Practicalities of Talking About Sex in the Church

The world is screaming at us about sex. Non stop sexual advertising, pornography, TV shows and movies all constantly communicate the worlds standards and ideas. The church remains shockingly silent. Which in itself communicates something about sex, doesn’t it?The only way for the church to take sex back for the world is to start talking about sex. And not just in vague spiritual ways. People are looking for real answers!

You don’t wait for your pastor to lead the charge. They have their own brokenness they are dealing with. If you know and understand God’s truth about sex, then you need to start talking about sex. With your kids, your friends, and people  you mentor. We have to speak the truth about sex , but how?

I want to share some things I’ve learned from the past six years of teaching and writing about sex in the church, in hopes that it will give you the courage to start talking.

Depersonalize

Most conversations can be depersonalized. You don’t need to share specific details about you and your spouse Rather you can talk in terms of,” most men or women…. “  To communicate empathy, you could say something like, “a lot of us have trouble with….” Talk in terms of general categories like men,women or Christians.

Educate don’t Prescribe – we are all unique

Every single person and couple are unique. We come with different baggage, insecurities and even physical bodies. What works great for you may not for someone else. Our job is not to prescribe or convince but to educate and let individuals discern what is right for them. Don’t start giving people “you shoulds“.

Use personal stories  – only when it helps them understand.

Sharing your own personal stories of struggle can be a great way to encourage others and to help them understand what you have learned. Share in general ways and filter everything through God and what He has taught you.

Focus on yourself, not your spouse

Always focus on yourself and what you’ve learned, not on your spouse. Always shift the focus from their frustration with their spouse, to what they can do different. Don’t ever take sides because you have only heard one side of the story.

Avoid first person – they should not be able to visualize you and your husband

When talking about the physical aspects of sex, always avoid speaking in first person, as if you are telling a story. What you say should not cause someone to visualize what you and your husband do in your marriage bed. Don’t say things like, ” The other night I was ….

If you can’t say it in person, then don’t say it.

Years ago, I woke up in a panic when I realized I had taken readers into my marriage bed by describing a scene. After retracting the article, I wrestled with where the lines are when I write about sex. I decided that I should never write something that I was not willing to say face to face with someone else. If I can’t teach it in a class, then I shouldn’t write it. Though you may not write about sex, many of us communicate using text or social media. Be very careful and don’t say what you aren’t willing to say in person.

Final Thoughts

People are looking for answers in the area of sexuality and it is a huge opportunity to minister to others. Instead of waiting for your pastor to start talking about sex, become a resource to others. Though we need to be careful about what we say, our attitude, comfort and tone communicate as much as our words.  Help others learn that we can talk about sex in good and healthy ways. Maybe even consider leading an Awaken Love class!

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