“So, what did your parents teach you about sex?” one of my friends asked a mutual friend as we devoured pizza on his back deck.
His blank expression answered the question even before he replied, “I only knew what I learned from porn.”
“Pastor, do you agree with everything in that marriage book you gave us?” a newlywed husband asked me.
“Hmm . . . what is bothering you?” I responded.
“Oral sex,” he quietly mentioned. “That’s wrong to do, right?”
“Growing up in the church,” the podcast host vented, “all I heard was how bad sex was. How sinful. How wrong. And then I get married and I’m supposed to see it as good and holy?!”
“I’m a woman who wants sex more than my husband. I’m the one who struggles with porn. But I could never talk about that at the women’s Bible study. That’s why we only pray for people with cancer and safe travels.”
These stories are the reasons why we Christians should talk much, much more about sex and God.
In a church culture where some people treat sex like the Harry Potter villain Lord Voldemort (aka “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”) and others spell s-e-x as if Jesus would wash your mouth out with soap if you said that one-syllable word, we need to reframe our conversations about sex.
Why? Because the real people that you (and Jesus) love have real questions, real problems, and real issues with sex. And currently their sources of information are Netflix, Google, and not the Bible. We cannot be angry at the sexual brokenness of America if we have not first shown what sexual wholeness looks like from God’s perspective.
This month I’m preaching four straight sermons about a biblical view of sex. I want to prove, from God’s Word, that sex was God’s invention, that our Father holds the patent on the pleasures of sex. And I want to show that sex, no matter what Hollywood implies, is most powerful and beautiful (and realistic) when it is the fruit of two people loving, respecting, and serving each other in Jesus’ name. And I want to show why God, the best Dad ever, is so strict when it comes to our sexuality (like a parent who might be a bit touchy about the kids playing with matches in the house). And, more than anything, I want to unpack all the passages where Jesus loved, forgave, and saved people who messed things up sexually.
I want God’s people to know what God says about sex. Don’t you?
I realize that sex is a sensitive subject. I am fully aware that five-year-old ears will be listening when I teach those messages. I know that you yourselves are male and female, single and married, widowed and divorced, virgins and sexually active, raging with hormones and decades past menopause. I’m guessing some of you have been blessed by good sex while others bear the wounds of sex gone bad.
But when we think about the blessings of getting sex right and the consequences of getting sex wrong, I hope we can agree that God’s people need a clear word from their Savior. When we think about our children, our grandchildren, our best friends, and our church family, I hope we can pray passionately that these messages would give wisdom, forgiveness, and hope to the church of Jesus Christ.
Because, as that virgin apostle once wrote, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16,17).
All Scripture—Genesis 2. Song of Songs. The verses about sex.
Useful—Helpful. Functional. Needed.
Equipped for every good work—To love her. To respect him. To forgive them. To honor God.
May God give us wisdom as we try to transform the church’s conversation about sex. Amen!