How to Re-Learn about Sex and Intimacy

How to Re-Learn about Sex and Intimacy

Where did you first learn about it? Was it in a class in school? From classmates, or older kids in the neighborhood? From the internet? Perhaps you’re one of those who was blessed to have parents, or a church youth leader, who fostered healthy conversations about sex. Or perhaps instead you learned from older relatives or others who harmed you through molestation, abuse, pornography, or other sexual exploitation. And then there’s the religious legalism that may have made sex a taboo and dirty subject for you. Perhaps you need to re-learn about sex and intimacy.

The devil has done a good job at distorting, for many, the message about sex and intimacy that God intended. Perhaps you got some of these messages:

  • Sex is a means to dominate and control.
  • A man has a right to sex with his wife any time he chooses.
  • Sexual feelings or behavior means you’re dirty, and God can’t love you.
  • Sexual purity is the primary goal. And once you’ve failed, you’re done.
  • Sex is a need, and I’m entitled to get that need met.
  • Sex is no big deal; I can do what I please when it comes to sex.

You may have guessed that I strongly believe all of those above messages about sex are completely wrong. Distorted. False. Dangerous!

If one of those (or similar) is the message about sex you learned, how can you learn what’s right about sex and intimacy?

Truth Breaking Sexual Harm

I grew up with some of those distorted messages about sex. And I’ve heard from so many others who also have such distorted understandings or beliefs around this topic.

As an OB-Gyn physician I knew all the right information – the biology, the anatomy, sexual response, etc. I talked with patients about all that professionally for years. But when it came to my own soul, there were serious wounds that needed to be healed and wrong messages about sex I needed to re-learn.

God had already brought me much healing when He brought my husband Al into my life. But I knew there was much I needed to re-learn about sex and intimacy if we were ever going to have a healthy married life. So as a professional in my mid-forties with two doctor’s degrees, I went back to school – sex school. No, not in a classroom! But I intentionally and voraciously studied what God had to say about sex and intimacy, and how other healthy people experienced and expressed this part of their lives.

I read books and listened to radio programs. This was before podcasts were widely available, but I would have consumed them if they had been. And most of all, I marinated in the Song of Solomon. I read that book scores of times, for months. I had the factual information; what I needed was both cleansing and maturing in the part of me that would be able to connect with my husband physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

And that made all the difference. Our wedding night was wonderful – in every way. There were, of course, significant ways in which we continued to learn about each other and about intimacy. But it was good. Very good.

Do You Need to Re-Learn about Sex and Intimacy?

Whether you’re single or married, sexually experienced or naive, aware of your sexual wounds or not, sexually frustrated or sexually fulfilled, perhaps you could benefit by going to sex school too.

Here are a few things to suggest.

Study Yourself.

Look back to understand how you came to believe what you believe about sex and intimacy. Where did you get your beliefs? What experiences around sex impacted you? Have you owned the places where you have been sexually harmed? What religious messages around sex play in your mind? Do you need some healing in this area?

Study HEALTHY People.

Choose carefully who you listen to. Look for people a few steps ahead of you, but who are going where you want to go. As someone who is serious about following Jesus, make sure the people you look to are also following Him and are closer to Him than you are right now. If married, watch how they treat their spouse. If single, how do they handle their sexuality? Talk to them if possible.

Study Wise Media.

Not the sex-saturated romance novels, pornography, or popular movies/TV shows/music where sex is depicted from a worldly perspective. Look for books, podcasts, online groups, ministries where others wrestle with God’s design for sexuality and intimacy in ways that you can learn from and follow. Feed your mind and heart with such nourishment.

Study God’s Word.

Everything else pales in comparison to this. God’s word is not silent on this topic. Read about God’s original design for intimacy in Genesis 1 and 2. Read Paul’s discussions about sex, in context. And perhaps, like me, you will find deep soul help in marinating in Song of Solomon. There you will see both husband and wife relishing the intimacy both physically and emotionally that sex in marriage provides.

As you study in these various sex school classes, it’s likely you’ll need to go back and forth between them. You’ll learn more about yourself as you study God’s word, for example, and discover more places where you need healing and maturing.

No Graduation

Because sex is such a deep and core component of how God created humankind, and because it’s an object lesson of the intimacy God desires with each one of us individually, I’m not sure there’s any graduation from this school for the Christian. In today’s culture so saturated by sex, followers of Jesus need to be intentional about how we demonstrate and live out this aspect of our creation.

And we also need to be ready to lend a hand to others who are struggling with the distorted and false message the enemy continues to promote.

How you live out your marriage or singleness can be perhaps the greatest testimony to who God is and what He can do. Embrace that opportunity.

Your Turn: Where did you learn about sex and intimacy? Are there things you need to re-learn about sex and intimacy? Leave a comment below.

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