Sex can be such a heavy topic, right? Just the mention of the word can create instant anxiety for many of us. It’s not easy for us to talk about is it? Sex and sexuality are so integral to our identities as men and women.
Think about the ways you discuss sex today. Think about the ways you have experienced sex over the course of your life. Think about the ways you express yourself sexually. All of these dynamics had their beginnings in the messages you have received about sex throughout your live
Messages from Family
Our families begin to shape our view of sex and our understanding of own personal sexuality from very early in our development. Our families teach us about gender, gender roles, sexuality, sexual boundaries. How was the topic of sexuality handled in your household growing up? Was it a taboo topic? Was it discussed openly? Was it a topic of sarcasm and joking? Was it a topic that was over-shared? Chances are, however you answer that question is playing itself out in your life today. In many ways our families lay the foundation of how we understand and experience sexuality.
Messages From Church
For those of us who grew up around church, that environment has been a very influential source of information about sex and sexuality over the years. While there are some churches (Gold Creek for example) who address healthy sexuality openly and directly, most churches don’t really know what message to send about sex. Many churches send the message that sex and sexual pleasure are not topic open for discussion. It’s too awkward. It’s too entangled in issues of our own personal sinful struggles. It hits too close to home. So pastors usually just tend to avoid it; they talk about it in very vague terms. The problem is that saying nothing – or saying very little – still sends a message. As a result, usually there will be taboo or shameful undertones around the topic of sexuality in the church. If you grew up around the church, you have probably been influenced by this reality.
Messages From Culture
This one cannot be overstated. We live in a sex saturated culture. Our culture bombards us with images and messages about sex every single day. Many of us learned how to be and how to act and how to dress in order to make ourselves desirable to the opposite sex – all based on the messages we received from our culture. How is sex and the sexual relationship between man and wife portrayed in the music you listen to? In the shows and movies you watch? Does it depict marital, covenantal sexual union that honors God? Or does it most often depict something that would fall outside the boundaries of biblical sexuality? In recent news, Playboy announced that they will no longer be printing magazines showing female nudity. The female body has become passé, old fashioned. Playboy’s clientele have become bored with nudity. Culturally we are so steeped in sexual imagery, advertising, language, media – most of us yawn at the notion of sexual immorality.
What about YOU?
You have received messages about sex early and often over the course of your entire life. If you have wrestled with confusion, shame or uncertainty around your own understanding of sex and healthy sexuality, it’s possible that you can benefit from processing some of the untrue, unclear, unfounded messages you received about sex. Christian Counseling is an excellent place to work through concerns like this. We would welcome the opportunity to work with you on this or to refer you to someone who might be a better fit. Feel free to contact us through our website and let us know if you have any questions.
I would also highly recommend this excellent blog from John Piper at Desiring God as a great place to start. If you are married, you can also download our free Marriage Prayer for Healthy Sexuality from our website. This is a really good tool that you and your spouse can use to pray over your own sexual relationship and ensure that you are focusing on the right messages.
Photo Credit: photo-1440557958969-404dc361d86f by Jordan McQueen from unsplash.com