Strawberry Shampoo and Sex
Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 1 Corinthians 6:13
When I was a child, I once drank strawberry shampoo. I just knew that something that smelled so good must taste amazing. I got a few big swallows down before I realized how bad it tasted. I wasn’t a very bright kid and I’m pretty sure my parents had the poison control number memorized. As far as I know, there weren’t any lasting effects, but at the time, the shampoo made me sick because it wasn’t meant to be ingested.
As amusing as that may be, I’ve now – as a physician – taken care of others who’ve eaten non-food items. Children swallow toys, batteries, and magnets, and adults, with a disorder known as pica, will eat dirt, hair, rocks, and manmade objects. You don’t need to be a physician to know that the ingestion of such things can lead to physical consequences. The stomach is meant for food, not shampoo or batteries. Eating non-food is weird and self-destructive.
This is the metaphor that Paul used in today’s passage to address sexual sin. He said that the stomach was made by God for food. Our bodies, however, were not made by God for sexual immorality. Just as the body is injured when we ingest non-food items, so too, we’re spiritually sickened when we engage in sexual immorality. God made our body and spirit to work a certain way and when deviate from his plan, we damage ourselves.
How many of us have caused ourselves tremendous misery with our sexual appetites? We look at a thing and, like the strawberry shampoo, we think we want it. Like the one who suffers from pica, we follow our self-destructive appetite, making ourselves spiritually sick. We cannot follow God, becoming who he wants us to be, while engaging in sexual immorality. In pursuing lust, fantasy, pornography, or an inappropriate relationship outside of marriage, we hurt ourselves and our relationship with God, because he didn’t make us for those things.
If we want to be physically healthy, we must eat right. Likewise, if we want to be spiritually healthy, we must carefully choose what we allow into our lives, daily putting Christ’s will ahead of our self-destructive appetites. Our stomachs weren’t made for strawberry shampoo and our bodies weren’t created for sexual immorality.