The Christian and Sex Education
Human sexuality is a topic that needs to be taught in the home, in Bible classes, and from the pulpit. Both youth and adults need information and understanding of sex as God designed it and intended it.
Now, many may be offended by such a bold statement. "What? Sex from the pulpit?!" The crucial issue is the lack of understanding of the nature of sex education I am referring to. The misunderstanding most people have of sex education grows out of a limited view of sex. Sex is sometimes equated with intercourse. It is much more than this. Sexuality also involves roles, relationships, and attitudes. It is an integral part of our total being, permeating our personality and including all of our relationships from infancy onward.
The current upheaval in sexual conduct is reflected in the confusion and lack of real knowledge of human sexuality by the world. Mechanical experimentation by "scientists" into the physical operation of intercourse demonstrates one sadly limited view of sex-as if answers to human sexuality could come from a minute study of the progenitive act. Experimentation in trial marriages, group marriages, free of sex in the masculine and love, the exploitation media, unisex attempts to destroy feminine distinctions, women's liberation propaganda, the move to deify sex (and the reactionary effort to demonize it) all painfully demonstrate widespread and deeply ingrained ignorance of sexuality as God has created and planned it.
Just as sex is not limited to physical union, so sex education is not limited to reproductive education. To be sure this information is needed, but the functions of the body are easily learned in any biology class. There is a wealth of tasteful and accurate material available to aid the parent in answering questions and in giving positive knowledge in this area. But in addition to facts of life, godly sex education also gives proper place to attitudes toward sexuality. Proper sex education involves our place and role as male and female, husband and wife, parent and child, and of our relationships to others of our sex. Godly sex education teaches moral values concerning our sexuality, the right and wrong of sexual behavior.
Understood in this sense, we see that sex education is indeed a prerogative and responsibility of the home and the church. The inherent danger of depending on the school system to provide sex education is that the world is ill-equipped and incompetent to teach what true sexuality is. They may be able to give accurate biological instruction, teach hygiene and provide for physical education, but only those whose faith is centered in God and his revelation can give instruction in attitudes, roles, relationships, and mores. By defaulting on our responsibility we force the young, the misinformed, the confused, and the deceived into seeking answers for their questions elsewhere. God has guaranteed us that those who seek answers in darkness will only find more of the same (Rom. 1:21ff; Eph. 4:1719; Jude 4,7).
The Nature of Sexual Abuse
The basic nature of sexual abuse is centered in ignorance of God's will. Like all physical and spiritual responsibilities, true gratification, happiness, fulfillment, dignity, self respect, and ultimate salvation depends on faith in God's teaching and obedience to that will. When men forget God, they lose their bearings and become lost. Seeking to find their own way they only stumble farther away from God and true happiness. In so doing, while believing themselves quite sophisticated, they have indeed become miserably unhappy.
"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools . . ." (Rom. 1:21,22). The result of such? Men became sodomists, child abusers, homosexuals. Women became lesbians. Because "they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind." Sexual abuse led to other abuses personal and social (vss. 29-32) until, the ungodly lives of those poor creatures were utterly destroyed: "Receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet" (vs. 27).
All sexual "sickness" stems from a failure to know God's will concerning human sexuality. Studies of the origins of homosexuality reveal a common denominator: the absence of a father figure to give the child a strong sexual self-image, and the presence of a domineering and overpowering mother figure, often looked upon as a competitive threat. When people have no fixed sexual figure to identify with they "pick up" whatever is about. God's rules for the family, and for our benevolence to the "fatherless and widows" demands that a strong family with a father as head and leader be set forth as a sexual image. Current women's lib, day care centers, singles adoption laws, easily procured divorce, and apathy of Christians to provide family and male leadership and guidance to the fatherless will only produce more of the same corruption we see all about us today in "Gay lib." Godly sexual education in the home would eliminate homosexuality. The gospel can bring the homosexual unto newness of life.
Other forms of sexual abuse-fornication, adultery, venereal disease, prostitution, pornography, illegitimacy child abuse, spouse desertion, divorce, male machoism, female rebellion etc. are all products of ignorance of God's will or an unwillingness to submit to God's commandments. Only the faithful can expect "blessedness" in their relationships. Sexual abuse always ultimately brings despair and damnation.
We Need to Teach
We need to instruct the young and the misinformed in the church the proper place and role of the father and mother in the home and to one another. Christians need to know and live according to God's demands of their sex. The scope of this article is too limited to give all the Bible's teaching on female sexuality, but just a few scriptures listed demonstrate how much God has given us to help the woman determine her sexual role and relationships (Rules of dress and conduct: 1 Tim. 2:9,10; 1 Pet. 3:3,4. Relationships to men: 1 Pet. 3:7; 1 Cor. 11:3ff; 1 Tim. 2:11-15. Domestic responsibilities: Matt. 24:41; 1 Tim. 5:9-14; Tit. 2:3-5. To husbands: 1 Cor. 7:2-40; Eph. 5:22-23). Scripture instructs the man his responsibilities as a sexual being (Matt. 5:28; Rom. 13:13; 1 Cor. 6:13-19; 1 Cor. 7:1,2; Col. 3:5,19; Eph. 5:25-33; 1 Tim. 5:8; 1 Pet. 3:7).
Only when men and women know who they are and how God wants them to live can they be fully mature spiritually, socially, and physically. In closing I proffer a quote from a brother who has demonstrated in his life a full and proper understanding of God's will in this area:
"Why did God arrange marriage? . . . God said 'It is not good that man should be alone.' One of the functions of marriage therefore, is to provide companionship . . . Man, looked at in one way, is incomplete without woman . . . therefore, a marriage that is the kind that it ought to be is one in which there is companionship. For a man and a woman to be married and be (constantly separated) is certainly not the relationship God desires.
"God made man and he knew what would be best, and God made man with (sexual appetites) ...Ther is nothing dirty about it; and nothing is unclean about it; there is nothing. immoral about it; and we ought not to act like there is. But, just as God made man with certain desires, ther are right and wrong ways to gratify these desires. God made man with an appetite for food; he gets hungry. There is a right and a wrong way to gratify that desire. The right way is to work for our food. It is wrong to steal food. We ought to teach our children that God created them with a desire for food, and that the only logical, reasonable, scriptural way to get it is to work for it.
Just as God has proscribed our (hunger), so he has proscribed (our sexual appetites) . ...Any effort to get around the basic regulation of Gos is wrong and sinful, and we need to teach our children that it is" (Hiram O. Hutto, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage, pp. 3,4).
Truth Magazine XXI: 44, pp. 698-699