Part of our ministry here in the islands is being a spiritual mum and dad to the Christian fellowship at the local university. The students themselves lead all the meetings and make all the plans. All we do is give occasional advice and provide spiritual nourishment once or twice a week. The weekend before last we helped them out with a camp, setting up the schedule and organising the spiritual food. John Piper’s “Blazing Centre” DVD series provided the bulk of the teaching and a catalyst for some interesting small group discussion and feedback. Then on the Sunday morning Steve taught the guys and I taught the girls on the subject of sexual purity, followed by a worship service and testimonies.
One thing I find over and over again is how desperate people are for Biblical teaching on the subject of sexuality. Recently at a ladies’ Bible study I was teaching on marriage, we spent two sessions on the subject of marital intimacy. Plenty of questions were fired, and I was surprised how candid the ladies were in that “safe” setting. After one particularly curly question, one woman commented, “Jane, you have no idea how big this topic is.” Christian books–good, bad and ugly–abound on the subject yet there is still great need for teaching on this subject in the church. Plenty of negative sexual propaganda blasts from the mass media, leaving its mark on all but the most vigilant. Acceptance of sexual perversion as normal undergirds much of what we observe in the marketplace of personal relationships. As Christians we must consciously and radically re-educate ourselves on this topic. But how?
1. Surrender your sexuality and all your thinking about it to God
2. Be wary of anything that stimulates a false picture of romantic love. Romance novels are notorious for this, as well as a good chunk of the movie industry, not to mention a lot of secular love songs.
3. Study key passages in the Bible on this topic. Starting with Genesis 2 work your way through the Old Testament, noting God’s instructions about sexuality and God’s judgment against those who pervert His plan. Enjoy the very beautiful love poetry of the Song of Solomon—not everything about sex in the Bible is negative! In the New Testament, don’t miss Jesus’ expansion of the law in Matthew 5:27-32. A few other passages not to be missed are Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6:12-7:40, and 1 Thessalonians 4:1-10.
4. Read some good Christian books on the topic of sexuality. I recently enjoyed Love That Lasts by Gary and Betsy Ricucci, which devotes two chapters to romance and intimacy. Elisabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity is a Christian classic for singles on “loving passionately while remaining sexually pure”.
5. Pray for a spiritually-minded person you can trust to mentor you through your questions and struggles.
At the end of our camp sessions on sexual purity, some questions arose: “If I’m a guy and I have feelings for other guys, is that wrong in itself?” “I’ve already lost my purity. Is there any hope for people like me who have blown it?”
Thank God His gospel is a fountain of grace for those who struggle, even in the area of sex.