That’s probably going to be the most popular tag line I’ve ever come up with; that can be both good and bad. Obviously I can’t get that stupid, horrible song out of my head now, which is bad. The bad could also be that you saw the tag line and clicked on it for all the wrong reasons. Of course, the good is that no matter the reason for clicking on it, you will actually read what I have to say (hopefully – I don’t just write to hear myself……..write…?).
For the record, this is what I’m listening to:
Just wanted to get the most important stuff out-of-the-way. Now then. This was inspired by a talk I was having with a friend of mine in church today. *GASP* “You were talking about sex in church?! How…….” Go ahead, fill in that blank. What’s the first word that comes to mind? Distasteful? Wrong? Prideful (yeah, I’ve heard that before for some insane reason)? Inconsiderate? Inappropriate?
Where, then, are we supposed to talk about it; nowhere? When are we supposed to talk about it; never?
What sparked this conversation we were having was talking about a certain movie that recently came out. C’mon, you know the one; don’t pretend you don’t. This isn’t about that movie or book directly, but it brought about a good reminder.
First of all, sex was made to be something intimate and personal and…..magical. It was made for spouses because they are the ones bound together; sex further cements that bond. Whether or not you are married, sex forms an uncanny bond. There are things I did before I got married and before I became a Christian that I really, really wish I didn’t. Occasionally those things are remembered and I don’t want those memories. They aren’t of love or commitment or even of trust and intimacy. They are memories that stem from too much to drink (sometimes) and lust (always).
I wasn’t always a Christian, and I wasn’t raised a Christian, so I can’t speak from experience about how Christian homes handle the talk (or any talk about it). I can say that I have been friends with some people raised in a religious and binding home where the kids were not allowed to have any touch of the world. By world, I mean the outside world. What I’ve seen in most of those kids (though, not all) is a tendency to derail; a tendency to sneak a little taste of the world only to become addicted to it. They taste more and more until they no longer resemble Christ but become examples of the world.
I think churches can get it wrong about sex. Sometimes they push and they push and they push to stay pure until marriage, but they don’t go into the whys. In an effort to stay sexually pure, people will get married too young with this idea of love. Often they’ve confused lust with love. I’m not saying marrying young to avoid sexual sin always works out badly (I have a few friends that have and are happily married still), but I’ve seen enough of them go south to know it shouldn’t be the only reason or even the dominant reason to get married. If the church talked more about the whys of staying away from sexual immorality, painful and troubled marriages may be less prevalent.
To those people who would say that sex is not an okay topic to talk about in church I want to ask you, why? Why can we not talk about something that was created by a loving God? Created by a loving God for a loving and committed relationship?
Now, by loving relationship I don’t mean those going on week 2 having professed their unyielding and undying love for each other. Those are the relationships that confuse lust with love. Even in one of my favorite sitcoms that’s how it’s treated. There’s this idea in the world that in order to be really in love with someone – anyone – you must have sex, otherwise your feelings must not be very deep. Shouldn’t it be more about if you really love someone you should be able to hold out? If you really love someone they are worth waiting for?
This is not the forum or the place to talk about my past exploits (so I won’t, not exactly), but I want to give an example of this. There were a few times when I had too much to drink (I was an alcoholic, so this was the case more often than not) and things were going too far for me. I would stay stop and usually they would. They heard that word stop and they listened, but if I hadn’t said it things would’ve continued. That’s not love, that’s lust. There was one time (only one) when things were going too far and it was the guy who looked at me and said no. He said no because he knew it was outside of commitment and covenant; because he knew it wasn’t what I wanted and it wasn’t respecting me. That is love; holding out even though it’s hard because it’s the right thing to do. That is the man I married.
I don’t know why, but sex has become the most defining point in relationships. It’s become a moment that defines either a relationship or how one person feels about another. It has become an act to decide compatibility. Clearly if the sex is bad you two have no business being together because, y’know, sex is the most important thing in a relationship; it clearly outweighs every other aspect of someone’s personality and/or heart. That was heavy sarcasm, by the way. If that’s your view, you aren’t in it for the relationship or the other person.
Even more horrifying is the culture of one night stands. If you don’t think those have any effect on you or your mindset, you are so very wrong. Sex was meant to make an impact on a person. It was meant for relationship. It was meant and created to unite two people. Scoff if you want but someday, if it hasn’t already, those one night stands will haunt you. Someday those faded relationships where sex was a dominant factor will come back to bite you. It’s not to say you can’t get past it – the blood of Christ covers a multitude of things, but that doesn’t make it easy.
Church, don’t shun sex. Don’t avoid it because it’s uncomfortable. Educate. That doesn’t mean pull me into your bedroom; honestly, no one else wants to be there with you. Talk about why it’s important to wait. Talk about what the Bible says about waiting. Talk about why you waited, or talk about how you feel about not waiting.
Someday, someday I know my kids are going to want to have the talk. When that time comes I am going to try to be as open and honest as I can. Believe me, I know how uncomfortable it is – I can’t even say the right names for body parts! Yeah, I’m not joking about that. Even so, my kids (and you and yours) deserve to know why it’s important to wait. They shouldn’t have to wait simply because they are told to. I assure you, if that’s the lesson you’re going with it’ll back fire. They are more than mindless robots to me. I want (and need) them to have an active faith lifestyle, and that means making informed decisions about what’s right and what’s wrong.
We all deserve a little bit of that, don’t we?
Teach about love and teach about the whys of faith. Don’t teach about hiding and burying, because even if you aren’t teaching that directly, that’s what they’re learning when you hide and bury a topic.
Church, don’t bring us into your bedroom, but don’t keep us in the dark, either. Teach us how to be and teach us why we should be the light.