Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Chat Recap: Healthy, Holy Sexuality
Last night Kim ("The Pres") led the final chat in a series based on Cache' Connections DVD titled Christian Dating ... Redefined. Here are some highlights of the discussion:
Kim: well, the video features dr. steve simpson who is a relationship expert from fuller theological university in california. and he starts off the video by talking about the models of sexuality that have evolved over time. i'll give a brief synopsis. you have the puritans who believe sexuality is evil and the pornographers who say you do whatever you want with the body... that it's not connected to your soul. both of these messages are similar in that they are telling us our bodies are not connected to our soul. agree?
so, that brings us to today. and modern culture is telling us that sex is at the beginning of the relationship. all of our senses, mind, body and spirit are connected.
Chatter: or "is" the relationship.
Kim: yep, that's what dr. steve is getting at. But the Bible tells us something different.
Chatter: sexuality is the expression of a relationship with God as its foundation.
Kim: scripture emphasizes that our bodies are a part of who we are. that our sexuality is important to God. 1 Cor. 6:19 says our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Chatter: "So therefore glorify God in your body".
Kim: so, what dr. steve is getting this means as Christians, we have to show the world how sexuality is done. "how to make sex sexy" in the context of family and commitment. your thoughts?
Chatter: Yes. Commitment makes it so much better, so they say.
Chatter: I totally agree with "chat-admin". It's important to acknowledge our sexuality yet give it its proper place as God designed.
Kim: well, then what does that look like?
Chatter: Sexuality needs to be expressed in the proper time and place. This is called respect for the other person, and honors God.
Kim: ppl typically ask dr. steve about boundaries and how far is too far? but he says he doesn't think that's a good question.
Chatter: Agreed! if you have to ask yourself if it is too far it more than likely is too far.
Kim: he said a better question is what's pleasing to God and good for the relationship.
Chatter: Why do ppl. try to see what "they can get away with"? Sad.
Kim: he compares your sexuality to something that happened to him in high school youth group. he said while he was upstairs learning about sexual purity, ppl were downstairs making out. so he says we need to bring our sexuality upstairs, to what is pleasing to God.
Chatter: I think when feelings are strong, there's a struggle there for both. It can be hard if you don't lay out what the boundaries are beforehand, for both.
Kim: Exactly - that leads into the next part. dr. steve says you shouldn't just make it up as you go forward in a relationship. sexuality is a powerful thing. we should pray and talk about before getting into a serious relationship - set boundaries.
Chatter: ...chart your course ahead of time.
Chatter: It does seem unnatural and un-spontaneous to discuss boundaries beforehand, but the respect for each other is strengthened. People will be much happier in the knowledge that they did it God's way.
Kim: excellent point. it's called being intentional.
Chatter: so at what point do you have that discussion?
Kim: as i told my children in their teens, you want to make up your mind and set boundaries before you get in situations that your emotions may take over. that way, when you get in those situations, a red flag should come up.
Chatter: there is power in knowing the right thing to do and doing it! it would be too late without a plan.
Chatter: proactive is much easier than reactive.
Kim: it is also good to discuss so you don't allow yourselves to get in situations that are compromising - such as spending time alone in situations where you will be tempted.
Chatter: like being alone in each other's homes without roommates.
Chatter: so at what point do you say hey joe this is my limits and what i expect?
Kim: well, dr. steve doesn't really pinpoint the exact time, but i would say it would be after you have started being intimate. by that, i say holding hands, kissing. dr. steve does say what is appropriate. he recommends keeping things sensual, but simple.
Chatter: best to err on the safe side. if there is mutual respect for each others boundaries, this shouldn't be a problem.
Kim: holding hands, cuddling, kissing.
Chatter: It's important to know what sorts of things can push you over the edge and draw a boundary a good distance from that.
Kim: mutual respect is imperative, but sometimes one person can be weak and the other might need to draw the line. when dr. steve says simple, he means things that don't require a lot of complication. things that don't require unhooking, locking the doors, getting under the covers. this is all stuff that is "down in the basement." he says to bring your sexuality upstairs to what is pleasing to God. dr. steve reminds us that we need to make up our mind ahead of time, because we can't go backwards. and another way to evaluate if you are going too far... your sexual relationship needs to be balanced the the rest of the relationship. are you as spiritually, emotionally and intellectually as close as your are physically?
Chatter: in other words the physical should not out pace the spiritual, mental, etc. dimensions of the relationship.
Chatter: Yes, the various aspects should be at a similar level.
Kim: exactly. otherwise, you relationship is based on physical intimacy. and that eventually wears off to some degree. and you want to feel close on other levels.
Chatter: I've been in a relationship where both of us have helped keep our boundaries -- sometimes one of us felt weak but God provided strength to the other. It is really important that both truly love God.
For information on the dvd titled Christian Dating Redefined, click here and watch the trailer and order your copy. It's on sale through 2/14/11 for just $11.95 plus s/h. Great for small groups, singles groups, etc.!