I consider myself extremely blessed by my readers. The conversation, encouragement, and support I receive is nothing short of breathtaking at times. 95% of the time, my task of writing about godly sexuality in marriage is a joy. Not in the sense that I’m always happy writing about a particular subject — because some definitely break my heart — but in the sense that I feel peace and assurance that I’m doing what God has called me to do.
However. (You knew that was coming, right?) There is an ugly side of Christian sex blogging, and it’s not one y’all usually see. Basically, it’s comments I’ve gotten that say things like:
- You’re a filthy person to talk about sex in public.
- What you’re writing is tantamount to Christian porn.
- You encourage wives to be mistreated by telling them to have sex no matter what.
- You are a prude and an idiot for opposing porn and erotica.
- Your husband is unlucky to have sex with you.
When I first started getting not merely negative comments or debate — which I’m fine with — but personal attacks, I was deeply hurt. I carried around the comments all day long and let them burrow into my brain and my chest until I wanted to cry. But what I’ve learned since is that I probably poked a tender wound for someone, unintentionally of course, but it happened. And what they’re saying about me likely isn’t about me at all.
Still, although I simply delete personal attacks these days (against me or other commenters), I tend to answer their charges in my head before I move on, like:
- You’re a filthy person to talk about sex in public. Are you saying God was a filthy person? Because He did it.
- What you’re writing is tantamount to Christian porn. Have you ever seen porn? What I write is a biblical yet honest treatment of sex that is absolutely nothing like the twisted version of sex promoted by porn.
- You encourage wives to be mistreated by telling them to have sex no matter what. I’ve never said that. I encourage wives to be intentional about sexual intimacy and equip them to enjoy this gift from their Heavenly Father.
- You are a prude and an idiot for opposing porn and erotica. I’m neither, and the evidence is piling up to support God’s opposition to this sinful version of sex.
- Your husband is unlucky to have sex with you. Yes, really. Someone said that. And I simply defer to my husband, who says that he’s one lucky bloke. So there!
Now don’t go shooting sympathy messages my way, because I’m really okay. It’s not tear-inducing anymore; just annoying.
But I have been giving some thought to how this might expand as my ministry expands. With the release of Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design that will reach a wider audience and the launch of my speaking ministry, I’m likely to get more push-back from people who don’t appreciate what I’m doing. While I’m fine with disagreement and debate, personal attacks might also come with the territory.
Which got me thinking more broadly about Christian sex authors. I don’t know everything my colleagues have faced in this regard, but I expect they’ve had some difficult challenges. It’s never easy to proclaim the Word of God among people who resist the truth. And there are many reasons people resist God’s design for sex in marriage — some understandable reasons, like past abuse or shame, and some selfish reasons.
I’d like to think that we are not alone in talking about God’s plan for sex in marriage. That Christian authors and speakers are merely the mouthpieces for what the Church wants people to know about God’s design and His heart for His children.
That’s why this week, I’m asking your memory verse for marriage to involve the larger message about sexual intimacy that we proclaim to the world.
“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ…” Colossians 4:3
Pray that God will open a door for His message in your own marriage; in churches that need a clear, biblical approach to sexuality; in the world at large that needs this hopeful and healthy view of sexual intimacy. Pray that Christian authors and speakers will proclaim the mystery of Christ, which permeates all the way to our marriage beds.
Coming back to your marriage, I know many of you need that open door with your spouse, that you are aching for something better in your marital bedroom. Please know that I’m praying for you as well. Let’s have a bedroom revolution where married Christians enjoy all the blessings of sexual intimacy.Let's have a bedroom revolution where married Christians enjoy all the blessings of sexual intimacy. Click To Tweet
26 thoughts on “The Ugly Side of Christian Sex Blogging”
I totally get it!!!!!
Try being a pastor’s wife with a page called Song Of Solomon Wives 😀
I have been told I will ruin my husband’s ministry by being so open with such subjects. But you know what, the Lord has blessed and my husband is still behind this ministry – so I carry on, no matter what strings satan pulls.
Keep up the great work you are doing J, you are an encouragement for us.
I had a smart-aleck remark for you, which I’ll make anyway, but after seeing Cindy’s comment, I want to react to that, too (and yeah, Cindy, I shall look up your blog).
So you think that your sex book might widen your ministry, J? Some current history: Tim LaHaye wrote THE ACT OF MARRIAGE a few decades back, and though it’s tame by today’s standards, it was a major success. But LaHaye’s biggest claim to fame came after he teamed up with Jerry Jenkins to co-author LEFT BEHIND and its sequels. Your on your way, J!
Getting lambasted for writing about sex is something I can relate to, Cindy. A married Christian wife and mother with a promiscuous past read only the first page of my Kindle book SKINNY DIPPING AT MEGUNTICOOK LAKE (Amazon for Kindle) and she sent me an email to shame me for “dragging her mind through the gutter.” The sex is all off-stage–a very pregnant wife calls her husband back to bed, since her “hormones are acting up.” Not exactly “50 Shades . . ,” I guess I started the book in the wrong place. In the version currently available I’ve softened things a bit.
So, what does one say about the sex in the Bible?
You’re one courageous Christian sister and wife…God is certainly no prude. I get the same irreconcilable spirit at times on what we write too. Keep up the excellent work.
I’m sorry people have said things to hurt you.
I have to confess I have difficulty understanding working so hard to bring God into sex when he’s already there. To me, omnipresent means there is no situation, place, or circumstance where God/Goddess is not – not now, not ever, no matter how good or how bad we may judge those circumstances or those places.
There are beautiful works of art which some call pornography and there is erotica which dives deep into the human condition. I would have to say their creators and those works are touched by God.
One of the wisest things I’ve ever heard anyone say is we make God in our own image. This is a logical statement. We are limited by our own perception. We are unable to imagine God and so we try and imagine the best we can but we fall short.
There are moments, brief moments, when I connect with God, during prayer, or meditation, while working on something creative, or looking at a work of art, while spending time with loved ones, and yes, while having sex. For me, these moments are epiphanies, and brief. In the end, they are all I really know of God. At least, if we are talking about visceral knowledge.
A relationship with God, is personal, and a journey which can be shared with loved ones, but I don’t believe it’s necessary.
To me, God is already in any sexual relationship. So, I suppose in some ways, this seems to me to be an issue created by humans, and if I did believe God was a humanoid sort of individual, I think he would think all of our fussing about sex was pretty humorous…and he’d be laughing at all our mental and emotional gyrations….and hoping we would just have some fun.
I hope you help a lot of people to have fun with their sex lives.
That’s the same verse the Lord showed me when I was on the fence about starting a new ministry! (Totally different audience and subject matter though: kids & scripture memory. Ha!)
I appreciate the honesty and truth you bring here. It has encouraged me in my marriage to remember that God gave me this man; he is mine and I am his and we are welcome to enjoy each other and bring joy and pleasure to one another.
Excited to hear about your book! I look forward to reading it!
Your r AWESOME! I’m thankful for you & Sheila for stepping out & educating us!!! It is so needed!
I accidently found a women’s sex & marriage private fb group – where we can talk about God’s design for sex in our marriages- we ask for advice & prayer! I wish i had something like this when i was a newlywed!! I know through the group, i found you!
God has used you to help many & i pray your ministry continues to do so!
God got it….?
We once got an email that went on and on about how wonderful we were and we were saying what the writer had been saying for years.
It was signed “Satan”.
The funny part was he had a Hotmail account, and when I tried to reply the account was gone.
Hang in there, it’s all part of the fun! 😉
Oh my! Why am I not surprised?
You and I both know that it’s just a few people who act this way — a few people who really, really don’t like us. *shrug* Thank goodness we have a lot of encouragement as well!
Oh my. That would be absolutely histerical if it wasn’t so sad. I wonder if the irony of signing it Satan @hotmail.com was lost on that person. Cause it sure ain’t Jesus who inspired them to write nasty, vicious, cowardly emails intended to discourage a fellow brother in Christ.
I was PRE-ORDERING your book when I accidentally hit the one click purchase on the kindle edition. I thought I was going to be able to preview before I bought, but I purchased it instead. So, I have been reading your book, little over half way through. It is well written and very practical. Thanks for your insights and experience. My wife and I have renewed our marriage after so many sexless years, and are enjoying sex more than we ever have before. I read your blogs and read many of them to my wife. I can’t tell you how much they are helping us. Now I am going to have to buy a hard copy of your book so I can pass it on to others.
Wow, thank you so much! I truly appreciate that. Blessings to you and your wife!
When your dog seems out of sorts, and you take him to the veterinarian, the vet lays him on the examining table and begins gently probing the animal’s body. When he reaches a spot where the dog suddenly growls and snaps at him, then the vet knows he’s found the area where the trouble is! It’s the same with people: when they react in an irrational, hateful way, it’s because you’ve unwittingly triggered some deeply buried pain. Hard for you to deal with, but their becoming aware of the issue is the required first step on the road to healing.
Good analogy. Thanks!
Lord we ask that you protect J’s heart, as she struggles to bring about a change of attitude, regarding the gift of lovemaking.
We know that you have made lovemaking special and as she tries to break through the stereotypes that the church has imposed on lovemaking, in the past and still in some places- today, that Jesus your Holy Spirit would empower her, guide her and lead her down paths of truth.
Lord we ask that your covering would protect her heart from words of assault and that any discouraging words written would find no place to lodge in her mind or heart.
Bless her and her family, Jesus. Guard her and the family from the assaults of the evil one as she stands for truth.
Thank you so much. Please pray for other marriage authors and speakers too! I believe it’s a whole group of voices who need prayer. Thanks again!
J, I pray that you will continue doing just that–speaking the truth in love.
If you/we need any reminders of why speaking frankly about biblical sexuality is critical (especially to believers in the church), I just remember one Christian author’s quote from her book:
“In talking last year with the manager of one Cincinnati hotel, part of a chain that hosts some of the largest Christian conventions in our nation, I discovered that the hotel chain profits greatly from hosting these particular meetings. The conventions are attended each year by hordes of pastors, religious broadcasters, Christian writers, speakers, and musicians. Would you like to guess what is attributed to the hotel’s bottom-line increase during these conferences? According to the manager, purchases of pornographic movies are tremendous!”
Or Jessica Harris’s reminder of how rapidly depraved our society has become:
That’s heartbreaking about porn purchases — and absolutely disgusting at the same time. We are called to something higher and better, and I pray we pursue it as individual Christians and the Church as a whole! Thanks for your encouragement, Greg.
While it is heartbreaking and disgusting, I hate to say, it is also understandable (not excusable!). We Christians often define ourselves by what we *don’t* do. We don’t drink, we don’t smoke, we don’t chew, and in our marriages, despite your, and Julie’s and Sheila’s best efforts, we don’t engage in enthusiastic sex or talk about sex. I dare say that most Christian couples don’t read Christian sex blogs or books, and if they do, the books get set aside in a closet and are rarely, if ever, applied.
I’d be willing to bet that most Christian couples do not make love as often as one of the spouses wants to, and do not engage in such activities as oral sex or utilize more than one or two sex positions, all to the frustration of the higher drive spouse. I’m sure there are probably surveys on these things, but I wonder how accurate they might be since… let’s face it… good Christians don’t answer sex surveys.
Even outside the realm of sex, marriages often are defined by behavioral restraint. I’m married, so I drive a minivan instead of a sports car. I don’t golf as much as I’d like; my wife doesn’t buy as many shoes as she’d like.
Sometimes, after living a life of legalistic self-restraint, you just want to let loose and indulge yourself. It may be in making a totally frivolous purchase, or eating the forbidden dessert, or finding a lonely road and getting the car up over 90.
And, when you define yourself by what you don’t do, you only feed and strengthen the temptation to do that very thing. I think that was the essence of many of Paul’s warnings against living according to law.
If I tell myself that porn is bad (which it is) and against God’s law (which it is) then all I have is human will-power to try to avoid what my hormones are telling me is attractive. But, if I define myself by who I am and what I do, then I love my wife and, in loving my wife, I want to give her pleasure and watching porn doesn’t do that.
I think the Christian life is a balance of don’ts and dos. Yes, God names things we should not do, as well as consequences for not listening to His wise commands, but He also promises deeper joy and peace from making the right choices.
And in all the research I’ve seen, it’s really clear that committed, church-going, praying married couples are having the best sex out there. I know that’s not true in some individual cases — and my heart breaks for those situations — but the overall statistics bear that out. Plus, those in difficult situations have hope of improvement if they truly follow God’s design.
I’ve heard a similar report from another source. I also heard of one Christian leader who travels a lot. When he checks in to a hotel he requests that the TV in his room be removed BEFORE he enters the room.
My wife and I expect to be in Cincinnati in two weeks for the annual convention of the Christian Bookseller’s Association, the International Christian Retail Show. Your report makes my skin crawl! Cincinnati is better known for its churches and Christian heritage than for porn.
I’m joining the several commenters who’ve offered praise (and condolences!) to you for having the courage to blog and write books exploring married Christian sex. There are still well-meaning Christian leaders (female as well as male) who oppose your positions on several issues in their literature, on the radio and in speaking engagements. So I’m not surprised at some of the comments from your detractors. Take it to Jesus, J, and keep on with the fight.
I’m really grateful for your blog and ministry. There will always be naysayers towards others no matter what the topic is but as long as you continue to seek the Lord in all you do He will quiet those voices and greatly bless your ministry.
And I had to chuckle at someone saying your blog is equivalent to porn, really?? Crazy! I’ve unfortunately run across a couple newer so called Christian marriage blogs, one in particular, in which this would be a fairly accurate observation. But yours? No!
I’m grateful for your blog and a few other well written marriage blogs which speak the truth about healthy sexuality in marriage without needing to use language which borders on or crosses the line into being erotica. I don’t want to read something so explicit that I feel like I’ve been invited into another couples bedroom.
Keep up the good work.
This quote from Theodore Roosevelt might seem a strange choice, and was spoken at a time when it was almost exclusively men who were out before the public, so it might not seem all to fitting to you. Nevertheless, I think you’ll find the basic principle encouraging:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. “
Oh, I love this passage. Thank you!
Mrs. Parker, thank GOD for the good works you are doing. Of a truth, many Christian men and women are dying in silence because their sex life in their marriages is nothing to write home about. One of the major reasons is because sex matters are not thought openly in the church because as you said, those who manage to talk about it are branded filthy persons to talk about sex in public. So I commend you for your boldness to come out to teach publicly issues about sex in marriage. Please ride on and the grace of GOD be with you.
Comments are closed.