The Mustard Seed
A Case For Sexual Purity
Part 2 -- Parable of the Moth
Young Jeremy found a fat caterpillar in a tree in the back yard of his home. He captured that caterpillar in a large glass jar that his mother gave him. Jeremy punched holes in the lid of that jar, as his father suggested, and then every day he replenished the caterpillar's supply of twigs with fresh green leaves.
Then one day Jeremy noticed that the caterpillar had stopped eating and now was busy spinning a web of silk around itself. That web became so dense and thick, Jeremy could not see the caterpillar any more. This was exciting. Jeremy knew what was happening. The caterpillar was hiding in its cocoon, slowly changing into a moth. Jeremy knew he would have to wait a long time. But he examined the jar every day, because he did not want to miss seeing the moth come out.
Then one day, Jeremy noticed a small movement at one end of the cocoon. It looked like the moth inside was chewing a hole in one end of the cocoon. Jeremy sat and watched. Soon the hole was just big enough for the moth to stick part of its head out. Then it seemed to get stuck. Obviously, Jeremy thought, the hole isn't big enough. Jeremy waited wondering what the moth would do. If the moth were smart, it would go back into the cocoon again and chew the hole bigger, so it's whole body could get out. But moths are not very smart, so it just kept pushing and struggling to get its fat body out of that little hole.
Jeremy wanted to help. He had an idea. He found a pair of tweezers in the bathroom. He opened the jar, and took out the cocoon. He carefully began pulling at the silk threads around the hole that the moth had made. Jeremy was very careful not to touch the moth.
Jeremy was successful in his mission. He was able to make the hole large enough to let the moth escape easily. But what Jeremy saw shocked him. The moth's wings looked deformed, all wrinkled up, and the moth seemed unable to spread them out. This poor moth could not fly. Unable to fly away to its natural habitat, the moth died within a day.
What Jeremy failed to understand was that his effort to help the moth escape the cocoon without a struggle crippled the creature. The physical effort that the moth must go through to exit the cocoon is what it takes for its moth-blood to flow to its wings and strengthen its muscles so it can spread those wings and fly away freely.
The experience of the moth struggling in its last stage of maturity is a picture of what each one of us must experience in our maturing into adulthood and the commitments of marriage and family. During our teen years our bodies change. Our hormones change. Our feelings change. Our desires change. For a young child, the whole idea of sex is gross. But that changes.
In God's design of our development, our bodies and our desires seem to be ready for sex years before God gives us permission to righteously satisfy those desires in marriage. This internal struggle that we feel while we wait is like the moth's struggle to leave its cocoon. But that struggle is a necessary part of our maturing to become more fully ready for the responsibilities and life-time commitment that comes with marriage.
I have known many men -- young and old -- who didn't wait. They gave themselves permission and found opportunities for sexual experiences before they were wise enough and emotionally mature enough to commit to marriage. That early experience with sex stunted their emotional growth. Their bodies continued to mature, but their thoughts and attitudes about sex and relationships stayed very adolescent, stuck at the age they prematurely escaped from their developmental cocoon.
Yes, there is a long span of time between the beginning of our teenage awaking to that time God gives us the green light to marry the right person, in the right way, at the right time. And during that time there is much God wants to teach us about ourselves, about Him, about relationships, and about family.
Like what? We will continue this in upcoming issues.
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a couple blocks south of the Metro Red Line Forest Glen Station
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Pastor Ron Friedrich