I’ve never needed much encouragement to read. But for a long time I felt nervous of touching anything that might have a hint of sexuality about it, because doing so might either expose my own struggles with my sexuality or increase the intensity of those feelings. But now I've changed my mind and my practice.
In the midst of all the poetry in the book of Song of Songs, I have been struck by a very practical teaching that is stated three times: “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires”. This implies that it is unwise to allow this love to develop prematurely.
Written by American mental-health counsellor and ordained minister Jay Stringer. The book explores the processes of how we begin to “understand our lust”, seeing our present-day sexual fantasies and behaviours as road maps that can help us to understand our unresolved experiences from the past.
From the very first gathering of God’s redeemed people by the Red Sea, until the final, complete gathering of God’s people before His throne, God’s people are characterised as people who sing. Music has a power to lift our spirits, teach us, encourage us, and train our hearts in gratitude to God.
Pornography, masturbation, sexual fantasy, lustful thoughts... They’re just men’s issues, aren’t they? The ways in which women struggle may often be subtly different to our male counterparts, but the fundamental issues of our sinful hearts seeking fulfilment in the wrong places are just the same.
The word holiness can give rise to thoughts of legalism. Rightly teaching the Bible truth on ethics and godly behaviour can so easily cause others to consider us dour or legalistic. Keeping in mind all this confusion around the command “be holy”, we must remind ourselves of some fundamental motivations for holy living.
David Bennett was attracted to other boys from the age of 14, and so had issues with Christianity because he felt if he was to become a Christian he couldn’t act on his romantic inclinations. He became a gay activist in Australia in support of gay marriage. But, “Jesus did not stay tidily out of [his] life.”
Some people who are single and/or attracted to the same sex find that physical touch is something they feel they lack. Therefore, feelings I began to have a few years ago took me somewhat by surprise. I became aware that I felt acutely untouched. I felt like I had a craving for physical intimacy.
Preston Sprinkle (don’t you just love that name!?), is an author, teacher, and speaker with a PhD in New Testament. He’s written a gem of a book called ‘People to be Loved.’ It’s a book that takes seriously the challenge of revisionist teaching, but throughout it radiates a pastoral warmth.