More than the Birds and the Bees

When someone mentions the talk, what comes to mind? Most people think of “the birds and the bees” or about the biological and emotional changes that occur during puberty. What most people don’t think about are the theological and spiritual aspects that form the foundation of human sexuality. Without this theological perspective, much of the beauty and dignity of human sexuality is lost.

Sexuality is Good

First and foremost, human sexuality is a good thing. All that the Church teaches on the intricacies of human love and sexuality come from this one, fundamental truth: God, who is love, created all people in His image. He created us to share His love and to reflect that love throughout the world by how we live our lives. In the Book of Genesis, we read that man and woman are the pinnacle of God’s creation, as they are made in His own image. Through this truth, men and women have received the ability and the desire to be in relationship with God and with one other. According to Pope Francis in his apostolic exhortation on the Joy of Love, Amoris Laetitia, “The mystery of the Christian family can be fully understood only in the light of the Father’s infinite love revealed in Christ, who gave himself up for our sake and who continues to dwell in our midst” (no. 59). In this, Jesus is the lens through which human sexuality makes sense. Without Him, we are missing the purpose. He fully reveals who God is as a Triune communion and relationship of love—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He not only shows us the face of God but also shows us who we are and who He calls us to be. Love and human sexuality are intimately ingrained in this noble truth. Every father needs to have this foundational understanding of sexuality if he wants to form his own children in the truth.

Co-creating with God

Because we are made in the image of God, we often find joy in that which is “God-like.” Co-creation is the process in which man and woman use their God-given skills and talents to express ourselves through various avenues and mediums. We use what God has given us through His creation to in turn create along with Him. The ultimate form of this is seen in procreation, where God gives us the power to co-create with Him to bring forth new life. Through this process, the love between a husband and a wife gets a name and becomes a living, breathing person with a soul.It’s a beautiful reality! Teach your children that they were co-created by the loved shared between God, mom, and dad. They were conceived in love, born in love, and received into the family with love. As children grow older, become teens, and receive a more in depth sex education from their parents, then marital intercourse will be understood as an act that includes God. Sex is holy when it respects God’s plan. Because humans are a unity of body and soul, our bodies and our sexuality, both male and female, are a fundamental part of God’s design and essential to being made in His image. Therefore, the human body has great dignity, and by extension, human sexuality is a great good (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 355-373). Learning to accept, care for, and respect our bodies in their fullest meaning is an essential element of the human condition (Laudato si, no. 155).

Challenge:

Reflect on the idea of being made in the image of God (imago Dei). What does it mean for you personally in your Catholic Faith to be made in the image of God? How does it shape how you understand and perceive your body? Is your experience of sexuality one you want to pass on to your children? Why or why not?

Recommended Resource:

St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body