packaging appears to be of low quality, or includes printing errors (for example, blurry pictures, typos, spelling or grammatical errors), it is probably a counterfeit.

A product loses its value as soon as you take it out of its original packaging. Its resale worth also plummets. Consider the fact that every time you have sex outside of God’s original plan, you reduce the value you place on yourself.

PLACE: Consider where the product is being sold. Ask yourself if you would normally expect to find the product sold in this type of environment.

You tend to expect to get quality material from quality places. This may be a good time to ask yourself, “Who are the people I am dealing with?” “Are they below my standard?” “Can they afford me?”

Am I suggesting that you are better than some people? Absolutely! You are of royal lineage. You are of the chosen few. You are a part of the called out ones. Why risk all of that just to go slumming?

There was a time when kids actually played outside. I know, crazy, right?! I remember getting a bike from my parents and like many kids before me, before going outside to ride it, I was given specific instructions to follow. Under no circumstances was I allowed to let anyone else ride my bike. I obliged, because I knew doing so was the only way of escape.

The problem with making this promise was once I arrived outside with a brand new bike, EVERYBODY WANTED TO RIDE IT!

I was able to hold onto my covenant with my parents for about half hour before one of my friends requested to ride my bike. The thing that made this request different from others was his use of the magical phrase, “I’m not going to mess it up.”

When somebody tells you that, of course you have to believe them. I mean, who goes out of their way to mess up someone else’s belongings?

After allowing my friend to take a couple spins around the block on my bike, he came back and there was something wrong. He had stripped my handlebars. When put together correctly, handlebars are typically at a 90 degree angle. Mine were now at 45. He then proceeded to give me the other magical phrase, “It was like this when you gave it to me.”

It was at that moment that I learned nobody will treat your stuff like you treat your stuff, because it’s not their stuff. While I was upset at what took place, my thoughts quickly raced to how I would explain this to my parents, or better yet, how to hide this from my parents. Because of course, I didn’t pay for it. They did.

 

My parent’s cautionary instructions to not allow anyone to ride my bike were not to keep me from sharing what I had, but rather to preserve what I had been given. It wasn’t the blatant disobedience that hurt my parents. What probably hurt their feelings more was that I allowed someone else to recklessly squander what they had given to me. When we do things antithetical to God’s instructions, rarely do we think about how this makes God feel.

And I am sure those instructions my parents gave were the result of a similar scenario happening to them at some point in their life.

This book is not about trying to eliminate “fun” from your life. It is about trying to save you from a possible lifetime of hurt, pain, turmoil, depression, and agony. I don’t know any adulterer that says they are glad they cheated on their spouse. I don’t know any single mother that says they are glad they had their first child while still in high school. Most people that I run across say the same thing—I wish I would have waited.

An excerpt from Help! I’m Holy, but I’m Horny by Dr. Michael Scruggs. Help! was written to couples, singles, divorcees and teens to provide just that — help. With biblical principles and personal examples, Dr. Scruggs outlines ways in which we can navigate through the ups and downs of sex, love and relation-slips.

Dr. Scruggs (D. Min., United Theological Seminary) is the Founder and Senior Pastor of Light of the World Ministries (affectionately known as the “Light” House) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mvscruggs.

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