So, should I have sex, or go to church? Cause you can’t do both right?
Continuing our evaluation of Barna’s research on the 6 reasons people leave church at about age 15.
The reasons are
- Reason #1 – Churches seem overprotective.
- Reason #2 – Teens’ and twentysomethings’ experience of Christianity is shallow.
- Reason #3 – Churches come across as antagonistic to science.
- Reason #4 – Young Christians’ church experiences related to sexuality are often simplistic, judgmental.
- Reason #5 – They wrestle with the exclusive nature of Christianity.
- Reason #6 – The church feels unfriendly to those who doubt.
Today we’ll look at #4….
Reason #4 – Young Christians’ church experiences related to sexuality are often simplistic, judgmental.
With unfettered access to digital pornography and immersed in a culture that values hyper-sexuality over wholeness, teen and twentysomething Christians are struggling with how to live meaningful lives in terms of sex and sexuality. One of the significant tensions for many young believers is how to live up to the church’s expectations of chastity and sexual purity in this culture, especially as the age of first marriage is now commonly delayed to the late twenties. Research indicates that most young Christians are as sexually active as their non-Christian peers, even though they are more conservative in their attitudes about sexuality. One-sixth of young Christians (17%) said they “have made mistakes and feel judged in church because of them.” The issue of sexuality is particularly salient among 18- to 29-year-old Catholics, among whom two out of five (40%) said the church’s “teachings on sexuality and birth control are out of date.”
Churches have gone the way of society in regards to marriage, but still tend to teach and know that purity is biblical. Honestly, what I’m about to say has gotten more comments at any church I’ve served than anything else, but here goes.
Teen/single adult, if your ready to be sexually active like an adult, then do it—get married, have sex, pay your own bills. Be a Man or Woman for Jesus. If you’ve sinned, repent, and sin no more. If your not ready for the responsibilities that go with God honoring marriage defined sex entail–flee sexual sin. This mean’s run away from anything that’ll be a temptation-people, places, software. RUN!!
Parents, it’s sinful to cause your children to burn with sexual passion, and that’s exactly what happens when you speak against young marriage (i.e….”go to college first”). Their commitment to purity/abstinence should be encouraged, guarded, and at the right time (marriage) –consummated. As such, this commitment is more important than their tax status as a dependent, or college education. Sin is wrong and righteousness should be prioritized.
When I talk to senior citizens in my church, I am surprised by how many were married at 14-18. In fact, I can’t think of any senior in my current church that has told me they were married after age 20….and they’ve been married for 40+ years, are debt free and have owned their own home (or homes-as in summer/winter) have reliable transportation, and are the largest givers.
On the other hand, in my ministry; most marriage counseling sessions I can remember involves college educated professionals who emphasized career and education before marriage, involved in sexual activity before marriage, and now face bankruptcy or foreclosure due to looming divorce. Oddly, the fear of financial difficulty often cause people to encourage a late marriage.
- Billy wants to go to college, he has decent grades and gets some general scholarship- Let’s say half?.
- However, Billy’s folks make “too much” for Billy to get need based scholarship. So Billy has to get a part time job- the company won’t work him over 27 hours weekly ,because then they’d have to pay insurance.
- Billly loves college life, and with work, he also enjoys the ability to date a few girls on the average of twice a week- at a cost of $20 an evening. ( about 10% of his GROSS weekly income of 195.75 about $10K annually FOR THIS EXERCISE WE’LL PRETEND HE PAYS NO TAXES-just because I’m a nice guy)
- Billy attends the local Big Blue State School where he owes about $75k for tuition and room and board after graduation (note that annual tuition is calculated for 12/hrs a semester…10 semesters for a 120 degree 😉
- Fortunately he got that $33k scholarship, and only spent $40 on dates weekly (he never drove, or went out with friends to a movie, or got tired of cafeteria food…or bought coffee, or clothes…)
- So, somehow Billy lived of/ pocketed $2600 annually…oh wait, we forgot books…$1600 annually. And he never drove, or went out with friends to a movie, or got tired of cafeteria food…or bought coffee, or clothes… OR PAID TAXES
Now let’s look at Jimmy….
- Jimmy’s parents make the same as Billy’s, he goes to the same school, got the same general scholarships, and has the same minimum wage part time job.
- But, Jimmy marries his high school sweet heart at age 18: Beth. She also works a minimum wage job.
- Because they are legal ‘independents’ both qualify for need based public and private scholarships, an additional 1/4 off of that $75k cost, down to $56,25, minus the 33k general scholarship is $23,750
- Because they’re married, Jimmy and Beth aren’t required to live on campus or pay the required meal plan-that’s $34k off total costs (-$10250 owed)
- Also, our married couple shares books for the first 2 years of school-because those are mostly basics anyway–down to -$12,250 owed
- They still date and go out so they make $18000 annually, but their homeless so they rent an apartment for $600/ mo and spend $200 on groceries for the both of them.
- So, our newlyweds net $8400 annually which is $42k through 5 year…minus the…absolutely nothing owed (for 2 degrees), means they survived on $8400 annually.
So aside from it being financially better to be married through college, married students have more commitment to study, just built 5 years solid rental credit, and aside from that….had a God glorifying sex without, guilt, shame, or “fear” of STD’s or pregnancy.
Sounds like a plan!!
Church, teach on sex…and how awesome it is. I can’t remember every hearing a sermon on sex like-
God made sex, created all the feelings that go with it, the pleasure, emotion and faithfulness. He created your body for pleasure…I mean, have you read Proverbs 5:18-19? Songs 8:1-3? Why doesn’t any Bible study discuss applying Songs 8:3 in daily life…daily?
Honestly, the Bible talks about sex– alot…and often in a really really good way. Thus, we should be true to the whole counsel of Scripture.
The problem is that we….Christians, non-Christians….people with a pulse-want to experience the amazing pleasure, love, intimacy, and emotion of sex, but usually without the commitment of marriage.
As we look back, perhaps grandpa and grandma were right on this one-financially, emotionally, and spiritually. The church need to be faithful to promote biblical sexuality, without imposing worldly values that are counterproductive to our declared beliefs.