Let’s Talk About Sex: Good Sex
My father-in-law had quadruple bypass surgery this week, and we’ve planned a random sell-everything-we-can Yard Sale for tomorrow. Since my brain is a bit scrambled and because I have friends who are much wiser than I, I’ve asked a great blog friend to guest post today. I’m so thankful that Laura from The Wellspring addressed speaking with our children about sex because I have a lot to learn. My five year walked up to me while I had company just the other day and detailed something he saw the horses doing on the other side of the fence, and I responded with a giggle and told him I’d explain it later. I still haven’t talked about it.
———– GOOD SEX—————
I “fell from Grace” on a twin bed across the hall from my mother’s bedroom.
She wasn’t there.
It wasn’t what I wanted. Despite all that was wrong with my young life, I was saving myself for marriage. I didn’t have any idea what God wanted for me, but I knew He wanted that. My mother told me so.
When I was about in third grade.
And never mentioned it again.
At night I wept and begged Him for forgiveness. I knew I was ruined. Dirty. Impure. I was eighteen years old.
How can you love me, Lord?
I wish there had been someone to talk to. Someone to tell me that yes, He loves me…someone to tell me about His grace. Someone to say I deserve better. I spent five years of my young life in a destructive relationship because I believed I had no choice. I thought there was no turning back.
I remember these things when I Run Amuck and stumble on this post by Amber – the one where she asks, What are some positive ways you would like to see the church respond to SEX?
I let myself think about it for a moment. I wonder how my life may have been different if someone from church had told me that God forgives—even this kind of mistake. I wonder how my life may have been different if my church had had an open dialogue about sex with kids my age. If someone—anyone–had given me permission to leave SHAME behind.
Maybe I would have made the same choices; maybe it would not have made one hill of beans of difference.
But I’m not going to take that chance with my own children.
Amber’s question sends me looking.
I find it in our Children’s Ministry office at church—at the end of a shelf filled with old Bible studies.
Good Sex! It shouts at me from between the more pious titles. But it is the subtitle that takes me: A Whole Person Approach to Teenage Sexuality & God. I carry the box with me into the sanctuary. I hold it close to my chest. I pass a young mother with her babe on her hip. She stares wide-eyed at my clutch.
It’s a Bible study, I quickly say. For the youth.
What kind of church is this? She whispers in her baby’s ear, then smiles at me mischievously.
I hug the box closer. We don’t discuss these things in church.
I am distracted by the box throughout worship. It holds such promise. It screams at me all that I lacked as a teen. During the sermon I discretely open the box and take out the leader’s guide.
Good Sex: a whole-person approach to teenage sexuality & God by Jim Hancock and Kara Eckmann Powell. (http://www.amazon.com/Good-Sex-2-0-Leaders-Guide/dp/0310282713)
On the first page the authors list the big ideas behind Good Sex:
- We’re created in God’s image, male and female.
- Sexuality is a wonderful, complex gift that takes a lifetime to explore.
- Sex touches every part of us: our bodies, of course, but also our minds, emotions, spirits, and every relationship we have—including our families and the God who made us.
- Sex is affected by our brokenness and wrongdoing, just like everything else about us.
- Sex can be rescued and renewed by the grace of Christ, just like everything else about us.
I can’t help it (don’t judge me), I had to read more.
In the real world, kids encounter sexual information and experiences in a process that stretches over decades. And out of that process—or in the middle of it—they construct their ideas and values about sex. And out of those ideas and values, they act. Most of that information—and quite a bit of the experience—is indirect. Kids read, listen, watch television and movies, hang out with friends and acquaintances. They watch their parents and other adults. They watch their siblings and peers. The experience sexual arousal (and it takes them by surprise).
From all these impressions, they construct a picture of what sex is—or what it appears to be. And from that picture come their sexual attitudes, opinions, and actions. The picture is updated as they encounter new information and experiences, and—even in adulthood—the picture is never complete as long as they’re learning.
…We believe Good Sex should be more of a process than a confrontation because we believe that’s how people—especially kids—learn best.
This is one way the church can respond positively to sex. By teaching a Biblical model that encourages our young ones to respect themselves and their bodies. By having a dialogue, a place these kids can talk about how they are processing this whole sexuality thing.
I take the box home with me when I go. And I think about ways I can help implement this study. I will take it to our Youth Leaders. I will talk to the kids. I will try to be a safe person for them to reach out to.
There are no guarantees that it will make a hill of beans of difference.
But I bet it will.