Does Your Church Know?

Q&AOn Mondays, I’m working my way through the questions left in the comments section of Q&A with J at HHH. I still have several fabulous ones to get to, and I appreciate your patience. If yours hasn’t shown up yet, I promise it will.
Today’s question, however, is a bit personal:

HAPPY: Aloha, J! You had mentioned earlier that you told your mother about your blog – how about people from church? If so, what sort of response have you received?

The quick answer is no. However, my pastor has known for a full year what I am doing and is supportive. He agrees that the church needs to foster healthy marriages, including biblical sexuality within them. Beyond that, I don’t speak for him, as he might or might not agree with everything I’ve written on my blog. He and his wife do have the web address and can access my posts at any time.

Why haven’t I told my church? First, I have chosen to remain anonymous for the time being, simply going by the letter J. I have personal and family reasons why I have not yet revealed my identity, but I do expect to at some point.

Even if I was ready to tell my church, it’s a small world. For instance, I have more than once discovered that two of my personal Facebook friends knew each other when I didn’t know they had any connection. I have also visited churches where within a few conversations I have found mutual acquaintances. Moreover, I am three degrees of Kevin Bacon. Really. The point is, once the cat is out of the bag here, it’s out of the bag everywhere. So I will likely tell the church just a few days before I tell all of you.

I have considered how my church will react when I suddenly announce, “Hey, you know how I said I didn’t have time to teach any extra classes, and you wondered what on earth I was doing with all of my time? Well, I was super-busy writing a blog about sex. And yes, it’s ministry.” And what about when someone from my church Googles the blog name and finds posts on shaving, fellatio, and sex and bunnies? Maybe there is some way to direct them first to The Gospel in the Bedroom.

What I expect is that my church will be much like The Church — some will ignore it, some will be supportive, a few will be thoroughly encouraging, and a few will be in my face giving me an earful for discussing something so very private in such a public way. I do suspect that my church will have far more of the supportive and encouraging types than detractors (which would explain why we chose it as our church). However, I have no doubt that someone will think I have stepped every single toe over the line and wiggled them in the direction of hell.

In that case, I’ll take heart from one of my favorite Winston Churchill quotes: “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” Of course, I’m not trying to make enemies. Far more important than Prime Minister Churchill is the Word of God which says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).

But I’m not keeping my identity a secret for fear of retribution from a few detractors. Hey, I already have detractors in the blogosphere. I get a little friendly fire from time to time as it is. My reasons are focused less on me and more on certain people in my life.

Still, when I do tell all of my friends and family what I’ve been doing with this blog, those closest to me won’t be surprised. I’ve been talking about godly sex for a long time. I recall sitting at a table with some women who were talking about marital intimacy like it was a chore and one of my friends said something like, “Well, we can’t talk to J about this because she’s likes sex.” I might as well have been a flying purple people eater at that moment. (See also Intimacy in Marriage’s great post called 5 Reasons I Like Sex: Confessions from a Christian Wife.) However, I bet that I wasn’t the only gal in the room who loved having sex with her husband; I was simply the only one who had spoken up.When I finally add a bunch more letters to the “J” and give you a full name, I would love to also speak about God’s gift of sexuality. But perhaps God wants to groom me a little while longer. For now, my ministry to equip marriages for thriving physical intimacy largely takes place through one-on-one conversations as the subject arises and this blog. Indeed, that may be part of God’s refining of me: I gain information, encouragement, and wisdom from my interaction with others on this subject. In particular, some of you have left comments that make me reflect, study the Bible deeper, and simply keep me going.

I wish I could thank all of you in person. But of course, if I did that, the cat would not only be out of the bag, he’d be yowling all night.

But I’m not so silly as to think that whether I speak up or not is going to be the make-or-break moment for the church and sexuality. I agree wholeheartedly with Mordecai from the Bible when he advised his cousin Esther: “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place.” My perspective on the blog is what Mordecai follows up with: “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” I started with a “Who knows? Maybe God really can use me here” attitude. But if I don’t do it, someone else will. Indeed, if Christians are going to effectively fight against Satan’s attacks and reclaim God’s gift of sexuality, it will take more than one blogger or one speaker or one preacher anyway. But maybe I can do something from this blog — and someday in other ways.

Regardless, the Church needs all of you talking about godly sexuality where you are and in whatever way you can. It may be giving encouragement to a friend who is struggling with porn or lack of interest or coordinating a marriage class at your church or instructing your own children about God’s plan for marital intimacy. It may be writing or speaking on this subject. It may be commenting here when you have some wisdom to add.

My church doesn’t currently know I’m writing this blog. But the church knows that I stand for godly sexuality. What about your church? Do they know what you stand for? What small or big thing can you do to foster godly marital intimacy where you are?

Be sure to come back next week when I’ll answer a question about what the church can specifically do to foster biblical sexuality.

20 thoughts on “Does Your Church Know?

  1. Megan@DoNotDisturb

    So glad to have found your voice on-line. Being open with our church about this subject and our blog has been mostly encouraging has also I believe stretched people. Obviously there are people who disagree with our openness but we continue to refine and work on our style, voice and message. It is indeed a ministry and you are doing a great service to the church. Thanks!

    Megan

  2. Jason@SongSix3

    I definitely admire your stand, J… and I pray that the cat stays IN that bag until you’re good and ready. But even if you continued to remain anonymous for this lifetime, your posts speak loudly of the GOODNESS of our God! HE gave husbands and wives an awesome gift, and I’m glad that at least SOME have the boldness to stand up and speak joyfully about it!

    Rock on!

    1. J

      Thanks, Jason. I have wondered if I’m bolder because I’m unknown, but I do write everything here with the expectation that I will be revealed at some point.

  3. Anonymous

    I just want to say how much you have helped me. I have had an awakening in this area of my life after 9 1/2 years of marriage! Yay! It is so importand for Christians to have a safe place to go to learn what is ok according to the Bible. The fact is, some Christians just need permission to enjoy sex with their spouse. I don’t think we will be getting that permission from the pulpit, at least not at our church 😉 I truly never realized how important sex truly was to my wonderful hubby. God showed me that in order for him to make clear decisions and be the head of our home he was intended to be, he didn’t need to constanly be thinking about sex and how he could get it. Guess what? IT WORKED! Wow, imagine that! I just hate that I missed out on the first 9 1/2 years of our marriage. I seriously can’t get enough of him!!!! By the way, his opinion is “keep reading the blog! Keep reading the blog!” Thanks for providing a safe place for us who desire to stay pure!

    1. J

      Thank you, thank you! I am glad I can offer anonymity to commenters as well so they can share their stories and help others. I appreciate your encouragement here.

  4. Pearl

    YOU are part of the reason I stepped out into this ministry, J….THANKS for taking the lead and being forthright about an aspect so crucial for godly marriages. Subtly doesn’t work for everyone. 2×4’s of candor are necessary.

  5. Greg

    J, whether you remain anonymous or reveal your identity, God will always use the truth of His Word in what you share–it won’t return void! Biblical sexuality is no exception. Keep up the great work!

    One quick look at the world around us, and the state of the church below the surface, should convince us that the church is in *desperate* need of the truth about sexual intimacy. It’s God’s design, is good and holy, is well worth waiting for, and most importantly, isn’t optional in marriage.

    We have to be the ice breakers on this subject, because frankly, Satan is very aggressively using our silence to devastate the church and advance wickedness like never before. Pastors need to know that there are people standing behind them and alongside them in this awkward but oh-so-worthy subject. If we honor God by standing and speaking truth in love for His glory, His Word will not return void.

    I was scared to death to share about it in a public setting (especially being single), but I know God used it, and will every time we get over our fear and just speak the truth. Be encouraged to know that there are many who are just waiting and hoping that *someone* will say something about it, and begin the dialogue.

    1. J

      When I was single, I wish there had been people talking about godly sex. I believe that godly sex involves staying pure until marriage and then intimacy within marriage. We need to address both parts of that equation!

      Thanks, Greg.

  6. Anonymous

    I kinda like the “mystery” of not knowing “who” 🙂
    As far as our congregation goes ~ I am the pastors wife and would love to teach and be open about this subject. My oldest daughter and I have a FB group called Song of Solomon Women……but in our congregation ~ well, we may be the only ones having sex!!! (JK, sorta)
    Cindy

    1. J

      I am clouded in mystery! Cool.

      We had a preacher once who said the problem with sex in churches is that the people who aren’t supposed to be having sex are and the people who are supposed to be having sex aren’t. I think those of us getting it right should wave more people to our side! Thanks, Cindy.

  7. Tony DiLorenzo - ONE Extraordinary Marriage

    If you are better staying anonymous then do so. I will have to say that those in the church need to hear about the awesomeness of sex. I don’t know if awesomeness is a word, but God created it and it is a wonderful thing between a married couple.

    Having been sharing our lives for over 2 years on our podcast I will have to say that many in the church love what we talk about. We get many folks in our church who come up to us and ask us about recent shows and it gives us the opportunity to impact their lives and marriage.

    We are currently leading a small group on our book and we have 9 couples who are there because they are eager to be more intimate with their spouse and grow closer to Christ. It is odd sometimes when we share all that we do, but in the end we have some of the most amazing friends who are behind us 100% in our church. They would take a bullet for us so that we can continue to share our passion for marriage and sex.

    When we take off our masks and are real with one another the coolest thing happens. In stead of being loved less we are loved more. We have said this many of times on our podcast and it has shown through by our listeners taking off their masks and growing closer to Christ.

    1. J

      Love this: “those in the church need to hear about the awesomeness of sex.” I don’t know if awesomeness is a word either, but let’s make it one just so we can cite that statement!

      Interestingly enough, when Bible classes do cover intimacy, attendance tends to be pretty good. I think plenty of couples are tired of hearing inaccurate, unhelpful messages about sex from the world and need to hear what God has to say about it.

      Thanks to you and Alisa for all you do in this regard!

  8. Paul Byerly

    As someone who went the public route, I fully understand why you choose to be private. It does make life interesting when everyone knows you are that guy who writes about sex – all the time. It’s especially difficult for those who have young kids, or if they or their spouse have a job where someone might have a problem with what is done on-line. People have been fired for what they do on-line, and been called to account for what their spouse says on-line (Not J, but others I know).

    I can vouch for the fact that there are real world people who know who J is, and that she is not in fact a man sitting in a dark basement in his underwear. (Sorry for the image) This is one of the great things about the CMBA [ http://www.upliftingmarriage.com/ ] – we can support and vouch for each other without having to be exposed.

    1. J

      I feel fairly certain that if my spouse’s coworkers knew what I did here, he’d get a few odd glances but maybe a high-five or two from a buddy. Surely, you have a few men around you who are happy/jealous that you’re obviously living according to God’s design for sexuality in your marriage.

      P.S. I have turned on the light in my basement and gotten dressed. I was never a man, but just in case… :p

  9. uk Fred

    Too many Christians are frightened of what the world will think of them if they were to be truly honest, and there are situations in which family members, for example children still in Grade School, need pretection from pointy fingers and waggy tongues. I have no problems with your remaining as ‘J’ and when or if you choose to let us all know your IRL identity, then, so long as you have chosen this after prayer, I will continue to have no problems with you in your ministry. I use the same handle on all the blogs I comment on, but, with a few exceptions, that is all people know about me. And I am happy to keep it that way for the time being.

  10. Christy

    I think you should keep who you are private. I mean look at the amazing ministry you have going and all the people you are helping. Sadly I think as a society we think we need to have all the know of who, what, when and where every second of the day.(hence people tweeting that their dog just poopedmon the side walk) Ok Los my point is this; every ministry has its place and I think people who really are struggling, scared, hurt, confused or just plain curious about questions regarding sex, marriage etc. are more likely to come to you when they don’t have to worry about who you are. K off my soap box.

    One of the ways we ( my husband and I) are trying to let the church know how we feel about anhealthynsexmlife and marriage is by starting a marriage ministry that encourages couples to go out and have fun together. Date nights, over night retreats, days at the beach without the kiddos. A good sex life starts outside the bedroom for sure! Thanks fornamazngposts and questions that keep me thinking.

    1. J

      I will remain private for now, but there may come a point at which I can do more in this area by speaking as well as writing. If the personal and family circumstances I have alluded to permit me to reveal myself and do more to promote godly sexuality, I will do so at that time.

      Until then, I really appreciate this avenue for conversation and learning about Christian sex. Thanks so much, Christy!!!

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