A good read, if you haven’t checked it out…
Especially if you’re in church leadership is “The Emotionally Healthy Church“. And personally, the fact that the authors of this read know that this should be a *priority* in a/the Church is *highly-impressive* to me. The Church is often referred to as being a spiritual family and yes, for spiritual brothers and sisters to thrive, emotions do need to be catered to in a productive and purposeful way. After all, if it’s a “hospital”…shouldn’t people be *getting well?*
I thought about this, with a twist, as I read an email from someone checking out our site last week. After sharing with me the extreme guilt, fear, embarrassment, shame and self-condemnation that she was feeling from some of her sexual strongholds and emotional brokenness, while feeling that she had *no one she could trust to turn to*, *and* after reminding her that Satan is referred to as “the accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10) and that it is the Lord loves us with an *everlasting love* , that he draws us with *lovingkindness* (Jeremiah 31:1) and that “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy” (Psalm 145:8-NKJV), this is the reply that I received (with her permission to post it):
“I appreciate your honesty and kindness so much. You mentioned that I should get together with a friend to talk about these things and have support and comfort. Unfortunately, there are very few Christian friends that I feel comfortable sharing things such as what I shared with you, because of fear for judgment. I do have a close girl friend coming for a visit this weekend though and I know I can talk to her, so that will be good. The problem is that most of the friends that I trust and know won’t judge me either live too far away or are busy all the time and I feel bad bothering them with my problems. I’m currently looking for a new church because the church that I had been attending, doesn’t feel like “home” and while I have met a lot of nice people there, there is only one who knows of my past AND recent struggles (and that only because she coaxed it out of me not too long ago) and if I was honest with her about what is going on now I think she would just say “I told you so”. The church needs to be a place where people can be honest and lift each other up, not feel that we all have to hide under masks of ‘everything is wonderful because I have Jesus’. I am going to check out a church on Sunday with my friend who is visiting that I hope will be more like that–where I can feel comfortable being honest about the broken places in my life and not feel like every other person there is a better Christian than me because I have these dark secrets. I told a friend online recently that at least I should be able to open up to the pastor there because he is a certified addiction specialist—LOL…Again, thank you so much for your honest and compassionate response. There seems to be a shortage of sisters like you in the body of Christ, but if nothing more I hope to add to that number as God gives me the strength and courage to open up and be honest about MY story.”
Last week, I had another conversation with a personal friend about the fact that I felt there needed to be (much more) sex education in the Church. As we went on to explore why there may not be, one of the things she said was, “Maybe if it was titled something different, people would be more receptive. ‘Sex education’ sounds like you’re educating people about the act in and of itself.” My reply was, “That’s unfortunate. Even when it comes to our genders, we’re broken down by our sexes. Sex is far greater than the act and with ALL OF THE INFORMATION IN THE BIBLE given on the issue, if there’s one place that people should be *thoroughly educated* on it, it should be in the Church.”
And so, I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. Being that disciples (John 8:31) are to be healthy and whole—mind, body and spirit, being that sex was introduced to us *in the Garden of Eden*, in *the first book of the Bible* as a *gift* (James 1:17) from God, why wouldn’t being sexually healthy be *just as much of a priority* as being spiritually, financially, relationally, (whew!) mentally and yes, emotionally in the Church? After all, it’s not just “the world” getting pregnant before marriage, contracting STDs, being addicted to porn, cheating on their spouses, being heartbroken from fornication…the pews are filled with these kinds of people every weekend. We are to be the *light* of the world (Matthew 5:14). Therefore, people should not feel like they have to keep their struggles in the dark. DARKNESS IS WHERE SATAN DWELLS. Where there is confession and prayer, therein lies healing (James 5:16).
Therefore, the Question of the Week, for this week, is this:
“Is your church sexually healthy? If so, in what ways can you tell? If not, what do you think needs to be done?”