Taylor Swift’s latest musical message to the world about sex, sexuality, and gender brought home two big Moon Man awards at the recent MTV Video Music Awards. The pop star’s hit song “You Need To Calm Down”, is at its root Swift’s critique of what she sees as an old-fashioned and out-dated way of looking at sex, sexuality, and gender. When the song won for “Video of The Year” and “Video For Good”, it was once again clear that our culture has moved away from a God-centered sexual ethic to a self-centered sexual ethic. For those of us who hold to what the Bible clearly teaches about the purpose and place of God’s good gift of sex, Taylor’s lyrical message in the song is this: You would rather be in the dark ages. . . You need to calm down. . . You need to just stop.
As Christian parents and youth workers, we’ve been called to nurture our children and teens into a God-glorifying understanding and expression of sex, sexuality, and gender. To accomplish that task, we must first understand what they’re learning about these matters that’s skewed, off-base, and in error. Taylor Swift’s song is just one example of what today’s culture is teaching our kids (See our FREE 3(D) review download of the song). They’re told that you must decide for yourself based on how you feel and what you desire. In other words, it’s all up to you to determine the place and purpose for sex. And, as you make your decision, there are no borders or boundaries. We live in an age of ambient sex education where the culture is constantly changing this mantra: You can do whatever you want, wherever you want, however you want, whenever you want, with whomever you want. But that’s not all. You need to ignore any advice on sex and gender that comes from “the dark ages”. . . including anything your parents, youth worker, or church might teach you about biblical sexuality.
Because the culture is sending such strong and compelling messages to our kids, we need to ramp up our own efforts to tell our kids the truth about God’s good gift of sex. Two of the most basic and foundational truths we must teach are that God has clearly established both a place and a purpose for sex. . . both of which have been given to protect us from harm and to provide for our human flourishing.
In the book of Genesis (the creation account in Chapters 1 and 2), God gives the good gift of sex to be experienced and indulged within the context of a life-long, monogamous, heterosexual, covenantal marriage between one man and one woman. That’s the place.
But the gift of sex is not about indulging and seeking to satisfy our own sexual appetites in self-centered ways. Rather, the Bible tells us there are four distinct purposes for sex, and we should go out of our way to teach the joyful wonder of each to our children and teens.
First, sex is a Divine-gift to consummate a marriage. It is about two human beings powerfully coming together in their totality which the bible calls “becoming one flesh” (Matthew 19:4-6). Sex completes a marriage.
Second, sex is a Divine-gift which allows us to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). God commanded humanity to procreate. Sex is how human life begins.
Third, sex is a Divine-gift which allows us to express our covanental marital love in the most intimate of human physical/emotional/spiritual encounters. The entire Old Testament book of The Song of Solomon expresses this in the most beautiful and poetic of ways.
Finally, sex is a Divine-gift which allows us to experience the greatest of physical pleasures. While the selfish pursuit of pleasure for pleasure’s sake is sinful (Proverbs 21:17), God has given us the gift of pleasure by His design.
Parents and youth workers, the culture engages in the sex education of your kids 24/7. Give them a proper perspective on sex so that they might sexually prosper and thrive to the glory of God!
To learn more and to download a host of FREE resources on sexuality, visit the online home of our Sexual Integrity Initiative.