We need to talk about sex.
Well, not right now, but it should be a more comfortable topic. This weekend, our online Sunday School delved into 1 Corinthians 6. When you do that, you get around to sexual immorality. Our class leader and I acknowledged the discomfort many Christians have with this conversation.
The old adage was: We don’t smoke. We don’t chew. We don’t run with those who do.
I’d add to that: And we don’t talk about sex.
The problem with that is the world is talking about it. If you pretend to not have opinions or don’t make room for those with questions about such matters, where do you think they’ll find answers?
That was the point I made. I see it all the time with young people.
We don’t make it a priority to offer Christ-centered answers about matters like sex because we’re so uncomfortable with the topic. When our young people find their answers in their music or media, because they will, we blame the young people and the media for what they learn.
I was never going to talk about sex in today’s devotional, but it got your attention!. The larger issue I want to reflect on is our willingness to open avenues for people to question.
What do people have questions about?
Sex and stuff. Really, everything!
Now, maybe I’m wrong. The way I see it, we’ve done our best to keep inquisitive minds treed up where they cannot spread their doubt or confusions. In many ways, our response to such people is, “Here’s your answer. Here’s your only answer.”
If we want to be a part of God’s ministry of reconciliation with newer generations, we’re going to need to rethink our approach to their questions.
On the liturgical calendar, March 25th marks the Annunciation of the Lord. Read Luke 1 and you’ll find bits of everything we’ve already talked about today. There’s the announcement of God’s work in Jesus–that’s the reconciliation. There’s Mary–she’s young. And March 25th is nine months before December 25–in a weird way, there’s the sex part.
There’s also something else.
Many Christians look to Mary as a perfect example of obedience to God. She is among some of the most prominent people of scripture who responded to God with, “Here I am.” Abraham, Jacob and Moses did and they stand as spiritual giants of our faith. Mary’s response was the same as theirs. She’s right there with them.
Do you know what she did before her Here-I-Am proclamation?
First, she pondered in her heart the angel’s greeting. When the angel announced God’s plan for Christ’s birth, she questioned him, saying, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”
I’d like us to imagine how we can help one another by making difficult conversations less rare. Some of these conversations will probably never be less awkward, but there is a way to lovingly walking with others as they share their questions and even their doubts.
I’m not an alarmist. But I do recognize our unwillingness to do so will hamper our ability to share Christ with the world.
We’ll have to concede our own shortcomings and discomforts along the way. But don’t worry. Growth happens when we do that together.