Friday, August 3, 2007

How Christian Parents Talk About Sex, and How We SHOULD Talk About It

Tell me if any of these sound familiar from your upbringing and what you were told about sex:

  • Men want sex and will do anything to get it.
  • Women don't want it and will do anything to get out of it.
  • Men need to do without every now and then. It's good for them.
  • Good, Christian women don't enjoy sex.
These messages were repeated or implied again and again in a variety of ways by the Christian culture in which many of us grew up. Our parents' generation often bought into this mindset- that men want it, women don't, so men have to do without unless women feel particularly cuddly or generous.

But in this day and age, to believe things like that is to play with fire. Even back then, it was utter foolishness in light of a biblical command to "not deprive one another".

(And yes, I do realize too that at the same time, the message from culture was that free love is where it's at-- is it any wonder why so many Christian women don't even consider the possibility of enjoying sex? In their minds, "Only the bad girls do that!")


Imagine if all his life, your husband had heard that all you wanted to do was to TALK. That any nice thing you did for him would be so he would share his feelings and thoughts with you, be interested in hearing about your day, etc. That no matter what you did, TALKING was ON YOUR BRAIN. But imagine if the overarching point he heard was this: GODLY MEN DON'T TALK TO THEIR WIVES. AT LEAST NOT VERY OFTEN. AND THEY SURE DON'T ENJOY IT WHEN THEY DO.

It wouldn't be too surprising then, for men to start feeling protective of their conversation. For men to loathe conversation and begin begging off... finding ANY excuse to avoid a chat with the wife. But if there was a verse explicitly stating, "do not deprive one another of heart-to-heart conversations", then he would be sinning every time he begged off. Every time he sought out an excuse or tried to pretend he was asleep just so he wouldn't have to talk, he would be sinning. As are many Christian wives today who are disregarding the verse in 1 Corinthians that says that we are not to "deprive one another" of intimacy.

Going back to those original ideas I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the problem with that whole way of approaching sex is that it doesn't allow for a point of freedom or release. It just essentially said, "Sex=bad. No sex=good!" There was no point at which parents said- "it won't be this way forever, sweetheart. One day, you'll be able to revel in this gift from God!"


All your life, growing up, you see your mom and dad planting a beautiful garden in the backyard. Varieties of flowers and plants grow, and it's a beautiful place. You haven't seen all of it, because they built in some private places just for the two of them, but what you have seen looks lovely. Sometimes you aren't sure what all the varieties are, or the names for everything, and sometimes that embarrasses you, but the truth is that you're proud that your parents have a beautiful garden.

There are fences around it, and there's an open door at the gate. Your mom and dad both recognize that there are more beautiful gardens, more well-kept gardens, and more colorful gardens outside that gate, but they don't want to walk out that gate door because what they have inside the gate is so stinking good. They don't even look too far over the fence. They try to satisfy themselves completely within the fences.

When you begin growing up and developing feelings for someone of the opposite sex, your natural feeling is to want to have a backyard with that person and start planting flowers. But your mom wisely takes you aside and says,

"Darling, it's natural for you to want to share a garden with someone. And the truth is that you can plant flowers here, there, and everywhere- but that's not the same as having a beautiful garden all your own that you and your husband have planted together. In fact, doing it that other way will cost you so many emotions and hard work that you can't even comprehend now. It will waste much of who you are on something that doesn't last. It's worth the wait to do it right.

"Here- come out to our garden with me and I'll start telling you a little bit about these things... this is a ____ plant, and this one is for ____. You can see that we've planted this tall tree here, so we don't get envious of the beautiful garden in neighbor Sandy's yard. She's got a curvy green thumb, and her garden is EXTRA well-kept, so your father particularly planted THAT tree THERE so he wouldn't covet what she has in her garden.

"Here's why we put the fences up in these particular places, to protect us from wandering into places that didn't belong to us... and let me tell you something, we have an EXCELLENT time together in this garden. There's simply nothing like having a beautiful backyard to enjoy time together in- but it's worth the wait, darling. It's worth waiting for the ONE right person in life to plant your garden with.

"Oh I can't wait for you to begin planting yours- it will be so beautiful. Until then, let me continue taking walks with you and talking to you about the beauty of God's design in all of this."

Catch my drift? Instead, most of us saw single, carefree people planting things all over the place with all kinds of people and appearing to have a great time at it, and meanwhile, all our parents had was brown, poorly cut grass. And what they told us was: DON'T LEARN TO GROW ANYTHING. DON'T FOCUS ON THAT. NO ONE ACTUALLY HAS A PRETTY GARDEN ANYWAY... SO IT'S A FOOL'S ERRAND.


There's a beautiful garden for each Christian married person to enjoy spending time in, if we'll just cultivate some beauty in that place, spend some time there together, and revel in the gift God gave us within our very own fences!

[Please note: my parents actually did a good job of living out a loving marriage relationship as an example for my brother and I. Don't take this post to imply otherwise. Rather, I'm making some generalizations about what most of us heard regarding sex, from culture and the Christian community, when we were growing up!]


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...