Sexuality Reality

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A week ago, my friend Kia and I finished co-teaching a sexual integrity course called, “God’s Blueprint for Life, Love, and Marriage,” developed by Carrie Abbot of Heartbeat International. The Alight Pregnancy Center Director asked us to teach this series, and we agreed to do so as a means of pro-actively combatting abortion. After all, the best way to eliminate abortion is to avoid enaging in actions that lead to abortion. Alight is committed to offering abortion alternatives: counseling, clothing, supplies, and hope to pregnant women and teens. It also provides loving support to people who have already had abortions. Ironically, it is located right next door to Planned Parenthood. And the Alight Center is definitely a light in this community.


The purpose of the course is to take an in-depth look at sexuality and have open and honest discussions about handling that sexuality with integrity. A key theme is that sexual integrity spills over into every area of your life: what you do with your body, how you dress, what you speak about, and of course when and with whom you engage in sexual relationships.

A volunteer group from Gospel Community Church of Coxsackie was the first to go through it. Now, some would question why a group of "churched" people would need to take a class like this. "Every Christian knows," you may say, "that the Bible demands abstinence until marriage." True, but though the course has abstinence at its core, it's more than that. This course is about a lifestyle of sexual purity. It's about understanding why God asks us to remain abstinent until marriage and faithful to our spouses afterwards. It's about what makes us tick--women and men, for each is driven by different things for entirely different reasons. It's about understanding our dreams, voicing our non-negotiables, and identifying our behavior and the message it sends.


Our first night together, if I didn't learn anything else, I learned this: young people in church feel like the church does not discuss the topic of sex enough, but they want--and even need--that dialogue in that safe place. Don't wonder why our kids in youth group are having pre-marital sex if you're not discussing sexual integrity with them. Sure, they know they're not to have illicit sexual relationships, but do they know this? The know I'm talking about requires conversing about the things that may make you uncomfortable so our young people and singles can live lives of purity.


This brings me to the how of sexual integrity. I have always vehemently disagreed with people who say that abstinence is impossible or unrealistic. It is possible, but not without a plan. Abstinence is strategic, not accidental. I think that should be a bumper sticker or a T-shirt or something! You don't fall into abstinence; you have to walk it out--and it requires God-consciousness, self-consciousness, forethought, and accountability. If any of these things is missing, abstinence is likely to be impossible. Before you decide to write me off as some crazy woman with her head buried in the sand, let me just say that I speak from personal experience. I'm a Christian, I'm single, and I know what I'm talking about!


"God’s Blueprint for Life, Love, and Marriage,” is about loving people enough to share the truth with them and then offering ourselves to them for support, not just for the eight weeks but for as long as they need us. The participants were willing to open themselves up and pour out their hearts, to just be real. The world has had enough phony. We need truth and transparency, and we need people we can trust. These ladies provided that and made themselves accountable to one another.


Kia and I believe they will fulfill their desire to live their lives with sexual integrity. What's even more exciting is that all but one of these ladies signed up to be mentors for the next group of ladies who will take the course. Isn't that what it's all about--passing on to someone else what you've received?


Here are a few comments from the course participants:

"I never realized how much my everyday decisions impacted my sexual integrity. It has been a great learning experience!" --Anna, age 16

"I found all the information equipped me to walk out my sexual integrity with a deeper understanding of God's perspective on, and purpose for, sex." --Kerri, age 18

"I learned how I am supposed to act, as well as why." --MaryBeth, 20

"I believe that in a society that is so bogged down with sex and impurity, the church needs to stand pure. This series is one way that we can do this." --Victoria, 18

"This study really helped me make a stand and truly formulate my beliefs enough so I wouldn't only say, 'Sex is wrong,' but be able to say, 'Sex is wrong because...'" --Bethany, 17

"Carrie Abbot brings light to dark places that have been overlooked." --Catherine, 15

"Your body is a temple and worth waiting for." --Serria, 28




Ranging in age from 15 to 28, each participant clearly walked away with a deeper understanding and commitment to living out their sexuality with integrity. We make that decision every moment of every day, in every decision. And we must, for as Serria pointed out, we're worth it.



Here are some pictures of the group on our last night together:








5 comments:

Lisa Graas May 14, 2009 at 7:09 PM  

Oh, gosh, this is AWESOME! You really "get it". Yes, it's true that some may think it's enough just to know what we're "supposed" to do. There is a REASON God asks us to do things a certain way and it is because in doing so we become closer to HIM our ONLY hope!!! It's all about our human dignity which is a gift from God. Wow, thank you so much for doing this. You are bringing people closer to God in this work! God doesn't just want us all marching under orders. My goodness, He wants us to be FULFILLED in Him!! His rules are not arbitrary. They are a part of bringing us fulfillment to the real person He created us to be for His glory. We can choose to blindly obey God, or we can learn what His big plan is for us IN HIM, and that's what I see your program is about. Many blessings and keep up the good work!

Conservativelikenoother May 15, 2009 at 3:21 PM  

Adrienne,

This is why our country is in shambles. Legislating immorality brings corruption on the whole nation. Once we allowed our leaders to embrace immoral practices we opened up a path to totally chaos. Then came homosexuality, that is sick. I am not a bigot, or homophobe, but that is just disgustingly sick.

I can not see how anyone can see anything like this as acceptable. But more than that like you said, a fraction of sexual impurity will make abstinence impossible and the church is just not doing their role in hitting this home to our young people. I use to have a single mom's ministry where they thought, even as Christians, that they were adults so fornication is okay.

I told them, no, fornication is wrong, no matter who is doing it. Our sexually obessessed society have so many of us just acting totally insane. Most people can not even hold a relationship with the opposite sex with either them or someone else thinking that there is something more going on. Men are a blessing to us as woman and I have one man in my love who I love and cherish and he is the one and only man for me.

I don't care how many guys I talk to over the internet, I am committed to being pure, but you know one people have a very distorted view of sexual integrity. They mostly believe it is for the high school girl or boy. No it's for everyone, who profess Jesus Christ as Savior, if you not married, don't even think about it. I am deeply passionate about this because I know that path that I came from and I am just so thankful for you taking up the mantle to teach people in your circle of influence a more excellent manner of living. Keep it up.

Lisa Graas May 15, 2009 at 10:14 PM  

Again, the homosexuality issue is a dignity issue like abstinence is. The American Psychological Assn. has recently admitted that there is no "gay gene". Homosexuals are living in self-hatred on one level -- that is, hatred of their own gender. When we "affirm" their homosexuality, we contribute not to their dignity, but to the destruction of it. I'm a disabled person and it would be an affront to my dignity if I wanted to deny what I am and be accepted as if I am not disabled. I am dignified in my disability! Same with African-Americans. They don't have to deny they are people of color (that is, be affirmed in a lie) in order to have dignity. They have full dignity as they are!! If we hate some part of ourselves (the fact that we can't walk, the fact that we are a certain shade of brown, the fact that we are male [or female]) we aren't embracing our full dignity as God created us. It is the height of insanity that the "gay rights" movement has adopted the word "dignity" as their claim to be affirmed in their self-hatred. God loves them as they are, gender and all. He loves me in my disability and has a plan for me in it. It's a lie that they receive "dignity" when we affirm their denial of their own gender.

afrocity May 16, 2009 at 9:31 AM  

Adrienne,

I just found your Blog and you make me wish that I still lived in New York so we could meet. I am Afrocity, a black conservative. I will add you to my blogroll. I was a democrat until last year. I resisted becoming a conservative because I was black and did not want to betray my race. Then I woke up and saw that God gives us all the freedom to do what we want.

http://afrocityblog.wordpress.com/

Conservativelikenoother May 16, 2009 at 8:29 PM  

Great point of view Lisa,

But it's high time that we who have truth lovingly help those entangled in this lifestyle experience God's great plan for them. I never thought about the self-hatred aspect, but whenever you want someone to erase something that is apparent, it's usually because you actually hate that about yourself. It appears that while the liberals are going buck wild, God is revealing some very wonderful things that can help the conservatives pull together and rise up leaders that will take us out of the mess we are in. But it's only through God's grace and Mercy.

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