How to Approach Preaching on Sex and Sexual Issues


preaching on sexPreaching on sex, intimacy and sexual issues is an interesting, often uncomfortable subject area for pastors.  In the current age of promiscuity, homosexuality, AIDS and other challenges, the topics can be downright dangerous. But the teaching of a well-rounded pastor must tread this ground at some point as he pursues the whole counsel of Scripture. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you approach the “s”-word.

Warn ahead. Don’t allow your congregation to hear that sex is the subject only when you stand to preach and ask them to open to the Song of Solomon. Often young ears are present, or there are circumstances in your congregation that would make hearing the message without warning uncomfortable. So give adequate warning. Promote the “s”-word message ahead of time and give people an opportunity to know what’s coming up in your teaching. You do not want to follow up with angry parents following a message on sensitive subject matter they were not prepared for.

Treat it with dignity. Sermons on sex are no place for crude remarks, especially anything that could be considered sexist. And you also don’t want to go down the path of being downright mean toward those who may have committed sexual sin. Be dignified and positive. Sex is a great gift for those who know how to enjoy it properly and in context. Temper your “just say no” with a God-honoring “yes”.

Be sensitive to your congregation. Whenever you talk on sex, you’re going to have those situations in your audience. A teen who is pregnant. A gay friend. A couple who is going through the devastation of adultery. Prior sexual or physical abuse, even rape. Assume as you cover any of these topics that you are talking to someone who has experienced your topic of teaching. Be sensitive and not overly graphic.

Stand firm. God’s teaching on sexual issues is very clear-cut. Stand confidently on God’s Word. Don’t pound your Bible. God clearly identifies some sexual activities as sin and gives the reasons why. Don’t feel you have to lecture on sex. Let God’s own words penetrate and give weight to the Christ-honoring stand on various sexual concerns.

Let love linger. Sex is tremendously personal. Sexual sin can be very personally damaging. Yet God gave us the gift of sex, and we see it in the Bible when properly enjoyed in the context of marriage as a wonderful and beautiful activity. Let God’s image and design for sex as a positive virtue remain. Encourage those who have had negative experiences that, in Christ, they can gain an understanding of God’s gift of sex, and as God provides a Christ-like mate, can experience the best of what God’s design for sex has to offer.

—————–

Author: Eugene Mason, Communications Director for Cross Pointe Church under the leadership of Dr. James Merritt.