Great Sex

By Don Gentry


Warning this is a PG13/R blog. The rating depends on how comfortable you are talking about sex. Let me start by saying sex is an amazing gift from God. A few Sundays ago, Matt even alluded to sex being an expression of our worship. If you are married and have not had amazing sex, then let me strongly suggest that you have a problem with your greatest sex organ. Let me also suggest that while you can take this advice and apply it to any illicit sexual relationship, as defined by God, we should only be engaging in sexual relationships between husband and wife. Outside of a heterosexual marriage relationship, you are already living outside of God’s best ideal for humanity.

It is fascinating to me that every culture and every period in historical studies has had, or does have, a fascination with sex. There is a lot of information out there designed to help us find that erotic moment that we long for. Just read the magazine covers at the grocery store or listen to the radio. Let me strongly suggest that we are being fed horrible sexual advice.

Whether you are male or female, it is not a position or a partner problem that you are having. It is an organ problem. Men your greatest sex organ is not what you may be thinking. What we need to think about most in the realm of our sexual organs is our brain. Your brain is your largest sexual organ and the most neglected. Great sex is not defined by ecstasy or eroticism. It is defined by intimacy. Intimacy is only created between the ears not between the sheets.

So how do we address our minds as we look at creating intimacy? That is a great question. The only person that can address our minds, is the individual. If you are harboring bitterness, resentment, unmet expectations, insecurities, disgust, frustration, anxiety, disappointment, disillusionment, poor self-esteem, and I could literally list a hundred more “brain distractions,” then you will have intimacy issues. If you take any of these intimacy issues into the bedroom, then you are going to have sexual relationship issues. You don’t have a penile or vaginal issue. You have a brain and intimacy relational issue. I have never counseled a “sexual organ issue” in 25 years of ministry.

So how do we have great sex? Let me give you the number one rule for great sex. 1. What can I do to help fulfill my partner’s emotions outside of the bedroom? (I say “help” because you will never be all that your partner needs. You can only be a “help.”) If you wait until you get to the bedroom to experience mind blowing sex then you have watched too many movies, listened to too many secular songs, watched too much porn, or read too many romance novels. You might argue you have experienced true eroticism, but I will argue you have not experienced true intimacy. Having a strong, Godly, monogamous marriage combined with amazing sexual fulfillment is only achieved when we have put our spouse first.

Great sex is about me; incredible intimacy is about my partner!

If you are experiencing less than satisfactory sexual relationship with your spouse, then you need to start looking at what is going on between your ears. The most common enemies of intimacy are anger, bitterness, resentment, un-forgiveness, self-esteem issues, and selfishness. There are other issues, but almost every couple I have ever counseled that has said they need help sexually, really needed help in one or more of these areas.

Men if you want great sex, then I strongly encourage you to find some help dealing with intimacy issues. Women the same advice goes for you too. Sex is amazing, God made the sexual parts; they have the incredible abilities to reach heights of extreme ecstasy, but we often don’t communicate about the correct issues. Love you all and hope you all can experience what God really defined for the marriage bed!

How To Talk With Your Students About Love

By Ryan Weber

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18)

When I was growing up, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my Dad was head over heels in love with my Mom.  And it had absolutely nothing to do with the amount of times he told her that he loved her. Although I heard him say it over and over and over, every time he left the house, every time he hung up the phone, whenever he had opportunity, he told her that he loved her.  But those were just the words, there was a deeper reason why I knew my Dad loved her so much.

It was all the things he did.  The little kisses, the overt flirting, the hand holding, the arm around the shoulder when we were at public places, the gifts he’d buy, the trips he planned, the way he just looked at her.

Granted, when I was growing up, these things repulsed me and I threw up in my mouth a little every time I saw it happen.  But everyone knew that he was crazy about her, and it continues to this day.  I’m incredibly lucky to have a set of parents who have stuck together through thick and thin and are now looking forward to their 35th wedding anniversary this year.

My dad still does all those mushy, gooey things.

Now that I am married, I have a brand new appreciation for the way he demonstrated love for his wife. I saw my dad demonstrate love before I even knew what true love was.  And that’s so important when it comes to the life of your student because I want to get this cat out of the bag:

Your student does not want to talk to you about love.  They would rather talk to the mailman, the dentist, Siri, anyone else other than you about love, dating, sex, etc.  This is an area of their lives that they want to explore and keep private. And that’s ok.  It’s our job to guide our children into adulthood, not dictate their every move.  They will not want to open up and share their feelings with you.

But you are a parent and you should share your feelings with them.  It is your job to talk to your students and make sure they go down a path that will honor themselves, their God, you as their parents and their future spouse.  So you need to engage in a healthy and meaningful conversation with your teens.

The Path is starting a series on Valentine’s Day called, “I Kissed Dating Hello,” and The Garage is beginning a series on February 7th called “The Talk.” Both are going to provide wonderful windows of opportunity for you to engage your child in this conversation.  It will allow you to open up to discuss all of the important elements that your kids are probably already aware of, but it can help you frame their minds to a godly and biblical perspective.

What is the purpose of dating? What kind of person should I look for?  What kind of person am I? How do I ask someone out? How do I fight? How do I break up? Why should I wait until I’m married to have sex? What in the world is sex anyway? Is sex bad or good?

Do you know all the Scriptures that relate to love, dating and marriage?  Do you have a child in your home?  It’s time to start memorizing those verses, and pray through their meaning so you can share a biblical perspective.

How are you going to explain to your daughter that her body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and she is fearfully and wonderfully made; and no one should take advantage of her (1 Corinthians 6:19; Psalm 139:14)?  How are you going to explain to your son that he needs to make a covenant with his eyes to not look with lust upon a young woman (Job 31:1)?

I would imagine having these conversations with your teens is a lot like bungee jumping.  You stand there for as long as you want to buck up the courage, but eventually you just have to do it. You have to jump and allow the chips to fall where they may. I am praying that the resources that will be provided to you during our Path and Garage series will help you along this journey.

But do not forget, if you’re going to have this conversation with your student (and I pray you have the courage to make that jump), you better be prepared to practice what you preach and love your spouse, kids, coworkers, friends, etc. in the way that Jesus tells us to. That will be infinitely more effective than any awkward conversation you’ll have.

When it comes to talking to your kids about love, demonstration is your best conversation.

Love well, your kids will take notice and listen intently.


5 Keys to an A+ Sex Life

By Don Gentry


Be forewarned that we will be discussing sexual content in the article you are about to read.  If you have not listened to or watched the first two sermons in our Who Changed the Rules series, and read the blog post that Matt wrote on Monday, then please do so.  This post is written based upon the foundation that has been built thus far.  Thanks!

In order to have an A+ sex life, we must understand that the ideal sexual relationship has been designed by God to be enjoyed and experienced within the parameters of a covenantal bond between a man and a woman.  We also must start with the idea that God has created our sexual organs with amazing sensory receptors in order to experience extreme pleasure.

Because of our design, we know God intended our sexuality to be enjoyed, within His ideals.  Sex is not dirty or shameful. Sex is a beautiful gift from God! If you experience shame or you think that sex is dirty, then I can assure you that you are not experiencing all that God has created for you to enjoy.

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Message Follow Up | True & False: One Pastor’s View on Homosexuality

By Matt Dawson



I hope you had a chance to listen/watch/attend our service on “Who Changed the Rules about Sex”.  If you have not – please click the video above and catch up on what I believe God intended for us as sexual beings.

However, I was not able to fully dive into one of the more controversial topics around sexuality – people with same sex attraction.  I’ve been burdened for several months to find a way to address this topic for our church.  How we view it, how God views it, and what our response should be as we are called to point everyone to the absolute Hope in Jesus Christ.

With the likely chance I will offend many, please read all of this post and refrain from pulling any ONE line or statement out of context.

I appreciate it.

I obviously can’t cover EVERY aspect of this complex topic, but here are the 3 things I have found to be TRUE and FALSE about our approach to homosexuality.  At the end, I will share with you the PRIMARY REASON I believe the church has struggled to show the love of Jesus to those living with same sex attraction.

TRUE

1. Homosexuality is a SIN. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Romans 1:25-27, 1 Timothy 1:8-10, Leviticus 20:13)

It is.  You cannot read the inspired Word of God and not come to this conclusion.  You may not agree with God about it… but who cares.  God is the one who created all things, he’s allowed to label things as He pleases!  SIN as an entity entered the world at the fall of man, it’s like a disease that has touched and broken ALL of Creation.

Everyone is born IN sin.  Sinful Behavior is anything and everything that separates us from God (working outside of His Will and His Instructions for Life).  The Bible states that ALL SEXUAL BEHAVIOR outside of marriage (regardless of gender) is SIN.  That’s all I have to say about that.

2. There is NO SIN that Jesus’s blood does not cover and NO BEHAVIOR that keeps us from receiving the FULL GRACE of Jesus Christ.

When we read these words from Paul’s letter to the Romans, we cannot argue that homosexual sin is excluded:

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.  Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous.  He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

Romans 3:23-24 (NLT)

As Paul describes the state of sinful man from Romans, chapter 1 (mentions homosexuality) through chapters 2 and 3, he does so to help us understand that there is NOTHING that we can do to EARN salvation (the law), and that we ALL fall short no matter what sinful behavior we have committed in our lives OR will commit in the future.  Jesus, with underserved kindness, declares ALL OF US righteous because HE has freed us from the penalty (judgement) of SIN.

3. Our conviction of SIN and behavioral transformation is addressed through sanctification (including Homosexuality).

I’ll address some of this in the section below about some of our false beliefs. I also listed below some references for the theological understanding of sanctification.  The simple definition is that AFTER SALVATION, with our eyes fixed on Christ, Jesus (by His Spirit) begins a transformational work in our hearts and we become more and more like Him the longer and closer we walk with Him.

We cannot CHANGE our behavior on our own (this is not self-help) nor do we SEE SIN fully or see it’s effect on us until the Holy Spirit leads us there through opening our eyes and conviction.

All Sinful Behavior is NOT addressed at the time of Salvation.  Salvation is a turning point from living MY life to the START of wanting to live with Jesus as the Lord of my life.  Salvation NEVER stops our sinful behavior.  I was 6 when I got saved, and I’m pretty sure I kept sinning that same day.

Now, I’m 40 years old, the process of sanctification is still happening in my heart.  I still engage in sinful behavior even if I “know” I shouldn’t and even if I’m convicted about it.  The process of becoming more and more like Jesus is slow, but lasting.

It opens my eyes to areas in my life that I’m dealing with today (maybe it’s fear, deceit, gluttony, arrogance, whatever it may be) and it is helping me, guiding me, prompting me towards choosing transformation.  Choosing to live like Jesus and choosing the NEW LIFE He’s given me and not fall back to the OLD LIFE that lingers within me.  This applies to all sexual sin as well.

If you’re unaware of the scriptural references for sanctification, here are a few: Romans 12:2, Romans 7:15-25, 1 Corinthians 10:13, 1 Corinthians 11:1, Ephesians 4:23-24, Galatians 5:22-25.

FALSE

1. God hates homosexual sin more than all other sin.

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul tells us that all those who sin sexually will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  He also says that idolators, thieves, drunks, abusive and greedy people, and liars won’t enter either.  Jesus also said these same words, about un-forgiveness and the rich.

Sure, we can take those single words and verses out and make our case, but we cannot do this in the context of Grace and the rest of scripture.  We also know people who have slept with someone before they were married (as a Christian) and they don’t live in fear of not going to heaven.  God’s Word is not our property to dismantle and rebuild in order to stack evidence against people.

Many misinterpret Paul’s statements in 1 Corinthians 6:18, when Paul says sexual sin is like no other sin.  He references this specifically by saying that sexual sin is special because of how it hurts the person committing it.   God doesn’t think less of sexual sinners than other kinds of sinners.  Some Christians may view it that way… but God doesn’t view it that way.

When Jesus rescued a woman caught in adultery from being stoned, he looked at her and said this:

“Then neither do I condemn you… Go now and leave your life of sin.”

John 8:11

Does this mean that this woman NEVER sinned again – not likely. Jesus didn’t condemn her, His grace forgave her (even though she never ASKED for forgiveness) and then challenged her the way he challenges ALL THOSE WHO DESIRE TO FOLLOW HIM… Go and sin no more.

2. Homosexuals cannot be saved if they’ve justified their homosexual behavior.

The largest argument people make is that someone who has justified their actions cannot truly come to Jesus until they have repented of those actions and asked for forgiveness.  However, this lies in a false assumption of what REPENTANCE implies and cannot be taken to the extreme when compared to other sins. (Remember: God views all sinful behavior as SIN… not on a sliding scale of degrees of sin.)

Repentance is a TURNING, and not a TURNING FROM something, but a RETURNING TO someone.  When Jesus said “Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand,” he was asking them to TURN to what He knew they were truly needing and looking for.

Repentance in our culture has this tendency to IMPLY that we are turning FROM all the things we are doing that are WRONG.  However, most folks who come to Christ have almost NO CLUE of all of the things that they are doing that are considered SIN.  Everyone who starts a relationship with JESUS, starts at the foot of the cross with the FULL GRACE OF JESUS forgiving them for sins they have done and sins they have yet to commit.

The idea that a 40 year old woman who has lived with her same sex attraction for 30 of those years is going to fully understand the complexity of all of her SIN including how and why the bible states homosexuality as a SIN – is foolishness and a false understanding of the Gospel!

Remember what I said about sanctification: many who live with same sex attraction will come to the cross of Christ and receive grace and experience the HOPE of Jesus in their lives.  ALL Sin will be addressed and revealed from this point forward as they walk with Jesus in Hope, Faith, and Love!

3. If Christians embrace and love people of same sex attraction – we are approving and condoning sinful behavior.

I’ve never fully understood this false thinking.  If everyone is a sinner, and everyone sins, then aren’t we approving and condoning EVERYONE’S sinful actions?

NO!

To walk along aside a brother in Christ who struggles with an addiction to porn and continues to engage in this behavior – I have ZERO concern that he believes I’m approving or condoning his actions.  This doesn’t keep me from walking with him – AS A MATTER OF FACT, this is reason to get closer and do my best to express the FREEDOM he has to overcome that addiction, temptation, lifestyle.

Jesus never seemed to be concerned about this when He went to Matthew’s house for dinner (a tax collector).  Even though all of the religious leaders were staring at him and accusing him of approving and condoning “those people.”  Jesus looked around and said – “those people” are who I came for!

So, go ahead, call me a friend to homosexuals, prostitutes, adulterers, and fornicators!  As an ambassador for Christ – “those people” are what I’m here for!

Closing Thoughts: The Primary Issue for the Church

Honestly, I don’t know where you stand on this issue.

  • You may totally hate what I’ve said because I’m too grace-filled and not judgmental enough.
  • You may hate what I’ve said because you don’t believe the same way about the authority of God’s Word and what He calls sin.
  • You may agree with me, but still struggle to engage in this conversation with others because of fear and what others might think of you.

The primary reason the Church (western collective church organizations at large) struggles to approach this topic is this – We believe it’s OUR JOB to change people’s behavior!

We believe that as a church, we can legislate anger, lust, adultery, greed, prostitution, gluttony, idolatry, un-forgiveness, hatred, and abuse.  We believe that if we say the right things, challenge people the right way, we can FIX THEM, CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIOR, and get them to ACT AND LOOK MORE LIKE WE THINK THEY SHOULD.

BUT . . .we don’t know how to FIX this!

We don’t know how to “address” same sex attraction.  We don’t know how to get them to stop and change.  And because we don’t know how to fix their “gayness,” we cast judgement and condemnation or worse . . . we remain silent and keep our distance.

Our job is NOT to fix people’s sin problem.  Jesus said “I got this!”

Our call is to LOVE one another as much as we love ourselves, and BY THAT LOVE others will know we belong to Him.

We exist to humbly point everyone (including the LGBT community) to the absolute Hope that they can receive and experience in Jesus Christ.

Weekend Preview | Who Changed the Rules: Part 2 – Who Changed the Rules of Sex?

By Chris Denning


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Sex.

How dramatic of me to start this post with that word.

I mean, sex isn’t really that big of a deal anyways, especially today.  Most of the shows I enjoy use sex like a plot tool to move the story along or as a way to provide some easy laughs.  So what if there’s a topless chick or a naked guy in a scene in the newest Fast & Furious movie?

That’s just how it is, right?

Which is kinda true, but that sucks.

What sucks?  The fact that sex in our culture is now so . . . cheap.

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