What is it?
I’ll admit I didn’t know this had a name for a while. I knew it was happening, just didn’t know it had a name.
Sexting is sending suggestive, graphic pictures or text messages over traditional text messaging services. It can also include services like Facebook’s Messenger app, Google Hangouts, or WhatsApp.
It’s previous generation’s note passing but on in electronic format. And it ups the ante in terms of content.
What is the harm in it?
To answer that-I suppose it depends on whom is receiving the messages? If it is your spouse, I can’t see a problem with it. Solomon wrote a book on physical attraction and descriptions of body parts.
If you are sending these messages to someone you are not married to, the morality of it swings rapidly in the other direction.
If you or the person receiving the messages are a minor, the pendulum swing is even further.
Why is it wrong to send suggestive messages or pictures to someone you love?
Let’s step back and define love for a moment. Regardless of which Greek word you use, love in its varied forms is an act of the will, for another’s benefit, at my cost. The variations in the Greek give definition of the relationship, brotherly, sacrificial, familial, and so on.
Lust on the other hand is defined as more than mere pleasure or personal delight. It is an intense longing, an eager desire, an impatient hunger for something. If you google the word it is typically tied to sexual desire, and frequently described as uncontrolled.
Which fits better with the idea of messages or pictures whose sole purpose is to provoke sexual desire?
Let’s address one other aspect: is the person a redeemed child of God? Romans 8:17 describes those born-again persons as heirs and joint heirs with Christ! Young bro, that means that young lady is a princess, and not just a Disney princess but the daughter of the most high God. You know, the One who knows your thoughts. Young sister, that young man is a prince, not a made up one, but one that will sit at the right hand of the majesty on high!
If the sender or recipient is not born again, you have no business stoking those fires with them. They won’t see Christ in you, they’ll see lust.
Purity vs. virginity
Some of us grew up with the idea of remaining sexually pure before marriage. Some of us, grew up in an environment, where it was not condoned but neither was premarital sex frowned upon, unless you got someone pregnant. Some of us grew up with very few controls over our self, our desires or our actions. “But such were some of you.”
My point in bring that out is while the bible is clear, some of us didn’t have that clarity growing up. It doesn’t mean one cannot run to the cross for grace and forgiveness. If you have or are currently stoking someone’s sexual desires, their lust via sexting, you can stop.
At risk of sounding obvious, …here goes: One could be a virgin but a regular at sexting. What do you do with that information, that image? Another person has sexual thoughts about you. Another person sends or received from you a picture revealing more of your anatomy than you’d normally show in public, or it’s actually pornographic. What do you do with that?
Who’s gonna know?
With some applications, you can confidently rest in secure communications end to end. That means, that the transmission are encrypted. But what about the destination? What if your Bae, to use the lingo of the young, does not secure their device? What about the service provider being breached? Facebook has been compromised before. What if the relationship goes south, and the recipient decides to share your steamy messages with… the rest of social media. What if the person on the other end is using you, and manipulating you?
What about Gender?
Some may even ask, about sexting as a sexual outlet in lieu of a homosexual relationship. The difficulty is, you are in a relationship with the other person regardless of gender. Moreover, you are stirring up lust, not love.
What to do with all of this?
The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart. It seems to me that a married couple can use technology to arouse each other when separated by geography. Though seriously, if you are going to be completely biblical about it, you’d both have to have a penchant for Hebrew poetry, you know if you’re going to describe someone’s body parts like sheep on a hill.
If you are attempting to defend sexting by referencing Song of Solomon, know these things: 1) it is analogous to the relationship between God and Israel. 2) If taken purely to be between a king and his betrothed, they are just that, betrothed. Not dating, not even ‘courting’, engaged with marriage in the eminent future.
In the Song of Songs, three times, in the NKJV the writer says, “Do not stir up love until it pleases” (2:7, 3:5, 8:4). There is a biblical charge to being patient in matters of love and lust.
If this is being done outside of the marriage you have to ask yourself, what is the purpose? Specifically, if I’m a believer on the Lord Jesus Christ, how does this kind of communication demonstrate Christ likeness?