How Sex Led Me To Jesus
I was 19, living out of home and in love. Sometimes when you have strong romantic feelings for someone that is accompanied by sexual feelings - and this is where I found myself. I really wanted to do it, but wasn’t sure if I was emotionally ready for it. In my first serious relationship I was deciding whether or not to take that next step of intimacy and had so many questions. These questions led me into many conversations with family and friends, and to deep thoughts about sex and it purpose within a relationship.
I weirdly wondered what the Bible actually had to say about sex, surely more than “don’t do it”. So I picked up the bible to find some answers on sex and discovered it had so much more to say than what I’d grown up thinking, and contrary to the majority of opinions I’d been told, the bible was actually sex positive. As I continued reading I discovered I wanted more than answers on sex, but I also wanted a personal relationship with Jesus. Sex led me to Jesus. I committed my life to Jesus and learning about Him and found that my purpose was to research and learn from a scientific and theological perspective of sex and to share my findings with people so they could make healthy choices that aligned with their values. Don’t get me wrong, I made very silly decisions that led me to this stage, it literally took me moving across the globe to Australia to actually change and sort out my values and learn how to make choices according to them. What I’ve discovered is that sex is everywhere (yet it’s hard to find real, helpful, important conversations about it), the Bible talks heaps about it, sex is okay to talk about, sexual desire is normal, and when the Church doesn’t talk about it that creates shame.
When it comes to sexual behaviors you have the power and choice to make your own decisions. That’s why it’s important to think about your values and the purpose of sex, rather than just going with the flow. We all have this need for companionship and connection, so that drives us. We love to be wanted and known, God created us as sexual beings and we have the world telling us sex is how you get love. So how do we live this area out in a healthy way? Understanding the purpose of sex and thinking about your convictions regarding sex will help you! From a biblical, biological and psychological perspective, I believe the purpose of sex is to unite people, bring pleasure, and to make babies.
Sex involves our whole being - mind, body, heart, and soul. As part of your sexual development it is important to consider it from that perspective. Human sexuality is actually made up of five different categories, I talk about this in my book, “On Top: Your Personal Study Guide to Holistic Sexuality”, the five circles are - intimacy, identity, sensuality, health & reproduction, and sexualization. Each circle has significance, but when it comes to media and sex-ed at school often the physical aspect of sex (like sex positions, how to use a condom, how to be sexier, etc.) and gender identity is what dominates the conversations, leaving us with an incomplete picture of our whole sexuality. Those things are very important to talk about, but so is everything else.
Here is a brief description of the different parts that make up our sexuality–
Intimacy - our ability to be close to another person, being vulnerable, emotional, sharing thoughts and feelings with another person.
Identity - our understanding of who we are sexually, being boy/girl/intersex, sometimes this aligns with our biological sex for some people it doesn’t, it has to do with gender roles and expectations.
Sensuality - awareness and feelings of your body, this is where self-esteem fits in, body image, it has to do with our senses of pleasure.
Health & Reproduction - understanding sexual anatomy, contraception, STI prevention, self care.
Sexualization - this is part of sexuality isn’t the best, sometimes sex used to manipulate and to control people.
My encouragement to all would be to keep asking questions about your sexuality, and start to define your values and who you want to be. Education is what empowers you to make healthy sexual choices.
Thanks Raissa for creating this space and normalizing the conversation!
For more information on Cheryl and her new book "On Top", check out CherylFagan.org