I’m not sure how confessional I want this blog to be, but I do want to be real. I had a great night out with some good friends on Saturday at Birmingham Town Hall where Seth Lakeman and his band were performing. They are all very talented musicians and they play a mix of mainly quite rocky folk music which is right up my street. But I’m not sure the band would have quite so much appeal to me were the lead performer not quite so easy on the eye.
I think having some kind of crush on a famous attractive man is probably the norm for most girls (and some boys) post-puberty. It probably stops us going out with all sorts of unsuitable teenage boys who just can’t measure up with the idol on the poster on our bedroom wall. Somewhere along the line I became more discerning in terms of which actors had acting talents, which pop stars had musical talents and started getting put off by the personal qualities revealed by a famous person’s obsession with scientology for example. Just too weird.
Looking through my dvd collection now, I could tell you a lot about why I think George Clooney, Ethan Hawke, Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce & Colin Farrell are good actors. But that wouldn’t be the full story about why I am more inclined to watch films starring these particular individuals. I could say it was that they choose good projects to be part of, but I’m not sure you’d believe me. Likewise I could make arguments that 24, Spooks, Bones and House are good quality dramas. I’m less sure that the ‘quality drama’ line would work for Alias, Grey’s Anatomy or Private Practice but they do have some good storylines…
I guess the question for me should be when watching or reading something stops being beneficial, even if it is permissible. Some of my teenage rewinding habits were probably indicators that I was lusting after a man or perhaps the idea of a man in a way some people (myself included) would see as sinful. I read books a young teenager had no business in reading. As a drama student I was required to study plays which included extremely graphic material (more shocking than sexy) and I found ways of relating to the content intellectually with perhaps more distance from the more disturbing portions. I could probably still go all ‘media studies’ dissecting some of the scenes I watched many times as a teenager and talk about camera angles, facial expressions and semiotics.
God made us as sexual beings, and I know He isn’t shocked by the thoughts and daydreams I am reluctant to admit even to myself. Even if I were to post the most detailed confessions here (which most of you will probably be glad to hear I won’t) I know God would still understand and love me. I believe the verse in Hebrews which says that Jesus can identify with us fully since he was tempted in every way yet did not sin. Every way. Even sexually and even, if you follow the every way logic, even towards members of the same sex. The verse continues with the availability of mercy and grace to help us in our times of need.
God knows I would like a husband rather like Seth Lakeman – someone passionate and musical and interested in stories and a great physical example of God’s workmanship. Since God hasn’t yet found me a husband (or perhaps I turned him down), I have to trust that God can handle the single me, and work with me to help me learn and grow as a woman. I am grateful that, contrary to media opinion, there is more to life than sex and there are other fulfilling relationships we can enjoy with friends and family members. Perhaps if I get closer to them and closer to God I will be less distracted by unavailable, unsuitable and in some cases fictional men, and find some measure of contentment.