Crickets. Silence. An awkward hush.
That’s the sound heard among many groups in the church when the subject of sex surfaces.
I ask myself, Why?
Why would Christians —who know the beauty of God’s design as it is described in the Bible, who have the understanding about God’s plan for sex within our marriages —why would Christians cower in the corner and speak so little about a subject that matters so much?
It is often said that culture is upstream of politics. Yet culture wields a tremendous influence over every aspect of our lives regarding technology, education, artistic expression, and yes, sex. Culture has distilled an encompassing and powerful narrative that has shaken attitudes and beliefs about sex.
Unfortunately, many in the Christian community have refused to show up for the conversation, have ambivalently abdicated a seat at the cultural table —to equip and encourage couples with real information, real authenticity, and real power to cultivate a sexual relationship that is vulnerable, authentic, sometimes awkward, sometimes frustrating, yet more beautiful and intimate than anything we could have imagined.
Lies loom heaviest in dark places. Shame spreads where silence is the loudest. Transformation occurs when truth and compassion are spoken in the light.
Lies loom heaviest in dark places. Shame spreads where silence is the loudest. Transformation occurs when truth and compassion are spoken in the light. Click To Tweet
Here are a few reasons why Christians need to talk more about sex:
To help heal our broken past
It’s hard to give ourselves fully to another when the pain of our past stands in the way. Past broken places. Past shame bleeds into present shame, holding us captive to fear and self-condemnation, which hangs low as a dark shadow over the corners of our hearts and prevents us from ever knowing or being known. Keeps us hidden behind stark walls of distance and disconnection. Protects us from ever climbing out of our shame-skin and making ourselves vulnerable, unmasked, and real with the person with whom we’ve chosen to spend the rest of our lives.
God doesn’t want us to live out of our past. He wants us to heal our past. He longs to restore and redeem. To see His blood washing over our souls, our minds, our aching wounds, and our most fragile broken places, so He can make us white as snow. Clean. Brand new.
God doesn’t want us to live out of our past. He wants us to heal our past. He longs to restore and redeem. To see His blood washing over our souls, our minds, our aching wounds, and our most fragile broken places, so He can make us white as snow. Clean. Brand new.Click To Tweet
He wants us to experience the freedom and boldness to embrace sex with our spouse and enjoy it fully as His good gift to us. Why don’t we as a church start talking about sexual wounds so that we can heal them? Let’s reclaim what the enemy has tried to steal. Let Him redeem and restore our past wounds in the way only He can.
To release unhealthy beliefs
Beliefs and attitudes don’t come with an easy on-off switch. I wish they did. When everything you’ve been taught is that sex is, bad-dirty-the worst, and that waiting is sure to bring amazing rewards, it is hard to wake up on your honeymoon and make the shift from puritan to sexual prowess.
Sometimes the beliefs that helped maintain our purity can hold us back from experiencing a healthy view of sexuality, and prevent us from being able to let down our guard and enjoy healthy sex with our mate.
Genesis 2:25 (NIV) states, And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Why doesn’t the church talk about sex the way God intends? Why don’t we teach our men and our women healthy attitudes that will keep us reaching towards each other instead of beliefs that keep us shut down, turned away, crying alone in the dark.
Talking about God’s plan, His desires, His purpose for sex, can inspire a God-centered perspective of purity, and lead couples into a clear understanding, with more balanced expectations so that couples everywhere can thrive.
To empower greater intimacy
God created sex to keep couples face-to-face, eye-to-eye, and soul-to-soul, listening to each other, breathing and working as one through the challenges of life. The stresses and responsibilities are constantly vying for our attention, threatening to pull us apart, subtly driving us towards the daily distractions and away from each other. Little by little we become strangers and we’re not sure just how we forgot to admire, to lean in, to cling to each other.
Sometimes we buy into the notion that, I’m too tired, is okay for life. We get comfortable. We settle in. We rarely think of the cost to our relationship. We believe the lies that it will always be there when in fact, sometimes it won’t.
There is substantial clinical researchthat a healthy sex life has significant health benefits for couples, and even more, feeds the emotional connection in the marriage.
Dr. Siri Greenblatt, therapist and rabbi, suggests,
Couples who are more intimate or sexually active tend to be, on the whole, more fulfilled in all areas of their life…It is a blessing to be able to come together as a couple in a way you wouldn’t with any other person. That is a shared vitality between you and your partner alone, and it is sacred.
Sacred. Yes, sex is a sacred union between a husband and a wife. Healthy sex is also a sacred expression of our faith, and yes, that’s why it is so important that we start talking about it. Working through it. Grappling with it. Growing in it.
To strengthen our faith
Great sex is a parable of the Gospel—to be utterly accepted in spite of your sin, to be loved by the One you admire to the sky._Tim Keller, The Gospel and Sex
Sex teaches us how to receive one another, as God receives us. Sex is the canvas that grows our compassion and cultivates connection, not in the absence of our weaknesses or failings, but most often, in spite of them.
How much more does a healthy sex life keep us grateful to an overwhelming God who loves us, reaches towards us, and gives Himself to us in spite of our doubt, our sorrow, and distrust.
And his goal in creating human beings with personhood and passion was to make sure that there would be sexual language and sexual images that would point to the promises and the pleasures of God’s relationship to his people and our relationship to him. In other words, the ultimatereason (not the only one) why we are sexual is to make God more deeply knowable._John Piper, Sex and the Supremacy of Christ
So, can we let the cat out of the bag? Can we break through the awkwardness, the silence and actually begin the conversation about sex? Can we talk about it from the pulpit without offending someone? Can we talk about it in our Bible studies without fearing we will embarrass ourselves?
So many couples struggle in the darkness. It is about time we in the church help walk them into the light.
God’s goodness is in the light.
His healing is in the light.
His understanding and hope is in the light.
His power to transform is in the light.
Let’s move past the awkwardness. Let’s bravely step out of the silence.
Let’s start talking more about sex and step into the freedom, the hope, the future that God has for us in the light!
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