Should we talk about sex in church?

To answer the question….should we talk about sex in church?   Heck, yes!  God spoke of it first!

Many of you are familiar with the name Ed Young. Yes, he is the pastor of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, TX…you know, the pastor with the challenge to all the married couples in his church to have sex daily for one week. What an awesome challenge! I read a little bit about it. Did you realize that the idea wasn’t Ed’s, but his wife, Lisa’s? In a blog the Young’s pen together here, when asked about why SHE is so excited about this challenge, Lisa says, “Because God has revolutionized my view of sex and removed a lot of preconceived notions I had. And I can truly value intimacy done God’s way.” Does this mean that even PW’s can have hang ups about sex? Does she sound like any ladies you know? I found Ed’s blog and in it he comments, “Our culture is so used to toilet water that it’s refreshing when we get a taste of God’s pure desire for sex in marriage.

After reading and subscribing to Ed’s blog, I followed it up by reading an article online that criticized Mr. Young and his challenge. The article was written by Gavin Richardson, director of youth ministries at FUMC in Hendersonville, TN. In his article, Mr. Richardson calls Mr. Young “off target” in his challenge. He suggests that we “should not be talking about sex as a “foundation” for our marriages”. Instead, we should “figure out how we are friends with our spouses and others.” He feels that “the deep core we need to address is how we are friends in love, not lovers in bed.”

As a youth pastor, he says in the article that he hears about sex all the time. I hope he is addressing it biblically!! When the topic comes up in the youth of our church, I hope it isn’t pushed in the corner in all this talk of becoming friends with everyone. If you aren’t going to openly and biblically answer the questions teens have, they are going to get misinformation and believe what they hear from friends, Hollywood movies, TV shows or by experimenting for themselves! People like Ed Young and the authors of this blog are trying to show the world that sex is not a bad thing when we do it in the context that God created it for. Married sex is awesome, and if we don’t educate our own congregations, we end up with marriages that have so many problems because of misunderstandings, lies or things that the church could and should address. Sexual incompatibility is listed on many divorce websites as reasons that people’s marriages end.

Dear ones, part of teaching our future generations to love and respect each other will include preparing them for the future. Mr. Young is doing a great service to help others understand that God created sex. God wants us to love sex….when it is used in the context He created it for. God loves intimacy. He wants to have an intimate relationship with Him. He created marriage and he created sex to not only create intimacy between husband and wife, but also to bring us together in a greater intimacy with Him. God wrote about physical intimacy in the Song of Solomon. He wrote about proper relationships, how to court each other (without sex involved) and how once we are married that we can consummate a wonderful and sometimes wild sexual relationship with each other. He wants us to enjoy sex. I watched online a part of Ed’s message the other day, and he also said that another part of sex is worship….well, yeah, each other, but it is worshiping God as well. God wants us to use what he created and called “good”. All God saw he created he said was good, sex included between a married man and woman.

But remember, Satan knows God’s word quite well, and he loves to twist it so that we believe differently about sex and marriage. God didn’t just create sex so we would be “fruitful and multiply”. Sure he wanted the world to be populated, but he wanted us to enjoy sex as well! What I want to know is why Mr. Richardson and others like him are so intimidated by seven consecutive days of sex by married couples?

Sex is a very important part of a marriage. By encouraging his congregation to make love once daily for a week, Ed Young is not saying that sex is the only important part of a marriage, but he is recognizing that sex is the first thing to go by the wayside when problems come. Our bodies miss sex when we aren’t taking the time to get intimate with our spouses. Many times, spouses use sex as a weapon, a tool to hurt or manipulate when it should be a tool used to superglue our hearts to each other. Women, we are guilty of this, and we are also guilty of using it as a reward when our husbands do the things we want them to do. This is very wrong and not what God intends for us to be like. 1 Corinthians 7: 3-5 saysThe husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (NASB – emphasis mine) I love that part that I bolded. Stop depriving one another… I hear this in the tone in my voice when my kids are arguing…Stop fighting with each other, but it is our heavenly Father expressing his displeasure with how we treat each other in regards to sex. Stop depriving one another. Love one another. God fashioned our bodies so that when we come together, we become one in mind, in heart, in soul and in body. Genesis 2:24 tells us “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Sex in our marriages helps us to avoid sinful temptations. 1 Thess. 4:3-5 tells us It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God” Sex with your spouse is holy and honorable….extra marital affairs, sex before marriage, pornography, these are all the passionate lusts that God talks about.  Do you hear God’s voice telling you “Stop depriving one another”? I have been hearing him tell me this more and more often lately, and my husband is reaping the reward of this. 

I support Ed Young, and others like the ladies here at CN who are bringing God’s word forth on this topic, sex in your marriage bed. Dearest, God spoke this well before myself, or Ed Young, or any other who chooses to repeat was the Lord said first himself. The problem is not with Ed Young…the problem is our sinful, disobedient hearts. I am off now to continue with my week long (or more) sexperiment. Take the challenge…dive right in….your marriage will be rewarded in more ways than you can possibly imagine.


  1. Dear Spicynutmeg,
    I am fairly new to your blog but it has been a great challenge to me, with no doubt in the bedroom. Through years of struggles, I have recently came to acknowledge that the most important way to show my husband that I love him is not by cooking for him – although that is also good – but by regularly making love to him and being creative in doing so.
    Only recently have we decided to make love everyday – unless life happens, or death – and it has made such a difference to the quality of our relationship. After 8 years of marriage, we have reconnected to the same level that we were when we first met!
    It would be so helpful if churches were to speak more openly about the goodness of sex within marriage and not to be ashamed to say the S word. In our society we are so bombarded by sex everywhere, everything is sexualised, and not in the right context. We have a responsibility as Christian married couples to refute the myth that sex in a marriage is just too boring.
    The Youth Pastor you’re mentioning is so wrong. The only difference between being friends and being married is actually the sex factor. We can learn to be friends with every and any relationships we nurture, just by being Christian- there is no mystery in friendship, love other above yourself – but when it comes to be married, the way you will love your spouse will certainly be different than with your friends (otherwise you should go for counsel quickly !!).
    In one word, it is an excellent post that I hope will have some impact!
    Oh sorry just one thing I don’t completely agree. When you quote the Corinthian passage, the context into which Paul speaks was to the people that were being ascetic and thought that withdrawing from sexual behaviour with their spouse would make them more spiritual. Paul is speaking against that kind of behaviour, not necessarily meaning that it’s wrong not to have sex for a week or two. It is probably not helpful for couples not to make love for weeks at a time but that is not a sin. The sin comes into play, I think, when the sexual need of the one spouse is not being met.

  2. Great article, Spicy Nutmeg! Made me think of a book I just finished called, “for women only – what you need to know about the inner lives of men”. (Shaunti Feldhan) She conducted surveys of men and the results show me one of my failings as a wife. I was ready to “accomodate” DH if I wasn’t in the mood, and though I didn’t hold back, I wasn’t really enjoying myself.

    Her surveys showed that even when a man was given ALL the sex he wanted from his wife, 74.3% would not be sexually satisfied if the wife was reluctant or simply “accomodating his needs.” For so long, we have been blinded by Satan’s lies about sex. If it was JUST sex, men would not respond that way in the survey, because they would only be concerned about their own needs. (Not sure what the survey group consisted of as far as Christians vs non.)

    Very interesting reading for anyone interested – it was recommended on The Marriage Bed and has really helped my understand what drives DH (who is currently being gracious enough to read the companion book, “for men only.”)

  3. I think that guy in Tn is way sadly missing out on something far more than sex.

    I think it funny that a lot of folk are painfully ignorent of the symbolism of sex and intamacy. The greek word most often used for ;”worship” in the new testament means to kiss. Literally we kiss God through our worship. It seems to me that anly through our open and naked worship of God , when we take off ever thing we do and try to be and just come as we are, can we ever really recieve or concieve of His intentions and plans for us. Just like having sex. We can’t get pregnant in the natural until we stop doing every thing else and just have sex. So we can’t have what God desires to do and birth in us until we are united with him in that intimate heart and soul moment.

  4. inks, thank you for the comments. We’re not all going to agree on everything, but I do want you to consider this, though….In 1 Corinthians 7, if you go back to the beginning of the chapter and read, Paul is answering questions from the Corinthians from a letter they wrote to him. Paul is telling the Corinthians that if you choose to marry, you have rights and debts to each other. I need to go and find the exact link to his message, but Mr. Young does research and I have heard this too as well, that men need a release every 72 hours. Going weeks on end is not meeting a need of your husband in that case. BUT for some reason, you CANNOT meet this need, verse 5 tells us that if we mutually consent and pray about it together, then it will help keep temptation out of our marriage bed. A husband will be less likely to look for other outlets for his sexual frustration such as porn or whatever Satan would throw at him. This is the standpoint that I use those verses for. I hope you can understand my point. If I didn’t make it clear enough, I am sorry.

    ravenwolfe, you are exactly right about the word worship. Ed Young uses that in his series as well…it is a way that we worship God by using the wedding present that HE gave us when we married. We are worshiping him every time we come together as he intended in our marriage.

    Thank you all for your comments! I look forward to reading more!!

  5. Thank you for your response!
    Yes I realise that I didn’t express myself properly. By no means do I say that not having sex for a week or two is good. I can see by experience that MOST men want / need / enjoy having sex very regularly. I’m just careful not call an issue of wisdom ‘sin’.
    That passage tells us that we must fulfil our conjugal rights (godliness issue) but it is for each couple to find something that works within their own personalities, needs, schedule etc… (wisdom issue). For some it might be every day, for others it might be 3 times a week.
    I do understand your point though, and I also agree that those (especially women) who think that once every second week is enough for their spouse might either be deceiving themselves or trying to ignore a spouse’s need. It’s a big open door for Satan…

  6. No harm meant inks75 but i must disagree with you and with spicynumeg’s 72 hour theory. My hubby is very much a “once in a month” person. I’ve fought it believe me, but I’ve finally come to accept that he is not “most men”, that like it or not I will have to be the one doing most of the pursuing (not very good for my ego, trust me) even though it has made me really resent him on occassion. And no – he does’nt have any health issues whatsoever, he has been faithful to me as long as I’ve known him and believe it or not I AM an attractive woman. Sounds silly to be saying that bout myself but I hear it so often in the course of a week (not from my hubby though) that I know it’s probably true. I don’t recollect ever having had sex up to three times in one week since I got married. Funny thing is – we’re good friends. I hear that a lot too. Would I like to increase the frequency of our love making? Definitely ! Strangely my hubby says he’d like this too. Has he made any attempts to initiate more frequently? NO! Even after several discussions and much prayer. We’re both still young (in our 30’s) so I guess we have all the time to keep working at it, but my Q is – should I keep raising the issue (It’s beginning to feel like nagging to me) or do I just accept my lot? Any ideas anyone?

  7. My advice would be just to pray. (Like that hasn’t occurred to you, right?) 🙂 I have been there, and it’s very frustrating! I mean, you have to sleep next to them every night, they’re right there, how easy would it be for him to just roll over and…you get the picture. If it’s starting to feel like nagging to you, then chances are it might feel that way to him too. And really, what can you do, other than what you’re doing? Always being the pursuer IS hard, I still sometimes have rejection issues because of all the years of that! But, you know, God really can do anything. My advice would be to just love him unconditionally, try not to pressure him, try not to “nag”, try not to resent, make sure you never punish him in any way (by pouting, or silent treatment, etc…) I’m not implying you do any of these things, I just know how you feel, and I know all the womanly tendencies! If the opportunity comes up for you to talk about it in a calm, loving way, then definitely talk. But it sounds like you two have talked a lot about it…maybe you’ve done all you can on your end. I will pray for you. Please keep us updated!

  8. Here’s something to think about…my pastor recently preached a series (4 weeks) on marriage, including 1 week on sex. There were several people in the church who refused to attend church for the duration of the series because it was “disrespectful to people suffering through divorce”. In my opinion, if we don’t go to church every time the pastor preaches on something that someone is suffering through, we’d never go at all. Am I wrong? In fact, since most people have or will be married, it is one of the more important topical issues.
    I think we don’t do enough of talking about marriage and sex and would love to see that change (and in fact, are doing so in the youth group- wish the adults would catch up!!!)

  9. Snow Angel. The attitude of some of the people in your church is the worldly view that is starting to take over American churches. “Christians” do not want their sin to be preached on in church because they will be convicted and they would rather live in their sin then draw closer to our Lord. Way to go to your pastor for not being afraid to speak the truth.

    God’s Word (truth) is designed to convict our hearts so we can be transformed to be new creations.Yes, as a result, it will be offensive to some. But we all have sin, and if we believe the pastor shouldn’t preach a topic because he might offend someone, then we need to look at our own heart and see what God is trying to teach us.

    I would encourage you to pray for your fellow church members without judging them. Remember this stat that came out a few years back. 1 out of 3 active church members are not believers.

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