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Posted by on Aug 15, 2012 in Inspirational | 14 comments

Sex, Banana Pudding and Self-Control

Sex, Banana Pudding and Self-Control

I heard someone talking about banana pudding the other day.  Apparently, if you want to have amazing banana pudding you’ve got to be willing to invest some time and patience in the process.  There are quicker options, but the good stuff requires hours of preparation, waiting for the right time to enjoy.

By the time we reach adolescence, we should have picked up on a little truth: the best things in life are the result of a patient process.  We work hard at developing a new skill and get to enjoy using it.  We spend years and years in an education system and have so much knowledge to show for it.  We invest in a plan and get to see it happen.  Diligence, patience and self-control pay off with huge rewards.  We deny ourselves temporary gratification so we can experience a better future.

When did sex become any different?  If you were to examine our cultural view on sex, you would think that human-beings have absolutely no ability to exercise self-control in their sexuality.  There is a subtle thread of belief that since sex is so natural and feels so good that it’s not meant to be controlled.  But the truth is that sex and banana pudding have some things in common:

1.) Sex is good.  So is banana pudding.  Anything good is worth waiting on and enjoying the way it was meant to be enjoyed.  For practical, physical, psychological, spiritual and emotional reasons there is no better sex than married sex.  It’s worth the wait.

2.) The wait makes it better.  Instant pudding doesn’t leave the same taste in your mouth as the good stuff.  Sex outside of marriage seems enticing but doesn’t sit well at the end.

3.) The end result is better than the ingredients.  If you eat the ingredients while you’re cooking, they don’t taste as good as the final product…and if you eat too many of the ingredients while its cooking the final product will be compromised.  Trying to enjoy the benefits of sex outside of marriage is often hurtful in the end and brings sexual baggage into your future marriage.

4.) Self-control is required.  But we’re much better at self-control than we think.  We constantly make choices to deny temporary pleasures for long-term gain.  We can do the same with sex…and of course with banana pudding.  We just need a change of perspective.

What’s been your experience?  Is sex exempt from self-control and patience?

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  • Daryl Dudley

    Great Post.. I think our society has gotten so used to sex outside of marriage as the norm. As a whole we have exempted it from self control and patience, but God has not. We can point to the statistics and see the number of abortions, incidents of disease, and tally the children who grow up fatherless. However, we fail to really understand the consequences of not waiting for sex as it relates to the lives emotionally altered because waiting for the “sex pudding” was not prioritized.

    I think we are quickly moving to the place where so much “instant pudding” is available; people will have a completely diminished desire to really experience and enjoy the “marriage pudding”.

    • So true, Daryl. With marriages failing at an alarming rate as well, there are few great models that would incentivize young people to believe that marriage pudding is better. We need couple role models, not perfect, but taking God at His Word and living it out well.

  • Richard

    Hahaaa, so true Pastor! Love this post.

    My experience, at least with banana pudding (nanner pudding as I called it as a kid), is that the best Banana Pudding is the kind where the bananas are almost stale, and old. Now I know this kindof puts a bad taste in your mouth when related to sex, but indeed it does put your perspective into light. Good banana pudding does take time, and I’m willing to take your (and my awesome, always loving God’s) advice and go with it!

    Thanks

  • Harrison, why not chocolate pudding? I could relate more with chocolate… haha, either way — great post! I have fallen victim to sex and walk away feeling torn as you mentioned, but also with so much clarity. I agree completely, anything good is worth the wait but I struggle. I guess it’s because we are human and a part of the human process is to connect with others on all levels. Physical connection is very intense and I can imagine that being the case in marriage. How will you know you like the banana pudding if you don’t try it first? We all have different pallets…

    • Saskia, Thanks for your gracious comment and great questions. First, banana pudding is awesome because it usually has wafers in it. But chocolate pudding with wafers would be fine by me. It’s all about the wafers 🙂

      Three thoughts come immediately to mind. The first is how the Bible describes marriage as two flesh becoming one. This happens on all three levels of our existence: body, soul and spirit…and when it happens in one, the rest follow. It’s impossible to be united physically and not create a soul and spirit connection as well. Every sexual encounter leaves a part of us with someone else…and that’s less we have to give our future spouse. Thankfully, God’s grace allows us to be healed in our soul and spirit so we can be whole again…it’s a process though.

      Secondly, not to go go all Twilight on you, is the idea of “imprinting”. Our first and frequent sexual experiences actually imprint themselves inside of us (the person, the scenario, even aromas). Our pallets are not necessarily developed because of individual taste as much as our initial or reoccurring sexual experiences. That lines up with the idea that we were created to enjoy sex in the context of marriage. Our experience with our spouse becomes the experience we crave! It’s also why many marriages struggle sexually. Previous sexual imprints (including fantasy and masturbation) make the experience with our spouse less desirable. This, too, can be healed!

      Finally, is a different idea about where sex needs to start in married life. Our culture has glorified the wedding night and honeymoon as being some magical culmination of a relationship. Naturally, then, we feel the need to be as prepared as possible. What’s more beautiful and fulfilling, though, is a lifetime of learning and growing together sexually…abandoning selfish desires to gratify one another. You’ll spend year after year of marriage making it sweeter and sweeter. For me, that’s the good stuff!

      These are some of the thoughts on this I’ve gathered over the years. What resonates? What doesn’t?

      • This is my third attempt in replying. I lost my two previous replies to cyber space:) I’ll have to take more time to think about what you’re saying. I absolutely see your points and believe that I once felt deeply about wanting to share true intimacy in a marriage alone. I remember that being my creed to men growing up. I was carefree knowing that marriage would be the time that I would explore with my beloved. We live in interesting times and the idea of marriage, relationships, even friendships have changed. I also understand that we connect as human and spiritual beings. Not with everyone, but special people that come into our lives unexpectedly. To teach us whether it’s mentally, physically and emotionally. All of it is Good because it’s intended to help us grow. I believe when there is a true connection between two people the physical charge isn’t as strong because you are connecting on so many different levels beyond the physical. I’m not married but know that I will be one day, and it will be just as interesting as most of my relationships now. Everything takes work but with balance and our alignment with God, we should move through those experiences with ease, grace and surrender. Sex is complicated but we were gifted with the expression.

        • Thanks for responding back. Enjoyed your post today back from your retreat!

  • i love when people discuss abstinence until marriage as something that’s actually possible. i think a lot of young people make the wrong choices about sex among other poor decisions is because although they may go to church regularly like i did, it was not impressed upon them that we are children of The King and we should treat ourselves and each other as royalty which is why God Has such high standards for us. if more young people thought more of themselves in that sense, they would make better life choices that they wouldn’t suffer the consequences for so many years or decades later. i want to teach my daughter to act like a “princess” and not to degrade herself with poor, common choices.

  • you’re right, you have to have self control with banana pudding, especially with soft, double wafers and no bananas (my preference) or you will feel horrible the next morning

  • Mike

    Great post, Harrison…something Leandra said got me thinking. The secret for good pudding is in the time, but also in the stirring. Heb 10:24 urges us to consider how to “stir up” one another to love and good works. In the Amplified Bible, it describes it as attentive, continuous, and watchful care. In all relationships, this is important, but especially in marriage, which can provide our strongest, most intimate relationship. Sex outside of marriage is a shortcut, not allowing us the opportunity of a long-lasting, continuous “stirring” that builds a healthy relationship. Although some may say this can happen outside of marriage, I believe the act of marriage “seals” in the flavor and locks in the taste before God, and adds His blessing…preventing the relationship from spoiling and becomming corrupt over time.

  • You are TOO funny! Been craving banana pudding for months. My mother, who passed away in 1992, used to make it all the time! This was before “instant pudding” was available! I used to watch her as a child being so patient waiting for the cooked pudding to get just right, pouring it over the wafers and bananas, leaving it on the counter until it naturally cooled so the hot pudding could get all the way to the bottom of the pan! Saturating all the wafers-which instant pudding does not do! So, at the age of 59, I made it for myself for the first time based on my memories and am enjoying it to the fullest!

    I was a single parent for a very long-time and sex was not an option in my brain for years! SELF-CONTROL is worth it!

    Love your posts Harrison and I am passing them on to all the other kids! Love you and miss you, Miss Denise (Alanna’s Mom)

    • Always appreciate your comments and shares, Miss Denise. Miss seeing u (and your children) but know we’ll all connect again. Love ya! -h