Q&A on God and Sex, Part 2

with | February 19, 2010

Many of us have questions about intimacy, but are too embarrassed to ask. You’d be surprised, however, how many are asking the same question. That’s what Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church, found out when he encouraged his congregation to send in their most daunting sexually-related questions. Today, Matt fields those questions and gives solid biblical counsel on a variety of sexually related topics including attraction, abuse, and homosexuality.

Many of us have questions about intimacy, but are too embarrassed to ask. You’d be surprised, however, how many are asking the same question. That’s what Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church, found out when he encouraged his congregation to send in their most daunting sexually-related questions. Today, Matt fields those questions and gives solid biblical counsel on a variety of sexually related topics including attraction, abuse, and homosexuality.

Q&A on God and Sex, Part 2

With
|
February 19, 2010
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Bob:  Recently during a question and answer time at his church on a Friday night, Pastor Matt Chandler was asked about whether you ought to date somebody you’re not really attracted to.  Matt’s answer centered on how you define attraction.

 

Matt:  I think we’ve got to get past the cover.  Our culture is terrified of growing old, so, we’ll dye our hair, push poison into our wrinkles.  So everything to us is so external, that you really rob yourself of really beautiful, beautiful, beautiful things.  So “attractive” doesn’t mean, “physically I want to have sex with her”, that’s not attraction, that’s lust.  Attraction is—biblical good attraction is, “There’s something about her that I just enjoy! I enjoy her.”

 

Bob:  This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, February 19th.  Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey and I'm Bob Lepine.  Matt Chandler is going to help us think more biblically today about things like attraction and love, romance and dating, and sex.

 And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us on the Friday edition.  We’ll see how this goes this week.  You know last week we featured a time where we aired some questions and answers.

 

Dennis:  Had some blushing, and some people going, “Wow!”

 

Bob:  This was from a message that was presented originally at the Village Church in suburban Dallas, Texas.  Pastor Matt Chandler spoke on a Friday night on the subject of God and sex, and took questions afterwards and last week we played some of those questions and heard Matt’s answers, and heard from a lot of listeners.  There was a lot of blog traffic on our website from folks who were responding to what they heard Matt say.

 

Dennis:  A lot of people appreciating somebody who would shoot straight from the Bible, and not mince words, but give you an authoritative answer from what really God’s word teaches.

 

Bob:  So, we’re going to hear today some more “Q & A.”

 

Dennis:  Some more straight shooting.

 

Bob:  That’s right from that session that Matt Chandler presented at the Village Church, back a few months ago, this was on a Friday night, as I said, a message he entitled “God and Sex,” and I’ll just mention that the entire message is available for download. You can go to our website FamilyLifeToday.com, and there’s a link you can click there that will take you to the Village website where you can download the message and listen to it if you’d like.

 

Dennis:  I also want to remind folks that Matt Chandler is in the process of recovering from some pretty dramatic surgery.  Back before Thanksgiving, he had a seizure.  It was discovered that he had a cancerous tumor in his brain that was removed.  He’s now undergoing treatment, and I want to encourage you as a listener, hold this man up in prayer, his wife and family and their church.  These have to be challenging days.  Just thank God for him and his teaching, it’s a privilege to feature his ministry here on FamilyLife Today as we’ve done a number of times.  But, pray for him if you would.

 

Bob:  Well, let’s listen together to some of the questions Matt received after his presentation on a Friday night in Dallas.  Hear how he answers some of these tough questions that were thrown at him.

 

Matt:  I love this question.  “If I really like a girl’s personality, but I’m not particularly attracted to her sexually, is that a reason not to date?”   No, it’s not.  It’s not.  I think you can absolutely grow in attraction and here’s what I would give you.  If we ask the question, how many of you hung out in a group for a year… for eight months… for nine months… when all of a sudden one day you woke up and went, “Gosh, she’s beautiful.”?  Are you serious?

I’ve got people close to my world who are married now who were in the same crowd for a couple of years and never looked at one another and said, “Yes, that’s what I’m talking about.”  There might have even been some, “No, I don’t think so.”  Some of them might even be in this room tonight, I don’t know.  And then, what happened?  One day, there it was.  A havah, “Yes, them.  God, how did I not see that?”  So, yes I think you can.  See, I think we’ve got to get past the cover.  I don’t know how else to say this.  I think we’ve got to get past the cover.

Our culture is terrified of growing old.  So we’ll dye our hair, and push poison into our wrinkles and grab our flesh and sew it to our collar bone and we’ll just do all that stuff because we’re terrified of getting old.  We just are.  So everything to us is so external, that you really rob yourself of really beautiful, beautiful, beautiful things.  So, yes, date her.  Even right now, you are attracted to her.  Attracted doesn’t mean “Oh, physically, I want to have sex with her.”  That’s not attraction, that’s lust.  Attraction is, “Gosh, I enjoy her.” 

We’re all going to grow old; gravity is going to take over.  Hair is going to sprout where it historically has not sprouted.  Is it not?  I know you think it’s funny, but it’s simple biology.  You’re going to gain weight in certain places. 

Women you’re going to have babies, and it’s going to blow your body up.  It is. It takes a while to recover from that.  It’s a human being growing in you, Okay?  We’re going to get wrinkly.  Our teeth are going to fall out.  It is going to happen.  All the technology in the world… You might be able to disguise it, but there’s nothing sadder than a 90-year old man with a 40-year old face.  It’s just weird.  “You don’t have any wrinkles, you were born in 1931.” 

So, attraction is—biblical good attraction is:  “Gosh there’s something about her I just enjoy.  I enjoy her.”  So here’s our problem.  We’re elevating sex to a position it shouldn’t be.  Sex is not a deal killer.  There are a lot more beautiful things to relationships than sex and nudity and nakedness.  So yes, date her.  Those are good gospel lenses, yes you enjoy her.  That’s a gift. Because, I could put you in contact with some guys who married beautiful.  And as they sobbed themselves to sleep, more lonely than they ever imagined, you might be encouraged.  So, I say, yes.  Date her.  Woo her.  I love it.

“How do I explain to my future spouse that I will not be able to give her children, due to health reasons?  Will we have less sex?”  To answer your second question, I have no idea.  Maybe you will, maybe you won’t.  To answer your first, I think you owe this to them pretty early.  I’m not saying first date early.  “Thanks for meeting me here.  I can’t give you children.”  But I think as the relationship becomes more serious, I think you owe this to them very early. 

Here’s what you have to do.  You have to throw yourself on their grace, and God’s grace, and that’s what you’ve got.  And really, there are a lot of areas in life that you have to do this on.  Now, this one is deep.  But, we’ve got guys on our staff that are bringing things into the marriage from past experiences that they’re having to tell their wife, “I’m bringing this into the marriage.”  It’s going to be complex. 

You just have to throw yourself on the grace and mercy of Christ and trust that if she’s a godly woman, she’ll be able to wrestle through this.  And that you’ll be patient and let her wrestle.  But I think you need to confess this pretty early on, and just be really honest.

“What do you do if your Christian friend is sexually active?”  I’d go Matthew 18, is what I’d do.  This means, I’d set them down and go, “This is a sin, this is where in scripture it says it’s a sin, you are outside the bounds, you need to repent of this sin.”  If they say, “Yes, I know, I don’t care,” then I come back with another friend.  If they still go, “Yes I know, I don’t care,” then I come back with three.  If he says it again, I give him over to the pastors and elders.  That’s what you do. 

Now, if they’re repentant, then praise God.  If they’re repentant, then praise God.  If you sit down with them and you go, “You know this is a sin…” They go, “I know” and they repent and they cry, then praise His name.  Praise His name.  But I’d go Matthew 18, that’s what you do.  You should love them enough to do that, by the way.

“What should I do if I am currently being sexually abused by a family member?”  I don’t know how many of you know this, but I there was sexual abuse in my home growing up.  Here is what I would strongly recommend you to do.  You need to tell someone.  And you need to do it quickly.  I would say to you, this is not your fault, and you have not brought this on yourself.  If you don’t know who to tell, you tell us, and we’ll take it from there.  Okay? 

This is not your fault, and you did not ask for this.  Whoever this is, is a sick perverse, hurt person. You need to let us know, and we’ve got to get you out.  The consequences of their action is not yours to carry.  Are you tracking with me?  You need to get out, and in so doing they will have an opportunity to heal and so will you.  This is not your fault.  You did nothing to incite this. 

“What about homosexuality?  Do they choose this or were they born with this?”  Homosexuality is a picture on the canvas of creation of man’s rebellion against God.  Ephesians 5 says, that God put it into the heart of man to pursue the woman as a picture on the canvas of creation of God’s pursuit of us.  Romans 1 says, that homosexuality is the opposite side of that picture. 

Which means that in response to man saying “Forget your way God, I’ll take my way!” that man desires man, and woman desires woman.  So, follow me here, the greatest rebellion a man can paint on the canvas of creation is “Forget the woman I’ll take myself.  I’ll take another man.”  That’s the ultimate picture of self-exaltation, self-pursuit, and rebellion against God.

So, to answer the first one, it’s not a preference, it’s a sin.  To answer the second one, “Born with this struggle or chosen by person to be?”  I don’t think it matters.  Because what we want to do here is say, “Well if they’re born with it, then you can’t say it’s wrong.” 

I was born with an innate desire to sleep with every beautiful woman I see.  And no one’s going to go “That’s, Okay.”  I was born with an innate desire to hurt people who don’t give me what I want.  My son has the same problem.  He bites, pushes, and hits.  I don’t think it changes anything one way or the other.  The Fall is definitely so severe that it would have fractured even the DNA makeup of humanity.  Okay? 

Now, let me say a couple of things.  The Church has historically handled this sin, in a ridiculously biased and horrible way.  There should be just as much patience, just as much grace, and just as much love for those who walk in same-sex attraction as there should be for those of us who struggle in any other way.  We want to make one taboo over and above the rest.  So, you end up getting this really weird, hypocritical place in the Church where a guy can sleep around with a woman and we just slap him on the wrist, but you let this one… we’re just grossed out by it this, and he can’t be a part of the church.—Shame on us for that.  Shame on us for that.

So, next question.  “What if you don’t really like to have sex, but your husband does?  How do you honor God in that?”  Two things: more than likely, there is a reason you don’t like sex.  It’s emotional, it’s mental, it’s spiritual… there is a reason you don’t like sex, because you were actually designed to enjoy sex.  If you are a woman, you were given nerve endings, and you were designed to enjoy sex.  It was a gift to you.  He did not just give sex as a gift to the man.  Are you tracking with that?  Sex was a gift to both. 

So I would encourage you to seek a little bit of help on this question.  Whether that’s in recovery or through biblical counseling, or to sit down with someone who can serve as a guide for you and walk you through.  What is it that makes you dislike it when the subject of sex comes up? 

Do you still think it’s dirty?  Were you abused early in life?  Do we maybe need to talk to your husband?  Like, “Take a shower, cut your nails.”  I’m being serious.  Is this a physical issue?  Is your husband gross?  Ladies is that not legitimate?  That’s legitimate. 

How do you honor God in that?  You grow in your sanctification.  And as we already read First Corinthians; you don’t deprive your husband.  You don’t deprive your husband?  You would serve him in this.  You still have got to go get help.  You have got to sit down with somebody.  Please don’t be embarrassed. 

 

Tons of people have sexual issues in regards to their fear, how they clench up. Or, how they were able to make out and do all those things before they got married, and now they’re in that marriage, and everything has tightened up and they don’t know why.  They just freeze up and get nervous and can’t let go.  Some if might be your husband, but there might be some issues that you really need to work through.  But I want you to hear me say:  Sex was given to you also to enjoy.  And so, I would sit down with someone and get to the bottom of this.

“How do you heal a woman’s heart, restore interest in sex after abuse rape? How about abuse through pornography?”  This is such a great question, my heart hurts so badly for whoever sent it in.  I’m going to answer it for the man, and then I’m going to answer it for the woman, not knowing which way a woman’s heart… Here’s how a man helps heal a woman’s heart who has been abused and raped.  By loving, encouraging, being tender with, being sweet to, never pouting, and always pursuing her heart. 

The woman must at some point in all of that that patient, loving, longsuffering, seek and find help.  The most painful lesson a man learns in marriage is that his love is inadequate to heal the wounds of his wife’s heart.  He patiently, lovingly encourages, they go to counseling together.  He finds encouragement from other men that encourage him in what will be longsuffering.  This is how a man rescues the heart of his wife.  Sometimes it takes 20, 25 years.

Men, pornography will absolutely destroy you.  Please get help.  Quit playing this game.  You’re not going to fix yourself, it’s been too long.  Ladies, you know actually, the fastest growing market for pornography right now is women.  Get help, this is going to own you.

For those of you ladies, who even though your husband is gentle and nice and loving, get cold when he pursues you sexually, go get help.  Show up at recovery, go see a biblical counselor, because something’s gone wrong.  God gave you this to enjoy.  It’s not right.  That’s being taken from you by what is dark and evil.  Don’t resign yourself to that.  Don’t resign yourself to that.  You want all that God has gifted you with.  Ferociously pursue that.

Young single women, help our boys grow up.  I’m doing my part.  I’m doing all I can do here, alright?  You still have a lot more power than I do.  Help them grow up.  Be patient, wait for a godly man. 

Bob:  Well, again we’ve been listening today to Matt Chandler, responding to questions that were presented to him following a presentation he did on a Friday night at the Village Church in Dallas, Texas back last October.  He spoke for about 45 minutes on the subject of God and sex and then handled questions that came via slips of paper or text messages.  It’s good to hear someone with a pastor’s heart who doesn’t pull punches. 

Dennis:  Yes, it really is.  You know the troubling thing to me is as I really listen to these questions, is, the culture that we’re all living in and how it is abusing a whole generation of young people who are starting out their marriages and families.  If you are struggling in your marriage, or if you are a single person and you, perhaps had something that was brought to mind as Matt was answering these questions, let me encourage you, don’t allow that evil to overcome you.  Seek out some godly counsel and get in the process of trying to find some perspective and solutions for it.

Bob:  I always think of the verse.  I think it’s in Isaiah where God’s redemption is pictured as bringing beauty from ashes.  For a lot of people, the sexual past, whether it’s been because of pornography or because of sexual abuse, or promiscuity, there are a lot of ashes left on the heap God can restore.  God can bring beauty from those ashes and can redeem even a sexual relationship.

Dennis:  Yes, and I’m glad you used the word redeem Bob.  Because, we’re all broken.  I’ll tell you something, if you grew up in this culture, you’ve been abused.  There’s a lot of things taking place on the internet today, and movies, magazines, just because it exists.  It impacts the way we think about our bodies, the way we think about sex and how God designed it, and we can bring that warped perspective into a marriage relationship and it can do harm, it can divide a couple.

Bob:  Well, and that’s one of the reasons we encourage folks to renew their minds on this subject to really think more biblically about relationships and romance, and sex.  We want to recommend a couple of resources that we have in our FamilyLife Today Resource Center. 

There’s great book by Dr. Daniel Akin.  Danny is the president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, so you’ve got a solidly biblical book that’s titled God on Sex, and yet it’s a very readable book, it’s something that any couple can read and benefit from. 

Again, you’ll find information about it online at FamilyLifeToday.com.  We also have copies of a great book for husbands. It’s a short book.  It’s about 120 pages long.  But, C.J. Mahaney has written a book called Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What every Christian husband needs to know.  There’s a chapter in here from C.J.’s wife Carolyn that’s written for our wives as well, and I would recommend this as a book that guys ought to read to get a more biblical understanding of an important subject. 

Again, there’s more information about both of these resources on our website FamilyLifeToday.com.  You can go there for more information.  Or call 1-800-358-6329.  That’s 1-800 F as in “family” L as in “life” and then the word TODAY. 

I mentioned this earlier but I just want to say it again.  Please keep Matt Chandler and his wife Lauren in your prayers, and their entire family.  And the church family at the Village Church in Dallas as well, as Matt continues to undergo treatment for a recently diagnosed brain tumor.  Ask God to intervene and to bring healing to Matt and to bring him many more years of fruitful ministry. 

Now, as we’re wrapping things up this week, we want to say thanks to those listeners who not only listen, but who from time to time will go online or pick up the phone and call and say, “We want to cheer you guys on, we want to help out with a donation for FamilyLife Today, because what you’re doing is making a difference, and it’s important, and we believe in you, and we want to stand with you.”  You guys know who you are, and we appreciate your financial support.  We are listener supported.  Without those phone calls or those visits to our website, to make an occasional donation, we could not continue the work that we do here on FamilyLife Today

This month, if you’re able to make a donation of any amount, we’d like to say thank you by sending you a copy of a CD that features Jodi and Linda Dillow talking about marital intimacy.  It’s a message that’s taken from the Song of Solomon and was presented a number of months ago at an event that we were hosting.  It was very well received at that event, and we want to make the CD available to you this month when you make a donation of any amount to support FamilyLife Today

If you donate online, at FamilyLifeToday.com, and you’d like to receive the CD, type the word “FOUR” in the key code box on the online donation form.  Or, if you’re calling to make a donation, 1-800-FLTODAY, just ask for the CD on intimacy or the CD we were talking about on the radio.  They’ll know what you mean and again we’re happy to send it out to you.  We appreciate you listening.  We appreciate your support, and we want to say thanks, for your partnership with us here at FamilyLife Today

We hope you have a great weekend, hope you and your family are able to worship together this weekend.  And, we hope you can join us back on Monday when we’re going to talk about how you can get your young adult sons and daughters ready for the next stage of life.  How you can make them college ready. 

So if you have a high school junior or senior, you’ll want to make sure you’re tuned in. even if it’s a few years away it wouldn’t hurt you to start thinking about it now.  So I hope you can join us on Monday for that.

I want to thank our engineer today Phil Krause and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I’m Bob Lepine.  Have a great weekend.  See you back Monday for another edition of FamilyLife Today.

FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.

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