Last evening the Rev. Dr. Debra Sutton, an ordained Baptist minister with a PhD in Human Sexuality Education, met with about a dozen of us to talk about sexuality, especially regarding how we communicate Christian values to our children. After laying a Biblical foundation for the goodness of sexuality from Genesis 1:26-31, and our creation as male and female as the expression of the image of God, she presented the diagram below.
Circles of Sexuality
The five circles in the back ground are a classic expression of human sexuality.
Sensuality refers to body image and "skin hunger." Babies that are not physically touched do not thrive.
Intimacy is our need and capacity for emotional closeness.
Sexual Identity includes gender identification, gender roles and sexual orientation.
Sexual Health & reproduction are the "nuts and bolts" of how we are put together and function sexually.
Sexualization is using sex to influence, manipulate; or take advantage of another person.
Over these five circles Debra Sutton has added a sixth she calls God's Love. She asked us to think about how we had learned about each of these areas of sexuality. She asked in which areas we had learned through healthy conversations with those in a good place to teach us.
I very regretfully realized that in only the area of God's Love did I have a number of healthy conversations. In the other circles of sexuality I had learned mostly through life experiences the best I could. I was pretty much alone in figuring this out.
One of the participants last evening said, that in the church he grew up in, a conversation like we are having now would have never been allowed. But we have a responsibility to apply God's word to every area of life. And sexuality is a very big and important area of life. This is why we are bringing Debra Sutton back.
On May 22 at 7:00 PM she will share the Biblical foundation and the six circles of sexuality with our Senior High students, and answer any questions the students ask anonymously on index cards. On May 29 she will do the same for the Junior High students.
Then, on Wednesday, June 5, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM she will lead students and parents and other adults together. We will get some practice talking about God's good gift of sexuality and how disciples of Jesus Christ should use that gift.
We can't let our discomfort, or the difficulty of communication in this area, stop us. Let's have good conversation with our children and teens so they can live Godly, joyous and grateful lives.