Sex Ed for the Saints
This month’s blog was supposed to be all about love and sex. My mind has been pulled from the topic the last couple of days, so today I’m going to attempt to rein it back in a little.
Christian people have no problem talking about love. It is, after all, the foundation of our religious belief system.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 19:19b
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13
We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Should I go on?
We are more than comfortable talking about love.
What about sex?
Um, sex? Christians?
You mean what rules do Christians have AGAINST sex, right?
No. Not at all.
Several years ago, long before I had teenagers of my own, I had the blessing of being a counselor at church camp for a cabin full of tweens. These girls were from a mix of backgrounds, but I don’t think many of them came from that stable of homes that year.
One night in our bedtime devotions our conversation turned to sex. What better place to hold this conversation, right? Ten or so female teenagers in a cabin with a married female counselor.
We were doing ok until they asked me if it was a sin to use a vibrator to masturbate as long as they were alone.
I knew that my answer was very possibly the only Christian perspective these girls were going to get, but I had no idea myself what the “right” answer was or where in the Bible to even locate a vibrator. I did what any panicked camp counselor would do and called for reinforcements!
Four adult Christian women discussed sex frankly with a group of teenage girls. Some of those women were old enough to be my mother. I had no idea those women had sex, and I especially had no idea they knew about things like vibrators, masturbation, and oral sex.
Those good Christian women knew all about those bad horrible things!
The topic of our devotion made its way through the adults at camp like wildfire. The next night before dinner I joined a conversation between an older unmarried female counselor and our camp evangelist. I listened to something like the following:
“We always had a rule that we discussed everything. If you had a question you asked. I’ll never forget the night Tommy asked right at the dinner table what a BJ was.”
Unmarried female counselor: “At the dinner table? What did you say?”
Evangelist: “Well, we asked where he had heard that, what he thought it was, and then explained it.”
I stood there puzzled throughout the entire conversation. Finally I interrupted.
“Ok, perhaps I’m dumb, but what’s a BJ?”
The small circle erupted into giggles.
Yes, I was married. Yep, I was the same counselor bombarded with sex questions the night before. Now you see why I called for help.
Christian people talk about THAT at their dinner table with their kids?
Sex is a topic that doesn’t get talked about that often in church. We just don’t bring it up. I mean surely we’re all adopting our kids…that’s the only scriptural way to get them, right?
Ok, so that’s taking it a bit far, but really, when’s the last time you heard sex talked about in church?
If I had to guess it was probably to your youth in a True Love Waits type ceremony or lesson. We typically only address sex when we’re telling unmarried people not to do it.
Should spouses be physically attentive after marriage?
Verse 3 above says a husband should give his wife the affection due her and the wife to her husband. This scripture tells us that it isn’t one spouse’s duty to give and the other’s to accept, but that each spouse is supposed to give unto the other as if it is owed.
Once we enter into marriage, we no longer have the ability to claim, “This is my body I can do (or not do) whatever I want with it!”. When we join lives, our flesh becomes one flesh. Just as we wouldn’t want to be deprived of a need, we shouldn’t allow our spouse to be deprived of a need.
Verse five talks about not depriving one another of sex without consent for a time. I wonder how many times people have been “cut off” that it has actually followed the rest of this verse?
According to this scripture, which is NOT a commandment but a concession, you may agree to a set amount of time not to have sex for spiritual reasons. However, you should also set a time to come together again. This time of sexlessness should be devoted to fasting and prayer. It is not a time of anger.
What role does sex play in the lives of married Christians? I didn’t get there today.
Perhaps I will before the month is out. What questions might you have about Christians and sex? Or better yet, how would you have answered the question I got blindsided with?
Be bold! Join the conversation about Sex Ed for the Saints!