God’s Design and Why It Matters: Rethinking Sexuality – Dr. Juli Slattery
This book is a must read. God’s design for sexuality matters, and Dr. Juli Slattery does an amazing job laying a strong Biblical foundation explaining why. As Christians, we need to know where we stand on the important topics of sexuality and be able to give an answer for our beliefs.
As Juli put it, “The world is watching and laughing as Christians who worship the same God and read the same Bible can’t agree on God’s intention for sexuality. We can’t guide others if we ourselves are lost.” (p.9)
God has a plan and a purpose for your sexuality, no matter what stage of life you’re in. It’s time to embrace God’s design and understand why he created us as sexual beings in the first place. Sex education is not enough.
It’s About what you believe
Is postmodern thought affecting your view of sexuality?
Do you find yourself asking questions like, what makes me happy? Isn’t that for the individual to decide? You may be surprised at the number of Christians who believe practicing cohabitation is a good idea and would be willing to have sex before marriage.
Where do we find the answers?
“We worship a God who created sex for a purpose and has communicated His design both in creation and through His Word. The Bible tells us that we have everything we need to live a life of godliness through Christ Jesus. I believe that includes our sexuality.” (p. 9)
Juli breaks down this book into four parts. Part one goes over Sexual Discipleship and why we have to rethink sexuality. This moves into part two which lays the foundation for Knowing What We Believe. The third part looks inward into Living What We Believe both naturally / spiritually, and publicly / privately. Then wraps up with Passing On What We Believe and why we need the body of Christ. Why we need YOU!
As a single woman, though I’ve been passionate about the topics of sexuality and purity, I’ve had a hard time understanding where I fit in the puzzle. The church is so good at telling single Christians “no, don’t do that” and “wait.” At times it’s felt like I was in a holding area until meeting my future husband and starting our lives together. Through reading this book, I felt like my passions were reignited.
Read this with me for a minute, and really let it sink in.
“Your sexuality is a living metaphor of God’s covenant love. This means that your sexual decisions are not simply a matter of doing what is right or wrong. Stewarding your sexuality is about being true to the metaphor of covenant. As a single person, does your longing for intimacy remind you that you were created for more?” (p. 63)
I love how Juli talks about “stewarding your sexuality.” Dictionary.com defines stewardship as “the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving.” This goes hand in hand with how Across My Heart defines purity, as “passionately pursuing the heart of God.” We are called to take an active response.
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 (NKJV)
Jesus said it so plainly and beautifully. Before we were called to love others, our first love was always meant to our heavenly father. What would it look like for us to truly love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength?
Juli said that “the primary problem with Christians and sexuality isn’t simply a lack of biblical knowledge; it’s the lack of integration of that knowledge.” (p. 104) That “Calling Jesus ‘Lord’ means making a daily choice to acknowledge ‘I’ve given up the right to my own life, including sexual longing that are outside God’s design for me.’” (p. 47)
So how do we share this message to our broken world? The book wraps up with how to live what we believe so we can pass on what we believe.
“The world doesn’t need to see flawless Christians who keep God’s sexual standards perfectly. What they need to see is broken people who are no longer ashamed of their weaknesses but live to brag about a God who loves them. The culture will be most greatly affected when it witnesses the testimonies of limited, fallen people who have a miraculous power to love, extend grace, and pursue purity. They don’t need to see you and me; they need to see God living through you and me. The world needs to know your redeemed story.” (p. 127-128)
While there is so much more I’d love to share, I want to leave you with this. As Christians, we aren’t presenting an honest representation of God’s beautiful purpose and design for our sexuality.
“With all of our sophisticated theology, our kind hearts, and our desire to make God more marketable, we have given ourselves permission to edit God Almighty. We water down the significance of male and female, warnings of eternal damnation, and God’s clear call for us to live with sexual integrity.” (p. 139)
We need a wakeup call, and that’s exactly what this book is. Julie writes with such grace and truth while building on a Biblical foundation to help the church learn, grow, be challenged, and discipled in Biblical sexuality.
JOIN US AT OUR 2021 WOMEN’S CONFERENCE
We hope you’ll join us March 19-20, 2021 for worship, teaching, food and fun as we uncover why God created sexuality, what it reveals about the gospel, and how purity brings clarity to our everyday lives.