If you read our article from last week, The Sexualization of our Culture, Pt 1, you saw our general thoughts on sexuality in our culture. We ended with the question, “How can we hope students choose to live differently unless they are offered a new way to understand their world?” This week we want to begin looking at some specific passages, truths, and thoughts that may be helpful in framing conversations with students about sexuality.
We believe the first step towards leading students to have a healthy understanding of sexuality is to strengthen our own understanding of sexuality. In our experience, few adults were taught healthy Biblical sexuality as children/teenagers; consequently, many of us need to unlearn some dysfunction and learn a Kingdom-of-God-perspective on sexuality.
Some may struggle even with the idea of blending sexuality into a conversation about spirituality, but as you read passages about sex, it’s difficult to miss the connection between sexuality and spirituality. Consider these passages, where Paul seems to transition seamlessly between human sexuality and spirituality:
There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” 1 Corinthians 6:16-17 (The Message)
As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. Ephesians 5:31-32 (NLT)
In the 1 Corinthians 6 passage, Paul talks first about sex, then he declares sex to be a spiritual act, and finally Paul connects oneness with God to our choices about sex. In the Ephesians passage, Paul writes that physical oneness between a husband and a wife is an illustration of the oneness Christ shares with his followers. Paul expresses in both passages that sexual intimacy goes beyond the physical, and he describes a connection between our physical intimacy with our spouse, our own intimacy with God, and Christ’s intimacy with the church. Sexuality is a significant part of our humanness, but it is an equally significant part of being created in the image of God.
Once we come to a healthy place in our own journey, I believe we can better help our students understand sexuality from God’s perspective.
Are there some questions you have about sexuality from a Kingdom-of-God-perspective? Do you struggle to embrace the connection between sexuality and spirituality? Where can you invite the Holy Spirit into your journey today and ask him to help you grow in your understanding of intimacy? Spend some time over the next week exploring these question and leave your comments below. Next week, we’ll share a simple list of foundational truths that shape our teachings and conversations about sex.
What do you think?
– Tim and Tasha
Need help teaching students about sexuality from a biblical perspective? There are great resources on this topic from Simply Youth Ministry. Check out Pure Sex and other resources for your youth ministry!