Let’s talk about SEX


We are the beautiful gangly church. We love Jesus, and more often than not, right after Jesus and sometimes before Jesus, we love SEX – or we wish we did – or we wish we didn’t. The topic can makes us pretty wonky.

In efforts to change our perspective here, to call sex good and pure and completely God-given. I think we should talk about it a little – say on Fridays. Don’t you? Don’t you think young women in the church should be able to talk to other women in the church about it (It = SEX)?

Here are a few things that have had me thinking:

Before we get to talking, let’s think and pray. What are some positive ways you would like to see the church respond to SEX?

amberhaines
About me

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Marriage Letters: On the Sexy
January 09, 2012
Taste Creation
November 08, 2011
sex ed
March 02, 2011
The Hidden Part, On Intimacy
February 21, 2011
Let’s Talk About Sex: on Naked Time and Modesty, a guest post by Lora Lynn
October 15, 2010
Let’s Talk About Sex: A Ready Heart, A Ready Body
August 20, 2010
Let’s Talk about Sex: Incredible Sex in Marriage
July 29, 2010
Let’s Talk About Sex: Good Sex
July 09, 2010
Let’s Talk About Sex – Those First Preconceptions
July 01, 2010

38 Comments

@bibledude
Reply June 25, 2010

Sweet! I love to see more people getting excited (not THAT way) about this conversation and event! I'm actually working on a blogging project with @theideacamp that you might enjoy. If you're interested, I'll connect with you so that we can discuss the details.

Rock on dude!

tiny twig
Reply June 25, 2010

love that you're willing to talk about the taboo things. no need for sex to be "in the dark" (no pun intended...well...kinda. ha!). p.s. just wanted to let you know i linked up to your story about your dad...it rang all too clearly in my heart. thanks for it. xo.

Seth
Reply June 25, 2010

Interestingly, I just jumped over to BibleDude's space (sweet digs, BibleDude) and found this book review on his main page. I thought I'd share: http://bibledude.net/2010/06/book-review-no-stones-women-redeemed-from-sexual-addiction/

Amber
Reply June 25, 2010

BibleDude! Yes. Contact me. I'll do what I can. I was thinking of initiating this conversation between several bloggers.

Tiny Twig. I sure love your blog. I actually think you linked to the incredible Ann Voskamp's piece on (in)courage. I do wish I had written that! It's amazing.

Sarah Mae
Reply June 25, 2010

I think we should be talking about it, for sure, I'm just not sure online in the open space is the best place...perhaps between coffee and comfy and relationships and safe boundaries...

It's very hard to talk about sex in this online place where anyone can watch...know what I mean?

But YES, and AMEN to talking about it! :)

joann
Reply June 25, 2010

My church just did a Song of Solomon series. It dealt with sexuality, pornography, gender issues, etc.
http://thewellcommunity.org/podcast/series/song-of-solomon
I don't go to an emergent church.
I agree with Sarah. It's hard to talk about these things online. It's hard to talk about things like denomination, church issues, politics, gender, sexuality, without making people mad. Do I think they should be avoided? NO. Do I think that people's OPINIONS deserve to be aired? Not really. I think opinions change, people change. I want the truth. Can we handle the truth?

Amber
Reply June 25, 2010

Let me clear by saying that in no way am I asking for a scintillating conversation about the ins and outs of sex. And why yes, it's hard to avoid the jokes, but still, I'm not asking people to air their dirty laundry.

One time I went to one of my very closest friends, and I said to her, "I'm ready to talk to you about the thing I've been struggling with," and she responded with "please don't tell me. Please don't. Please don't."

I realized right then that the church wasn't ready for my sin or my questions. It was better for us all to keep it in the dark.

Obviously, that wasn't true thinking. This isn't DIRTY TALK. This is about purity, and if we aren't willing to treat it in a way that doesn't heap shame on shame then we'll be turning future generations over to our culture's definitions.

The culture throws sex in our faces everyday. Everyday many of my readers, women, struggle with pornography. Everyday many of my readers are thinking about the one they love, and that one isn't her husband.

So, thank you, Sarah Mae, for bringing to light this perspective about sex. I whole-heartedly disagree with you, though I do believe we need to be willing to talk about it in private over coffee.

There are resources out there for those of us who struggle. And for those of us who don't, the strugglers need to be a resource of grace so that when sexual sin threatens the lives of so many in the church, we know how to respond.

I promise that had I NOT been in the church when I got pregnant out of wedlock, I would not have had an abortion. The sin was all mine, but because of that, my heart groans for younger generations to hear stories of truth and grace and restoration.

Mandie
Reply June 25, 2010

I say absolutely yes! I may be timid, but it's only because for so long, Jews led to believe that sex was dirty. That can lead to a lot of misconceptions. I agree, Sarah Mae, that it would be nice if that were ways possible, but not everyone has that safe environment in front of them, unfortunately.

misty
Reply June 25, 2010

i wish the church would respond the way jesus did instead of the way my community group did when they learned my then-fiance and i were pregnant. we were not supported or loved on or even biblically reprimanded. we were avoided after that and it just hurt, all of it.
we confessed our sin, but it didn't feel safe. we were too exposed, so after we felt shunned, we withdrew from the Body and have only recently begun to fall in love w/ his Bride again. it still hurts that once people "do the math" that their eyes sort of glaze over and there is this long uncomfortable silence. i wish we had voices and room to air what grace from sexual sin looks like.

so that's what i'd like to talk about, this side of it all.

joann
Reply June 25, 2010

I think that honest testimony is important! I'm sorry if I implied we should sweep issues under the rug. I read E. Mummy's link and it seemed to be more about gender, politics and the organized church...and those things have a valid place for discussion, but sometimes they can cloud the view of the Cross. I'm not so worried about Dirty Talk, I'm worried about unity. Do I agree with every perspective my fellow sisters have? No. I'm just hoping that we can all gather at the Cross as fellow sinners and encourage each other, without compromise. Sometimes when we get into details, we fight. Do you know what I mean?

Amber
Reply June 25, 2010

Oooo, Joann, right on. I agree with you, actually - no worries. I get what you're saying.

I thought Emerging Mummy's post was incredibly interesting and yeah, maybe not as related - though I've been wrestling with some of those ideas as well, while I, too, am not a member of an "emergent church."

Jane Anne
Reply June 25, 2010

My biggest issue with the church's approach to sex is that women are taught that men want it and women don't. It isn't said like that, of course, but it is there. The marriage classes I have gone to have irritated me beyond words. Why expect women to have issues? Why constantly put it out there that women need to be more giving and responsive. The approach is maddening. The approach puts women on the defensive - or at least makes them feel insufficient. Why push it that way? Why not just talk about how wonderful it is -what a gift! Why not just talk about how great it is for both the husband and wife?

Thanks for starting this conversation. I'm looking forward to seeing what you and other readers have to say.

Sarah@EmergingMummy
Reply June 25, 2010

First of all, I'm very honoured to be listed up there! Thank you so much.

Secondly, you might be in for it, you brave girl! :-) I'm so glad you're getting ready to discuss this and take it out of the traditional conversations. Maybe that's a part of the larger conversation around sex and gender. So often the views that women don't want sex or that men always do makes any nuance feel like maybe something is wrong with them.

Also, I'm glad it's online. So much of our culture is online, it's good to have godly women discussing sex frankly without shame or titilating details in contrast to promiscuity, pornography and even unhealthy views on sex within a marriage etc.

In response to your comment about how being IN the church actually influenced your decisions, I'll agree wholeheartedly. When my husband was a youth pastor, I noticed that the girls in church were often pregnant more often. it wasn't because they were having sex out of wedlock more than anyone else - it was that they were so full of guilt and condemnation that they wouldn't use birth control (i.e. if I use birth control, it implies I was planning to sin and I am convinced that the last time was the absolute last time etc.).

I agree with you - let's elevate the conversation out of Cosmopolitan-esque techniques or ideas or ways to make sure you're "serving your man" well. It's bigger than that. Sex isn't dirty. Seasons in a sex life are not wrong. Often it is closely linked to our views on gender or marriage and therefore, of course, it impacts our sex life.

I'm interested to read the posts and hope, like you, that we release the shame and pour grace and love out on each other.

Blessings on you, sister. Hope you have a lovely weekend.

Sarah@EmergingMummy
Reply June 25, 2010

Me again! Just been thinking more about this and had something else to throw in the hat, as you're considering what to say/write.

How do you teach purity without teaching that sex is wrong/gross/dirty/has evil consequences? If you create that mentality in order to scare kids into avoiding premarital sex (you'll get AIDS and die! You'll be cheap! you'll displease your future husband! you'll be used and no one will ever want you! you'll get pregnant and be a broke single mother on welfare! etc.), then no wonder people have a hard time afterwards.

So how do you teach purity from the side of beauty and truth?

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply June 25, 2010

This is just a suggestion, but I listened to Mark Driscoll's Song of Songs series earlier this spring, and it profoundly impacted me. I wonder if we could form a sort of book club formed around listening to one of those sermons each week and the coming together to discuss the aspect of sex Driscoll has preached upon? It would keep the discussion here Biblical and focused. (But maybe that would take away the spontaneity and flexibility?)

I remember thinking, when I was listening, that I wished I had a place to talk about all I was learning and processing.

    Amber
    Reply June 25, 2010

    Good idea, Kelly. It is my aim to keep this conversation God-centered. That is EXACTLY my aim. I've heard others suggest that series, too. I'll do my best to get into it this week. I'm not exactly sure where all this will go. I just believe it needs to be brought out into the light.

    Let's redefine sex, sexy, sexuality. Even though I know the truth, I still have to be dead-set against this culture's definitions. I fall for them every day.

joann
Reply June 25, 2010

Referring to E. Mummy's question about truth and beauty:
I think that to an extent, we over use the consequence aspect of sins to segregate. I keep thinking back to Jesus' sermon on the mount. Anyone who looks at a woman with lust is an adulterer, anyone who calls their brother an idiot is a liar. Where do we go? We go to the cross, together. There's no one who needs LESS forgiveness than another. Because we are all adulterers and murderers according to Christ's measurements. Because we all need his blood.

    Seth
    Reply June 25, 2010

    Joann,

    I'm not a woman, and so I might not be invited to this party. I'll leave my 2 cents then I'll bolt for good on this topic.

    Last night I was talking to a minister at my church about the Village Church's sermon on homosexuality. My minister said something that seems on point here. He said that we tend to elevate the "sexual immorality" phrase from Gal 5 as the "chief of sins" because its the most personal, the most difficult to discuss. However, he reminded me that we can all find ourselves in Gal 5. He reminded me that we need to discuss sex openly, within the body, and with grace (like Driscoll, Platt (his song of songs was great), and others). We would never say that you shouldn't discuss discord, jealousy, fits of rage, etc., within the church body (whether local, online, one-on-one, or otherwise) because it's too difficult or too personal.

    Instead, we should focus our efforts on tackling the subject through the lens of redemption, like we tackle the subject of all sin, sexual or otherwise. And you are right, when looking through the cross "There's no one who needs LESS foregiveness than another." So maybe this will be a safe place for everyone to discuss the church's approach to this topic because it's right there in Scripture. And I'm sure that if we try we can all find ourselves in Gal 5.

    Gal 5:19-21

    The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Teri Lynne
Reply June 25, 2010

YES! Great thoughts, Amber, and MUCH needed dialog! I look forward to this ongoing discussion and am praying for wisdom for you and others who lead. It's vital that people have a place for this conversation - and for many, the relative anonymity of the world wide web is the only way they can find the freedom to ask the questions and seek the guidance they need. The world has so grossly misrepresented the beautiful gift that God gave us in our sexuality ... bravo to you for taking standing up to remind us all that it is indeed a gift from God ...good and perfect!!

tiny twig
Reply June 25, 2010

sorry amber! totally thought that was you for some reason when i linked it...i'm dense lately. a lot on my plate. :) sorry for the mix-up! you really do write so beautifully, as well! xo.

joann
Reply June 25, 2010

Scott I totally agree with you!!!...maybe I'm too worried about keeping the peace. When we type, when we write, we lose half our communication tools: our face, our tone, our gestures. It can be hard to interpret what someone is saying...when it comes to big "taboo" topics, when it comes to generalizations and opinions, it can get hairy. I totally trust Amber's ability to communicate clearly and gracefully. Do I trust mine? Not so much.
I like Kelly's idea...some sort of structure. That's why I linked my church's message on SOS...maybe it's a cop out, but I don't trust my ability to project the love I feel while writing hard truth.
Side note: Now that I've blown up the comment box, I feel like the town busybody. IS there an email address or something for this stuff? I'm SORRY! I obviously have opinions. Contact me if you want to know what I think you should wear, read or eat!

    Seth
    Reply June 25, 2010

    Joann,

    Your comments are straight cash money! Would love to know what we should eat. It's taco night... again. And I made the tacos. Sometimes my lack of creativity is astounding.

RuthintheDesert
Reply June 25, 2010

I'd like to read a book on Christian marriage by a woman who will actually admit that she likes sex. I am tired of the attitude within the church that Christian women just don't like it.

RuthintheDesert
Reply June 25, 2010

And what about a resource for Christian couples who are not in need of counselling, do not have marriage problems, they just want to have even more fun in bed? Every Christian marriage book I've looked at is for couples who have problems. I'm sure there is a need for those books, but what about the resources for happy couples?

Amber
Reply June 25, 2010

RuthintheDesert, yes, thank you! Your comment brings us back to the original question which was:

What are some positive ways you'd like to see the church respond to sex?

I rarely hear of Christian marriages without problems. I obviously assume that they exist, but I would love to HEAR about healthy marriages - for starters.

Thank you guys for these amazing comments. My wheels are spinning out of control.

laura
Reply June 25, 2010

My pastor did a series with our youth group a while back called Good Sex. It was all about respecting yourself and how this impacts your views of sex. I think this is one way the church can make a huge difference for relationships. This is such an important issue to have open dialogue about, especially for our young people (well, for us "more mature" people too).

What a great conversation you have going here. I'm looking forward to hearing more.

Kristen@Moms Sharpening Moms
Reply June 25, 2010

Oh Amber! I am with you 1000%. I love what Teri Lynne said about how many women will feel free to open up about this topic because of a certain degree of anonymity the internet provides. As we feel led, I think we Christian gals need to share our testimonies where we've gone wrong in this area as well as right. I think we can't over-emphasize what a gift sex is AND how it can be good-VERY GOOD-in a marriage! And yes! While hearing about marriage struggles encourages us as we deal with our own, I want to hear stories of successful, healthy marriages as well!

Have a beautiful weekend!

joann
Reply June 26, 2010

Taco salad works...it was date night for me so I'm no help today. Actually I'm no help any day, not a great meal planner. I can recommend the Raffi station on Pandora if you're ever feeling blue, but that's not really on topic. On topic...what do I want to talk about? Sex wise? Um.

C
Reply June 26, 2010

The book Real Sex by Lauren Winner does a nice job of answering Emerging Mummy's question about about to teach sex from the side of beauty and truth. It was recommended by a reader in a comment from a previous post of yours. I bought and read it and it's the only book I've read on this subject that approached it from a completely different perspective and the first one that made a lot a sense.

tamara
Reply June 26, 2010

I think this is a brilliant, God-inspired idea, and I have absolute confidence in your ability, Amber, to guide us all in a befitting manner. I'm completely excited to see what comes out of this!

Laura@Life Overseas
Reply June 26, 2010

My husband was a youth pastor for 10 years for American youth and now we are overseas in sex-driven Thailand, and one thing is becoming ever-more obvious to me-- the desire for sex is one of the strongest desires in humanity.

And, yet, the church typically, won't even (really) talk about it. Though it dominates so many lives and impacts so many presents and futures . . . the church remains largely quiet.

But, there is such freedom in the open, honest discussion. I love it, and I think just the beginning of the conversation is real victory.

Thanks for stepping in to scary waters. :)

Laura Grosso
Reply June 26, 2010

I want to add to the positive reactions of this post. I think this is a very "hot topic" that needs to be openly discussed. There is victory in discussing one of God's most beautiful gifts.

I agree that this must be kept God-centered, as easy as it may be to become distracted. Sex is a wonderful gift, that is a beautiful expression of His love within the boundaries of marriage.

I look forward to the discussion! Thank you for being courageous!

Christy A.
Reply June 26, 2010

Wow. Found you for the first time today from a link on Chatting at the Sky, and I linked you on my website as my new favorite blog. You had me at It = SEX!

seriously, though, talk about a discussion worth having! I for one have never been shy - ask me a question, you'll get an alarmingly honest answer. But I know a lot of Christian women who are. I am blessed to attend a church where "sex showers" are becoming more and more common; wedding showers where the bride chooses married women in the church to get together and shower her with beautiful lingere and advice on intimacy (and IT) in marriage. Mine was the first of these showers, and I honestly don't think my marriage would be the same if it weren't for the advice and wosdom I got pre-wedding night.

I've co-lead a Good Sex series for our high school youth group, a summer-long seies on God's view of sex and relationships. I've attended many "Sex Showers" for nervous, virginal brides, so yes yes YES, count me in on this discussion. I've found nothing more edifying than a group of loving, committed, faithful women sharing the pleasures and pitfalls of marital intimacy. And I think a lot of shy-guys would benefit from our discussion.

becca
Reply June 26, 2010

I've loved going through these comments. As a Christian and ministry wife, I am so sad to hear that people are still being avoided and judged for premarital sex and/or pregnancy. I pray that our church is never that place. Just recently, I talked to a 20-yr-old who was planning to elope with her boyfriend after 3 mos of dating almost solely because they were having sex, and she felt like it would be better to just get married. Ouch. Talked her out of that, by the way. :) Through tears, she looked at me and said, "I'm sorry I've disappointed you." I just loved her. She cried even harder knowing I wasn't disappointed in her. I also tried to give her some ideas of how to get back to their original goal of not having premarital sex. Some real, logical, doable tips. I didn't spew Bible verses at her. I loved her and helped her make a plan.

As far as married sex, I completely agree that it should be talked about openly- the good, the bad, the ugly. I've recently had "the talk" with a couple younger women who are engaged. I feel like it's my responsibility to tell them the things no one told me. UTI on your honeymoon? Check. You're thinking "that was it?" and he's thinking it's the best day of his life? Check. You get the drill. There are just some things that need to be talked about. And I hope those same girls will feel comfortable to come back to me after marriage and ask questions then. Because, honestly, does it ever go as planned?

Almost 12 years into marriage, I'm amazed at what God has done to grow us in our sex life. Neither of us could have ever imagined that we'd be where we are now if you'd asked us 12 years ago. But it hasn't come completely naturally. It's come with education, talking about the hard stuff (yep, I said "hard." Laugh it up, boys), and asking questions to people who know more than we do. Taking the time to really invest in that has made all the difference. We wish we'd done the work of that years before we did.

(I haven't struggled with pornography, so I've written from my perspective. That said, I think the problem is real and widespread and needs to be addressed in a way that provides an atmosphere of comfort, vulnerability, honesty, and accountability. Count me in to do anything I can do help.)

To Think Is To Create
Reply June 27, 2010

Why I love you:

"We love Jesus, and more often than not, right after Jesus and sometimes before Jesus, we love SEX – or we wish we did – or we wish we didn’t."

And also, YES.

Robin ~ PENSIEVE
Reply June 28, 2010

(from your comment reply) "scintillating conversation about the ins and outs of sex." Seriously, Amber??? Forgive me for giggling on that line...

I hear you, though. I KNOW how important this topic is...I see the fallout from women and men not understanding repercussions and consequences from an unhealthy view and/or practice of sex. I'd love to be part of this conversation WITH you, A...I'm not chicken to tackle it and I'm certain it can be handled respectfully and with grace.

I guess I'm inclined to believe that based on my previous incourage post (and the response!)--
http://www.incourage.me/2010/05/for-married-women-only.html

deidra
Reply June 28, 2010

Yes! Yes! Yes! (Pun intended!) This conversation is so overdue...and so needed. Just the comments alone confirm that fact.

Emerging Mummy and Ruthinthedesert - I think your comments each say the same thing - let's talk about just how wonderful God created sex to be! And what a wonderful God to give us such a wonderful gift! I've struggled through the guilt and taken on the shame that many in the church have heaped upon me in years gone by. And I have made colossal mistakes that have consequences that echo into eternity. I know the ugly side of sex. But that's not the sex that God created us for. Everything that God created - sex included - is good. Let's talk about it! For real!

Jen
Reply June 29, 2010

Amber, I really appreciate what you are trying to do here. I think this topic needs to be out in the open - online, in the coffee shop and between women in the church. I think the more biblical, pure conversation we have about sex between married couples, the less stigma it will have. Godly women should be able to talk to other Godly women about this topic without feeling like they are wrong or dirty. Also, I think it IS good to talk about this online in a safe environment where the world can see BECAUSE the world needs to see a Godly, biblical view of sex. The world should see that we can discuss this without the Cosmopolitan-view. I think the world needs to see that Christian women do desire to be intimate with their husbands and that we see sex as a God-given desire to be shared only between a husband and wife.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *