Many Christians feel shy to talk about issues relating to sexuality. Why is that a problem, and how can we overcome that?
Society is not shy about their opinions on sex and sexuality. They speak loudly on assisted reproductive technologies, surrogacy, sex education in schools, same sex marriage, prostitution, abortion and the sexualisation of children. Therefore we Christians can’t just stay silent and let others dominate the conversation: we must join in, and do so confidently.
It may seem hard to talk about sexuality, but remember that God made sex. As Christians we need not see sex as dirty or disgusting because that is not what God made it to be! We should be in awe of God as we try to understand the intricacies of human physiology and psychology.
Remember that God made us all as sexual beings. Even if we seldom or never talk about our own sexual desires, we need to acknowledge that we all have them. God created our brains, our neurological systems, our hormonal systems, our skin and our reproductive organs – God created the hardware for sex. God also created our software – how all of the hardware components communicate with each other so that we experience sexual desire and sexual pleasure.
Each of us was created by God to have the hardware and software of sexuality so that we can enjoy the powerful physical, emotional and spiritual components of relating to another person in a sexual relationship, ideally between one man and one woman within the context of a lifelong marriage commitment. However, we are sinful and fragile, not at all immune to temptations or abuse, such that it is so easy to disrupt the beautiful order that God created. We turn an enjoyable experience into a traumatic one, or indulging in a pleasurable experience that isn’t intended under God’s design. As a result of unwise decisions, we damage God’s creation and suffer the consequences, such as the pain of sexual assault, sexually transmitted infections, infidelity, and so on.
Sexuality is unique, and yet none of us will have perfect sexual experiences! None of us can have a comprehensive sex education at school, experience no sexual desires while we are single, enjoy a wonderful sex life from the moment we are married, have exactly as many children as we plan, educate our children appropriately about sex, and never have any sexual desire for anyone other than our spouse! So when discussing sexuality, we must remember that no one is perfect - rather, many of us have memories we would rather erase. Therefore, let us not try to pull a splinter out of someone else’s eye before we realise we have a plank in our own.
With all of that in mind, as sinners, let us listen to other sinners without immediate judgement, and then confidently but humbly talk about God’s amazing and intricate creation of sexuality!
Dr Yip Teem Wing is an Australian-trained doctor with specialist qualifications in rural and remote medicine and in public health medicine. She speaks Pitjantjatjara and loves Scottish country dancing. She is a flexitarian, finds it hard to accept that capsicums in local supermarkets are individually bagged, and wonders why Singapore needs to import bananas from Latin America.