Talking About Sex in the Church – RETHINKING SEXUALITY

After 6 years of teaching Awaken-Love to Christian wives and husbands, I am painfully aware of the need to talk about sex in the church. But we cannot limit ourselves to just talking about sex within marriage. God created us as sexual beings from the time we were born. We need to understand what the bible says about all areas of sexuality and even equip ourselves to minister to others.  Dr. Juli Slattery has written an amazing book and curriculum called Rethinking Sexuality that is both grounded in truth and steeped in grace.

Rethinking Sexuality

In her book, Dr. Slattery talks about how culture constantly influences our ideas about sex. Movies tell us that sex in marriage is boring while sex outside of marriage is hot. The show Friends helped to normalize the use of porn for men. Culture created a wide spread acceptance of living together before marriage. If someone asked us to give cultural answers about sex, we could easily answer. But when asked about our biblical views on sex, we freeze up or resort to trite answers like “the bible says so”.

I have to be honest, questions about sex in marriage don’t really scare me anymore. But when it comes to some of the other issues, I feel ill equipped to have real conversations with my daughters, or anyone else for that matter. Though I know what the bible says, how we live that out has no easy answers. For example, though the bible  defines marriage as one man and one woman, it also tells us to love others. The bible also tells us to take the log out of our won eye before we worry about someone else’s splinter. 1 Corinthians 8:2-3 (NLT) says,  Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes. If we think that the bible provides easy “one size fits all” answers, then we are sorely mistaken. 

Dr. Juli Slattery is uniquely equipped to help us understand sexuality in today’s culture. For the last 6 years she has been traveling the country ministering in the area of sexuality. After hearing the stories of thousands of people, her answers are not just biblical, but they are filled with compassion. She does not resort to trite Christian answers. Instead she teaches us how to think about biblical sexuality. She challenges us to discern God’s will in our individual situations.

One of the paradigm shifts Dr. Slattery teaches is that Truth and Love must co-exist. Though the world thinks we can’t both know the truth and love others, Jesus did, and we must also. Jesus humbled himself and we must humble ourselves. We can never approach people with the attitude of fixing them. God calls us simply to love them.  We don’t  transform lives, Jesus does. When we humble ourselves and become a servant like Christ, then God can work through us.

I am so excited to recommend Rethinking Sexuality as a way to open up conversations about sexuality in church. Rather than remain silent and let culture alone form our  views about sexuality, we must understand how to think about sex from a biblical view .

Next week I meet with my pastor in hopes that my church will use Rethinking Sexuality for a church wide study. I continue telling everyone I know about this study because we can’t keep being silent. We face a unique opportunity for church to become a safe refuge for all of us to be honest about our brokenness so that we might find healing.

Check out Rethinking Sexuality.

Comments 4

  1. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5 that marriage is a “mystery” that paints a picture of Christ and the Church. Sex within marriage represents the joy and intimacy of eternal life that is only available through Jesus Christ. In John 14:6, Jesus explains that He is the only True Way to a relationship with the Father. Any path to “eternal life” that does not go through Christ is a counterfeit, yielding something less that what God intended. Likewise, sex outside of marriage does not yield the true intimacy beyond the physical act that God designed for sex within marriage.

  2. I completely agree with this line of thinking and to me, being sex-positive means adopting a totally different mindset regarding HOW we communicate about sex. A trend I have seen is that even within those who feel we should talk about it more (whether within church itself or just between Christians in general) is still a tendency to be “uber-pure” in our language. For instance, there should be nothing wrong with one woman saying to another woman, both Christians, “Hey, we had fantastic sex last night – I rode him so hard!” Yet, some would be shocked and consider that inappropriate. Why is it if we’re talking about marriage and sex? To me, it’s fundamentally no different than celebrating a great evening on the town.

    So, to me, if we’re going to cross this bridge, we have to cross it – not go halfway. That means being able to talk about sex by actually talking about sex.

    • Thanks for your comments. I agree that it can be an encouragement to let other people know that you had a great night of sex. I do think that there are limits. I actually just drafted a post about it that should come out in the next month.

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