Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Theological Observations about Sex

The month of February seems to be the season for talking about sex in youth ministry. I'm no different: we just finished a three-week teaching series on sexuality with the junior high students, which included an invitation to their parents to join us for one night about a theology of sex. Here are a series of basic observations I made in the preparation for the teaching series. Let me know what you think, or if these are helpful in explaining sexuality to a teen in theological terms:

1) All human beings are created in the image of God, making us inherently valuable and beautiful. To really understand human sexuality, we have to go back to the beginning in Genesis 1 and 2, viewing our sexuality through the lens of God's design for humanity and paint a picture of identity in communion with God (as opposed to what churches typically focus on, which is sin management). Sexuality is more than just biology; it has to do with our inherently relational identity and value that can only be fully found in a connection with the Creator.

2) Our sexuality becomes distorted and sinful when we ignore or distort the image of God. Any sexual sin really comes back to missing the image of God in a person. When we read Biblical accounts of sexuality gone awry, it tends to come back to the person missing or ignoring God's presence and His thumbprint in another person.

3) The primary sexual temptation for men is to distort the image of God in others. When men give into this temptation, they tend to use and objectify others for their own sexual gain. This generally leads to lust (i.e. use of another person as a tool for one's personal sexual pleasure) and shame.

4) The primary sexual temptation for women is to distort the image of God in themselves. When women give into this temptation, they tend to compare themselves to others or use their own sexuality as a means for gaining attention or power. This generally leads to insecurity, body image issues, and a loss of self.

Agree? Disagree? Any that should be added?

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