Magic Johnson was one of my heroes, and one of the best basketball players I had ever seen. What intrigued me about Magic was the zest for the game of basketball and for life that he had. He would run up and down the court, working his tail off, but he always had a smile on his face. And he was good!
While this was an enduring image, it is not the one my mind holds when I think of Magic. I’ll never forget one afternoon when I was watching ESPN, when they broke in for a special news conference. The announcers had no idea what this conference was about, but they knew it was something serious related to Magic. Then he stepped to the podium. I did not know what was up, but immediately I noticed that the smile was gone (Magic was famous for always having that smile). At that news conference Magic shared how he would have to retire from the Los Angeles Lakers and the game he loved because he had tested positive for the HIV virus. I was shocked. Here, this great man who could conquer anything, and he was going to be conquered by the choices he had made. He went on to share how he was now married, but before his marriage he’d slept with many, many women. He didn’t even know which relationship he had gotten the virus in. He apologized, and said that he realized that his life had been wasted because he did not make wise decisions.
As I thought about Magic, my thoughts drifted to Proverbs 5. This chapter is one of the most practical teachings on God’s plan for sexuality. The chapter begins with a warning — to avoid the lips of an adulteress. Her lips drip with honey, and her life-style is care free. But in the end her feet will take you straight to the grave. I think Magic has learned this lesson.
God has an incredible plan. He created sex, and he created sex for pleasure between a man and a woman. But God’s plan is now, and has always been for sex to something shared between one man and one woman for a lifetime. When sex is reserved for the context of marriage, it is a beautiful thing that will bring intimacy and love in marriage. When it is perverted, it can cause destruction, hurt, and a ton of problems. Other than the moment of pleasure, there is not a single positive thing that comes from sexual relationships outside of marriage.
Reread verses 11-14. You know what is scary about these verses. They parallel the words Magic said in the news conference that day. His words were a bit different, but the idea was the same. Verses 15-17 uses the symbol of water to explain God’s plan. When you love Jesus Christ, and enter into a marriage relationship pure, God will give you the ability to love your spouse in a beautiful way. In the end, only those who live under God’s plan will experience fulfillment and happiness in this area of life.