19 Feb Swipe Right: Life, Death, Sex, and Romance
When I was a teenager and living with my grandparents, who are Christian missionaries and pastors, I remember being bored and having my gran point out her book shelf that was filled with theology, bible studies, and self-help books. My response was somewhat dramatic when I thought gaah, all those books are so boring and outdated. Thinking back to that time, I get it – I didn’t feel seen or heard in those books. I didn’t see our own lives represented; instead, those books detailed all these rules and guidelines to become a “good Christian,” and besides it being unattainable, those books rarely outlined the messiness of Christianity or the challenges that we face as modern Christians.
That’s where Levi Lusko gets it right.
A unique and compelling understanding of the power and the pleasure attached to God’s plans for relationships.
For better or for worse, interactions with screens are now irreversibly entangled into the fabric of our lives. We swipe right to answer calls, unlock our iPhones, respond to snaps, browse through photos, and respond to emails. With our fingertips dancing across devices, we navigate our way through life. It is now estimated that the average American pull their phone out to check it 150 times each day. That’s once every six minutes.
For the now more than 100 Million Americans on dating apps like Tinder, swiping right is increasingly the first step towards initiating no-strings-attached sexual encounters. Sex is being stripped of any emotional or spiritual significance by successive generations and it simply viewed as a physical source of pleasure and enjoyment. All of this is a reality, the real question is at what cost?
In Swipe Right, Pastor Levi Lusko offers compelling reasons to make wise choices in matters of the heart—relationships, sex, dating, and marriage. He encourages readers to live each day knowing their present choices will immediately become part of their pasts, and that their pasts will inevitably come back to visit them in the future.
With equal parts prevention and cure, the book is not just a list of rules to live by but something to live for: God’s powerful plan for our lives. To get there we must learn how to swipe right—to live up in a left, right world—because what we do with sex and romance is truly an issue of life and death importance.
For twelve years Levi, his wife Jennie, and their team, have put on an evangelistic purity conference called the O2 Experience. Traveling across the United States, he has appeared in three to five cities each year, bringing a fresh perspective on sex and romance, challenging thousands of teens and unmarried young adults to rise up in strength and honor. Swipe Right will broaden the discussions to include married people, those dating, and those who have racked up consequences but need to know it’s never too late to do the right thing and experience God’s best.
Levis is a Christian millennial and just like me, he is trying to figure out how to navigate this new world, because without realizing it, we are pioneers of our time. I see myself in his writing – I can relate to his thoughts, and the stories that he shares. In fact, I had a giggle that in one of his stories, he describes having a pretty bad accident which results in breaking his leg, and while he doesn’t recall much from his time in hospital, he remembered being mad because they had to cut him out of his favourite pair of jeans. It was amusing because my own husband was knocked over by a car, as a teenager, and had the exact same experience where he was absolutely livid that they cut through his favourite pair of jeans. For many years after that, he clung to those blood-stained jeans until one day, they just disappeared 😉.
I first discovered Lusko’s writing when I saw Struik Christian Media advertising his latest book called Take Back Your Life, which I immediately ordered because the description felt like it had been written for me. There was no messing around – his 40-day interactive book helped me dig deep and find what was holding me back, and encouraged me to stand in my light and follow my God-given purpose. As soon as I claimed that, life started changing and I no longer felt weighed down by my anxiety and worries.
Swipe Right was equally groundbreaking and speaks to our generation; the generation of smartphones, constant swiping, liking, and engaging. Earlier this week, I watched a documentary about OnlyFans which explores the stories of several creatives on the platform and what they’re willing to do for money, and while I don’t feel like I necessarily live with my head in the sand, my mind was utterly blown. I kept wondering whether there is any dignity left? If we’re so willing to engage in casual sex just for views, have we grown completely numb to understanding and recognizing the power in having sex?
SEX. There, I said it.
I could bet my bottom dollar that I would never have found a book on my gran’s bookshelf that even hinted at the act of sex. I mean, still to this day – 2 children later – I can’t imagine saying those 3 little letters in front of them and why? I was raised by a mom who was all too comfortable to have those awkward conversations but my grandparents are “old-school” where it’s wrong and un-Christian-like to speak of such private matters, but then it got me thinking – if we’re not talking about it, are we to blame for our youth not seeing or recognizing the importance of protecting that part of ourselves?
I tend to be the person who says no to everything; I was the good girl at school, the head girl, an A+ student, and despite having a rough upbringing, I lived my life without drugs, smoking, alcohol, and sex. I would see those things around me, but I stayed clear because I was scared of the consequences. I was SO aware of them – I knew I had a long-term plan, I knew I wanted to get married, have children, and have a badass career, and after seeing the impact that revenge porn had on one of my peers in high school, I was all too aware that you never know what the future holds and how something so private, shared between two people can turn and be used against you if you aren’t careful about who you share that with. I also remember that when I realized that my teenage boyfriend had lost his virginity at 13-years old, I was shocked, heartbroken and pretty much ready to cut all ties. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Here we were, 15 or 16-years old, and he had already shared the most intimate parts of himself with someone else when I was very much not ready for that AT ALL.
But the problem was – NO ONE WAS TALKING ABOUT! No one was there guiding teenagers and young adults on this part of life because it made everyone else uncomfortable. And that’s why Swipe Right is crucial for our current culture and generation. It’s not that God doesn’t want you to enjoy yourself – this might come as a shock, but He wants you to have AMAZING sex! That’s right – you don’t have to feel bad about yourself because you enjoy sex! But sex is intimate, and shouldn’t be stripped of any emotional or spiritual significance.
Besides the most incredible book cover (seriously, I am in love with the artwork), what this book holds is thought-provoking conversations that need to be heard and shared. It’s an amazing read and definitely, one that I feel will continue to open this discussion further.
You can purchase your copy of Swipe Right from leading book stores including CUM Books.
I’m a Jesus-praising, beauty-obsessed, plant-crazy, career-driven, soccer-loving, tattoo-craving, picture-taking, mom of two.