Every day we all wake up to a world and culture that seems obsessed with sex. That should come as no surprise to any of us.
Flip through your TV channels, scroll through your social media feeds, or read an online article on a popular news site and it will only takes few minutes (or less) to be presented with a visual reminder that our society eats up sex and sexualized content.
And as we said last week, there’s no getting away from this reality.
Consequently, we need to stop spending so much effort on fighting and running from this stuff and, instead, focus on learning how to live effectively among it.
Yet, there should be some safe spaces in our lives where we can enjoy a small reprieve from the sexual onslaught.
Or at least you’d think?
But in today’s modern church culture, while the forms of sexualization may be less obvious, they still are very much present.
I can tell you first hand that I’ve often walked into churches where many young women are wearing pencil skirts tighter and shorter than you’d ever think reasonable, and tops that are so snug and low cut that they leave nothing much to the imagination.
Then you have the pastors who stand up front and talk about their “smoking hot wife” as part of their sermon introduction or a punchline to a joke. Because, apparently, bragging about your wife’s high IQ isn’t anywhere near as attention grabbing or entertaining.
Oh, and then there are those Christian “leaders” out there who tell women that they should always be available for sex to their husbands, that failure to do so is a “sin,” and to be ok with serving as methadone (i.e. a replacement) for their husband’s porn addiction.
And let’s not forget the male singers and guest speakers who get up on stage and wear pants so tight that you know about as much as what they have going on down below as their spouses. I know, a little crass but highly accurate. (I’ve unfortunately seen this a few times myself – hard to get those images out of your brain!)
And listen, I’m no prude.
- I don’t think that clothes need to be baggy to be acceptable.
- I’m not part of the modesty police.
- I don’t think that the way one dresses ever excuses any resulting objectification that may occur.
- And if you think your wife is “hot,” good for you. I hope so.
Admittedly, I can’t get on board with the tight penis pants tho…seriously guys – no one wants to see that.
But regardless, the fact remains that sexualization occurs even in our churches, and honestly, we shouldn’t be surprised. Again, we are to some extent sexual beings and so dressing in ways that draw attention to that fact is to some extent expected.
However, when we are finally willing to concede this, we then need to be more vocal about the matters of sex and sexuality in general.
We can’t preach purity and integrity without acknowledging that there are those among us (a large percentage incidentally) who struggle in these areas and need help and support.
Likewise, we desperately need to start talking about sex and sexuality in healthy ways and incorporating these conversations into the fabric of our church communities rather than running from them.
It’s kind of insane when you think about it, that one of the hardest places to find healthy and honest talk surrounding sex is in our churches.
Maybe this is why so many Christians carry around so much sexual baggage, shame, and a distorted view of sexuality overall?
Why is this? After all…
- God created sex.
- Sex is beautiful and enjoyable.
- Sex is meant to build intimacy and connection.
And when kept within the confines of healthy and holy relationships…
Sex is highly spiritual and should be celebrated.
But yet we see very little of this happening.
Because while sex is spiritual, it’s also scary to talk about. And until we get over this irrational fear of sex and sexuality – many will continue to struggle in their ignorance and brokenness.
The reality is this…
If you want to see less sexualization and objectification in our culture, then it’s on you (and the church) to lead the way in healthy dialogue about sex and sexuality. Let’s stop being last to the party on these conversations, but rather serve as a safe place to have them openly and honestly, so we can all move forward together.
BTW – we at XXXchurch understand these topics are difficult and messy. If you have questions about any of the things we covered here, be sure to check out Office Hours and submit your question so we can answer it in an upcoming session.