When I was in college in the 1970s, my friend introduced me to Super Glue. It was relatively new on the market, and we quickly discovered multiple uses for this amazing product.

When I was in college in the 1970s, my friend introduced me to Super Glue. It was relatively new on the market, and we quickly discovered multiple uses for this amazing product.


We glued the house phone handset to its receiver, had someone dial the number and then watched the look on our housemates’ faces as they picked up the telephone — handset, receiver and all.  


We tried glueing people’s doors shut (with minimal success), people’s shoes to the floor (with greater success) and the zipper open on one guy’s pants (no — he wasn’t in them at the time). Then, feeling remorse for our actions, we tried to melt the glue on the zipper and accidently set the poor man’s pants on fire.


Had there been a Bureau for the Misuse of Adhesive Products, we would have been up on charges. As it was, there were quite a few people who were unhappy with us. Besides that, it was hard to hold a pencil after accidentally glueing my fingers together. I lost some skin trying to get them apart before class.


Super Glue is a type of cyanoacrylate invented by Dr. Harry Coover and Fred Joyner (could a name be more fitting?) at the Kodak Laboratories in the 1940s. Cyanoacrylates are acrylic resins that create a bonded chemical chain when exposed to water. This happens very rapidly, making them a powerful, fast-acting adhesive.


What Super Glue was to the objects in Noble House back in our college days, sex is to relationships. Men and women who don’t understand that get themselves glued to the wrong people, and it hurts badly when they try to pull themselves apart.


There are, outside religious circles, two basic conceptions of sex. One holds that unless people sincerely love each other, they should refrain from sex. The other admits no necessary connection between sex and love. I’ve noticed that people holding the first view (“... only if we really love each other”) frequently end up in relationships with people holding the second (“What’s love got to do with it?”).


An older (and saner) view of sex sees it as the glue that binds two people in a lifelong commitment: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one.” 


In this view, a sexual partner is more than an accessory in the pursuit of personal pleasure. There is no place in this view for casual sex because there is nothing casual about sex.


This older view also rejects the idea that sex is morally appropriate as long as people are “in love.” Today it is common for young people to hear, “Just wait: You’ll know when the time is right.” Those holding to the old wisdom agree with this in principle: “Yes, you’ll know when the time is right. It’ll be the day you get married.”


People scoff at this view and call it hopelessly old-fashioned, but they simply do not grasp the role sex plays in sealing a relationship. Sex is glue, both psychologically and, as recent research suggests, physiologically. People who have sex with multiple partners make the glue less sticky. Keep sticking and removing the tape, and it loses its adhesive properties.


This is why married couples who engaged in premarital sex have a greater risk of divorce. Statistics gathered in the monumental National Longitudinal Study of Youth from 1979-2000, suggest that the divorce rate for those practicing abstinence before marriage is half that of those who had multiple sexual partners. For those who did not have sex at all until their wedding night, the rate was three times lower yet. 


For those people, the glue holds. It holds for a lifetime. 

 

Shayne Looper is the pastor at Lockwood Community Church in Coldwater, Mich. He can be reached at salooper@dmcibb.net.