We’re in the middle of a sermon series at GCR we’re calling “Family Matters.” We’re trying to understand why family is so important to us AND why family can never be ultimate for us. We want to see the family clearly BUT we need to see beyond the family. We’re trying to look at and engage our family issues through the love of God and the cross of Christ. We want to crucify our family values.

And tomorrow we’re talking about sex.

We can’t speak for six weeks on family matters without addressing sex. We’re not going to ignore it. The culture we live in sees sex totally differently from the way the Bible sees it, from the way the Church understands it and practices it. And the culture is loud. And powerful. The world has so distorted sexuality that we don’t know what it’s for anymore and how it’s practiced. So we need to talk about it.

I’m going to post most of tomorrow’s sermon in this space over the next few days. The main reason I’m planning to repeat myself here is that there is much to say that I don’t have time for in tomorrow’s sermon. TheĀ  following few paragraphs here were originally included in my introduction to our sermon tomorrow, but I’ve had to cut it for time. I hope this communicates well and sets us up for a week’s worth of sex education here. And I hope I haven’t made a huge mistake by cutting this out of tomorrow’s sermon.

Most sermons about sex and most youth group sessions about sex seem to center around the idea that sex is wonderfully awesome, but it needs to wait until marriage. Sex is incredible, but you can’t enjoy it until you get married. And while all those sermons and youth classes are made with good intentions and while I very much agree with what they say, it can give the impression that sex and marriage are two separate things.

Sometimes we act like marriage is the house and sex is the swimming pool. Sex is the add-on, the extra bonus, that doesn’t have anything to do with the structural integrity of the house itself, the marriage. Two separate things. We’ve got the marriage on one hand and we pay attention to the marriage. The marriage is where we live and it’s really important. And when you sign the contract to buy the house, you open up the back door and, “Wow! Look at that pool!” And you dive in immediately. You put on sunscreen and you grab a floatie and you’re out there for twelve hours. It’s a fringe benefit when you purchase the house. It’s a really nice extra.

Or maybe it’s just the opposite. Maybe sex is the house and the marriage is the add-on. Sex is the main dwelling. I’ve got to get married so I can have the sex. Sex is the main house — the foundation, the walls, the floors, the roof, everything. And the marriage relationship is the pool out back. It’s nice. I’m glad we’ve got it. Two separate things.

That kind of thinking — seeing sex and marriage as two separate things — has led to a whole let of sex without marriage and a whole lot of marriages without sex. Both of those situations are a distortion of God’s holy will. And both situations are doing serious damage to our marriages and our families and God’s Church.

I like the house/pool illustration and I hate that I’ve cut it out of tomorrow’s sermon. Sex and marriage are two sides of the same coin. Neither of them should happen independently of the other. It’s like eating salsa without chips or watching a concert on TV with the sound turned off. God not create either marriage or sex to exist without the other.

The Bible does talk a lot about sexual immorality, but not because sex is bad. The Bible has a very high view of sex. God knows how sex works. He inventedĀ  it. He created sex and gave it to husbands and wives in the very beginning for specific purposes. The sermon is not, “Don’t have sex.” It’s “If you’re married have sex; and if you’re having sex in your marriage, have more.”

We’ve made promises that GCR is going to be a safe place to have hard conversations. We’ll practice what we promise tomorrow.