Author and Advocate for Healthy Sexuality and Spirituality


Gaining Our Sexual Bearings

Playful mature couple lying underneath their duvet laughing together

Trying to make perfect sense out of two such complex mysteries [as sexuality and spirituality] can feel as frustrating and fruitless as trying to brush our teeth while eating an Oreo. We all have to wonder at times:


* Where do our sexual thoughts come from?

* What do we do with them?

* Where are the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual boundary lines?

* Can we be holy and horny at the same time?

* How far can we go in satisfying these overwhelming longings we sometimes feel?


Or, perhaps a better question for some to ask is:

    * If I’m a sexual being, why do I no longer experience any sexual longings at all?


When we have questions about sexuality, we consult the Internet, our medical dictionary, or that friend we have so much dirt on that she wouldn’t possibly tell a soul we’d asked her that question!


Growing up, most of us never bothered consulting our parents, as they would have died of embarrassment and locked us in our rooms until we were forty. And we certainly didn’t ask our spiritual leaders, because we figured they probably didn’t even have sex. Besides, they likely would have banned us from the church building altogether if they had found out what kind of sexual thoughts actually go through our heads . . . even on Sundays!


If sexuality is God’s invention –and it is– then we should be able to consult the church for a road map as we search for answers to our questions about all things sexual. However, if we fear that our request will be met with shock, confusion, anxiety, horror, disgust, suspicion, or judgment, perhaps even with bulging eyes and popping neck veins, then how will we navigate our way through this foreign territory? Although I can’t say this of every spiritual leader or follower of Christ, I think it’s safe to say that a large segment of the church seems to have no clue as to where a road map can be found. And if you ask for one, well, you must really be lost! “You must not know Jeesuuuus!” said in my most sarcastic “Church Lady” voice.


Can we be real for a moment? I mean, really real?


Even those of us who know Jesus very personally and very intimately, those of us who read our Bibles, fast frequently, tithe regularly, and pray up a storm can still feel as if we need a road map to understand our physical, spiritual, and emotional cravings! But I’ve got really great news. We already have such a road map [– our sexual thoughts and fantasies –], if we’re brave enough to study them.


Excerpted from The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts  by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2012.  All Rights Reserved. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.