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It was the first time I’d heard of the term, “heavy petting,” among other things. Some friends had let my sisters borrow a book. It was a Christian book about sex, and honestly, though I devoured it from cover to cover, I don’t remember much, if anything, about the message of it. I just remember sneaking it from my sister’s bed, and in my 12 year old mind, I felt like this book was letting me in on a great big secret.

The Secret
Why was it a secret? Is sex supposed to be kept secret? If you grew up in the purity culture, you would definitely feel that way. Read the Bible honestly, however, and you’ll get a very different picture. Sex is commanded by implication in the very first chapter, when mankind was told to be fruitful and multiply. That was before there was sin in the world, by the way, which means that sex is a good thing! 
Sex is discussed with such frequency in scripture, that any parent who has tried to read the Bible aloud to their children has had to make a choice. “Do I skip the verses that talk about sexual immorality? Should I read them really fast and muffled? Or should I just read, trust the Lord, and accept whatever questions arise from the kids?” It’s easier said than done, but when you look at it that way, the answer is obvious.
For further reading on what is appropriate for children, you can check out, “How Far is Too Far In Front of the Kids.” …Linkhttps://www.loveandstandtogether.com/how-far-is-too-far-in-front-of-the-kids/

The Shame
God clearly created sex, and boundaries for it, but just as clearly, He did not intend for it to be treated like a big secret. We treat it that way out of confusion, insecurity, and shame.
Hollywood shows us a digitally touched up, professionally acted portrayal of sexuality that adds to our feelings of shame, because we have such a dramatically different experience. It makes us feel like something is wrong with us. We have problems in our sexuality, but there is no one to ask, because the church doesn’t talk about that kind of thing. I’m not here to bash the church, I’m a conservative Christian too, and I know the struggle well. I’m here to lovingly point out where the problem lies.

The Truth
The truth about how we should handle sex becomes clear when we understand the difference between secrecy and privacy. Secrecy hides. It hides our insecurities, and our baggage, and it’s a safe place. This urge to hide goes all the way back to Adam and Eve at the fall. They hid in shame, and we all follow suit. Not only do we close our bedroom doors, but our entire discussion of sex is closed too. 
Privacy, on the other hand, protects something that is good and sacred. We close the bedroom doors for privacy, and behind the doors, love, glory, and grace thrive. Then this love leads us to open discussion that is candid, healthy, and produces more growth.
Much of the church has failed to differentiate between secrecy and privacy. We’ve hidden from the topic of sex, because we feel shame. We feel the world’s shame, as the world continually abandons privacy, and flaunts a distorted picture of sexuality. We feel our own shame as we measure ourselves against that picture and fall short.
There are few people in our relational circles who will discuss it with honesty and integrity, or help us nurture it into the beautiful thing that God intended it to be. The enemy tells us the lie that everyone else has it all together anyway, so that we’ll remain feeling alone in our struggle.

Walking in Truth
Whether you currently have struggles in your sexual relationship or not, it’s important to talk about sex. Nobody has a problem-free sexual relationship. If you can’t find a friend who will talk openly about it with you so that you can help each other grow, then perhaps a therapist or some counseling is in order. Healing can happen. Take up the battle against shame, and pursue God’s healing.
It can be a hard process to heal from the myriad of personal struggles we have with sex. There are times when you may feel like giving up. Times when you will start hiding again. But glimmers of change start to show, and the light of truth shines on the lies we’ve believed. With work, it gets better, and its worth it.

~Melanie

Bio
Melanie and her husband Brad have been married for 14 years, and have 3 children. Through the their blog, they share the tools and tips they’re learning as they pursue deeper intimacy together. They believe no one should struggle alone. At Love And Stand Together you’ll be energized to move past the places you feel stuck. You’ll find ways to tackle struggles from new angles, for a marriage that thrives. Come on over to
https://www.loveandstandtogether.com/ to get a FREE copy of 7 Keys to Better Love Your Spouse!