Many Christians are uncomfortable talking about sex because they are taught in church that having sex is wrong, talking about sex is dirty and our only understanding of sex comes when we’ve entered the covenant of marriage. This is one of the big reasons why having conversations about sex even into adulthood can be difficult. There are many who wait who have false expectations about sex because of lies they were taught growing up and are disappointed and disheartened when they realize that sex wasn’t everything they were told it would be. Here are six lies the church teaches about sex.
"Your sex life will automatically be amazing because you waited."
Church culture promises that your sex life will automatically be amazing when you wait until marriage but there is no guarantee that this will be case. So when couples do wait to have sex and they find out it isn’t the case, it can lead to frustration and disappointment. If newly-married Christians don’t receive the proper preparation, communication and education, their sex life may struggle. This doesn’t diminish the value of waiting, but couples shouldn’t have false expectations about waiting. It likely won’t be fireworks the first time. Fulfilling each other’s sexual needs takes work. This will take time and commitment. It doesn’t happen simply because you waited.
"Women must fulfill men’s needs."
There is another lie that many couples buy into that sex is solely about fulfilling a man’s needs. This often comes from Bible misinterpretation and the myth that sex is done for the man’s pleasure only. It isn’t about a woman fulfilling a man’s needs but men and women satisfying each other’s sexual needs. Couples who talk about sex have better sex. It actually turns out the most important part of cultivating a healthy sex life is talking about a healthy sex life. When partners talk to each other about their sexual needs, their conversations are often indirect, vague and left unresolved.
Couples in sexually satisfying relationships understand that great sex takes effort. You have to nurture your relationship inside and outside of the bedroom. While we’re all busy these days, our relationship and sex lives can’t survive on the scraps of our time and attention. People in sexually satisfying relationships prioritize quality time alone together. In this busy, chaotic world of daily activities, tasks and schedules, it is easy to forget that the person you chose to spend your life with is the person who can make your days brighter and the road ahead easier to travel.
"If you wait to have sex, you’ll meet your dream spouse."
There is also this myth that if you stay pure, that means you’ll end up with your dream spouse and this builds some pretty high sexual expectations. The truth is, God is not a genie who grants our wishes as long as we do what we believe is right in His eyes. We aren’t guaranteed a fairytale spouse or sex life if we wait. While we can find great joy in waiting, this idea can be misleading for many Christians.
"Having sex before marriage will damage you forever."
Church culture pushes that you aren’t whole, clean or pure if you have premarital sex. If you have sex before marriage, then you’re presenting a ruined self to your partner and that makes you damaged goods. The truth is, you are not damaged goods. This lie can be especially harmful for victims of rape and sexual abuse. Not being a virgin doesn’t mean you’re “less than,” broken or less deserving of love. It also doesn’t make you unworthy of a godly spouse or a blessed marriage. Always remember that our God is one of forgiveness and grace. He doesn’t withhold it, especially from those who ask for it. First John 1:9 promises that if you confess your sins, that He is faithful to forgive and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Psalm 103:12 also promises, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” In addition to forgiveness, God wants you to embrace His grace that will help you embrace the promises He has for you with joy.
"Women are excluded from sexual pleasure."
The Bible describes the pleasure that husbands find in marriage with these words: “Rejoice with the wife of your youth….Let her own her breasts intoxicate you at all times. With her love may you be in an ecstasy constantly” (Proverbs 5:18, 19). This doesn’t mean that wives are excluding from pleasure in their marriage with their husbands. God also intends for wives to enjoy sex. The Bible says that husbands and wives should satisfy each other’s sexual needs: “Let the husband give to his wife her due, and let the wife also do likewise to her husband” (1 Corinthians 7:3).
"Sex is a shameful act."
God does not want sex to be done in a way that there is any shame. Proverbs 5:18-23 calls to question a man’s lust of another man’s wife: “Why, my son, bed intoxicated with another man’s wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and He examines all your paths. The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly” (Proverbs 5:20-23). Many people experience shame in regards to sex. The Bible reminds us that sex should be done in such a way that there is no shame. Sometimes shame is the devastating feeling we bear because we have been sexually sinned against.
It’s tough having conversations about sex when you’re taught that it’s wrong to have them. While it can be awkward to talk about sex, it isn’t dirty. It’s important that we talk about it so we have the healthiest relationships possible.