I don’t know what the girls did. I imagined them in the next room looking through BRIDE magazine, playing M.A.S.H. or picking out prom dresses. They laughed and hugged while we men stared at the floor. We were slammed in the face with our evil and unbound sexual desire. Lecturers called us adulterers and recommended gouging out our eyes and cutting off our sexually promiscuous hands (see Matthew 5:27-30). We were taught the second glance rule to keep our hearts in check. We were assigned accountability partners specifically to discuss how, when and where we acted on sexual desire in the past week. We were nearly made to believe that the pinnacle of male spirituality is the absence of sexual attraction.
Finding Sex Where It Doesn’t Exist
One of the verse bombs hurled our way was 2 Timothy 2:22. “Flee from the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” Without fail every teacher interpreted the expression "evil desires of youth" (or “youthful lusts” in some translations) as a man’s sex drive. You needed to flee, run, scat, sprint and hurry if you wanted to escape it.
Admittedly 2 Timothy 2:22 did justify the advice to find accountability partners (“pursue… along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart”). But it didn’t quite make sense. Why would some guy fighting sexual temptation find victory by pursuing peace instead of sex? Why does nothing Paul write in 2 Timothy 2 ever mention sexual purity or promiscuity? Why doesn’t Paul use adjectives like “sensual” or “sexual” to describe “lusts” as he does elsewhere when discussing sexual desire?