Will Your Pastor Preach on Sex?

Photo of with blog post titleIn my many years of church attendance, I have rarely heard a lesson or sermon on the subject of sex. Even though the Bible has quite a bit to say about it, churches tend to shy away from the topic. And I sort of understand why.

One year, our church camp included the story of David and Bathsheba. Being the children’s curriculum leader, I had to write the lessons for elementary age children about that adulterous affair. We ended up talking more about David wanting another girlfriend, rather than getting into the particulars of sex with a group of kids whose parents may or may not have yet informed them about what happens in bedrooms between men and women. Likewise, a lot of parents are very uncomfortable having the preacher mention sex from the pulpit, because their children are sitting beside them on the pew.

But more than that, I think we’re just uncomfortable with the topic of sex. Maybe because we were wrongly taught that it’s so private or so distasteful, it shouldn’t be brought up in polite company. Maybe because we’re experiencing sexual problems in our own marriage and don’t want to be reminded or convicted. Maybe because we struggle with what God says about sex itself.

But I wish more preachers would say what needs to be said. We should let our pastors know that we are willing to hear what the Bible has to say about everything, including our sexuality. And today, I salute one preacher who did stand up in the pulpit and talk about it. Kevin A. Thompson preached on 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 to his congregation, and here’s his sermon on sex.

(For a sampling, I suggest starting at 6:34 and watching until 10:17. And no, I couldn’t figure out how to make that happen on my blog.)

You can also watch the video here.

Has your pastor ever preached on sex? What messages do you wish your church would present on the topic of godly sexuality?

17 thoughts on “Will Your Pastor Preach on Sex?

  1. Ross

    Our church did a three-week series on marriage and sexuality that included gender issues and homosexuality. It included what the Word really says about these things, how they’re confused in our culture and how we should react to it. It was well done and well received by the majority of the church.

  2. happygal

    To answer your question–no, I’ve never heard a straightforward sermon on sex. And yesterday my fiance and I were in premarital counseling, the communication session, and the counselor looked at the paper where it said ‘you need to talk about sexual intimacy if you expect to be successful’ and laughed as he said ‘well, you probably don’t want to talk about that stuff just yet’.

    We’re getting married a month from today.

    And that kind of (lack of) training is precisely the reason why I started reading this blog. Some discretion because I’m not married yet? Yes. But I have learned so much invaluable information here that no one seems to be willing to say, and for that I am extremely grateful. I prayed about godly counsel, and know that God has answered my prayers–in part, through this blog.

    Second question: I don’t know what I would like to hear from the pulpit, but I strongly believe that it would have been incredibly helpful if there was a place set up for older, married, godly, Christian women to mentor girls (like me) about to be married.

    1. J Post author

      Can you see me doing a facepalm about that counseling moment? Because I totally am. OF COURSE, you want to be considering what your sexual intimacy will be like in marriage with your I Do’s less than a month away. I hope you’ve been reading up your own. You can check out posts about the wedding night and honeymoon here on my blog, and I’m also a fan of the Preengaged.com website and Sheila Gregoire’s The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex.

      Congratulations, and many blessings for your wedded future!

      1. happygal

        Yes, I have been doing my homework elsewhere! 🙂 I did get Sheila’s book and found it to be very helpful, as has your website. I thank God that you ladies follow His leading to provide good counsel where it is so desperately needed!

  3. alchemist

    The sermon last Sunday was on 1 Corinthians 7 in my church. I was out of town, so I missed it. But our pastor preaches through books in the bible and he doesn’t skip anything. He just sends out a parental advisory the Friday before so parents can talk to their kids or send them to children’s worship or whatever.
    Our church believes very strongly in preaching the word, the whole word and nothing but the words. So much so that the pastor preached 1 Corinthians 6:9 on graduation weekend (about 2/3 of the church are students. We’re in a college town). So he preached on sexual sin (including homosexuality) when the parents were in town.

    1. J Post author

      Thanks, Greg! Yes, 2005 is too long ago. I’m sure in those 9 years, everyone in your congregation hasn’t mastered what the Bible has to say about sex. Let’s pray that more pastors will speak up!

  4. Glen

    I’m a pastor, and in many years of ministry I have preached only one sermon that was slightly focused on sex. It is very sad, I think, that the church’s approach to sex has usually been silence, negative views, and ignorance. However, I question whether the Sunday service (sermon) is the proper forum for detailed focus on sex. Presenting a positive view about sex in marriage, yes. But for getting into more specific detail, I for one am not a proponent of that. There are other settings where it is appropriate: marriage seminars, SS classes, small groups, blogs like this, etc. This is just my opinion, and I accept that many others will disagree with me. I will disclose that I’m in my 60’s, so I’m part of the “older generation” where freedom to talk openly about sex was not part of our culture. I do appreciate the frankness on this blog and I wish materials like this had been readily available decades ago! Thanks for what you do!

    1. J Post author

      Oh, I agree that specifics in a Sunday sermon are unnecessary and could be unwise. But I think we can certainly discuss godly principles surrounding sex. Thanks, Glen, and many blessings to you and your ministry!

      1. John

        Sorry, but I completely disagree. And here’s the reason why: what you basically saying is “Don’t talk about what the bible teaches”. And as far as I understand it, God condemns anyone who both adds and removes from His Word.

        Let me put it another way: Would you ever say,

        “You can’t preach on Revelations: it talks about the world being destroyed, and people burining in hell for all eternity! Its just too graphic!”

        or

        “You can’t preach about Elijah and the prophets of Baal! Those guys used to throw babies into fires! Too graphic!”

        or

        “You can preach about being repentant of your sins! Or homosexuality! Or cohabitation! Or lying/stealing/cheating! You might offend someone!”

        Of course not.

        But you would say “Don’t preach on the Song of Solomon! It talks about enjoying your wifes breasts!”

        I believe the Bible – its true and its God’s Word. If it teaches on something, then I believe Pastors have a responsibility to teach on it. Clearly. Fully. No ifs-ands-or-buts. And if all a pastor can do is do a few hand waves and all they say “Marriage is good. Ok, moving on…..” then they shouldn’t be a pastor.

        Now I don’t mean preach on sex everyday… but if you go decades without preaching about it… something is wrong.

        One other thing: I’ve noticed that people/preachers who say “we can’t talk about the goodness of sex in marriage” are sure quick to pound the pulpit about the “sins of sex” like adultery, porn, fornication, and abortion (usually blaming men). They are sure quick (and frequent) to always bring up those major sins (and they are!). Got no problem with that. I would just like to see some equal time on the sin of sexless marriages.

        1. J Post author

          With whom are you disagreeing, John?

          Because I definitely believe this is a topic that should be preached on, but I understand the hesitation some pastors have about how specific to get.

          Your examples can probably help illustrate the point, in that we might talk about David beheading the dead Goliath, but I certainly don’t think anyone wants to hear about the specifics of performing a beheading in a Sunday morning sermon. We shouldn’t tiptoe around what happened, but we also don’t need every graphic detail. So I guess my encouragement to pastors is they really can preach what the Bible says and discuss what sex should mean for godly people, but we don’t expect them to give a play-by-play breakdown of the deed, so to speak. They can relax about that and bring the message.

          Does that put us in agreement here? I think it might.

  5. OlWill

    Decades ago we were attending a church where the pastor did a Sunday evening marriage series. All I could remember at the end of several weeks was, “Communication. Communication. Communication….”
    I remember thinking, “Well, the women got what they want. When do we get to the part where we get what we want?”
    At our current church, a fellow teaches a course that he wrote called Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage. He is a very good instructor and he covered the subject thoroughly with very good application of many biblical passages on those topics. Actually, I learned a lot. But there was nothing about sex other than to talk about sexual sin. But nothing about the necessity of positive sex in marriage as a bonding agent (Super Glue) given by God.
    The pastor promised a series on sex as his next series. That was at least two years ago. Someone must have changed his mind.
    I think that if God had guts enough to put hundreds of words in His book regarding sex, pastors should have guts enough to preach from those words.

    1. J Post author

      I think what happens sometimes is that a preacher steps on and talks about sexuality, and then a few vocal churchgoers make a big fuss. And the preacher gets shut down. I’m not saying that’s what happened here, but I seen that sort of thing before. And I wonder if maybe we should all encourage our preachers more in such moments — tell them that we’re willing to hear the message, that they will be supported, that we believe it’s important.

      And yeah, I’ve heard that communication stuff too. And while I definitely think it’s important, I don’t think it’s everything. In fact — and I’m going to get in trouble with someone here for saying this — communication is not in the list of Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5) or the traits of Love list (1 Corinthians 13). Both communication and sex need to be approached with those godly attitudes and behaviors; honestly, that’s what made such a difference in my marriage.

  6. Kevin Howard-Tripp

    When it comes to Sex everyone know how to preach on the DONTS IF THEY HAD TO PREACH ON THE DOES THE SERMON WOULD ONLY LAST 5 minutes no wonder there are so many sexual problems in the church
    60% of christian men are into porn of that 60% 80 % are living in sexless marriages

    1. J Post author

      I believe there are more sexual problems outside the church, but yes, they definitely exist in the church as well. Thankfully, I think we are having a reawakening on this account. I pray that it spreads to churches everywhere. Thanks for your comment, Kevin. Many blessings to you and your marriage!

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