Frosting (by Jim Anderson)
When I was a little boy, my family used to spend summers at my grandparents’ cabin at Hayden Lake in Northern Idaho. One summer Mom and Dad went to town and left my three brothers and me at the cabin—alone—with three boxes of brownie mix in the cupboard. As they drove away we opened, mixed, and baked all the packages at once. When we pulled them out of the oven, we immediately dove in, rolled the hot dough into little balls in our fists, and ate and ate and ate. It was not too long before I began to feel sick. To be honest, I don’t know if I like the taste of brownies to this day.
Culture views sex as I viewed the brownies. If sex is like frosting, our culture says you need to find the biggest bowl available, fill it with frosting, get the biggest spoon possible, and eat as much frosting as you can, as often as you can, with as many people as you can. In fact, our culture tells us frosting is what life is all about; it gives meaning to life and is the greatest human experience known to man. Furthermore, if you have already eaten frosting the traditional way, you need to try it while standing on one foot because that will add a whole new dimension to the experience. Then you might want to try hopping on one foot, then spinning around and eating frosting all at the same time. Now, there is an experience you won’t want to miss! And finally (and I have reserved the best for last) the most exhilarating frosting experience of all—stolen frosting! Have you ever eaten stolen frosting? It is equal only to secret frosting.
Obviously, I am being sarcastic, but it appears as if the quest for the ultimate “frosting experience” never ends. Our culture is hanging over the edge of the frosting bowl and gorging itself with little thought about the long-term, let alone short-term, consequences of its actions.
With such a strong, collective cultural endorsement in media, film, advertisement, and music, in which it appears as though everyone else is participating in sexuality without any thought for God and His intentions, many people have obtained their frosting any way possible. However, people are forgetting something in the midst of all of this: if what the culture says about frosting is true, then everyone who is engaged in the pursuit of the “frosting world” should be skipping down the street laughing. If frosting in any form is fulfilling, then prostitutes should be the happiest people on earth, right next to the mafia guy with a hooker on each arm. Similarly, the young woman who has just given herself away to a young man should be skipping down the street, her head thrown back, eyes sparkling, and laughter coming out of the deepest part of her spirit—in spite of the fact that he left her the next morning. Across the continents we should hear the same story over and over again from women: “I don’t need permanence and security. I can be as unattached as the young men in this culture are. I don’t need promises and commitment. I gave myself to him, and he left…ha, ha ha. I don’t care if men leave me. I gave myself away to another man and he left, too. It’s no big deal. I’m getting frosting. That’s all that really matters to me.”
He did not design men and women to limp from one disappointing relationship or sexual encounter to another, trying to find the magical formula or person who will fulfill the cultural promise that sex is the central experience of life.
In reality, the young woman is not laughing or skipping, nor are her eyes sparkling. Instead, she, along with the rest of her generation, is on hold waiting for an appointment at the offices of psychologists, counselors, and psychiatrists. She is making appointments with her pastor and picking up anti-depressant prescriptions at pharmacies as she struggles to recover the broken pieces of her life. She is not laughing, because God did not design women to market sexuality in order to be loved. He did not design men and women to limp from one disappointing relationship or sexual encounter to another, trying to find the magical formula or person who will fulfill the cultural promise that sex is the central experience of life. As a result, fulfillment is never found, and all that remains in the wake of those sexual experiences is pain, confusion, and devastation. I teach at churches, men’s and women’s retreats, conferences, and discipleship schools, and time after time I hear the same story told in countless different ways: “I bought the lie. I chased my fantasy. I slept with my boyfriend. I had an affair. I used sex to get love. I was abused. I manipulated love to get sex.” The end result is always the same, “It has just about destroyed my whole life.”
Thankfully, we are continually seeing broken lives healed and restored by God as we preach His truth about sexuality and relationships.
If you want to read more truth in this area, you can order Jim Anderson’s book Unmasked in the bookstore on our website: