I recently went to a lovely bridal shower where several older, married women shared advice with the bride-to-be. The advice was great. This post is definitely not to criticize anything that was said. The purpose of this post is to raise a question about something that wasn’t said.
During the “give-advice-to-the-bride time,” with only Christian women in the room, nothing was said about sex. Come to think about it, I’ve been to many Christian bridal showers where advice was given but never, in my experience, has this topic been raised.
Am I the only one who, during this advice time, is thinking about the unmentioned “elephant in the room”? We all know what brides and grooms do. We also know that sex is a source of conflict for many couples, especially during their first year of marriage. Isn’t it relevant, after all?
Young women are already getting sexual messages from the world—when they turn on the television, drive on the road, stand in line at the grocery store, and also from their friends. Why is it that the Christian community is so averse to talking about it publicly when it’s already a part of everyone’s public lives?
It often seems that because the world inundates us with sexual messages, Christians strive to be even more sheltering and quiet about the subject. We clam up and let the world dominate, which is a very unfortunate lost opportunity.
Whom should we best hear about sex from—older, godly women who can give us truthful messages about the subject or worldly influences and misinformed peers?
Why is it so hard during these “advice times,” when talking about how money can be a problem your first year of marriage, to say that sex can be a problem too and you need to communicate about this area and be patient and persistent in working it out.
Why is it so hard, when telling a bride-to-be that she needs to respect her husband, to say that sex (like respect) is a need—both a physical and emotional one—that men have.
After commenting on the failure of Christian women to speak openly about sex to other women, my husband asked me if, given the chance, I would broach the subject at a shower. I told him that I likely would but, honestly (and unfortunately), it would have required some gut.
How do a lot of Christian young women learn about sex? The overwhelming majority of my friends learned about the “facts of life” in only ONE conversation with their mothers (a few friends told me their mothers didn’t even do this), and then learned everything else they know about sex from worldly sources.
My mom told me and my sister about sex after we heard the word “rape” on television and asked her what it was. I was about seven at the time. We didn’t talk about sex again until shortly before I got married and basically it was only a passing sentence so my mom could give me a book to read. I’m really grateful she did this but I do think that there definitely should have been a better history of conversations.
I think it’s imperative for Christian women to get past their discomfort and take initiative in talking about this important subject. They need to provide information, accountability, and encouragement to both married and single young women, who each have their own respective needs for advice in this area.
I hope that I can have conversations about sex with my daughters early and often, even if it means I have to dig through Teen Magazine and ask them what they think, is that biblical, etc., in order to initiate conversation. But, because sex is so center-stage in our world, I don’t think it will even be that hard to initiate conversation, if I look for opportunities and am unafraid.
I also hope that other godly women in my daughters’ lives will have the courage and grace to have biblically-based conversations with them on this topic too, especially when they are young adults and need truthful messages and accountability.
Some people might say that all sex conversations should be in private. I disagree. Obviously you need to be tactful—and I don’t think it’s appropriate to divulge certain specifics and things your spouse would likely be uncomfortable with. But having said that, especially since we live in a sexualized world, we Christian women need to stop treating openly-sexual conversations as taboo.
The more we talk openly about sex in its biblical context, and in a discreet manner, the more comfortable it will become and the more young women will think of it in a proper light.
Some people might also object to single, unengaged women being present during sex talks. But at an all-female bridal shower, with Christian women present, I submit that this is an excellent forum for young girls to develop a healthy and correct attitude towards human sexuality as God intended it. If girls are old enough to go to a shower, they are old enough to hear about sex. As one friend put it, we live in an age where 11-year-old girls get pregnant.
The bottom line is this: If older, wiser Christian women don’t inform a young woman’s views on sexuality, the world is ready and anxious to do it for them.