By Liz Lampkin, Crosswalk.com
The church is a place where people of God come together to worship God in spirit and truth. It is a home for those who seek spiritual growth. It is the body of Christ. It is a congregation of people who work together to build God's Kingdom while living for Him and following His Holy Word. The church is a home for many to live, grow, and learn how God wants us to live. It provides many opportunities for believers from all walks of life to learn how to live God's way. While God's house does many things for many people, one thing it should do more is have what are often deemed as uncomfortable conversations and lessons for churchgoers. One topic that is often considered taboo for the church to teach about is sex. Honestly, with how sex is portrayed in the world, it's understandable why it's kept away from God's House. However, sex is a subject that must be talked and taught about in the church, especially for singles. Many temptations come about for single believers, and it's important for them to be equipped with proper knowledge on handling such temptations. The best way for them to learn the truth about sex is to learn from the church. Before church leaders can make sex and sexual desire an open conversation with singles, some things must first be understood about sex.
1. Sex was created by God to be shared between man and woman in marriage.
It is a thing of beauty that is natural.
2. God created the feelings of sexual desire.
Having desires to engage in intercourse are normal; however, many believers are ashamed to admit they have them because of what they've learned about sex from their homes and the church. This must change.
3. If there is talk about sex, then singles will indulge in it.
This is not true. Spirit-led discussions about intercourse can only help singles with their desires and can help steer them in the proper direction for what to do with them when they come about. Now that some things about sex have been cleared up let's look into how the church can make sexual desire an open conversation with singles.
1. The first step to opening the conversation about sexual desire for singles is to ask singles their feelings about it.
More often than not, singles aren't asked about their sexual desires or struggles as they live a life pleasing unto God. It is only assumed that unmarried Christians are engaging in fornication or practicing abstinence. Church/ministry leaders must be sincerely interested in helping single believers navigate their sexual desires while walking in discipleship.
2. Church leaders must first be comfortable with discussing and teaching the subject of sex and sexual desires.
To do this, they must first become well-versed on the topic from a biblical point of view and become comfortable with leading candid discussions. Leaders must also be prepared to listen to singles with a non-judgmental attitude and prepare to offer them practical guidance. They can also explore the idea of bringing in counselors to help lead the discussions and provide answers to questions they may have.
3. Church leaders must stop shaming the subject of sex.
Many faith leaders often shy away from discussing sex with unmarried believers because the notion is that if it's discussed openly, the subject will be placed on or in their thoughts. And, if the thought of sex is in the minds of singles, it will soon be placed on their hearts, and if it's on their hearts, they will be tempted to engage in premarital intercourse. While many singles of faith may or may not want to admit it, sex often plagues their minds because the desire for sex is a natural feeling. Not only this, but many times during sermons or Christian education courses/seminars, the subject of sex is often discussed in a negative light. Fornication and adultery are often the topics of discussion in churches regarding sex and sexuality. This must stop. God made sex for a specific purpose. God is the One who placed sexual desires in His human creation. Therefore, God's appointed leaders must recreate the narrative of sex and sexual desire for singles.
4. Provide specific classes, sessions, and times designed to address any concerns singles may have about sex and sexual desires.
These classes can be shaped around the struggles single Christians have with maintaining abstinence, their struggles with promiscuity, or have open dialogues about God's design for sex.
5. Be careful not to shame singles about their desires for sex.
Many times, singles are afraid to open up about their sexual desires or admit their engagement in sexual activities because they may fear that they will be misjudged. It's important for singles to feel comfortable enough to open up about their sexual desires to other believers without judgment or being condemned for having them.
6. Help singles and other churchgoers develop an understanding of what sex is and its purpose.
Doing this will make everyone comfortable with discussing sex, sexual desires, their struggles, and their sins. You never know what's on a person's heart about intercourse and how to help them if no one understands what it is and its purpose.
7. Have consistent check-ins with singles.
This can come in the form of corporate prayer sessions specifically designed to pray for singles and their sexual desires, meet-ups, or phone check-ins. The meet-ups or calls don't have to be centered around sex; they could also be about dating or singles ministry work. No matter the subject, singles should have regular check-ins with each other or other church members to ensure they have the support they need on their walk in discipleship.
If we're being honest about it, everyone, married couples, singles, and even seasoned saints, have sexual desires that deserve to be acknowledged and understood. While sex can be an uncomfortable subject to tackle, it must be openly yet respectfully discussed. Church leaders and churchgoers must come together to change the narrative about sex amongst each other. It is a beautiful thing God created for His creation to indulge in as He ordains it. As you continue your walk in discipleship, I pray that God opens the hearts of the leaders in which you follow to open the door to engage in biblical teachings and conversations about sex for your spiritual growth. I pray that you are led to ask your leaders to open the door for conversations about sex and sexual desires to help you with your struggles and to encourage your victories. Sex can be a sensitive subject only if those discussing it allow it to be. It's important to keep an open mind, heart, and spirit when it comes to this subject. It is a thing of beauty that everyone should have the opportunity to openly discuss in order to gain a better understanding of it.
Author Liz Lampkin is an experienced writer, teacher, and speaker. She is an advocate for singles who encourages them to live their best life God’s way. Follow her on Instagram @Liz_Lampkin.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
You can read Rhonda's full article here.