Take a look at these alarming statistics:
- 41% of practicing Christians believe that cohabitation is a good idea.
- 60% of people on Christian dating websites say they have no moral inhibitions against sex before marriage.
- 32% of Christian men ages 18 to 30 admit to having an addiction to pornography (not casual use, mind you, but an addiction).
How did we get so far away from God’s design for sexuality?
I’d love to read your thoughts in the comment section below. I think one of the most common influences on Christian attitudes about sex is an old pattern of thinking with a new name: “deconstruction.”
Basically, that means God’s people base their understanding about sex and sexuality not on the unchanging word of God, but on the ever-shifting sands of the culture. Then, when what they feel doesn’t match what Scripture says, they conclude the Bible must be outdated and irrelevant. Or that traditional understandings of sexuality must be a misinterpretation.
There’s nothing new here. Particularly in the results: God’s design for sex – in all of its sacredness, wonder, and beauty – gets replaced with a cheap substitute. People settle for casual sexual activity instead of experiencing deep, rich, and meaningful sexual intimacy.
That’s always what happens when we turn from God’s design. Our fleshly nature craves what’s easy and immediate. But true intimacy between a husband and a wife is formed throughout the journey of marriage as two individuals learn to communicate, to sacrifice for each other, and to become one (Mark 10:8).
The Church must be courageous enough to discuss these beautiful concepts openly. Backing away from conversations about healthy sexual relationships within the context of Christian marriage is the worst thing we can do to people. We must defend what’s right.
But we must acknowledge what’s wrong as well. We are all broken in some way in the area of sexuality. All of us. From the pastor to those of us in the pew. Even those who were married as virgins. Even those who aren’t viewing pornography. The enemy has distorted sexuality, and we all need God’s truth and redemption in that area.
Jesus showed us how in two straightforward discussions with the woman at the well and the woman caught in adultery. In both cases, Jesus addressed the women’s sexuality in order to get to the deeper longings of their hearts.
The culture’s view of sex is too shallow to satisfy the deep hungers of our hearts. Christians need a paradigm shift, like the one Dr. Juli Slattery details on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Equipping Christians to Understand Sexuality.”
I encourage you to join us for our conversation with Dr. Slattery based on her book Rethinking Sexuality: God’s Design and Why It Matters. This program isn’t graphic, but it’s not suitable for younger children, so please use your discretion and occupy your kids elsewhere, or listen later online, on iTunes, via Podcast, or on our free phone app.
Juli explains why a list of dos and don’ts isn’t effective in conveying a godly perspective about sexuality. Instead, she says we need discipleship if we are ever to embrace God’s plan for us for sex. Her advice will be beneficial to singles and married couples alike, and she’ll equip parents to better understand how to help their teenagers develop a healthy view of sexuality based on God’s Word.
Dr. Juli Slattery is a clinical psychologist and, for a number of years, was a colleague here at Focus on the Family. She is the president and co-founder of Authentic Intimacy, a ministry devoted to reclaiming God’s design for sexuality.
I’d like to offer you a copy of her book Rethinking Sexuality: God’s Design and Why It Matters for a gift of any amount. Visit our website or give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). If you can’t afford it, we’ll find a way to get it to you.