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A Safe Environment in Church to Talk About Sexual Struggles – Part 1

September 8, 2009

A few weeks ago posted a blog on the 9 Sexual Words You Can’t Say in Church. Our churches should need to be environments where we can be authentic and real. Places where we can share our real struggles, our skeletons, and our garbage without being condemned. Sadly, they are not. Many churches say they want to be relevant and authentic, yet don’t do things to create a safe environment for sharing.

Here are some adjustments churches can make to create a safe environment for sexual strugglers (and other people with problems).

relationships1. Testimonies
Have someone share a testimony about their struggles with sexual purity. Let it be talked about from the pulpit. Testimonies don’t have be perfect either. Many would be moved to share their own struggles if they heard from someone else going through the same things.


2. Preach sermons about healthy sexuality
For some reason, if the preacher says it, it’s OK to talk about it. Do a sermon on healthy sexuality.  Talk about God’s great purposes for sexuality.  Set the vision for singles, marrieds, teens, and older adults to be healthy in this area.

 drill sergeant

3. Balance the “Thou Shalt Not” sermons with “Thou Shall” sermons
In the churches I have heard sermons on pornograpy or sex, they have been very negative and condemning.

“A real Christian does not do these things!”
“Those engaged in this lifestyle are doomed!”
“We need to stand up against these things in our society!”

Don’t just preach against something, promote the positives. Don’t lay your Bible down, but don’t beat people over the head with it either.


4. Atmosphere of Grace, Love & Mercy
The majority of men (and many women) struggle with porn, lust, masturbation, or sexual behaviors. They are in bondage to them and worry that if they shared the truth, they would be cast out. You need to work hard to create an atmosphere of love. There are still consequences and discipline, but the love flow needs to be big to someone struggling with an addiction. They need the support of the church, instead of the back door of the church.


Q: What needs to happen for your church to feel safe?
Q: How is your church doing?
Q: What else would make your church a safe place?

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