RETHINKING SEX ED IN THE CHURCH

Cameron Cole has a great article on The Gospel Coalition Blog about what we teach teens about sex and the message we send in doing so.  He challenges us to think beyond the basic abstinence arguments.  Here is a snippet...

When churches lead classes related to sex education, they often present sex as a category unto itself. The conversation usually involves teaching the Bible’s standards on sexuality with emphasis on waiting until marriage. Then the class involves a disclosure of the consequences of violating God’s law. An anatomy lesson may get thrown in. Finally comes the inevitable debate: “How far is too far?” The most hopeful word usually involves the pleasures of sex within marriage.

All of these details are valuable aspects of helping kids embrace a healthy Christian approach to sexuality. However, we must also explain how sex fits within the broader context of biblical theology. If we don’t, we set students up for failure, frustration, and despair.

Sex is just one small piece of a broader classification of relational intimacy, both with God and man. Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:5 say that a man and a woman become “one flesh” through sex in marriage. Paul echoes this concept in 1 Corinthians 6:16 when he says that a man who has sexual intercourse with a prostitute unites himself to that woman. The Bible discusses sex with the language of intimacy, portraying it as a way that husbands and wives bond powerfully.

Too often, though, we portray sex as the ultimate avenue for intimacy, similar to the way the world elevates sex. Then, as Knox Seminary professor Jono Linebaugh put it, we “dangle marriage out there like a carrot,” telling kids that one day they will enjoy this supreme gift of intimacy.

Read the rest here.