Question #2 from Living Pants Up 2014…
There were some great questions asked during the event this year.  We plan to answer six of those here.  Here is question number 2.

Question #2 - “What about friends with benefits?  Should we have them?”

Let’s first explain what friends with benefits are.  Friends with benefits indicates that two people who are friends decide they want to engage in sexual behavior with one another without the constraint of a deeper relationship.  

The reason friends may enter into this agreement with one another usually centers around their beliefs about sex and relationships.  The first belief is that sex is casual, non-consequential, and doesn’t affect a person much after the fact.  The second belief is that deep relationships are undesirable because they are exclusive, confining, and freedom-killing.  

Myth #1 - Sex is non-consequential

There is no such thing as non-consequential sex.  In their book Hooked, Dr. Bush and Dr. McIlhaney shed light on the way our brains react to physical stimulation from others.  

"When two people touch each other in a warm, meaningful, and intimate way, oxytocin is released into the woman’s brain.  The oxytocin then does two things: increases the woman’s desire for more touch and causes bonding of the woman to the man when has been spending time in physical contact with."

Further research shows that men have a similar experience when they release vasopressin (similar effects as oxytocin) as a part of sexual behavior.

"Men may question why they keep going back to a woman who treats them poorly or may wonder why they never seem able to feel, deep inside, a commitment to a woman after having sex partner after sex partner.  Sadly, they simply do not know that their brains are flooded with vasopressin during sexual intercourse and that this neurochemical produces a partial bond with every woman they have sex with."

The unintended physiological consequence of multiple partners is an inability to bond in a committed relationship.  

"Their inability to bond after multiple liaisons is almost like tape that loses its stickiness after being applied and removed multiple times."  

If you think you can have casual sex and not have long-term effects modern research of the brain will tell us otherwise.  So even if nobody gets pregnant or a sexually transmitted infection, sex still has a consequence.  

The Bible also has something to say about this topic…

"Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh."

Myth #2 - Relationships are undesirable

The ol’ ball and chain.  That’s oftentimes how relationships are depicted. And sometimes relationships can feel like this.  The unhealthy ones that is.  And that seems to be the reason many shy away from serious relationships.  They’ve never seen or experienced a healthy one.  All they know is that dating relationships end poorly usually with some feeling of shame, guilt, or regret.  

Let’s imagine though that relationships are life-giving and one of the greatest desires of our heart.  Surely that’s part of the reason Jesus stated 

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” -Matthew 22:37-39

Both of these statements by Jesus are referring to our relationship to God and our relationship to others.  Relationships are really important.  We can learn an awful lot about ourselves and other people in the context of relationships.  Relationships can be really life-giving.  They can supply encouragement, support, love, compassion, and forgiveness.

I don’t want to sugar-coat this though.  Some relationships are extremely difficult and can bring great sadness and despair.  That’s why it’s important to be picky about who you are in a dating relationship with.  Choose wisely!

The Answer

In short, the answer to the question is no.  Don’t experiment with friends with benefits.   It’s dangerous to you and those closest to you including your future relationships.  

Questions From Living Pants Up 2014…

There were some great questions asked during the event this year.  We plan to answer six of those here.  Here is question number 1.

Question #1 - “Are leggings bad?”  

Great question!  Leggings in-and-of-themselves are not bad.  In other words, if a pair of leggings were on the shelf at the store it wouldn’t be bad to look at them, touch them, or even put them on.  They are what we call amoral.  The leggings are not good or bad.  They just are.  

Having said that, it’s important to realize that an individual, usually a female, who wears leggings may be putting herself and the opposite sex in a tough spot.  ”How so?” you might ask.  

First, let’s explain what a pair of leggings are/is.  According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, leggings are a "type of skin-tight garment that covers the legs and that may be worn by both men and women…In contemporary usage, leggings refers to tight, form-fitting trousers that extend from the waist to the ankles."  

Second, it’s important to note that the latest fad does not always pair the leggings with a long shirt or blouse or any other garment that would cover the upper area of the leggings, mainly, the hips and upper thigh area.  Therefore, an individual who wears leggings will show the lower-mid area of his/her body in great detail, something that is left to the imagination when wearing other forms of trousers.  

Third, an important question to ask when putting on a pair of leggings is, “Why am I choosing to wear these?”  Some would say, “Because they are comfortable.”  Others might comment, “Because they are cute.”  And still others would admit, “Because I want to draw attention to this part of my body.”  

Fourth, there are many of us who are conscientious about how are bodies look.  If you were to ask us to stand completely naked in front of our classmates we would judo chop you in the face.  But if you give us a pair of skin-tight trousers that will cover up all the “imperfections” (dimples, wrinkles, scars, etc) and show only the good of our body, well then, spray on a pair of form-fitting tights and we’re off to strut down the halls of our school. 

There are some major issues in Scripture we are dealing with here when we think about the four aforementioned points.  Listed next to each issue is a Scripture verse and some questions.  See how it is you would answer, “Are leggings bad?”  

  1. Modesty - 1 Timothy 2:9-10, Proverbs 31:30, 1 Peter 3:3-4.  Is it modest of me to wear skin-tight clothing?
  2. Causing another to stumble - Mark 9:42, 1 Corinthians 8:9, Matthew 5:28.  How could me wearing form-fitting pants like leggings cause someone else to sin?  What sin might I be causing in another?
  3. Motivation - 1 Samuel 16:7, Matthew 15:18-20, Philippians 4:8-9.  Why do I choose to wear these pants?  Have I chosen to wear leggings for the wrong reason(s)?  Is my motivation pure and lovely?
  4. Self-image, identity - 1 Corinthians 6:19, Genesis 1:27, Psalm 139:14.  Do I put more value in how my body looks than I do in how God sees me?  Am I too concerned with how others see me?
  5. Conform to the world - Romans 12:2, 1 John 2:15, James 4:4.  Would I be ok if I didn’t wear the same clothes as my friends?  Do I put too much effort into trying to look like everyone else?