Is swiping right crushing our souls?
For those of you who are struggling to keep up with the 21st century (which, we understand is getting pretty difficult to do), you may be a bit confused about “swiping right.” Long story short, swiping right is what you do on a popular dating app, Tinder, when you come across someone you like. If they swipe right on you as well, then you can connect with one another and see if you want to meet. If they swipe left, they’re uninterested and you cannot communicate.
This concept has faced criticism for being too shallow. The profiles feature a photo (usually an attractive one) and a brief snippet of information about yourself like your name, age and hobbies. Some argue that this is all you need to spark an attraction to someone. Others argue that this is an unreliable way to form meaningful relationships. We tend to agree with the latter.
The church doesn’t talk enough about sex and romance
Shhhh! You can’t say the ‘S’ word. Well, tough. We did. And, we’ll do it again.
Take a deep breath. Check your pulse. You’re fine.
See, sex isn’t a bad thing and it’s not a bad word. God created everything and called it good, including sex. Sex has a place in His design and His plan, but we’ve let sex have so much power over us that we don’t know how to handle it. So, we just don’t talk about it. And by not talking about it, we’ve done more damage than we realize.
When we don’t talk about sex, we leave it up to the next generation to find out about it themselves. We doom them to repeat the same mistakes of our generation and those before us. Sure, you might have “the talk” with your kids, but that alone isn’t enough to teach the next generation what to expect and how to treat sex with respect.
Or, on the other hand, when we do talk about sex, we demonize it and scare our young singles with the danger of sex so badly that when they get married, they’re too scared to get down to business with their spouse as God intended. This has happened countless times.
We swipe right because we give up
When the church refuses to have healthy conversations about sex, the curious youth turn elsewhere in culture for help. And, if you know anything about our culture, it’s not exactly teaching the healthiest views of sex.
We live in a “hit it and quit it” culture that encourages sex as a leisure activity rather than an act of purest intimacy, and dating apps make this behavior a lot easier. There is an illusion of freedom when it comes to unrestrained sex, but, as with all forms of highs, when the sugar coating washes away, you’re left with something ugly.
Unrestrained sex leads to negative mental health and poor self-esteem. And the sad thing is, no one believes this will happen to them. Maybe it’s because no one in the church really takes the time to talk about how to enjoy sex in a good and healthy way — the way God intended it. It’s like eating junk food every day and wondering why you feel sluggish and gross. Your body is designed for whole foods to function at full health. Sex is no different. If you settle for one-night stands and casual “junk food” sex that satisfies a temporary craving but adds no value to your long term health, you are left feeling empty and unsatisfied in the long run. Casual sex was never meant to satisfy.
This is why we swipe right. We swipe right because we give up. The prime lie of the enemy is to look into your circumstances and say you should give up because of what you’ve done. Might as well swipe right, it doesn’t matter.
When church leaders cannot guide where their gathering is begging for guidance, the gathering will run amok. At Unfiltered Radio, we believe there’s a better way. We believe that Jesus encourages us to get real with each other and wrestle with the difficult and awkward subjects. We believe the church and its leaders need to build healthy conversation about sex, so we can build a better, healthier future for the next generation.
You can listen to our podcast called Swipe Right here — and maybe have your kids listen to it, too.