Watched an absolutely awful television series a few weeks ago. By the end of it, my wife and I were cringing at the seemingly endless strings of cursing. The script writers couldn’t finish a sentence fragment without dropping the “F” bomb, and we couldn’t figure why. It didn’t add anything to the plot, and it became more and more distracting as the series wore on.
So, it got me to thinking about all the different curse words we’ve identified to express ourselves. Join me in a quick exercise, will you? Make a mental list (if you’re brave, you can do it on paper) of all the curse words you know of. I bet that 98% of them will fit into one of three categories:
- Bathroom words
- Sex words (including any about genitalia)
- God words
Am I right? Isn’t that interesting? Why do you think that is?
Curse words are used for their shock value. They are used for volume. Bathroom words are effective volume increases for children, but they’ve lost most of their shock value for adults. If you want them to add volume, you actually have to increase your volume when you say them. Most of their usage for adults is just bad habit.
Sex words still have volume and shock value in most circles, but God words not so much. They get used too much. And if HBO isn’t careful, they are going to single-handedly ruin the sex words’ shock value, too. Then what will we do to get attention?
But let’s back up. Why are these words shocking? Bathroom words because they deal with something unpleasant, but what’s unpleasant about sex or about God? Nothing normally. That’s not why their misuse shocks us. These words have volume………because they are sacred.
Sacred. Consecrated. Set apart for God. Treated with veneration and awe. God is sacred, and we know we aren’t supposed to take His name in vain, because it says so in the Bible. And while sex isn’t on the same level, it is also to be treated with veneration and awe. See Leviticus 18 and 20.
God created sex before the Fall as an incredible, beautiful gift. Through it, a husband and wife participate in the miracle of creation, join one another in complete oneness and intimacy and receive the blessing of the most pleasurable experience we will find this side of heaven. Sex within the boundaries of marriage brings God joy.
If that last sentence made you flinch, it’s because you’ve been infected by the way the world views sex – as something dirty. That proves that the Enemy’s plan is working. Satan wants to destroy the sacred. That includes the holy name of God, and it includes the holy gift of sex. He hates them both, and he’s been working for millenium to destroy their sacredness.
That’s what “cursing” means. Cursing is invoking evil, calamity, injury or destruction upon. When we curse using sex or God’s name, we are chipping away at the beauty, the wonder, the holiness of what God has shared with us. We are taking the sacred and dragging it through the mud. Do that enough times, and the sacred becomes ordinary or even “dirty.”
Cursing reduces the perceived value of a thing. The curse makes worse. If you hear God’s name cursed enough, and lightning doesn’t strike, you begin to think that maybe God’s not that holy, afterall. Or maybe He’s not even real. Because if He exists, and He’s holy, why doesn’t He defend Himself? And cursing with sex words makes sex seem bad, unholy, something shameful and seedy.
If you’re still not convinced, ask yourself why we curse with sex words but not with words about other things like war or surgery or accidents. There are shocking elements in each of those. But they don’t do the trick, because they aren’t sacred.
Or consider, why do we curse about God and Jesus but not about the gods of other religions or about religions icons like Buddha? Wouldn’t those types of cursing be just as effective? Is it just that our God is more tolerant than those other gods? I don’t think so. It’s because the only names that are truly sacred are the names of the Holy God.
If we can agree that cursing is sin, then we can also agree on who’s behind it. We know that he hates what God loves, so doesn’t it make sense that he would want to influence us to help him destroy the sacred? Every curse using sex or God’s name reduces their perceived value in the world’s eyes. We don’t want to partner with the Enemy in this. Our role is to honor and protect the sacred. For my wife and me, that means no mo HBO. What does it mean for you?