The evangelical church (in general–every time I paint the church in broad strokes like this I get people who share church experiences that look nothing like the picture I’ve just created, and that’s awesome! I love hearing about your positive church experiences!) needs to do a better job of talking about sex.
I think we all know that. I think even most churches know that. In fact, a lot of churches will admit it up front.
I went to a church once where the preacher even began his sermon by saying, “The church needs to do a better job of talking about sex.”
Of course, his version of “doing a better job of talking about sex” involved playing an artsy video that included a Salt N Pepa soundtrack (“Let’s talk about sex, baby!”), and then proceeding to say (I took notes, so this is word-for-word):
Sex is the best gift you can give your spouse, so don’t let anyone else unwrap it before marriage.
I believe many evangelical churches take a similar approach. “We need to do a better job of talking about sex” usually means “we need to dress up the same discussions we’ve been having so that they seem more modern and cool and appeal more to young people.” But here’s a news flash, churches:
Young people aren’t stupid.
We know these types of churches aren’t doing a “better” job of talking about sex. They’re doing the same job, but with cooler music or flashing lights, or some newlywed preacher with a fauxhawk who mentions every five minutes how hot his wife is and how great his sex life is because he waited.
That’s not what this young person wants, and I think I speak for many others. So, here’s a few ways in which the church can really do a better job of talking about sex:
*Stop blaming women’s “immodesty” for men’s lack of control
*Stop saying, “The Bible is clear about premarital sex.” It’s not.
*Stop saying, “The Bible is clear about homosexuality.” It’s not.
*Stop telling us that men are visual and women are not. Seriously.
*Stop talking about lust and porn as if they are men’s issues only.
*Realize that marriage is not a reasonable option for some couples. Many cannot afford to get married in this economy. Others are not allowed to get married. It’s not as simple as, “Well, just get married and you don’t have to worry about it.”
*If you want people to view pregnancy as a gift, stop talking about single mothers like they’re being punished by God.
*Don’t pretend that marriage is like pressing a magical, “All sex for the rest of your life will be great!” button.
*TALK ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL
*Quit opposing sex education in schools.
*Quit pretending that abstinence-only programs are sex education.
*LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN to young people.
These are a few of my suggestions. Anyone have any to add?