Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another Shameful Giveaway (or February's Theme)

I have a confession: I used to talk about sex every day. In fact, I was so good at it I used to get paid. It's true. Back before I had kids I did some crazy things, the craziest of all was being a sex ed. teacher.

For four years I taught a curriculum based on abstinence until marriage to thousands of kids in Phoenix, AZ. The beauty of the program was that it was built on Biblical principles and taught in the public school system. (Abstinence? In the public schools? Yes, I'm completely serious.) Part of the sass you have come to know as SFL is a direct result of that experience.

That's right, I walked the campuses of many public schools, teaching and making relationships with lots of kids. And when they couldn't remember my name but wanted to talk to me? They'd yell, "Hey! SEX LADY!" as they ran toward me from across the campus. God bless 'em.

It seems pretty natural that I should have a blog read by 19 whole people every day, strangers no less. I've always thought that if I could stand in front of 70 teenagers and openly dialogue about STDs I could probably talk to anybody about anything. So far that theory has held up.

But we're going to test it right here at Stacy From Louisville.

Put your boots on kids, we're going for a crazy ride. For the month of February we're going to talk about dating, marriage, relationships, and if the topic of sex creeps up we might address that, too. As you can imagine I'm really passionate about this topic. Yes I was trained to be an expert on relational issues (or, a "sexpert" as the kids used to say), yet that doesn't mean I have all the answers.

You know how there are like 15 million books out there about dating and marriage, written by people who say they've been there? I've read some of those books. To me, they're out of touch. (Or living in a compound wearing comfortable shoes.) No, not all of them, silly. Only 86.7% of them. And SFL won't go down that way. So it will be straight talk with no holds barred.

I'll be the first to tell you I won't have all the answers. Nobody does. But I've got some opinions I've gathered from the trenches of my own mistakes. We'll laugh, cry and maybe start an argument or two. Ah, there's nothing like the smell of controversy in the morning.

But none of this is any good if what I talk about doesn't apply to you. I need to hear from you. Given the direction we're headed, what do you want to talk about? What topics mean the most to you? Where do you think the church gets dating, marriage, and relationships mixed up? If you could hear anyone shoot straight about one issue what would it be?

By commenting on any of the above questions you automatically enter yourself in a fantastic giveaway. If you're new to SFL this will be a real treat. Tomorrow I'll show you what you could win but here's the skinny - it. is. unbelievable. To quote my daughter when she saw it, "No way Mommy!"

So answer a question already. That way, we both win. (See how I tied that all together? Who needs the next great American novel when you've got me? Don't answer.)

50 comments:

Joanna said...

One question about relationships that came up amoungst my friends lately which we had trouble answering was "How do you tell the difference between someone who is great in lots of ways but would be better as a friend only and someone who is dating/marriage material? Lots of the time it seems to come down to feelings but should it be more than that?"

~April~ said...

A growing trend today is people working from home. The trend in my house is that my husband has been at home EVERY DAY for 8 months. I'd like to talk about how I can go through the rest of my life without killing him or without me going insane. Thanks!

MadHatter said...

I am a public school teacher (HS) and told all of my students every Friday last semester at the end of class, "It's Friday kids, Don't Have Sex"--much to the chagrin of my work mates. They were complaining just the other day about our state's absitinence only rule (we have lots of preggo girls and proud daddies) and how it doesn't work. I told them that's b/c if we are the only ones saying it, and most of you are half-hearted about it at best, of course it won't work.

I don't think I answered any of your questions, but thanks for letting me vent.

Bels said...

Mmm - I agree with Joanna - that's basically what I was going to ask. Thanks, Joanna (and love your picture, by the way!)

Ashley said...

You must, absolutely must, make fun of the people who say God told me to break up with you or the even better God told me we are going to married. That second one is usually reserved for trying to get in someone's pants, I think. Funny, nonetheless.

Amy said...

One thing that my friends and I were just talking about is how we have found the church doesn't really prep people for real marriage. Oh, they talk about staying pure and how to be mr/ms right. however they don't talk about the realities of marriage, only that it is great. If I hear one more person say "but we are in love and that means we should get married and being married means we get to have sex"... i think I might do something bad.

Beth said...

Oh goodness. I have a whole new respect for you!

Where to begin...where to begin...
I think the church needs to address sex and relationships with teenagers more. I know its taboo, and I know different parents are going to have different dating rules for their kids...but come on. More needs to be said than, "Hey kids, don't do it until you're married! And make sure you come to our 87 overnight trips and lock-ins this year where you will be trapped with those of the opposite sex for hours on end in a big church with lots of hiding places!" At the very least, have people of both sexes leading the youth that can be honest and open with kids' questions. I always had a male youth leader...like I was going to ask him ANYthing. Anyway, if the church isn't prepared to teach kids about sex, the world outside church certainly will. The first time I heard an open and Biblical discussion on sex was when I was a junior in college...a little late, but it was better than nothing, and that one session was used to dramatically change how I approached relationships.

jennyleigh said...

I would like to hear your point of view on how we as Christians discuss abstinence with our children. I absolutely believe it is the best message to give, and that's what I have discussed with my teenage daughter. However, I know that sometimes "things" happen, and even kids who "know better" have sex. I struggle with telling my daughter, "Abstain. BUT if you don't, please use a condom." Sounds like such hypocrisy (not to mention license to indulge), but these days it's about more than babies, you know?

stacie said...

I recognize that I probably have some serious emotion invested here, so I'll apologize for the length of this at the beginning!

In addition to the church not teaching much about real marriage (as someone mentioned above), I think we've also said too little about divorce in the past few years - other than to counsel people after the fact.

I understand that the church has a reputation for being extreme in the past, "punishing" those (inside and outside) the church who were divorced, and treating them poorly, but now I'm afraid we're almost going back the other way...where divorce is just as normal and accepted among Christians as it is everywhere else.

I understand that it's NOT the unpardonable sin, and God CAN - and DOES - work to bring about good through it, just as with anything else, but for CHRISTIANS to use that as an excuse for selfishness (which is very often - not always - the root of divorce) is to ignore God's COMMAND about it, and also to ignore the irreparable damage done in people's lives. Divorce tears people apart far more (and for far longer) than we act like it does.

I just feel like we've sort of stopped mentioning it in church for fear of "offending" those who've been there, when, in fact, many of them would be the first to tell you how awful it really is!

We need to continue to be loving for those who are already in the situation, but we need to really be there and hold accountable those Christians whose marriages are struggling, and POSSIBLY not let them off the hook quite so easily. (We need to love them, too, and offer the emotional support and resources they need, and obviously, there are some cases (like abuse) where a divorce may be the only option in this fallen world - but we need to stand strong on what God's DESIRE for marriage is, and some people ought not to quit so easily!)

I've never been divorced, but I see the consequences first-hand on a daily basis. I am married to a guy whose first wife left him for another guy, but before their split, everyone who knew them would have said that theirs was the most solid marriage in the church. (Obviously it wasn't - and there's always fault on both sides; it wasn't JUST her fault.)

Now I am a stepmom to their kids, and even though the kids are "resilient" and "well-adjusted" and all the words that parents use to justify their selfish behavior ("See? My kids are FINE!"), these kids should NOT have had to go through this, and it is heart-breaking to see the way it impacts their lives DAILY - even years after the fact. (And their situation would be characterized as one of the "good divorces," as though there could be such a thing. There are thousands of kids going through much worse.)

It's a hard balance, but somehow the church needs to be loving and understanding, and yet not be afraid to warn people strongly of the ugly consequences - and help them find the support they need to avoid it!

Elizabeth said...

I want to know why the church doesn't hold more classes or mentoring programs for newly married couples. I sure as heck was not prepared for my first two years of marriage. And there were times when I wanted to throw in the towel.

Even now, almost 9 years later, I don't see many classes for married couples on how to keep your marriage going. We're much better off and no more thoughts of leaving him, but sometimes I just don't get him.

eastern ky pastor said...

I suggest the idea that getting married is going to somehow fix, validate or complete you should be discussed. I can't tell you how many young people I meet, who believe their life will be fixed, when they marry. Truth is, if you don't like yourself before marriage, you won't like yourself after. If you have a temper problem before marriage, it will at least double.

The how far can you go myth might be interesting and controversial.

And I would be remiss to not suggest that a discussion regarding pornography will certainly be interesting and quite needed.

Whatever you choose, it should make for some very interesting reading for the other "18" of us!

Leanne said...

I always thought it was interesting that I was told as a teenager in the church, "The world will tell you that you have no self-control, and that you're going to do it anyway, so wear a condom - but we know that you have the Holy Spirit and one of the fruits of the spirit is self-control, so you can resist temptation."

Then they gave us a list of things NOT to do (don't ride in a car with a boy, don't pray with a boy, etc) because we might lose control, give in to temptation and do something that we regret later.

So...which is it? Do teenagers have self-control or don't they?

jonathan edmund said...

Let's talk about homosexuality baby!

Jordan said...

Wow, Stacy! What haven't you done?!
I agree with what everyone else has said, so I won't bother suggesting something of my own. (Also, I'm writing this on my iPod touch so my fingers are getting sore! :P)

zekesmom10 said...

Stacy~ no church I have ever attended has had any sort of premarital, newlywed, stay-happy-in-marriage, divorce-should-be-the-last-option training of any kind. I find that sad.

I think churches have more and more come to be the place you spend a couple hours on Sunday and forget about the rest of the week. We want our little church to grow, but no one has the desire to meet and bond outside of the four walls nor at any time but Sunday AM.

I have looked outside of church (mainly via the world wide web) to find the resources I am looking for regarding my marriage. How do I become a better wife, I partner with my husband and still acknowledge his place as head of our family, keep us talking and loving through all the years to come, put the needs of my husband and children ahead of my desires (not needs)? I'm pretty good at all of these things, but I am desperately looking for what GOD wants me to do.

I want more info about the Proverbs 31 woman and I'm thinking about buying the Love Dare Book. Can anyone recommend a good P31 book?

I'm really looking forward to this month with you.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so Amy and Stacie beat me to both of my points, but I'm going to write anyway.

I have gone through a marital trial this past year that ended in divorce just a couple of weeks ago. My husband and I grew up in church together (known him 20 of my 30 years), and divorce wasn't even an option in our world. We both have parents that have been married forever (34 and 44 years). Reality is - satan doesn't care about any of that. It just gives him more and more reason to come after us, which is exactly what he did. I have struggled for 10 months about whether or not to let the paperwork finalize while my husband started a new life with someone else. I think that too many people don't have a good sense of the reality of marriage and the work it takes to maintain it (Amy's point). And I also think that there are too many people who use divorce as a cop-out instead of trying to do meet the expectations that God has for marriage (Stacie's point). It's something that I believe we as Christians are not as pro-active about as we should be.

Sorry my two-cents was a novel.

AV

J-Ra said...

The topics I was gonna suggest have already been said, but I'll suggest them anyway:

Pornography's a huge problem in the Church that isn't being discussed very much (I never had a real discussion about until I almost initiated one in college).

And I have to agree with Jonathan Edmund that homosexuality's a good topic. I think a lot of believers have Bibles that say, "But whoever is homosexual will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin." Nobody will say that outright, but what they do say speaks volumes.
What a lot of believers don't know is that this is a struggle that Christians deal with (I know someone who has the struggle and feels that they can't talk to anyone because of fear of condemnation and general misunderstanding).

Wow, I'm sorry. I started ranting. On second thought, I'm not sorry.

wv: cisters-people who push you out of your bassinet and/or throw you in the dryer.

Josh said...

Have you ever heard somone in church advocate a policy of never saying "I Love You" prior to engagement?

Perhaps when is it time to say "it" would be a good topic.

BeckeyZ said...

If you could hear anyone shoot straight about one issue what would it be?

Unwed motherhood. Once the deed is done, how does the church family treat those who facing one of the most difficult situations of their lives?

Sadly, most of the time, they are treated with judgement and ridicule.

What are your thoughts on this?

sara said...

Wow...there are a lot of topics that could go here.

One thing that I think deserves discussion is how we have let the world steal sex from us. The message of the church has become "don't have sex till you're married..." but we don't tell them WHY. As someone who did wait, and whose husband also waited, I am willing to be totally blunt and say "you wait because IT'S BETTER! IT'S SO WORTH IT!" Christians should be running around testifying about how awesome sex is when you wait for just one person - because it so is! Instead, it became taboo, and we told kids it was bad, and when they found out it WASN'T bad, they ran off in the wrong direction. Where is the message that waiting makes it better? That waiting makes your sex life fabulous?

Someone also touched on the issue of unwed mothers. One place I think the Church has really dropped the ball is how we treat unwed mothers. We want to rant and rave abortion - and we should, because it's awful - but we haven't then been part of the solution. I have such a huge respect for the crisis pregnancy center movement because it is seeking to provide answers. The Church is so good at saying "don't do this" but not so good at saying "do this instead."

There is also, like others have said, a lack of discipleship for pre-married and newly married couples.

Some sort of forum to offer our own stories would be cool. God gave me an incredible testimony in my relationship with with my husband. We have a unique story. I'd love to share if there was a way to. I am sure others have the same, both good and bad things they have experienced. So that would be fun, I think.

Luckygirl said...

You should talk about pre-marital counseling in the church. Mine was a HUGE joke. They made us take this super long test choosing if we strongly agree, agree, feel nuetral towards, disagree or strongly disagree with random statements like "I think both the husband and wife should help with household chores." and then we met with the counselor to discuss our results. He accused us of LYING because our test scores were too closely lined up. Uh, not lying buddy, we just have dated for over five years and we've already discussed money, sex, children, etc... and we happen to get along really well, which is actually a good thing, but he was so disappointed that he had nothing to counsel us about. Needless to say we did not go back to our second session.

Another thing you could talk about is the idea in the church (and definitely in marriage books) that all marriages are the same. I hear cliches all the time from Christians "marriage is hard work" and "you have to choose to love your spouse" and while that might be true for a lot of couples, it is just not accurate for me and my husband (and we've been together for 12 years, married for five and a half so it's not like we're still in a 'honeymoon' stage.)

Okay, I just reread my comment and I sound incredibly arrogant. That's NOT what I meant, just that my husband and I have never felt like our marriage is anything like anyone else's based on what we hear in the church.

Yay for February's theme!

bman said...

First off, on Sunday, I was in a Sunday School class talking about 1 Corinthians 6-7 and it talks a lot about relationships! At one point, a little old lady asked "What's sodomy?"
Best part of this story is that my dad got to say what it was... And to think I've been skipping out on Sunday School for a while!

Anyway, I'll read pretty much anything you write, so have fun!

Marni said...

I could (and I might) write a book on how churches could do so much better in welcoming transparency and confession. Church should be where we're safe and can unload our sins or struggles toward sin. But it's usually the first place we're judged, so...

If I could hear anyone shoot straight, it would be on porn and homosexuality. I think those two things are shrouded in shame and frankly that's the way satan (note the middle finger of grammar) likes it because he can do his dirtiest work in the dark. If you bring these two sins to the light, they lose their power and their stranglehold.

If churches or individuals in the churches would openly talk about these sins, think of the freedom people could find! Like I've said before, I used to work with youth and college aged kids. They deal with some junk that curled my toes, and it was painful and embarrassing to talk to them about some of what they struggle with, but I just refused to cave to the awkwardness and we got it out in the open. And it lost so much of it's scariness when we did. Victory wasn't ever that far off once the fear was gone...

Dean Kuest said...

Not all of your 19 subscribers and regular readers are strangers. :-)

I'll look forward to reading your wisdom this month.

Janey said...

i'm excited to read this blog this month. whenever i go to the bookstore, i always wander over to the dating books and browse through the books that talk about relationships and singleness and honoring God but i never leave satisfied. because these books make it seem so easy. but waiting for that perfect guy is so hard. there's no doubt that i'm going to wait for him but its just heart breaking that he's not here yet. i would just love to hear about your perspective on all things relationship wise.

Stephanie said...

Hi Stacy, I'm new to your blog and I love it! One thing I have noticed is that there are many young married women who feel they HAVE to work outside of their home in order to feel like they are contributing or to feel as though they have worth. PLEASE NOTE: I am not talking about the women that work outside of their home due to a financial need to do so, but the women who do it because they feel they have to. I have NO PROBLEM with women working outside their homes, I am addressing the attitude at which some women approach it. The church as a whole isn't doing a very good job of teaching that being a wife/mother who stays home to care for her household is a ministry in itself and should not be thought of as many do...have you ever heard a wife/mother answer the question, "what do you do for a living?" with "Oh, I'm JUST a stay-at-home mom" or something along those lines? I have and it makes me sad. There are Christian women out there that seem to be ashamed that they don't have a job outside their home and I think it would be wonderful to give some Biblical perspective on the matter. I think it is important for young women, especially, to look at the huge responsibility that comes with being a wife/mother and to rest in knowing that the work they do in their home is worth far more than a paycheck.

Lisa said...

i agree with sara because that was my experience as well. it was so preached against that i had to program myself when i did get married that it wasn't bad.

i wish i had heard mark driscoll's recent sermon series about the song of solomon when i was a teenager!

(look up mars hill, peasant princess series for more info and the podcasts)

Kiersten said...

About waiting until marriage to have sex: My husband and I were raised in Christian homes and both planned to wait until we were married. We didn't quite make it to our wedding night, but we did wait for each other. We'd have sex, then the next day say "no, no we can't. Let's start over and wait this time.."

A little history of our relationship: we knew we'd get married by the time we finally started "dating." Needless to say, it was a long wait.

Throughout our relationship prior to the time we married, we were both as committed to each other as we are today. After getting married, it took me months to get used to the idea that sex was suddenly okay. Why, all of a sudden - only after 150 people watch you declare your love for each other - is sex okay, but it wasn't the day before?

So how do you encourage your children to wait until marriage without giving the impression that it is a bad/wrong/dirty thing? And without saying "the bible says so," how do you explain the difference between sex in a relationship headed towards marriage and a marriage?

Looking back, it seems odd to have had a relationship with that level of commitment without the same level of intimacy.

jenn said...

Wow. So many great ideas. Good luck sorting through them all. I don't have much to add to the list, most of it has been said, but how about the fact that single men practically get engaged the minute they walk in the church doors. I've always found this so funny. All the older women gang up on them and the next week they are married to someone's daughter in the church.

Also what about single moms and how hard it is to fit into the groups at church. (Singles, marrieds, etc.) I'm 28, so too old for the singles (since most of them are like 17), but all of my friends are married and it's awkward at times. Not the same as when I was married. I rarely get invited to someone's house and mostly sit at home now. I know someone mentioned unwed mothers, but that wasn't me. I was married when I got pregnant, and a single mom by the time I gave birth.

Shaybplus3 said...

I think the church isn't open enough about sex at all. Cheating is bad we get that (never cheated and not going to however my friend "B" is having some issues right now with this) the sex with them is HORRIBLE (as told by her I haven't been there) and when she brought it up to a respected member of the church she said (and I quote from "B") "Honey sex in a marriage always goes bad don't worry about it just ignore it can't change it anyway and you can't leave em over it either" isn't that awful... so how about some ways to make sure the marriage bed doesn't go sour?

Nicole said...

I'd like to hear about how to know if someone you're dating is a good potential spouse...or if they're just great (but not great for you).

Thanks!

Jen said...

I think that I agree with all topics presented. There are so many, and that leads me to think how sad it is that there are so many temptations and struggles for us to be exposed to. But here's one that's on my heart right now...

As someone how is actively involved in my church group, has been married for 5 years (and dated said husband for over 5 years before marriage), grew up going to church regularly, went to a Christian school, etc, etc, etc...I am watching several friends (who, by the way, have all the above qualifications) go through terrible divorces. I know this has been mentioned several times, but I believe that there should be more accountability where divorce is concerned. It's become so ingrained in us to do what feels good and not what's right. Again, like many others, I am not talking about those who have no choice, or have fought for their marriages; but I am talking about those who voluntarily choose to take the easy road rather than the high road. How do you continue to work on your marriage so that it doesn't happen to you?

Megs said...

Let's see . . .

i have so much to say/ask! A lot has been covered, but i have responses to a lot of those too - i'm trying to hold out until it's actually a post! ;-)

On the divorce front - the church doesn't do a great job with divorce recovery (in my experience). At least with a death, people acknowledge your loss. With a divorce they panic and ignore it. My wasband (was husband) ripped my heart out, shredded my dreams, and left me with the ghost of "our" life. i mostly got a lot of (pretty insensitive) questions about "what happened???" from people or the subject was completely ignored. Both hurt - although i preferred the silence to the grilling.

i think a big part of all of these issues is developing healthy communication and recognizing whether or not our potential partner has these skills. i think a majority of the US (in and out of the church) is lacking in these skills and in good examples of these skills. Although my parents are still together, the example they set is a *FAR* cry from a healthy one.

And i am ALL ABOUT the honesty about sex. Not just "it's bad outside marriage" but how it can affect us emotionally, physically, etc. There's no pat answer in this department - it demands frank and honest communication. i waited for my marriage (as did the wasband). Frankly, it was terrible most of the time. Afterward, i assumed that all that i'd been taught was a load of garbage. So i was intimate with the next man i had a relationship with. When that ended, i realized how deeply physical intimacy could hurt you outside of the context for which God created it.

Wow, i just followed suit and wrote so much here . . . i'll stop now. ;-)

wv: fortu - something created for or intended for a couple - no more no less. "God created marriage (and sex!) fortu."

Sarah said...

As a side to Stacie's comment, I'd like to talk about how judgmental people in the Church can be towards women who do get a divorce because their husband is abusive.

They say the woman was not patient enough, didn't give their husband enough time or respect, didn't love him enough.... it's all HER fault why the marriage ended, not because he was emotionally/psychologically/spiritually/physically/sexually abusive towards her and her children.

I'd like to see a discussion about the reasons for divorce that God BLESSES. Marriage is not a cage to keep women and children in so they can be repeatedly abused. God is not so cruel.

Which is the greater sin? Divorce, or exposing yourself or your children to horrendous acts commited by a person who will not repent and doesn't believe he's (or she's, not a man-hater, here) doing aything wrong?

Phew. Sensitive topic, this.

WV: vistend

The farthest you can see in the scope of your vision.

alicia said...

I'm just going to go ahead and agree with those who mentioned that the church needs to explain why having sex outside of marriage is a bad idea... "because the Bible said so" just isn't enough when it comes to influencing a decision like that.

Pam said...

From my experience we need more pre-marriage counseling. If I had figured out beforehand that I was marrying for all the wrong reasons, I wouldn't be the divorced/single mother that I am today.

This is gonna be good- I can't wait to see what ya come up with!

Stacy from Louisville said...

Holy Cannoli...

I introduce a topic and leave you all to yourselves. Then I come back to the heaviest comments I've ever had. This is going to be a wild ride for all of us!

Nick the Geek said...

I look forward to this. I am devoting February to sex, lust, and love whit my Youth. I wrote about my first experience with the talk a month or so ago and now I am going to brave these waters again. I'm excited can't you tell. I had to explain the bases to these kids. I think they knew they just wanted to see if I'd do it.

I vow to make them more embarrassed than I am.

I hope you don't mind if I totally steal some of your goodies since sarcasm is my most powerful tool as defense and offense and you are strong in the sarcasm.

Anonymous said...

How about the most avoided topic of conversation in the world - masturbation? What does God think of it?

How's that for stirring things up...

sonneta said...

As a single nearing 30- how about the topic of where single adults fit into the church? Like how everyone's always talking about trying to "find you a (wo)man" or "you need one of those (a kid)". If the Church is a family, then single female adults are the Old Maid aunts who nobody much wants to hang out with- they are only useful for watching the kids.

daphne said...

OMG! Sex is my favorite! Who else is singin Salt N Pepa right now?!?

Beth E. said...

Oh, wow...these are all really serious, deep issues. I've been married for 30 years, and I still have trouble figuring out what - in the name of all that is holy - is bouncing around in my hubby's head (besides sex, of course)??? It would be great for churches to offer basic, down-to-earth, matter-of-fact (I love dashes, don't you?) sessions that deal with issues you will face with your hubby. For example...WHY will he place a new roll of toilet paper on the counter, but not place it on the TP holder? WHY does he leave his dirty clothes on the floor, BESIDE the hamper? And, perhaps the most frustrating of all, WHY is it that he can run an office full of employees, spout statistics on every football player in the NFL, and identify every tool in his toolbox, but CAN'T remember to put the toilet seat down???? Whew! *Pant, gasp* Maybe this isn't exactly what you were asking us for...strangely, though, I feel a little better already! :o)

Rick the Polonian said...

Two things: One, within weeks of getting married, suddenly my grandparents wanted to make references to me having sex with my wife. At dinner. Because "Its okay, they're married now"

Two, I once heard a dad say that he tells his son, in order to stay abstinent, "when it gets up, you get out"

Hahaha.

Jane said...

This is Tori (you know your new photographer). I don't remember why my account says "Jane." I'm paranoid?

Anyway, this excites me! I'm really into this kind of stuff too. Obviously not as much as a former sex ed. teacher. But I'm all about purity and wrote a whole thing about it.

If I had a question... it would be... Can you ever completely get over the first person you give your heart to? (Also, any of the teen girls who read Twilight would understand this question.) I didn't read all your comments, so I don't know if someone already asked this.

Andi (and sometimes Jacob) said...

My current job is ab. ed.! I love it! I get to talk to every middle school student in our county, and also get the :hey sex lady" comments!

I can tell you for sure that the church needs to get down to the nitty gritty and realize that premarital sex IS A CHURCH PROBLEM. Just as much as we need food banks, we need our churches to address sex in church. Acknowledge it people, that's all I ask. Talk to your kids!!!

Anonymous said...

Ok so i'm gonna be anonymous for this one....

Victims of sexual abuse...how to deal with it goin into relationships/marriage/whatever.


Anddddddddd on a less serious note...........

What is marriage REALLY like? As a teenager this is something i have no clue about. Married people at my church are always actin like the "perfect married couple" and always say "marriage is great blah blah blah" but that just seems so fake to me. For real, what am I gettin myself into...

Why will NOBODY never ever EVER talk about sex in church, like it doesn't exist or something...i mean i know i hear about it all the time, except in church. I've been goin to my youth group for over a year and we had ONE talk about sex.. basically just a 10 minute awkward speech about stayin pure. If you're not gonna tell us about it, the world sure as heck will.

How youth leaders/parents/every adult at church become some sort of dating police when two people in youth start dating....they now need to be under 24 hour survelence and can't even be in the same room together...pretty ridiculous if u ask me.

And how if you invite a guy friend to church everybody assumes you are dating and in the length of a 30 minute sermon you've had to explain to 25 different old people that u are just friends!!!

I don't know.....these are just some of the weird thoughts that run through my head at times. =)

Can't wait...this is gonna be good!

Anonymous said...

Why is it that on the rare occasion that some of the more sensitive issues surrounding sexuality come up in a christian setting it is often made to sound like they are guys problems only. Girls can struggle with temptation to mess around, pornography and masturbation too yet we are left to feel like we're strange because it is made to sound like these are not problems women have.

Elizabeth said...

I'm gonna leave another comment because I have questions. I'm divorced with no kids from my first marriage. My husband has a daughter out of wedlock (prior to meeting me). It makes for interesting conversations.

Anyways, we went to a church once (and only once) where we found out that since I had been divorced, my husband could not serve in the church at all. It didn't matter that he had a child out of wedlock, didn't matter that he and I waited until we were married to have physical relations, didn't matter that I was divorced because my ex-husband was physically abusive and cheated on me. All that mattered was that I was divorced.

When we started going to our current church we had been so discouraged by other churches that we didn't tell anyone (for over a year) that I was divorced and he had a daughter. They figured the daughter part out when she came to visit one summer. Thankfully by that point we were already accepted into the church and this church doesn't frown upon past mistakes and are completely understanding of my ex situation.

So my topic for discussion is this: why do we as Christians not forgive those who have been divorced? How should we treat those people? How does a person who has been divorced face the church again? I know God wants marriages to stay together. If someone comes to me for marital advice I tell them to stick it out. (They think since I've been divorced that I'll say it's ok.) But once the divorce is final, how do we help that person in their relationship with God rather than beat them down and not accept them back?

Julianna said...

Ways to communicate to today's young people the importance of not only waiting to give your body away, but guarding your heart.

Real/right reasons for getting married.

The importance of sex when you are married. Many Christians have the 'its dirty' mindset and have trouble discussing this with their spouse even after years of marriage.

How to get over your spouses poor decisions from their past. (sex before marriage, std's, etc)

kg said...

What we've been talking about lately is the couple that is faithful, has been together for a long time, has children together and has never married each other.
But they are part of the church....
They've done everything except have the ceramony and the vows...
Loving the children is easy, but how do we respond to the couple? How do we deal with this as it becomes more common?
One person brought up that there was no marriage ceremony/vows for Adam and Eve?