Friday, April 13, 2007

02 sexual identity

here is the second article on the subject of God and sexuality from the sunday evening class i am teaching to the teens here at the church of Christ in falls church.

02 sexual identity

Who we are as sexual beings is not an accident but our sexual
identity is formed over years. Sexual identity is more than just if we are
just gay or straight but it is who we are as sexual beings. How we behave
as men, women, boys and girls. What forms our sexual identity?

One factor that forms our sexual identity is our physical
form. This is the body we have. Our hair color, our eye color, our
height, our weight these are factors we can not control but that we are born
with. If one is blind or has a physical handicap either from birth or
later in life due to an accident or illness. We inherit some of these from
our parents and some of them are changes that take place later in life.
Depending on your physical form will help shape how you see yourself as a sexual
being.

Next there are our experiences, things that have happened to
us or that we have done in our past or present. Rape or sexual molestation
have a big impact on people sexuality. A prolonged illness. A teen
or young adult who has had a bad break up or was in an abusive
relationship. Consentual sexual activity in the past or that is on
going. This experience factor is one which we have a little more control
over.

Then there is our families. Boys look to their father
as models of what it means to be a man. Boys look to their mothers to see
what to expect a woman or girl to be like. Girls look to their mothers as
models too. They also look to their fathers to discover what to expect
from men or boys. An absent parent either physically or emotionally absent
can be damaging. Unfortunately many time people have to unlearn what they
learned about sexuality from their families.

Our culture is another influence. We live in a culture
with a broken idea of sexual identity. Our culture is saturated with
sexual messages. Girls are seen as sex objects more and more in-spite of
the feminist movement. Our culture labels sensitive and caring boy as gay
or not manly. Boy grow up with an image of a man as someone who is tuff,
chiseled, gets the girls and is self reliant. Girls and boys are faced
with “perfect” men and women on billboards, movies, tv and the internet.
These “perfect” people are all illusions. There is no way we or our young
people can live up the illusions our culture presents.

The final and most important factor in forming our sexual
identity is the LORD! HE is the creator of men and women. He created
sex. He created sexuality and our sexuality is a gift from Him. He
also gives us the power to over come the brokenness of the other factors that
form our sexuality! He redeems us from our sinful nature that pulls us
away from the beautiful sexual identity the LORD has for us!

The teens and students in the Upper Room are at a stage where
their sexual identity is still forming they are in the process of becoming what
they will be! The choices they make now may not affect them right away but
will down the road! That is why this class is so important. This is
why parents talking to their teens about sex and modeling a healthy sexual
identity is so very important. They need to know they can make good
choices now that will help them form a healthy sexual identity in the future.
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