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Over the past few years, my now 12-year-old daughter has been exposed to some rather uncomfortable subjects. Prostitution, homosexuality, whoring, menstrual cycles, bodily emissions and rape have all been discussed in her presence.

You might wonder what type of parents we are. Do we let her watch too much TV? Allow her to listen to the wrong radio stations? Surf the internet without guidance? Actually my husband and I are fairly strict about the influences we allow into our home. It's been one particular outside influence that has reached our daughter.

We take her to church.

We take her to a church that preaches through the Bible. All of it. Even the nooks and crannies we feel quite shocked to hear mentioned in a room full of people. A few years ago, we spent nine months in the book of Leviticus. Nine months doesn't allow you the opportunity to skip the uncomfortable sections.

Another series was on the Book of Hosea. As I sat beside my daughter, hearing the story of Gomer preached, I realized she probably had no clue what the word prostitute meant. Prior to the sermon, I never had reason to discuss the topic with her. Our church is now studying Jeremiah, and recently our passage used the word whore. Seven times. I would have carefully shielded my daughter from any other book, show or song that used that term.

It's not that we're trying to insulate our children from the topic of sexuality. We've always attempted to dialogue openly with them. We believe in starting the conversation early and keeping the conversation going in age-appropriate stages. But while parents have a clear duty to initiate these discussions with their children, they also need the church to provide repeated input and guidance. Deliberate preaching of the "whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27) will naturally encourage parents to continue these important conversations. God's Word is not prudish about sexuality. It is careful to illustrate the pitfalls and the trappings, as well as the beauty and the blessing.

Better in Church

What I appreciate about our church's sermons is that they've forced us to discuss topics we may have otherwise failed to mention. Isn't it better for a young person to hear about prostitution in a church service before hearing about it on a playground or school bus? Isn't it better for them to understand the beauty of marital intimacy through a sermon series on Song of Solomon rather than a teen drama on TV? By bringing these topics into the open light of Scripture, we keep them from being taboo with our children. If God's Word speaks about these subjects, then surely his church can learn to speak of them in appropriate ways as well.

The context in which children learn greatly affects what they come to understand. A friend recently shared how she explained to her daughter the importance of context: Imagine putting mustard on ice cream. Two enjoyable items become repugnant when placed together. Similarly, sexuality discussed in the wrong setting becomes distasteful. We should carefully guard our children from images, influences and books that may shape their understanding in unbiblical ways. However, the church has the ability to provide the proper context for these topics.

Moses commanded the Israelites to regularly read the entire law to the people. He also made sure to include children.

Assemble the people, men, women and little ones, and the sojourner in your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of the law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God (Deut. 31:12-13).

The first five books of Moses speak frequently about many topics, some of which we might label as adult material. But children weren't excluded from these discussions; in fact, the little ones were specifically invited. It seems the Lord in his wisdom gave his people a place within community to appropriately discuss sexuality. These topics were brought before the entire fellowship and dealt with honestly.

Could it be that we face so much sexual confusion in the church because we fail to preach faithfully through all of Scripture? Society shames sex by speaking of it too often in the wrong context, with smirks and innuendos. Conversely, we in the church often shame sex by failing to speak of it all, missing the opportunities the Word of God appropriates for our instruction.

Perhaps if the church discussed these biblical topics more, children would be drawn to false sources of information less. By shielding these passages from our children, we inadvertently communicate that God's Word and God's people have nothing to say about sexuality. This is an issue for which it's good to recall Paul's exhortation to Timothy:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

Faithful preaching of all areas of Scripture produces faithful followers in all areas of life. 

Melissa Kruger serves as Women's Ministry Coordinator at Uptown Church in Charlotte, North Carolina and is the author of The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World (Christian Focus, 2012). Her husband Mike is the president of Reformed Theological Seminary, and they have three children.

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Gordon Weatherby

commented on May 8, 2013

Thank you for your thoughts. I often will preach a series of messages through a book of the Bible. I have found that this way there are many topics that come up, which I otherwise may not have addressed.

Ephrem Hagos

commented on May 8, 2013

What a dilemma: the greater the preacher's range of resources covering all of the Scriptures, now including sex, the less the focus on what matters the most, viz.: personal knowledge of God/Jesus Christ!

Byron Sherman

commented on May 8, 2013

Wonderful insight. I'll keep this one on file as a reminder to the timid who may question the rationale of preaching thru entire books of God's word.

Jason Jones

commented on May 8, 2013

Thank you for the wise insights. It is true that when we preach we must not shy away from passages and issues that some may find contentious or uncomfortable. We learn of God's greatness in every line of the Bible. If we are going to be people who honor God in every aspect of our lives we must know what God says about every aspect. There is no dilemma here, as Ephrem Hagos suggests, rather it is an attempt to more fully know God personally.

Jonathan Hughes

commented on May 8, 2013

People go a whoring after false idols. That leads to people putting people in bondage driven by fear and war with others driven by fear saying they are defending an idol like a flag that can't defend it's self. Sex is good but sex must not be all consuming. People need to be taught that to be naked does not mean automatic sex. The adult only seared that into our heads. That is why comics that are nude have constant sex in them. That mentality needs to change. When it does the characters will begin to develop character. Before it would just be an act they engage in. People need to be taught that there is an equal consequence for the actions that they engage in. That consequence has eternal ramifications. Eternal life or diametrically the opposite. That is why loving whoever as yourself is so important working out your salvation with fear and trembling. The verses have been perverted. That is why they are uncomfortable to you. people prostitute themselves idols of war. Why would it say the Israel went a whoring after Baal and Baalim? Judges 8:33.KJV. A person is better to not take advantage of every rich person draining them dry of their riches going to the next over and over. That would be a Jezebel. That is a person not being satisfied. Devils are not satisfied. Having more than one wife is not frowned upon by God like people in our day think. Joseph being one had two wives and two concubines. Had he been in our day would have a swat team bashing down his door. Solomon sung that song to 700 wives, and 300 concubines.The sermon would not say that. The nervous of adults makes the kids nervous too. Nervous kids make for nervous adults. How can persecuting churches who cry death to anyone teach about any topic in the bible? There are many KJV. Don't know Jesus teach them to war against the gay and zoosexual too. God is not against nudity either. All should know that God made it. look at what God made. It does not have a man made thing covering it. Churches have confutation because the devil is in it. He is confusion. Have you and the kids have good chiropractic care early in life maintained by good UCS only chiropractic practitioner, www.upcspine or upper cervical health centers to avoid the sysmtoms that doctors like to give names to.

Charles Wallis

commented on May 8, 2013

I was thinking this very same thought today - why don't we hear what the Bible has to say about sex in a positive light, rather than just the "dont's" - about the joy of marriage vs. the shame and pain of sin (Proverbs 5 for example)? I have heard people scoff when such scriptures are read. We need the whole Bible.

Jonathan Hughes

commented on May 8, 2013

People go a whoring after false idols. That leads to people putting people in bondage driven by fear and war with others driven by fear saying they are defending an idol like a flag that can't defend it's self. Sex is good but sex must not be all consuming. People need to be taught that to be naked does not mean automatic sex. The adult only seared that into our heads. That is why comics that are nude have constant sex in them. That mentality needs to change. When it does the characters will begin to develop a more complex character. They will show the parts doing many other activities of mind and body not just focusing on sex. Before it would just be an act they engaged in. People need to be taught that there is an equal consequence for the actions that they engage in. That consequence has eternal ramifications. Eternal life or diametrically the opposite. That is why loving whoever as yourself is so important working out your salvation with fear and trembling. The verses have been perverted. That is why they are uncomfortable to you. People prostitute themselves to idols of war. Why would it say the Israel went a whoring after Baal and Baalim? Judges 8:33.KJV. A person is better to not take advantage of every rich person draining them dry of their riches going to the next over and over. That would be a Jezebel. That is a person not being satisfied. Devils are not satisfied. Having more than one wife is not frowned upon by God like people in our day think. Joseph being one had two wives and two concubines. Had he been in our day would have a swat team bashing down his door. Solomon sung that song to 700 wives, and 300 concubines.The sermon would not say that. The nervous of adults makes the kids nervous too. Nervous kids make for nervous adults. How can persecuting churches who cry death to anyone teach about any topic in the bible? There are many KJV. Don't know Jesus teach them to war against the gay and zoosexual too. God is not against nudity either. All should know that God made it. look at what God made. It does not have a man made thing covering it. Churches have confutation because the devil is in it. He is confusion. Have you and the kids have good chiropractic care early in life maintained by good UCS only chiropractic practitioner, www.upcspine or upper cervical health centers to avoid the sysmtoms that doctors like to give names to.topa more complexThey will will

Jonathan Hughes

commented on May 8, 2013

People go a whoring after false idols. That leads to people putting people in bondage driven by fear and war with others driven by fear saying they are defending an idol like a flag that can't defend itself. Sex is good but sex must not be all consuming. People need to be taught that to be naked does not mean automatic sex. The adult only seared that into our heads. That is why comics that are nude have constant sex in them. That mentality needs to change. When it does the characters will begin to develop a more complex character. They will show the parts doing many other activities of mind and body not just focusing on sex. Before it would just be an act they engaged in. People need to be taught that there is an equal consequence for the actions that they engage in. That consequence has eternal ramifications. Eternal life or diametrically the opposite. That is why loving whoever as yourself is so important working out your salvation with fear and trembling. The verses have been perverted. That is why they are uncomfortable to you. People prostitute themselves to idols of war. Why would it say the Israel went a whoring after Baal and Baalim? Judges 8:33.KJV. A person is better to not take advantage of every rich person draining them dry of their riches going to the next over and over. That would be a Jezebel. That is a person not being satisfied. Devils are not satisfied. Having more than one wife is not frowned upon by God like people in our day think. Joseph being one had two wives and two concubines. Had he been in our day would have a swat team bashing down his door. Solomon sung that song to 700 wives, and 300 concubines.The sermon would not say that. The nervousness of adults makes the kids nervous too. Nervous kids make for nervous adults. How can persecuting churches who cry death to anyone teach about any topic in the bible? I am talking about what is called zoosexuals and gays. Churches have been at war against them. Stephen Andrew is acting holy being against the gay. There are many vertions, KJV only. Don't know Jesus teach them to war against the gay and zoosexual too. God is not against nudity either. All should know that God made it. look at what God made. It does not have a man made thing covering it. Churches have confutation because the devil is in it. He is confusion. Have you and the kids have good chiropractic care early in life maintained by good UCS only chiropractic practitioner, www.upcspine or upper cervical health centers to avoid the sysmtoms that doctors like to give names to.

Steven Leapley

commented on May 8, 2013

Thank you Melissa for the beautiful article! You are absolutely spot on. I recently had a discussion with 2 of the pastors from my church and both of them said that although they agreed on a particular subject relating to sexuality they couldnt speak it publically because it "wasnt right." Maybe we should be more focused on biblical correctness or Jesus correctness rather than political correctness.... thanks again!

Dennis Cocks

commented on May 9, 2013

Sex is NOT dirty! God created it not only for procreation but also for enjoyment. Satan alway perverts what God creates as good. If we shy away from this subject we are saying to our children (and maybe even adults) that God created something that is wrong! I have spoken on this subject MANY times because the Bible speaks about it MANY times! The Song of Solomon is about the beautiful sexual relations of a husband and wife. 1 Corinthians 7 also speaks about sex between a husband and wife. As preachers we are commanded to preach the WHOLE counsel of God's Word! And sex is part of that. Very good article!

Dennis Cocks

commented on May 9, 2013

Jonathan Hughs I have no idea what you are trying to say and you said it three times!

Anthony Skala

commented on May 9, 2013

I once did a couple of sermons on the things you mentioned in your article and the backlash I received from the older members was something else. As I tried to explain to them if you believe Jn 3:16 you have to believe the whole Bible. All I can say is be led by the Holy Spirit and you'll never be wrong in the sight of God. Oh, Great article

Dennis Cocks

commented on May 9, 2013

BTW, I have also preached through Leviticus!

Thabo Nkwe

commented on May 10, 2013

Thank you for the thought provoking article. We truly need writers of your caliber to help us embrace the truth that the word of God is in our lives. Very insightful indeed.

Mh Constantine

commented on May 10, 2013

It is important to know who is present when we speak on sensitive subjects and tailor our language accordingly. If children are present I would want to find some other ways to address some of the difficult issues mentioned here. After all, it is the parent's who will deal with the fallout. Speaking of that, I wonder what parents do in churches with pastors who use questionable language from the pulpit in the name of relevancy and not sugar-coating the Bible.

Dennis Cocks

commented on May 10, 2013

@MH CONSTANTINE says "If children are present I would want to find some other ways to address some of the difficult issues mentioned here. After all, it is the parent's who will deal with the fallout." Fallout? What fallout? That God says that sex between a husband and wife is a beautiful thing? If we view it as a subject to be avoided, we teach them that sex is dirty and sinful. Everything God created is wholesome and pure when practiced as He intended!

Mark Elijahson

commented on May 11, 2013

Excellent article on difficult topic. The fact is that it is indirectly a fault of the Church's prudish and perverted views of sex that has contributed to the Tsunami of sexual perversion going on in western society. Had we handled the subject frankly much of this polution would never have happened. The Church's perversion of sex starts with the nonsense of Adam's Rib and rarely gets it right. Eve was actually made from the missing baculum of a Adam's penis, leaving a scar (the raphe) on the "angled organ" as the Hebrew clearly states. The fact is that the Church often fits the profile of spiritual whore in its many pagan idolatries of which it refuses to repent. The gospel itself has been seriously compromised by our prudishness since the Law, genetics and the paternal genealogies of the bible all require Jesus to have a human father of the tribe of Judah. There was never any need to diminish the miracle of Jesus conception from the genetics of Joseph and Mary that all these facts require. As one shunned by the church for my sexual struggles I find the spiritual fornications of the church very hypocritical. The spirit of antichrist is festering like a cancer in the lives of 99.9 of all Christians based on these facts alone. Jesus was the son of two fathers as the bible clearly states. He was not some super-human God-man hybrid that would disqualify Him as fully human. Only His divine Spirit was from the Father. It is way past time to restore the unadulterated truth, rather than cling to the prudish nonsense of apostate Christendom.

C.brian Ross

commented on May 15, 2013

@Dennis Cocks. I suspect that Mr Hughes is really only trying to advertise his chiropractics business!

C.brian Ross

commented on May 15, 2013

@Mark Elijahson Unsure as to where you are coming from, although your reference to being "... one shunned by the church for my sexual struggles, ..." would suggest that you are homosexual. (apologies of I am totally off the beam in that!). However, your declaration that "Jesus was the son of two fathers as the bible clearly states. He was not some super-human God-man hybrid that would disqualify Him as fully human. Only His divine Spirit was from the Father." has me even more confused! Would you be so kind as to explain, clearly, where the Bible clearly teaches these things? Mtt.1:16 and Lk 3:23 alone give the lie to your claim. May I respectfully suggest that you actually read the Bible - all of it, even the difficult parts (like the genealogies!)?

Dennis Cocks

commented on May 15, 2013

@ C.Brian Ross you are right! Didn't catch that at first!

Martins Chukwudi

commented on May 17, 2013

realy! sex education is better taught in the house of God. i think plan towards teaching this wonderful topic in my congregattion

Kashif Chand

commented on May 20, 2013

I am encouraged to preach in this topic. I have found a sound biblical ground and references.

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