By Brennen Finchum
It’s not enough for young Christians to be just told “don’t” about sex. They must also learn the “how” and “why,” according to a sex therapist who visited campus last week.
“God cares about how we conduct ourselves as sexual beings, even as single adults,” Michael Todd Wilson told Trevecca students.
Wilson, a Christian counselor and sex therapist from Atlanta and co-author of the book Soul Virgins: Redefining Single Sexuality, spent a day on campus last week discussing issues such as sexuality, masturbation and same-sex attraction with Trevecca students.
In addition to speaking in chapel, about 140 students went to sessions designed for men and women to have a chance to discuss sex with Wilson.
About 100 girls participated in a Fireside Chat and about 40 guys went to the Men’s Confessions. These sessions and chapel were co-sponsored by the counseling center and the Chaplain’s Office.
Although the idea to have Wilson speak at Trevecca was initiated by the counseling center in the Center for Leadership Calling & Service, the topic of sexuality and relationships has always been recognized as important by the Chaplain’s Office, Tim Green, university chaplain, said.
Relationships, dating relationships and sexuality are so “intertwined” with spirituality, Green said. There is no separation between them.
This means that these sort of touchy topics must be addressed “so that our life is really holistically presented,” Green said.
The Chaplain’s Office encourages the sort of dialogue that is present in smaller settings, such as the Fireside Chats or Confessions, Green said. The topic of sexuality fits well into this setting.
“It really is this kind of ongoing dialogue, and certain topics lend themselves to be in that kind of dialogue,” Green said.
The Chaplian’s Office has heard great feedback from students about the even sessions, Green said.
“It was purely informational, not only was he able to answer questions people had but he gave us explanation,” said Averi Pennington, a sophomore.
All questions were answered with an emphasis that sex is for intimacy in marriage.
“Sex was never intended to be experienced outside of a real relationship,” said Wilson.
But for sexual beings not yet in a marriage relationship, waiting can be difficult, he said.
“I think we as the Christian church have done a terrible job with regard to explaining waiting for sex until marriage,” said Wilson.
According to xxx.church.com, an anti-pornography ministry, 43 percent of all internet users watch porn. One out of every three of those users are women. “Sex” and “porn” are among the top 5 search terms for kids under 18. The average age at which a child sees porn is 11-years-old.
When asked what sexual issues Trevecca students struggle with the most, Daniel Smith, former student body chaplain, said pornography and masturbation.
“Ultimately sexuality is about relationship,” said Wilson.
Many times, men and women use sexuality to deal with non-sexual issues. Some of these are loneliness, stress, anger, and sleepiness. These are relational problems rather than sexual, he said.
“If you’re doing sexual things to deal with non-sexual problems, then find non-erotic solutions,” said Wilson.