Distorted Truths and Sexuality | Time for the Sex Talk

AMH series // Time for the Sex Talk

A classroom lecture on the reproductive system – it’s the lesson every anatomy and physiology student dreads. To sit with your friends and have your teacher explain the differences between the anatomy and function of male and female gonads (that’s the sciency term for sex organs) is just uncomfortable, to put it mildly.

I would know.

I’ve been the student in this scenario, and now…I am the teacher!

Created to be different

In anatomy we spend most of the year discussing organ systems that are very similar or identical in both males and females. We have the same muscles, bones, nervous system, digestive system, cardiovascular system, etc. There are slight variances in these such as bone density, muscle mass, hormone levels, etc. but the differences aren’t always blatantly obvious and vary from person to person. The one system that is different and gives rise to what are known as the “primary” and “secondary” sex characteristics is the reproductive system.

This year as we began the awkward endeavor of defining testes, ovaries, penis, and vagina, I prefaced the discussion to frame the lecture in a different light -a light which made learning these differences a privilege rather than an uneasy obligation to pass the class. More than any time in history, we live in a world where it is increasingly important to understand, respect, and hold sacred that which makes us uniquely male and female. For years culture has been trying to undermine the differences, and in recent times the world has even taken to attacking the biology behind what makes us distinctly male and distinctly female. Fortunately, as Christians, we do not turn to the shifting ideals of society to inform our opinions and convictions. We go to the never changing, timeless Word of God.

In the Bible we see that God designed Adam and Eve distinct and remarkably different. The Word doesn’t just tell us He fashioned humans, it says He made us male AND female.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

Both male and female bare the image of God. Our gender is sacred because we bare that image differently. As women we reveal something about the character of God that man cannot. Men in turn do the same.

Created to be compatible

In Genesis 2 we get a few more details about the creation of male and female. In this zoomed in account we see that God not only created them distinct, but He also created them for each other.

“But for Adam no suitable helper was found.  So, the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’ That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:20-24

Created to reflect God

God created male and female unique, each revealing something about Him the other cannot, and He designed them as a suitable match for each other in marriage. When male and female come together in the covenant of marriage, they reveal something about God they cannot on their own. Paul refers to this phenomenon as a profound mystery! (Ephesians 5:31-32) By God’s design the safety of the marriage relationship is also the specific place where sex is to be enjoyed and children are to be born.

The Bible doesn’t stutter or mince words when it comes to the matters of gender, sexuality, and marriage: we are male or female, and marriage is designed as a covenant between male and female. Yet we find ourselves living in a time where gender is fluid and marriage is no longer reserved for male and female.

How did we get so much gray area? How did culture get so off base when the Bible seems to be so clear?

Although it’s hard to pin the answer on any one thing, the church plays a role. It’s our job to speak truth in love to these lies about sexuality, but we have not done a stellar job. In the past we have shunned and shamed people with same-sex attraction or gender identity questions. We were incredibly hurtful and hateful, isolating these people or trying to silence them. In modern times, the church has become increasingly less convicted on these matters and has embraced “tolerance” in the name of “love” with as many as 51% of young evangelicals supporting same-sex marriage and 37% supporting transgenderism (Pew Research Center).

Both extremes are wrong.

Convicted to love

In the past, conviction wasn’t the problem. Love was. In the present, love (though I would argue it’s not really love) isn’t the problem. Conviction is.

We as Christians need to first be convicted by God’s truth about sexuality, only then can we lovingly guide others to those truths and the freedom they bring. We need to be convicted to love.

But how do we stay convicted in a culture filled with convincing arguments and pointed accusations against intolerance?

In response the Bible charges us to Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)

The word heart is the Hebrew word “Leb” which translates to inner man, mind, will, the seat of affections or emotions of the mind.

The Bible warns us about Leb and also gives us insight into how deceptive it is.

In Jeremiah 17:9 we read, The heart is deceitful above all things, And it is extremely sick; Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives?”

We see in this verse that the Bible adamantly warns us about this evil which lurks in our heart. Like the cunning serpent in the garden, our hearts question, “Did God really say…” and once the  question gets a foothold, our Leb takes off with a version of the truth that feels right, sounds less harsh and more loving, is easier to follow, or justifies our desires. And like Eve, we are deceived.

When our heart desires something we know is wrong, the Bible gives us hope. It provides a solution.

Psalm 37:4 tells us to, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Many times, this verse is used by graduating seniors to show that God cares about their dreams (not that He doesn’t), but that’s not what this verse means. This verse isn’t telling us that God will give us what we want, but it is promising us something SO much better! When we take delight in the Lord, He will take our twisted and sick heart and give us desires for what is right. He will place the right desires in our hearts. This is the hope we can bring to a world enslaved to their heart’s sexual desires!

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We live in a time when basic Biblical truths about sexuality, marriage, and gender are being distorted and embraced. When we as Christians accept cultural lies about sexuality rather than live into God’s truths, we don’t help people. We don’t love people. We support their bondage. As Christians, we must be convicted by God’s truths about sexuality and be diligent in guarding our hearts against cultural lies. Only then can we lovingly lead people to the sexual freedom they can only find at the cross.

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Curious to learn more about our sexuality and why God calls it holy? We’ll be covering objectification, temptation, and God’s holistic design for purity. Follow the blog or join us on facebook and instagram for the month long conversation.

 

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