LOVE, AFFECTION, AND SEXUAL CONNECTION:
How to Spark a Personal Revolution
We live in the most unique era in all human history because we live in the digital age. The digital era can easily be argued to be either the best era of human history or possibly the worst. Because of media and the internet, humanity is more connected than ever before. We can hop on the net and log into cameras on the other side of the world and see what is going on in real time. We can log onto our favorite social media site and vicariously live inside other people’s lives. If you are single, you can subscribe to any number of a myriad of dating sites and discover like minded people to date.
Yes, the internet can unite individuals and humanity, but the internet can also be a source of creating loneliness. A Cigna survey published in January 2020 by CNBC (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/23/loneliness-is-rising-younger-workers-and-social-media-users-feel-it-most.html) reported these statistics about loneliness and isolation:
• Three out of every five adults, or 61%, report that they sometimes or always feel lonely, according to the Cigna U.S. Loneliness Index.
• Among workers aged 18-22, 73% report sometimes or always feeling alone, up from 69% a year ago.
• There is a greater feeling of loneliness among people who use social media more frequently, the study found.
The study discovered that despite connecting us humans, the internet is also having the opposite effect. Instead of uniting humanity like we would assume, it seems to also be creating social isolation. Having a Biblical studies and psychology degree, I like to understand and study human behavior, motivation, and interconnection and discover ways to solve these issues.
Hierarchy of Needs
In 1943 Abraham Maslow developed a hierarchy of human needs that motivate all of us. Here is the chart in simple form:
The basic concept of his theory is that as humans our most basic need is to first and foremost have our physical needs met: water, food, clothing, shelter, etc. When these needs are not being met, most of the other needs simply do not matter.
Next, humans seem to have an inherent need for a sense of safety and security. I would agree.
Then comes the third tier, or our need for “love, affection, and sexual connection.” This need is far more underrated than most people think. Because of the internet and our new social system, this level of basic human needs is being broadcast and met in entirely new fashions.
After we have our basic needs met, this need in my opinion, is far more motivating to people than we might realize. Because humans crave “love, affection, and sexual connection” like the water we drink and the air we breathe, many are resorting to all kinds of activities online to get these needs met.
How Do People Get Their Basic Emotional and Sexual Needs Met?
There are a myriad of ways people meet these needs. Some go to bars. Others go to church. Some connect with coworkers, but with the new Covid challenges in 2020, many have been forced into social isolation dictating that the internet become a primary source of getting their needs met.
As I have already mentioned, some singles turn to dating sites. Some seek to have these needs met on everyday social media sites. Some people connect based upon their interests and hobbies and they find forums and chat rooms regarding their passions such as decorating, boating, fashion, or working out at the gym.
As I have researched human connection and the internet I have discovered that some people turn to sites where the dominant theme is sexual chemistry. For people who have strong sexual desires, singleness and social isolation can be brutal. These people typically discover ways to get their sexual needs fulfilled via some type of digital platform. For people who are in relationships or who have been married for quite some time, this method can seem strange and unethical, but for a significant portion of the younger generation, the method of getting their sexual needs fulfilled digitally is quickly becoming their new norm. Although this is becoming a new norm, it is certainly Biblically questionable. Since the internet didn't exist during the time the Bible was being written, this subject was simply never addressed.
Many find it safer to connect with people sexually on a digital level first, as a method of testing the waters, to see if they are compatible on every level, emotionally, spiritually, and even sexually. People who use this method attempt to discover a partner they feel they are compatible with on every level, then they take their digital life to reality.
As I researched people who took this approach, I realized that there is some logic in their thinking. Instead of mutiple randomn hookups with strangers, these people typically stay celibate sexually and search for one compatiable partner. Clearly this approach is also safer physically and sexually and a way to avoid STD's. Because of these benefits and many more, many are taking this approach, yet I still call it Biblically questionable and here's why.
Lust and public nudity is never advocated in God's Word. Stripping off one's clothes and inviting the whole world to see you perform sexual acts or see you nude was never God's intention. Nakedness and acts of sex or personaly pleasure were intended to be strictly between you and your spouse. People who strip naked, sell nude photos, cam, or perform sexual acts prey on the lust of others, and typically do so for money, which reveals that greed is their primary motivation.
The Bible is very clear that any behavior motivated by greed is sin. The Bible is also clear that lusting or promoting lust is also sin.
The Internet Sexual Revolution
Being 55 and a Christian, I grew up without the digital age. The internet launched in August of 1991 and I was already 26. I spent half my life growing up “old school” and now half my life growing up “new school.” The internet has had a dramatic impact on how humanity communicates and gets their basic needs met.
Although I do not agree with the new sexual revolution that the internet is creating, I also do not agree with how "Christians" are responding to this revolution. I have concluded that the “Church” as a whole, is typically stuck in the past and have “old school” methods of thinking. I have personally discovered a vast amount of hypocrisy in Churches and “shame throwers” because typically, church people think they are more moral, or better than the rest of society.
As I read my Bible, I discover that the religious leaders were the ones constantly finding fault with sinners and more specifically Jesus. When a woman was caught in adultery, the self-righteous shamed her and wanted to stone her. Jesus on the other hand, stood between her and her shamers and met her basic emotional need for belonging, love, and acceptance.
As I have grown in my personal spiritual walk, I have discovered that many Pastors, Christians, and churches have still not learned from reading their Bibles. Instead of following Jesus’ example of loving “sinners” and meeting their physical and emotional needs, they have become the “new breed of Pharisees.”
If you ask people who once attended church but who no longer attend why they left and the story is almost always the same: “not having their physical and emotional needs met, hypocrisy, cruelty, shaming, and a genuine lack of unconditional love.” Most churches I have encountered believe that the method of changing people is to “shame them into submission.” This is the method that proud people use. This method clearly was not Jesus’ method.
Becoming the Light and Love
How then do we as believers love the world in this new digital age? The first things we should do is throw down our pride, throw away our shaming, humble ourselves and ask ourselves this question about every person we meet: “What are your physical, emotional, and sexual needs and are they being appropriately met?” If any of them are not being met, it is our job as Christians to help meet their needs.
When the multitudes were hungry, Jesus fed them. When they were sick, He healed them. If their hearts were broken, He mended them. When they were confused, He taught the truth. If they were getting their sexual needs met inappropriately, He simply met their emotional needs for love and affection and redirected their sexual desires.
Jesus’ method of revival was extremely simple:
Meet the needs of everyone around you,
regardless of type of need.
This method of spirituality sparked a global revolution.
So, instead of ignoring people, shaming people for their behavior, or acting “holier than thou,” genuine humility says, “I am here to serve. I am here to give. I am here to heal. What needs to you have, that I can help you fulfill in appropriate ways?”
This is how Jesus sparked a personal and global revival: first He met people’s physical needs. Then He appropriately helped them to meet their needs for love, affection, and sexual connection. In turn, they opened their hearts and wanted to listen to what He taught about God...because His new method of spirituality was completely foreign to their religious leaders and to them. This was how Jesus taught people that God is love.