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DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

BIBLICAL SEXUALITY Rated PG-13 (You have been warned!)

Written by: on March 5, 2019

I have been looking forward to reading this book; just reading the forward made me even more interested. Aside from the fact that “physical touch[1]” is dominantly my primary “Love Language,” I have been used to teach others about biblical sexuality since I was in college; which is strange, since I was a virgin until I get married to my wife of 26 years at the age of 21. Like the forward by James Smith, I too have only known one woman sexually in my life, and as a product, also have raised 4 children. However, it was not marriage or even desire that led me to pursue a more biblical understanding of sex; it was my teenagers at bible camp. Yes, I realize how inappropriate that may have sounded; so let me explain. In one summer at camp, we had a series of events over three different sessions of teens that forced intervention.

  1. A 14 year old young man decided that he would introduce the word “queeve[2]” to our 70 teen group 4 kids…curiousity…and various other sexually based words were then being discussed as to their meaning; counselor interference was required. Thankfully, though I had not yet known the touch of a woman, I had been educated on this word’s meaning by a couple female friends in the Student Center at Harding that previous year.
  2. One day, while I was teaching group bible, I found myself speechless as a one of the teen boys reached over and gave a “titty twister” to one of the teen girls. Needless to say, the lesson was placed on pause as I attempted to regard acceptable behavior in bible class, as well as unacceptable behavior in society. Honesty, the case the young man for equality in the modern world was fascinating… ”If she can do it to us, then shouldn’t I be able to do it back?” Have fun fighting that one in our emerging egalitarian world.
  3. The last even started with a young lady from this same session coming up after class with two of her girlfriends with some ‘questions’. Her nervousness and blushing told me this would be a doozy. Without getting to elaborate, she asked me, “Why do guys masturbate and girls don’t?

When you combine these stories with the phone call from my second oldest sister (I have 5 older sisters for the record), in which she stated that their bible class had made an inference to all of the sex found in the bible, which really confused her. “Shawn, there is no sex in the bible, what are they talking about.” We started talking about the substance of Song of Solomon; though she had never realized that it was that sexual of a book. I told her, “Go back and read it again…with a dirty mind.” About an hour later she called me back with the following statement; “OH MY WORD!!!!” My response: “Nope…God’s Word…fascinating, isn’t it?”

One other flashing signal came a number of years later when I was teaching a youth group of 40 teens in my home about Biblical sexuality. In this class, the most spiritual girl I had in my entire program; the one who was actually talking about going into young children youth ministry as a career choice; stopped my class and asked the question, “Wait a minute Shawn, are you actually telling me that God expects us not to have sex until we get married?” She was shocked that this was actually what I was teaching. How had we gone so wrong that our youth had lost all sight of marital sexual union?

Grant points out in his text that “One of the most influential legacies of modern politics and philosophy is the conviction that personal identity is premised on the individual’s freedom to choose his or her own source of meaning and form of life, largely free from outside influences[3].” On a worldly basis, I suppose that is the greatest obstacle to teaching others about biblical responsibility. Romans 6:16 reminds of a alternate outlook on the life we lead as Christians though; “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom they obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness.” It is the topic of FREEWILL slapping us in the face as we deal with sexuality today; on one hand we celebrate the freewill that God has given us to live our life; but on the other hand, it is the challenge to take that freewill and live it in accordance with God’s Word, so that we are found righteous in His eyes. When it comes to modern-day sexuality, it seems everyone has an opinion and everyone has a list of teachers. The world is wild and free; but too often the church is restrictive and condemning. How do we take lessons like those found in Song of Solomon and teach that God made sex a beautiful thing, and yet, still expected us to practice some self-control when practicing it.

I have taught a number of courses, classes, and even a few gospel meetings on Biblical Sexuality in some form or fashion over the past 20 years; and have loved the opportunity. However, before one of the teenage series I was about to start teaching, I approached one of the mothers who had just advanced her son into the youth program. I informed her that my discussions were usually very blunt, forward, and encouraged teens to ask literally any questions they may have regarding sexuality. Her reply: “I’d rather you teach them that me have to.” Well, here lies the crux of the problem; we have made “SEX” an obscene word for our children in the home, and as a result, they are searching for answers on the web instead of in the Bible. They are being taught garbage from porn sites and degenerates rather than learning what true sexuality was intended to be as delivered by God. When the statistics mentioned at the beginning of this book declared that “84% percent of  American 18 to 23-year-olds have had premarital sex, while this figure rises to 95 percent for all Americans (of any age) who have had sex outside of marriage[4],” then we should realize that this is a topic that churches must address and teach.

Just for the sake of pointing it out; these are a few of the lessons and series I have taught over the year as pertaining to Biblical Sexuality:

  1. 5 Love Languages
  2. Polygamy in the Bible
  3. Masturbation
  4. Love outside of Marriage
  5. How does God view Divorce and Remarriage in regard to Adultery
  6. Pornography and other sexual temptations
  7. Sexuality and God’s Call for Intimacy
  8. Be fruitful and multiply
  9. Can I say “NO” to my spouse?

 

 

 

Bibliography

Chapman, Gary. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. Chicago: Northfield Publishing, 2015.

Grant, Jonathan. Divine Sex: A Compelling Vision for Christian Relationships in a Hypersexualized Age. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2015.

Urban Dictionary. December 3, 2005. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=queeve (accessed March 1, 2019).

 

 

[1] Chapman, Gary. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. Chicago: Northfield Publishing, 2015.

[2] Urban Dictionary. December 3, 2005. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=queeve (accessed March 1, 2019).

[3] Grant, Jonathan. Divine Sex: A Compelling Vision for Christian Relationships in a Hypersexualized Age. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2015. P 21.

[4] Ibid, p. 16.

About the Author

Shawn Hart

12 responses to “BIBLICAL SEXUALITY Rated PG-13 (You have been warned!)”

  1. mm Jay Forseth says:

    Hi Shawn,

    You were so interested in this book, you read it a week early (grin). Seems this one was a lot more exciting for you than our business book…

    Jay

    • Shawn Hart says:

      Figures…Shawn finally gets eager about his post only to find out he jumped the gun!! Guess I’ll be writing the other book review tomorrow…sorry again for the delay.

  2. Looks like Jay beat me to the punch 🙂

  3. mm Jay Forseth says:

    Shawn,

    Wow, what a list of topics you have preached on. Well done! That takes courage.

    The way I figure it, we should talk about anything and everything in the church, but most won’t, especially with money and SEX. The problem with folks avoiding the sex talk, is that our young people then only get a worldly view from YouTube or worse.

    Thanks for your courage!

    • Shawn Hart says:

      I agree Jay…money is almost as challenging as a topic; after all, are we really going to let others tell us how to spend our money. Sad thing is; there are many warnings about money and greed in the bible as well. Take courage to preach it.

  4. mm M Webb says:

    Shawn,
    You have ruined my vision of you now…when I see you in Zoom from now on I will only hear you saying “T Twister” from summer church camp! You might as well make a hat and start wearing it “TT”. LOL
    And what about, “read it with a dirty mind”. That is a new counseling technique for sure. Jake, what do you think? Are you sure you did not go to the seminary of Animal House? Lol
    I was hoping you would finally get to it, and you did, calling out parents for not being parents when it comes to sexual education and instruction to their children. When parents abdicate their responsibility to teachers, preachers, and the police it is no wonder our kids are all over the sexual identity spectrum. The devil is so clever that way.
    Stand firm,
    M. Webb

    • Shawn Hart says:

      Sorry Mike, didn’t mean to fall so far in one post. LOL. I believe we are in need of holding our members to an accountability…that includes even teaching your children about sex properly.

  5. mm Dan Kreiss says:

    Shawn,

    Sadly, I think our experience with the mother who was uncomfortable discussing sexuality with her teenager is not unusual. This is a significant problem. I have no doubt that you did a decent job but your teaching is only meant to be supplemental to the lifelong instruction of the parents. I am not sure why the Church has adopted such a prudish perspective because it is decidedly unhelpful and forces many young people to learn ‘on the streets’ rather than being guided by caring parents. I believe that one of the most important things we can do is to equip parents to be more comfortable with these important discussions.

    • Shawn Hart says:

      AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! Shedding the “Youth Minister” skin and now working as the “Senior Minister,” I have started having more opportunities to teach the older generation. However, I have not limited my teaching to parents; the reality is that there are grandparents that seem to have more time and influence on their grandchildren these days…they have a job to do as well. I think about Paul referring to Timothy’s spiritual training by both his mother and grandmother; though I would still like to know what his father taught him.

  6. Hi Shawn,

    Thanks for a great post and for being an outspoken advocate of the beauty of sex within a loving marriage.

    Your stat of 95% of Americans having had sex outside of marriage was a shock to me. That alone demonstrates that we need good formation and redemptive practices for all parishioners as they seek to follow Christ.

    • Shawn Hart says:

      I saw an ad for a cheap, plastic, iPhone watch case the other day on Amazon…on the small screen was a young attractive woman in a skimpy bikini. Our society has become desensitized to the damage an over-sexualized society can have on a young mind. It really is sad.

  7. Greg says:

    Shawn, I think when one is in ministry uncomfortable conversations are what we have. I too applaud your willingness to address the tougher subject AND be available that young people are willing to ask questions that in other circumstances they might be embarrassed to ask.The consumerism focus of this book really struck me as a powerful observation…even in apple watch cases.

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