Years ago I was part of a Bible study for married women. There were a few women in the group who were somewhat irritated with their husband’s sensational appetite for sex, but most of the women in my group were actually frustrated by the fact that they seemed to have a greater desire for sex than their husbands did. I was both shocked and relieved since I would consider myself a woman with a very healthy sex drive. Oh my goodness, that is embarrassing to say!
But why is it embarrassing for me to say this when most male preachers have no problem getting on a microphone and telling their female congregants that their husbands have sexual needs that they must meet?
We have all heard the male-serving (and self-serving) sermons. “Dear God woman, don’t you know that it is scientifically proven that men need sex every 72 hours or they will explode” or “Ladies, God’s Word clearly commands you to give sex to your husbands anytime they want it or you are disobeying God and they will explode.” And of course my personal favorite, “I hate to say it women , but if you don’t give your husbands sex regularly, you can’t blame him for cheating on you and/or exploding.”
Lies, lies, and more lies!
Within American church culture, a lie has spread that men are more sexual than women and this lie is damaging to both men and women. Women who tend to have a very healthy sex drive become ashamed of how they are wired and men who would prefer other activities over sex become ashamed of how they are wired.
In other words, women who are more sexual than their husbands feel like there is something wrong with their womanhood and men who are less sexual than their wives feel like there is something wrong with their manhood. Then, instead of meeting in the middle somewhere and trying to meet each other’s individual needs, sex becomes a bone of contention in the relationship when it is supposed to a beautiful expression of marital love and commitment.
The Bible never says that men are more sexual than women. It just doesn’t. So why are preachers teaching us this, starting at a very young age? I remember being taught this in church as a very young teenager. The clear message was always that male teens were crazy sexual and that female teens needed to be aware. Thankfully I had a pretty cool youth pastor who did not put all the responsibility on the girls to say “no,” but I know that many youth leaders do this. Sadly, a lot of times teenage girls are told that if a boy lusts over them, it probably has do with how they are dressing or the vibe they are giving off.
But the truth of the matter is that when I was a teenager, I had crazy hormones too and wanted to be sexual just as much as the next guy. That’s right folks, teenage girls are feeling crazy hormonal as well and want to “get busy” just as much as teenage boys do (sometimes more than the boys do)!
I am a proponent of saving sex for marriage. I mean, a big time proponent; but we need to be honest with teenagers about what the Bible really says (and does not say) and strive not to use shame or manipulation to “inspire” them to fight for purity so we don’t set them up for failure.
To be fair, most preachers do not even know that they are lying when they say that men are more sexual than women. They are simply calling it as they see it, but this leads us back to the problem that pastoral teaching staff is historically and currently teetering out of balance, boasting way more male preachers than female preachers (even in so called “women in ministry affirming” churches).
Of course male pastors are going to generally believe that men are more sexual than women because their experiences have been made up of “locker room talk” among men and women generally shy away from sharing how “horny” they are with their friends as teens and as adults. However, just because women do not tend to share their sexual desires and needs with the world does not mean that they do not have strong sexual desires and needs. A female teaching pastor would know this and she would be able to tell both young ladies and older ladies that it is perfectly womanly and acceptable to want and need sex.
Most of us who grew up in the Church learned about sex from a man’s perspective, which is just not the whole story. We are even doing teenage boys and young men an injustice by not permitting female preachers to talk to them about sex; they too need to understand the whole story if they are going to be good lovers in their marriages someday.
A man needs to understand a woman’s sexual needs and desires as much as a woman needs to understand a man’s sexual needs and desires.
The reason the Church has steered away from women teaching about sex (particularly to boys and men) is because we have been conditioned to believe that boys and men cannot look at the pretty preacher without lusting after her, especially if she is teaching on sex.
Shame on us for oversexualizing girls and women in the Church and making boys and men out to be untamed animals who have no control over their thoughts! “Sex” is an area that I know the Church is jacking up in. I know this because there is an insane amount of sexual confusion and sexual sin among both young and mature Christians and it is urgent that we get it together.
Yes, it will be embarrassing and uncomfortable because it forces us to confront our own sexual demons and insecurities, but godly men and women must partner with one another and develop a sexual theology that is based upon the whole truth of God’s Word and then together they must teach it to young people in a way that lifts shame, unrealistic standards and gender inequality.
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