4 Truths The Church Should Be Teaching About Sex

Recently, Relevant Magazine published an article by Lily Dunn entitled 4 Lies The Church Taught Me About Sex. I read it and felt sorry that she had grown up in an environment that taught those things. It got me thinking about what a church should be teaching about sex. 

Evangelicals, like myself, should be able to teach about sex unabashedly. But it is scary too. I preached a sermon on sex one week and had fourteen people in the small church I pastor never come back. It's a touchy issue. But today, I have laid out 4 Truths The Church Should Be Teaching About Sex. I would love to hear your thoughts on this at my Facebook page. You can get there by clicking on the link at the right.

1. Sex is good.

If it wasn't so great, it wouldn't be abused so much. That's the problem with sex. It's so good that it even gives great pleasure when enjoyed outside of it's designed context.  This happens with a lot of God's greatest blessings.
CS Lewis wrote: 
"To be bad, he [the bad power] must exist and have intelligence and will. But existence, intelligence and will are in themselves good. Therefore he must be getting them from the Good Power: even to be bad he must borrow or steal from his opponent. And do you now begin to see why Christianity has always said that the devil is a fallen angel? That is not a mere story for children. It is a real recognition of the fact that evil is a parasite, not an original thing. The powers which enable evil to carry on are powers given it by goodness. All things which enable a bad man to be effectively bad are in themselves good things - resolution, cleverness, good looks, existence itself (from Mere Christianity).

"Evil is a parasite, not an original thing." 

2. If you mess up and have sex before marriage, Jesus is in the restoration business.

Who doesn't make mistakes? 

It isn't over if you have premarital sex. As followers of Jesus, ours sins are no longer held against us. That doesn't mean that we won't sin any more. It means that Jesus' sacrifice makes us right.

Paul wrote in his letter to the followers of Jesus in Rome:
 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1 ESV).
Jesus came to earth and restored fallen sinners like you and me to him. The good news of Jesus isn't great because it's for perfect people. The good news of Jesus is great because it's for imperfect people like you and me. You don't have to carry the mistakes of your past around with you. Jesus will be glad to get rid of them for you.

3. Celibacy is good too. 

This is often neglected in evangelical circles. If you try to get hired as a forty-year old celibate man, you would see how much the evangelical churches look down on celibacy. It's like there is something wrong with someone who hasn't been married. 

The Apostle Paul gave a different perspective on celibacy. There is something beautiful in living your life completely for Jesus without any sexual distractions. In his letter to the followers of Jesus in Corinth, who were a very messed up church, he wrote:
To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.  But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion (1 Corinthians 7:8-9 ESV).
There is a benefit to remaining celibate and not being married. 

4. Abstinence until marriage is God's plan.

Our society tells us to not teach abstinence, yet we must. We don't leave the decision of what we teach in church up to public education boards. They decide what the school will teach. We study Scripture to decide what the church should teach.

If we don't teach abstinence, then nobody will hear it.

God doesn't give us teachings to constrain us; he gives us teachings to liberate us. To free us from the shackles that destroy us, both emotionally and physically. To empower us to love Him and our neighbors as he intended.

When it comes down to it, sin is just a destructive force that prevents us from reaching our full God-given potential. It prevents us from accomplishing the things God has called us to. Some days, I would love to believe I am a puppet that God controls and nothing I do can toss me out of God's will and his remarkable plan, but that is not the way God has chosen to work. Sin destroys while love builds up.

Sin brings nothing but evil and destruction. A lot of pain. A lot of hurt. That is why Jesus uses the concept of a thief in the night come to destroy. Sin doesn't just cause pain to myself; it causes pain and hurt of those left in my wake. One of our society's greatest sins is abusing one of the greatest blessings that God gave us, and it does destroy when used inappropriately.

A Center of Disease Control study from 2012 reported, "10% of women and 13% of men 20-24 years report not having had any kind of sexual contact." You might look at those numbers and despair, but I like to look at them this way. Abstinence is possible. 1 in 10 parents of women are successful when it comes down to teaching sexual purity. And a slightly better percentage with men. Compare those percentages to church attendance numbers and we are doing pretty good.

Abstinence is less likely to happen by accident if we don't teach our kids to not have sex and save their sexual purity for marriage. 1 in 10 is actually good, especially if you remove all of the families who don't teach abstinence from the study. God has a different plan than conformity to our sinful culture with our sex life.

Sex was created for marriage. Let us enjoy one of God's greatest blessings the way he intended us to.