It’s been a crazy year, y’all.
We’ve known that our culture’s attitudes toward marriage, sex, and intimacy have shifted, but this year has shown us how far we’ve come–and how devastating the fallout from our anything goes sexual culture can be. Though people like to talk about how “it’s just sex,” we know better. Broken bones and broken hearts both hurt. If Christians talk too much about sex, it’s not because we’re obsessed. It’s because the world around us is, and we would spare people heartache if we can.
I’d like to invite you to a conversation. Not a “what’s okay in the bedroom” kind of conversation, and hopefully not a condemning or accusatory one. I want us to look at intimacy and sexuality from a theological point of view. What is God’s plan for and purpose for sex? How do we honor God with our sexuality? What hope is there when we struggle in these areas? What are the values and presuppositions that drive our views of sexuality? I want to move beyond purity pledges and 30 day sex challenges to talk about the big picture question of what God intended for this good and precious gift.
It’s a conversation we need to have. It’s not enough just to tell our kids to wait. We need to tell them why. Our culture is overwhelmed with the world’s version of sex. Two out of three television shows include sexual content, and one out of ten depict or strongly imply sexual intercourse. Of those depictions of intercourse, only half involved couples who were in an established relationship with one another. Ten percent involved couples who had just met. And that’s just television.
What our media reveals is that our culture has accepted two contradicting beliefs about sex. We now see sex as an inalienable human right. Two consenting adults can have sex with whomever however and whenever they please, and anyone who suggests putting boundaries around acceptable forms of sexual expression is a prude or bigot or worse. And yet, we also adamantly hold that sex is just like going for a jog. It’s just sex. Just about the endorphins–it doesn’t mean anything. Though it’s hard to see how sex can be both sacred and meaningless at the same time, those are the dominant messages coming from our culture.
Scripture has a different story. The Bible speaks of a God who asks us to glorify him with our bodies and to live before him with holiness, dignity, and purpose. Sex is a great, powerful, beautiful gift, and an expression of love between husband and wife. Used rightly, sex bonds us together. Used wrongly, it tears us apart. The world screams its message about sex. As the community of faith, we need to be able to articulate a different story. We need to be able to tell this story clearly and tell it well not just to keep our children from harm, but so we can also offer hope and healing for those who have been left wounded and betrayed from the sexual turmoil of our culture.
So this is what I want us to talk about the next couple weeks. Let’s take a step back and look at what God’s good and loving intentions are for us in this area of our lives. Let’s be thoughtful. Let’s be loving. And let’s remember that God always writes the best stories.
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