Tag Archive: sex

In the spirit of Valentine’s week we of course talked about love and dating that Emergency Ministries. While the younger students focused more on loving one another as Christ would have us love, we dove into relationships with the older students.

Inspired by a book written by Kris Vallotton entitled “Purity”, the main challenge of the night was this: anyone can get sometime expensive, but it takes sacrifice to get something valuable. To put it more poignantly, anyone can have sex, but it takes sacrifice (and many other things) to experience love and a healthy relationship.

Think of it this way: if I REALLY REALLY wanted an iPad, I could just save up and buy one. Now, I do really want an iPad…but just not bad enough to bump my other priorities. So, in essence, I am sacrificing my iPad to attain other things more valuable (like a new house for my growing familyJ).

When a sports team fights their way to the finale and eventually earn the title of champion it is not really the trophy that they are after, is it? I was informed this week by a student that the Vince Lombardi Trophy is actually made of platinum whereas the Stanley Cup is only made of silver; even still I doubt the excitement over the Super Bowl is all about platinum versus sterling silver. Instead, a sports team is fighting for the right to say that they had worked hard, achieved their best, beat their enemies and emerged on the top. That is valuable to them; and it took sacrifice to earn it.

Anyone can get something expensive, but it takes sacrifice to get something valuable.

I gave the students several challenges this Valentine’s week 2012. The first was that they would beat the odds of our culture and achieve relationships that last. I challenged them not to give into immediate satisfaction of their emotional desires but instead to sacrifice that in pursuit of ultimate love. I challenged them to define love less as a feeling in their stomach and more as a decision to make with their heads.

I reminded the students that everyone drops their trophy sometimes; everyone makes mistakes. It takes bravery to pick the trophy back up, dust it off, and carry on in the direction that God has intended for us. If it was easy everyone would do it…but because it takes sacrifice only the brave step up. In the end, however, it is worth it because….anyone can get something expensive, but it takes sacrifice to get something valuable.


Song of Songs 2:7 “…Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”


So, although I did not spend much time with you guys last night (blame it on the Monkey Barrel crowd) I STILL know what you guys were up to. In fact, I was talking with your small group leaders afterwards last night and they said that you were…well, fairly engaged given the topic.

So, lets briefly summarize what last night was all about (in case you were not here or not paying attention).

We watched Rob Bell in one of his first NOOMA videos called “Flame”. In this video he talks a lot about dating, relationships…and sex. He basically says that sex is something that is so special that you need to want until you are absolutely committed to one person and then allow it your life. Any deviation of this pattern leads to potential destruction…if you don’t believe Rob (or me) just look around teenage culture.

Song of Songs 2:7

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires.

The reason for this: love is a flame.

There are three Hebrew words used for love; the first is raya, the second is ahave, and the third is dode.

Raya is used to describe the relationship between friends. It is a companionship kind of love. Ahave is a willful love that you choose and decide who to give to. Rob Bells says, “…this is way more profound than fleeting romantic feelings. This is much more than temporary urges. Ahava is making a decision to join your life to the life of another. This is an emotion that leads to commitment.”

Dode is the sexual/intimate love in a relationship. Dode is like a potent flame that when unleashed out of sequence with the other aspects of love can certainly result in destruction of you and others. All three love ‘flames’ must burn at the same time and in the proper sequence.

When the three burn in complete unison you have….well….you saw it; that BIG flame. If you have never seen Rob Bell’s NOOMA video called “Flame” I urge you to locate a copy (we have them in the EGCC library) and watch it!

Think about these questions:

Why is love so complex?

Do we generally treat love as sacred, beautiful and mysterious?

Do you love tacos, or baseball, or your pet…the same way you love people?

What else is there inside you aside from your physical body? How do these invisible parts of your body love?

Have a great week! Next week we move on from this LOVE TALK and onto something else….phew!

So, here we are again with another segment of “what I meant to say”. I must say however that last night seemed to flow much better than last week; given the topics we talked about I am not sure why. Nevertheless, as I promised let me remind you of a few things we talked about.

Carrying on with theme of ‘almost sex’ practices that you ought to avoid if you do not intend to have a sexual encounter with your date (which I hope by now you are all thinking twice about), our next point is this:

4. The Great Depression (you think romance and sex are going to make you happy)

The truth is that a study of 8200 teens from across the US showed that those who are sexually active in with dates are actually more prone to be experiencing depression than those who were not dating and having sex (Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 2000). Who would have guessed it? Sex and dating are not the keys to ultimate happiness!

When you get obsessed with romance it is likely because you are not taking enough time to cultivate other important relationships around you. These include relationships with your parents (I know they don’t make this easy for you all the timeJ), relationships with peers (i.e. the bromance), and relationships with other important family and/or role models in your life. When you are placing all of your emotional and mental need for love and acceptance into one relationship the results are going to be devastating: you are too invested and your life in unbalanced. You will end up giving more than you planned (i.e. having sex) or you will be completed crushed when the relationship ends and have no support system to help you through it. These are key times when teenagers begin to harm themselves or think of suicide.

So…..DON’T DO IT! Have many healthy relationships with many people so that your emotional and mental need for love is dispersed through a variety of healthy relationships. This will also help you keep proper boundaries in your dating relationships so that you don’t accidently give too much too fast.

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Here is some sound advice all summed up in one word: monogamy. Chose one person that is special to you and that you can commit to. Make that commitment to them and give your whole heart, soul, mind and body to them forever.

5. Self Service (you use masturbation and porn to help you keep ‘pure’)

Here is a doozy of a topic. When I asked you if you have talked with your parents about porn or masturbation in the past 3-6 months I was not shocked to find out that NONE of you had (well, expect two of you…and you know who you are). When I asked how many times you had talked to your friends about porn or masturbation in the past 3-6 months you also indicated that no one had. Thus, I can conclude this: your education about porn and masturbation is coming from popular media (i.e. TV, movies, music) which has no obligation to tell you the whole truth about the matter. This is why it is important for me to bring up this topic.

Porn does not keep you pure just because it satisfies your sexual drive without actually engaging in physical intercourse with another person. What porn does is fill your mind with unreasonable expectations of what sex will be like in the future, it gives you the unreasonable expectation that future relationships are all about fun and play and never about hard work and compromise. Basically, porn makes you believe that intimacy is easy and effortless; the reality of this is that intimacy between two people includes much more than sex and requires much more work than is portrayed. Oh, did I mention that porn compromises your mental and emotional purity?

Matthew 5:27-28
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart”.

Contrary to what you may have been taught in school or what you hear from your friends, masturbation (while watching porn or not) does not provide you with consequence free sexual release. Relying on a regular diet of masturbation while you are a teenager will become a difficult habit to break once you are married. It will make it easy for you to become lazy and unwilling to work on intimacy and communication with your spouse because you can simply satisfy your needs anytime that you want to just as you have been doing. This leads to distant relationships that no one enjoys…and we wonder why divorce rates are up and why many more people are living in lifeless marriages.

Masturbation itself is not a sinful practice and my point is not to put guilt on teenagers. Having said that, if masturbation becomes a regular habitual practice in your life you are also opening yourself up to mental/emotional compromise (can you remain mentally pure every time you masturbate?).

6. No U-turns Allowed (you think you have gone so far…why not all the way)

If you have already gone all the way likely you have had difficulty sitting through these past two weeks at Emergency Ministries. Likely you feel one of the following emotions: guilt, anger, regret, confusion, frustration, depression, or adversity. Here is the deal: you can’t take it back and you can’t change it.

What is important to know is that it is never too late to change your pattern of behavior. No one has done everything right their whole life and the message of the church and of Jesus Christ is one of forgiveness and freedom from condemnation.

Romans 3:23 & 8:1
…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

So, its time to fess up to God and then change your behavior. It is never too late to make a u-turn

Finally, surround yourself with good friends and people who you can talk openly and honestly with. We all need good positive friends that will pray for us when we need it, confront us when we go astray, and people that we can talk to when we have questions.

So, there you have it: date your mate, but don’t mate with your date. Enjoy friendships and the people around you. Go on group dates with people (when your parents allow you toJ). But make sure you keep proper boundaries up: don’t mate with your date.

This is likely the only place you are going to hear a message like this. Not many people in our pop culture live like this. Be brave and dare to do things differently!