Rev. Dr. Chris Ayers parents

My Dad was a flirt, a harmless flirt, but a flirt nevertheless. His flirting got on my mother’s nerves, along with a lot of other things he did or didn’t do, but she knew he was faithful, which he was until the end.

Before dying a pretty nasty death of prostate cancer, my father and mother lived in an oceanfront condo in Daytona Beach, Fla. They visited Daytona Beach on a whim a long time ago and my family ended up making the 10 to 12 hour trip to Daytona Beach (speed limit was 55 back then) every year for 20 years, except the year my father was sick and out of work and we couldn’t afford to go. So it was only natural that when Mom and Dad retired they retired to their favorite beach, Daytona Beach. They lived in one of those condos for seniors. Dad said his favorite part of the day was “the thong patrol.” My two other brothers and I always thought he was kidding until we went down for a visit and he showed proof. Dad pulled out a photo of him standing beside two gorgeous, shapely, big hipped/buttocked, busty females in thongs. He was grinning from ear to ear, even though he was like a dog chasing a bus.

Are you ready to put what your mama gave you into your bathing suit? Are you prepared to strut your God created stuff at the pool or beach?

God created you and gave you a body. God either gave you a body with a penis and testicles or a body with a vagina and boobs or an intersexed body or a body that does not fit your gender identity or a body that fits you bi-gendered identity. We’ve got a pretty neat God just based on body diversity.

Think about it. God could have made things a lot more boring. To be sure, I often think God is like a mad scientist. There are so many things in life and nature that are messed up. Heaven seems like a chance for God to get it right, to do a better job the second time around. However, when it comes to the human body why, God deserves a slap on the back. Bravo!

I’ve met a few asexual people. Some counselors think asexual individuals are just repressed. Maybe, maybe not. The asexual human beings I’ve known, and there are just a few of them best I can tell, seem to be very healthy, although God knows, due to the church, many people have been sexually repressed.

“The Education of Shelby Knox” is a documentary about a good Southern Baptist girl who has pledged abstinence until marriage. Shelby learns her hometown, Lubbock, Texas, has some of the highest rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in the state, and her county’s high schools teach abstinence as the only safe sex. The movie opens with Butch Hancock, guitar player for the Flatlanders, saying, “life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you, and you re going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth, and you should save it for someone you love.”

God knows we’ve been given mixed messages about our bodies and sex. It’s as if the Christians really don’t believe God took on human form (incarnation). It s as if they have’ t figured out penises and vaginas are for more than procreation.

I’m not saying we can’t do great harm to another person’s body. I’m not saying our bodies and our hormones can’t get us into a lot of trouble, even create havoc for us and make us believe (incorrectly) our lives are forever messed up. I’m just saying God created us with bodies, lusting is not optional unless you are asexual, and that life is too short and too difficult to let some of the confused and wrong Christians mess up your view of yourself, your life, your sexuality and your time at the pool or beach.

My only other advice comes from my wife: some people shouldn’t wear Speedos.

It’s time to stop reading this article and put on your bathing suit.

— Rev. Dr. Chris Ayers, is the pastor at Wedgewood Church in Charlotte, N.C.