Steve Brines – Ahwatukee Student Pastor
S – E – X. Most everybody has an interest in SEX. Few people are comfortable talking about SEX. When it comes to the course and direction of our lives, there is quite possibly nothing more pivotal than our experience with SEX.
We live in a ME-centered world where we want WHAT we want, WHEN we want it, and are increasingly afraid of missing out.
- Missing out on the latest viral video
- Missing out on the hottest dance craze
- Missing out on the features of the newest iPhone
- Missing out on the most recent Steph Curry half-court buzzer beater (that guy is INSANE, btw)
So, we have a natural Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). In addition, we live in a consumer-driven culture that uses sexuality to grab our attention, and we are regularly entertained by sexually saturated movies and TV shows that distort real life.
Throw in our own temptations, peer pressure, easy access to the internet, the spiritual realm, our own shame of past failures, our fear of vulnerability, our lack of accountability, and the many mixed messages of the world, and it’s no wonder that the struggle is real! THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!!
Society says this struggle is normal, and the only real guideline is to “be safe”. In fact, last month, the San Francisco Unified School District board voted to distribute condoms to middle school students. MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS!!
Students are required to meet with a school nurse or social worker prior to receiving the condoms, but they do not need parental consent to do so. Yikes!
The world says to be safe. In Ephesians 5:3, God says to be pure.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.
Purity paves the way to intimacy, to being fully known and accepted by someone. Sin, sexual sin especially, tends to push us into seclusion and breeds shame, the opposite of intimacy.
In the context of marriage, purity brings a man and woman together to experience sexual intimacy, a level of oneness that can only be experienced in marriage. But, whether we’re married or not, God wants us to have intimate relationships in our lives, where we are known and accepted by others.
Our sexuality affects ALL of our relationships, and so, SEX needs to be brought out of the darkness. This topic cannot be avoided or skimmed over anymore.
Many feel ill equipped to bring it up. Many don’t know what to say. Many fear the tough questions, especially from their kids.
Jim Burns, executive director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University, is right on when he says,
“For almost all parents, talking with their kids about sex is awkward at best. Yet, at the same time, parents genuinely do want their children to make good and wise decisions about sexuality.”
He goes on to say,
There are no easy answers and sometimes it’s a bit messy. But imagine just for a minute what’s at stake for the future of this generation.”
Our relationships with others are at stake.
Our life stories are at stake.
The way we’re used by God is at stake.
Our closeness to God is at stake.
Our experience of real pleasure is at stake.
As our own Jeremy Jernigan puts it in his book, Redeeming Pleasure,
By pursuing pleasure on our terms, we actually experience less of it.
By pursuing pleasure on God’s terms we experience more of it.
The stakes are high. God is serious about sex. He has called us to be different. 1 Thessalonians 4 says,
3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;
7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
The time is NOW for us to enter into this murky world of sexuality like never before.
The time is NOW for us to push past the awkwardness and address sexual purity with our kids.
The time is NOW for us to be honest with ourselves and with each other.
The time is NOW for us to support each other, to pray for each other, to encourage each other, and to ask the hard questions of each other.
No one is perfect. We all need grace. I need grace. You need grace. Thankfully, our God is gracious.
I’m not sure what God is stirring in your heart right now, but I pray you’d be open to stepping out in obedience. Pray that I’d be open to do the same.