Reference Helps

by Jim Mitchell

A young man’s dream… an entire semester class on sex!

I was a junior in college majoring in Sociology and the class was called Studies in Human Sexuality.  To be honest, I was more nervous than excited.  Discussing sex openly in class for a whole semester?  What exactly would we talk about?

Fortunately, I knew the professor— a distinguished, godly man well-known for his Christian faith and well-respected by his students and peers alike.  Having taken every class taught by this prof, I knew he would make us feel at ease and handle everything in a dignified manner.

That assumption lasted until the first bell rang.

“Students,” he said, pointing to the spotless dry-marker board running the length of the classroom.  “Today I want each of you to go up and write every single filthy profanity you can think of related to sex.  Right now.  Who wants to go first?”

Two decades later and I still remember it like it was yesterday… the awkward silence… where I was sitting in the room… wondering what in the world I would write!

After waiting for what seemed like an hour, the professor handed the marker to an unlucky student in the back and said, “How about you get us started?”  And so off we went, one-by-one, each of us writing every dirty word, every innuendo, and every double entendre we’d ever heard but never intended to share so freely or brazenly.

Go ahead right now.  Think of the worst word you know about sex.  Yep, that one was up there, along with many, many others… some you’ve never even heard of… in black and white for all to see.

After we’d exhausted our filth lexicon, all the students sat there gazing at the massive dry-marker board, every square inch covered in sexual profanity.  Prof eventually erased the board, but not before giving us an important object lesson on the cheapening of sex in our culture.

An important personal lesson as well.  I’m sixteen years into marriage now.  And as a man striving for sexual purity and intimacy in my own marriage, I realize how a mental dry-marker board of images, words, and jokes constantly distracts from God’s design.


Taking it One-to-One:

  • Do you need help cleaning your dry-marker board?  What’s filling it—words, jokes, or images from the past that taint your sex life today? Make a fresh, clean start by reading one of the following pieces by author/blogger Tim Challies on Sexual Detox:

        – Sexual Detox: A Guide for the Married Guy
        – Sexual Detox: A Guide for the Single Guy

  • Seek accountability and biblical wisdom from a FamilyLife eMentor here.