• Thayer Thursday – Sex isn’t bad!

Sep
11
Thayer Thursday – Sex isn’t bad!

Chris Thayer is the Director of Discipleship at Good Shepherd Church in Charlotte, NC where he oversees adult life groups and Biblical education. On Thursdays I share his weekly “Thayer’s Thoughts” for small group leaders, which are based on the previous Sunday’s sermon. Click HERE to watch or listen to the accompanying sermon.

A slightly awkward, yet telling situation I encountered while teaching children was when myself and several other teachers found out that the students had a new word they used as a euphemism for sex. Once we found out what was happening – we quickly addressed it with the children involved. As you can imagine, it was a delicate situation – and one that I was highly uncomfortable with.

Also, as a new teacher, I was less than experienced in knowing how to handle it with children. A child who was in kindergarten was one of the children who used the term. One of the teachers present took the child to the side and privately asked him if he knew what that meant. He said “sex.” The teacher (who was much wiser than me!) gently asked the child if he knew what sex was. He said: “No, but I know it’s bad.” In what was one of the most brilliant and appropriate responses I’ve ever heard (and frequently contemplate as I think about how I will talk with my own children about sex), she said: “No, it’s not bad at all. It’s wonderful. But it is only made for a husband and a wife; for mommy’s and daddy’s when they’re married. And now’s not the appropriate time or place to talk about it.”

That was it. No further explanation was given or warranted – but it was brilliantly handled.

I would have probably agreed with the child that it was “bad” (and perpetuated a terrible theology about sex!) just to teach him that it was inappropriate to talk about it in the context he was doing so; yet this other teacher, had tremendous wisdom to properly teach this child a healthy truth without over-reacting.

Sex.  It’s a topic of conversation that is, unfortunately, avoided by many Christian churches and Christian Households. This has been the case for much of church history, though. In fact, you can go back to some of the earliest and most influential Christian teachers and read their thoughts on sex. In their writings, you’ll find that marriage (and the sex entailed therein) became a lesser form of living the Christian life than being single and celibate. (Ironically, and sadly, in the 21st century American church this ideology has been largely flipped; and now being single and celibate has become to many a second class population within the church).

Because of this long history of sex and marriage being viewed incorrectly, the book of Song of Songs from the Bible has been largely allegorized to deal with what makes even the most ardent Biblical scholar blush! However, when read, there’s really no getting around what’s actually being said! It’s a book that is about love and sex.

So, what do we do with it?

Well, read it and learn from it appropriately of course!

One of the most important lessons we can start off with, though, is that it’s in the Bible. Sex is not a bad thing to be avoided. Nor is it something to be flippantly dealt with (as the rest of scripture makes particularly clear).

As we read this book – we should come at it with the wisdom of the teacher referenced above. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a wonderful thing – within it’s appropriate context.

 

Chris Thayer

[Follow-up note from JM: For a full translation of this most beautiful of songs, color-coded to help differentiate the speakers and characters involved, see the Dojo Blog post: Song of Songs – Now in Color!  And for a fuller introduction to the book, including a look at some of its more explicit metaphorical imagery (blush alert!) download the audio message “The Song of Songs” from the Dojo Audio Archive.]  

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