There is something so powerful about sexuality. Sexuality has the power to rule over us. When we look at the things that tempt us into moral or spiritual pitfalls, they are often deeply seductive. We don’t fall into evil or broken traps by things that don’t appeal to us. The ability to be seduced by another human being fills that deeps sense of belonging. A belonging that not only gratifies us, but leaves us with a deep longing to gratify the other person that we are connected to. I think this is why sexuality can also leave us with a deep sense of shame, regret, and emptiness. This form of love, erotic love, or Eros as the Greek language has called it, is extremely powerful in the way it triggers our emotions and releases chemicals in our brains that make for an almost euphoric and bonding experience. I understand why the woman in Song of Solomon wisely said, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” because it reveals the overwhelming nature of Eros.
One of the dangers I see in modern religion or spirituality is to treat God as if he is some form of transformative essence. When this happens, it is far too easy to reduce God into some sentimental emotion or experience. But, when we can experience God in the power of who God is, then we have the ability to find God in the shape of our lives. When we are able to experience sexual oneness with another, when we are able to find erotic love, then not only are we loved by the person that we are in oneness with, but then we are able to be loved by God in the act of sex. Casual sex can never lead to a state of oneness, but when we are in right relationship with our lover, then this is when the power of incarnation can push through the other person. God has the ability to reach us through this person’s bodily and spiritual sacrifice for us. Just as we are able to offer the same spiritually growing experience for them.
The hope in redemptive sexuality is not that creates the wounds that so many people have experienced, but that it offers a certain grace and healing that allows us the power of safely longing for another person, and belonging to them. I think this is why sexuality has the potential to be the most vulnerable experience that we can share with another human being: we open all of who we are (body, mind, soul) to them.