Penises, testicles, abs, biceps, buttocks, hair, eyes, fingers, clitoris, vagina, labia majora, labia minora, nipples, sexy toes — and that’s not all God created. You have to admit, God did a pretty good job, particularly when you consider God could have done things much differently.

God created bodies. God created hormones. God created sex drives. God created lust. And most importantly, God created love.

You know, life is hard. A lot of crappy things happen to people. Thank God that on the journey of life we experience love and lust.

With respect to the latter, you can’t beat Song of Songs 7:1-9 for a better description.

How graceful are your feet in sandals,
O queenly maiden!
Your rounded thighs are like jewels,
the work of a master hand.
Your navel is a rounded bowl
that never lacks mixed wine.
Your belly is a heap of wheat,
encircled with lilies.
Your two breasts are like two fawns,
twins of a gazelle.
Your neck is like an ivory tower.
Your eyes are pools in Heshbon,
by the gate of Bath-rabbim.
Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon,
overlooking Damascus.
Your head crowns you like Carmel,
and your flowing locks are like purple;
a king is held captive in the tresses.
How fair and pleasant you are,
O loved one, delectable maiden!
You are stately as a palm tree,
and your breasts are like its clusters.
I say I will climb the palm tree
and lay hold of its branches.
O may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
and the scent of your breath like apples,
and your kisses like the best wine
that goes down smoothly,
gliding over lips and teeth.

The passage is even better in Hebrew. For those of you who haven’t taken Hebrew, you’ll have to use your imagination. Ok, let’s just say “navel” is not the best translation.

Now some fuddy-duddy Christians, embarrassed by the love and lust of this account, a long time ago tried to make the case that this text is about Jesus’s love of the church. Really? I don’t think so. Do you think we are stupid?

Leave it to the church and the Christians to mess up love and lust.

What ignites your lust?

For me, it was my wife’s eyes and beautiful brunette hair and her off-the-chart attractive hands and fingers. Yeah, her fingers really turned me on. I don’t know why, but her fingers rang a bell.

Isn’t it interesting the way we are wired, the things that attract us? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for boobs and buttocks, but if my wife didn’t have her eyes and hair and hands and fingers, I don’t think we would have gotten married. Of course, it wasn’t all about physical attraction. Far from it. But physical attraction was a bit overwhelming to say the least.

In seminary I had a professor of Christian ethics whom students accused of being bland. When it came to his comments on sexuality, however, nobody accused him of being boring. He thought so highly of God-created sex, he suggested that after having sex people should sing the doxology.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise God, all creatures here below;
Praise God above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise God, Son, and Holy Ghost!

To be honest, I’ve never sung the doxology after sex. Singing is not in my skillset. My wife, in fact, asks me to stop singing in the car when she just can’t take my sorry singing. I don’t blame her. But if I could sing, I would sing the doxology after sex with my bride.

Hey, I hope a church or clergy member didn’t teach you incorrect things about your sexual orientation, gender identity, sexuality and lust. Life can be so hard, and you don’t need the church messing up how you feel about God, your self, your body and others. I hope you find the love of your life, and I hope you enjoy all forms of intimacy, including sex. One day, unless you die early, you will be old like me, but you’ll never stop loving and lusting. I was ape-crazy about my wife the first time I saw her, and I’m ape-crazy about her to this day.

Last month anti-LGBTQ graffiti was spray-painted on the doors of Wedgewood Church, the church I serve as a co-pastor. The vandal or vandals are so wrong about my LGBTQ friends.The day is surely coming when the love and lust of all people is celebrated.