In Memory of “Doc” #5

Doc Dobbins was somewhat “eclectic” in his approach to counseling theory. He was influenced by Freud, Jung, Erikson, Rogers and others, yet blended these insights into a Biblically based understanding of human nature and how to offer help to people in time of need.

It doesn’t take a psychologist to know that sexuality is an important part of life. However, counselors learn from what is often shared in counseling situations that the sexual side of life can offer pleasure or pain. A well known axiom in life is that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is true of how we manage our sexuality as well. It isn’t surprising that Doc wrote to that end, in books like “Raising Healthy Children in a Sexually Sick World” and others.

I recently taught a 3 week series on Biblical Sexuality, and quoted Doc. He had perhaps one of the best definitions of sex that I’ve heard. I said in the message “As one of my mentors defines it, ‘GOD INTENDED FOR SEX TO BE A LIFE-UNITING ACT, WITH LIFE-UNITING INTENT, IN A LIFE-UNITING RELATIONSHIP, FOR LIFE.'”

When understood in this way, the reason God intends for sex to be reserved within the confines of marriage makes perfect sense. Likewise, the Biblical teachings on sex and sexuality can be understood as being good for us a people…not restrictive, pleasure-ruining “do’s and don’ts.”

In an age when sexuality is simply seen as what I choose to do with my body, and the identity that accompanies my behavioral choices, it’s helpful to remember why God made us sexual beings “in His image.” Indeed, if you re-read the creation account, our male and female-ness is part of what it means to be made in God’s image. (Genesis 1:27) I can still see Doc recalling this verse in a lecture, pausing, then adding that it wasn’t until God created us in His image, with our sexuality, that God pronounced His creation “Very good!” He then laughed, in the way only Doc could.

Our sexuality is precious in the sight of God; should be respected, enjoyed, and lived out within the guidelines provided in God’s word, with the understanding that God knows what is best for us. After all, He made us in the first place. The Bible is simply the owner’s manual for humanity!

A final thought. When I taught the message on sexuality and quoted Doc, I had several people mention what a helpful definition that was of sex. Someone even mentioned what good mentors I’ve had (I have quoted other mentors through the years as well). I told myself I was going to send Doc a Facebook message and just let him know how much his teachings have impacted me, and the “staying power” his words have. It wasn’t an urgent “I gotta message Doc now!” kind of feeling, just something I thought I need to do in the next few weeks.

Well, Doc went to heaven about a week later. I assume he knows by now the lasting impact of his teachings. While I don’t fell horrible about not messaging him in time (Doc also helped me with not assuming too much ‘unnecessary guilt’) I wish I had done so, it would have felt good to have given him a last-minute gift like that.

Do you have someone you would like to say something to? Whether it is “thank you, I’m sorry, I appreciate you”…don’t wait. Make the most of the opportunities while you have them.