Q&A on God and Sex, Part 1
About the Guest
After asking his congregation to send in their questions about sex and intimacy, pastor Matt Chandler’s internet mailbox was flooded. Today, Matt answers a wide range of questions related to marriage, intimacy and sexual temptation.
Matt ChandlerMatt Chandler is the lead pastor of The Village Church, a multi-campus church in the Dallas metroplex of over 10,000 people. His sermons are among the topselling (free) podcasts on itunes and he speaks at conferences worldwide. Prior to accepting the pastorate at The Village, Matt had a vibrant itinerant ministry for over ten years where he spoke to hundreds of thousands of people in America and abroad about the glory of God and beauty of Jesus. He lives in Texas with his wife, Lauren, and their...more
After asking his congregation to send in their questions about sex and intimacy, pastor Matt Chandler’s internet mailbox was flooded.
Q&A on God and Sex, Part 1
Matt: So, I’m one of the rare guys, I think men should be looking for – I mean I am not that weird Christian passive – okay Lord. I’m about hunting alright. I’m about some nice clothes, some Drakkar – alright - I’m kidding – I’m allergic to it! Some green polo – all right – I’m for hunting. I think men should be on the prowl. Listen to me – so you hear me – not to date around to find a wife. So, I’m far more a courtship guy than I am a dating guy. I think dating is practicing divorce!
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, February 12th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife Dennis Rainey and I’m Bob Lepine. Today we’ll hear Pastor Matt Chandler tackle some tough questions, and give some straight talk on the subject of relationships, romance, dating, and sex.
Welcome to FamilyLife Today thanks for joining us on the Friday edition. Things could get a little well
Bob: Folks might blush a bit listening to today’s program because there’s going to be some candid conversation about…
Dennis: Marital intimacy!
Bob: That was what I was going to say too because that’s the nice way of saying it – right?
Bob: That’s right!
Dennis: But it’s as God designed it, and where God designed it to occur. I think we’re in need in this culture especially of being refreshed around what’s a biblical perspective of sex look like? I think this is going to be good for our single listeners as well as our married couples.
Bob: Back a couple of months ago Matt Chandler who is the Pastor at The Village Church in Dallas, Texas had a Friday night session, and it was wise to do it on a Friday night I think rather than doing it in the church service on Sunday morning. But he invited folks out for a talk called God and Sex, and he spoke for about 45 minutes, and then he opened up the floor for questions and what folks are going to hear today, and again next week is some of the Q and A that took place after Matt’s message.
I would encourage our listeners - go to our website FamilyLifeToday.com – you can click a link there that will take you to where you can download the entire message. You can hear what Matt had to share, and then listen to the questions and answers that followed.
Dennis: I think our listeners ought to know Bob that Matt Chandler had a seizure before Thanksgiving. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor that did turn out to be malignant. He had surgery and is undergoing additional treatment now for that. I just encourage them to pray for him, and his wife, and his family, and their church in the midst of these times.
Bob: Yes, Matt is a great Pastor, and a great speaker, and as our listeners are going to hear today he understands the scripture as well. I think they’re going to benefit from his insights, and his Biblical answers to some challenging questions in the area of marital intimacy. Here’s Matt Chandler.
Matt: What can I do to stop being tempted sexually? Um – nothing – no that’s not true! Let me say this: The scriptures are clear in Hebrews chapter 4 that Jesus was tempted in everyway that we are tempted. So, at some level Jesus was tempted sexually. Hebrews is clear on this – He was tempted in everyway so that we would have an empathetic high priest. Now, what we’ve learned – what we know is that Jesus did that without sinning. So, you can be tempted without sinning. So, just simple things in regards to the transition between temptation and sin – okay we’ll be honest. You don’t have to admit this men if you’re with your girl but men recognize beautiful women. We think that woman is beautiful. You don’t have to say yes to her - we do right now. She’d be saying oh baby – no, no – mingle – all right?
But men can think that woman is beautiful – that is not sinful! That’s not sinful – in fact you know in the book of Genesis it says Abrams wife Sarah was beautiful – she’s a beautiful woman – this woman was beautiful. In the Rachel/Leah one was beautiful – one was earthy right? So, noticing a beautiful woman and then crossing the line into fantasy where you either undress them, or take from them what is not yours. That’s a different thing.
Okay, so I think you have to be careful what you’re putting in your mind. So, let’s be frank if you’re looking at pornographic images almost every woman becomes an object of lust to you. So, I think you have to watch what you feed, and then we clearly get Joseph doing what from Potiphar’s wife – run, run!
I’ve had two instances in the last couple of years where I thought I have to go – all right? One of them took place at a gym – you know I was teaching in Houston, just went to the gym, and worked out. This woman – she came up, and just started talking, and I’m talking to her – on the way out of the gym she gave me a piece of paper with her phone number on it, and I said, “Oh, I’m so sorry – I’m married”! She said, “Yes, I am too.” You know? All right, and called Bleecker on the phone, and said some oop is trying to seduce me – all right? You need to pray for me, and pray for her, and man call me later tonight. I wasn’t worried about touching. I was worried about where my mind would go later.
Then, yes Travis is here tonight - we were in Philadelphia, and literally in an elevator and the doors opened and a drunk blonde woman walked in and just put her hand on my chest and said, “Are you here for the shoot”? I said “What”? Yes, it’s done – but here was a great part – I don’t know who she was – I had no idea – she was very flirty, rubbing on me. She says so what are you doing in Philly, and I said, “My good friend Eric Mason who’s a Pastor here had me fly up – I’m preaching at his church tomorrow morning.
She like went white and said, “Are you blankin with me?”? I said, “I swear to you I’m a minister – I’m here to preach tomorrow morning.” She went ghost white, at the next stop got off the elevator, so, I thought that’s some church girl in rebellion and the Holy Spirit just blew her up.
So, you run – you flee it that’s how to answer that.
Let’s go three – What does intimacy look like without physical contact in dating? This is a great, great question. Listen to me it’s conversation! How many singles do we have here? Okay, what happens when it turns physical? I’m not even talking about sex – once you start mugging what happens? You don’t talk anymore do you? You rarely talk – it starts getting awkward at dinners – you don’t talk too much – you just mug! You just get together, and so what ends up happening is intimacy is laid on the wayside for cheap physicality and you don’t grow in your knowledge of one another so that when marriage comes there is that mingling of souls – alright?
The Righ Hava Dood idea where there is I like this person, to I like this person beyond their faults which means I am here no matter what into that mingling of souls. So, intimacy without physical touch looks like a great deal of conversation, a great deal of care, a great deal of encouragement, self control, all those things – all right? All those things build into intimacy – what she likes, what he likes, what they don’t like – all of that comes out. You learn to talk. You learn to communicate. You learn what’s going on in them, you learn where they’re weak, and you learn their shortcomings.
People who say that first year was hell when they talk about their marriage I immediately wonder how much they were making out when they were dating. All right – because you should have been able to spot this person’s kind of selfish when you were dating – you should’ve! If you didn’t I have to wonder if it wasn’t because you were making out? It’s true!
So, intimacy is conversation, it’s getting to know one another. Intimacy occurs when you’re no longer afraid to be you in front of somebody, and it should never go physical until that point has led you into marriage.
Next Question: How does a man or woman know or decide that they’re ready to marry? So this is where I guess it gets a little tricky. I think – so I’m one of the rare guys – I think men should be looking for it. I mean I am not that weird Christian passive – okay Lord bring. I’m about hunting - all right? I’m about some nice clothes, some Drakkar – all right? I’m kidding- I’m allergic to it. Some green polo – all right – I’m for hunting. I think men should be on the prowl. Not, listen to me so you hear me, not to date around to find a wife. So I’m far more a courtship guy than I am a dating guy. I think dating is practicing divorce – okay?
So, I think a man should be – I need to grow in maturity, I need to grow in responsibility, I need to get off my Mom and Dad’s payroll. I need to find a job. I need to buy a house. I need to find a wife, and he’s working towards it. Okay – he’s working towards it so that when he identifies this woman will make a great partner in the Gospel he moves on it.
So, I’m always so confused by the we have been dating for five years. Five years! Like what are you waiting – well, I’m waiting until we can afford – afford what? What are you wanting to buy a yacht? Do you have a place to live that’s not one of your parents’ house? Can you buy food? What else do you need?
So, I think the woman should be looking for it, and here’s what I’ll tell you a lot of the problems with dating in Evangelical circles are the girls. Here’s what I mean by that. You guys will tolerate some flirty idiot – flirty and romancing you without seriously pursuing you.
I promise you where you would go quit flirting with me and grow up. I promise you they will lay in bed that night and think oh, I need to grow up. But see because you put up with it, because you let it feed your insecurities well, it just perpetuates it. So, you keep getting your heart broke, you keep getting your heart broke. You keep getting your heart broke. You keep getting your heart broke because you’re not willing to tell a little boy really. I tell you what I think you’re cute, you make me laugh, if you would act your age, and grow up we might be able to talk. But, as for now you need to get out of my face – don’t call me, text me, Face book me, direct message me on twitter. You grow up, and we can have this.
So, I think if Christian women would say I’m looking for a godly man, this guys not even trying towards that direction so he can’t flirt with me, I think you’d force guys into being serious, and about pursuing maturity. But, until then when they can get away with making out with you in your car out front of your apartment there’s no one pressing on them that they have to grow up except me. So, you’ll need to help yourself in this area.
I don’t think you have to have a lot of money to get married. I was making $12,000 a year when Lauren and I got married. I don’t think you both have to have cars that run – I was driving a 1989 Chevy Corsicana with 200,000 miles on it – I swear- okay? Our rent – we lived in a ghetto little dump house where rent was 350 dollars a month. The sewage would back up into the bathtub – I’m not kidding! Every year the heater would break – we had a space heater in a closet we’d pull out in the bedroom, shut all the doors, turn on that thing – we loved those early days – we loved those days!
If the church wouldn’t have given us a pounding – you know what that is where people bring you like beets, and all sorts of other crud that you would never eat. Get them out of their thing, give them to you – if we didn’t have that I don’t know that we would have survived.
Next Question: What do I do if I feel I’ve met my future husband but he is currently an immature Christian boy? To me it’s all about trajectory –okay? Are you tracking with what I mean by trajectory? If he’s serious about his faith, and he’s seeking to grow in his faith – he’s actively growing in his faith, and he’s throwing the game on you – sure okay.
So, it’s all about trajectory – if they’re saying, “I love the Lord, I want to grow in the Lord. They’ve sought out mentors, they’re in the word, they’re in Bible studies, they’re trying to see their flesh beat down – if this is who we’re talking about and yet he’s still just a little immature, still a little then I don’t have any problem in you dating that. There are a lot of guys that I even I’ve walked with for seasons that are extremely immature in their faith but their trajectory was unreal.
So, for me it’s all about what are they doing, where they’re headed because let me be honest with you what I wanted in a woman doesn’t exist at 19. What I was looking for was trajectory – all right? What you as young women are looking for like if you listen to me tonight I’m thinking godly ferocious man, but if you’re thinking oh, look at how Bleecker loves his wife that’s what I want – oh look at how Chandler talks about his wife – that’s what I want – look at that!
We’re in our 30’s – Matt Chandler 21, 22 - it’s not what you’re seeing now. So, I think what you have to look for is that trajectory: Is this a man who is serious about his faith? I did not say, “Is this a man who goes to church.” Is this a man that’s serious about his faith? If the answer is yes I think you have a great trajectory. I think it’s okay to enter into that relationship. If some of that immaturity is harmful to the relationship then I think it’s okay for you as the woman who’s a little bit more mature at this moment to point out that immaturity, and say, “I can’t do this until you grow in that.”
So, I had a dear friend in college – Mike Hale who the girl he’s married to now – he asked her out, and she said, “No way.” He said, “Why not baby?” She said, “Well, first of all because you called me baby.” She just really listed out in this area of your life you’re a dishelved fool, and I can’t – I might enter in and really fall in love with you and have my heart broken because of this area of your life. Hale will to this day talk about how that drove him to get help, to look at that area of his life, start organizing that area of his life. Then he you know I think like six, seven months later he’s like huh, a huh huh?
Next Question: I messed up, and I am no longer a virgin – am I wrong for thinking I don’t deserve a virgin to marry? Yes, you are wrong. Deserve is a stupid word. Let’s say it like that – deserve is a stupid word. You don’t deserve anything! God is so infinitely gracious and beautiful. He gives to all freely. You’re assuming that a virgin deserves a virgin. Sure, yes please don’t punish yourself where Christ has not punished you. Why would you do that? Why would you think oh she’s a virgin I can’t – no- no! All things new – that guy is dead, he was nailed to the cross of Jesus Christ. All things are new- all things are new! Yes you’re wrong – you’re wrong – there’s grace for you.
Next Question: Why is living with someone before marriage wrong? Okay – I mean this is a wisdom issue. It’s not wrong as much as it’s dumb. So, here’s what I mean by that – you’re talking about cohabitation – okay? When you’re in the stage of moving towards getting married the physical becomes more and more difficult does it not? Because you’re growing like this – you started out here, and you’re growing, and you’re growing, and you’re growing, and you’re growing - you’re growing closer and closer together so those urges that God gave us – where the fire might have been on one now it’s on ten right? You have like three months left, or whatever. So most people you have to say, “Okay, hey it’s probably not a good idea for you not to be alone.”
There’s a guy on our staff that’s so great – he was living in a different city at the time they were engaged. He literally called, and said, “I’ll see you at the Wedding.” That’s two months away, and I’ll see you in two months.
That’s when we will see each other - that’s when that’s happening – all right? So, if you’re both in the same apartment what you’re doing is you’re faking marriage – but like you’re faking it. Then maybe you can come up and talk to me afterwards – you would not be able to convince me that you’re not having sex. So, how It’ll work is oh let’s just fall asleep on the couch together, right? I mean oh let’s just watch a movie - oh okay. Then it just progresses. The physical progresses it’s how it was designed to work.
So, kissing, pecking leads to kissing, lingering leads to full on kissing which leads to pulling people entire which leads to and I’m not going to do the whole thing for you but this leads to this, leads to this, leads to this, leads to this. When you’re cohabitating this is a wisdom issue. No one would be able to say this is wrong – we’re saying it’s unwise and foolish for how God designed the thing to work – okay?
So, I can’t take you in the Bible right now and show you here’s where it says, “Do not cohabitate.” I would say that your setting yourself up to fail – to fail – to fall – okay?
Next question: If I am dating the woman I am going to marry then can we have sex? Are we not one flesh in God’s eyes already? When do we become one flesh? You become one flesh when you enter into the covenant of marriage that is sealed by under our laws the state and an ordained minister – okay?
Just because you bought a ring, just because you put it on her finger, and just because the wedding date is set does not make you married. If you would like I can give you an unbelievably long list of men and women who have been engaged and are not married. Which means before the wedding came it disintegrated! You’re married when you’re married! This is a game. It’s a game, it’s opening your presents – your Christmas presents at Thanksgiving – that’s what this is – it’s a game. You wait, you get married, and then you celebrate – and then you celebrate.
May we every one of us walk in the rhythm God designed for this. Not just in His structure, but in His direction. May we enjoy and walk in the creative gift of sex that God has given us.
Bob: Well, we’ve been listening today to questions and answers with Pastor Matt Chandler from a message he gave not long ago at his church: The Village Church in suburban Dallas, Texas. This was a Friday night session entitled: God and Sex. The questions as you heard there were some challenging questions but they do reflect a lot of the muddy thinking in our culture today.
Dennis: And in church Bob!
Bob: Yes, that’s right!
Dennis: He wasn’t fielding the questions at a bar – he was in church with people who go to church and I think we have to realize that our churches are filled with people who are redeemed but they’re coming out of as you said a culture that really is muddying our thinking and we really need to be sharper in terms of understanding what the Bible does teach especially that last question we heard him answer around premarital sex.
There are a lot of guys who will play a game with a young lady, and try to convince her to go ahead and have sex prior to marriage. But, you just need to know it’s not good thinking – it’s not biblical thinking. You need to wait until you’re married when you can enjoy the privilege and the pleasure of two people becoming one with no shame and no guilt.
Bob: I want to remind folks that we’ve just heard a portion today of the message that Matt originally presented at The Village Church and you can go to our website FamilyLifeToday.com there’s a link there that will take you to The Village Church website – the message can be downloaded at no cost. If you’d like to get a copy and listen to it we would encourage you to do it. Matt’s presentation is outstanding.
If you want to think more biblically in this area, and I think all of us should want that we have resources in our FamilyLife TodayResource Center that can help you do that. Go to FamilyLifeToday.com – you’ll find more information available there and please remember to keep Matt and his wife Lauren and their whole family in your prayers as Matt undergoes treatment for this brain tumor that he’s recently been diagnosed with. We hope you’ll join us in praying for them.
Finally this week I want to say thanks to those of you who help support the ministry of FamilyLife Today. We are listener supported – without your financial help we could not continue this ministry each day on this local radio station, and on our network of stations all across the country. So, thanks to those of you who do from time to time make a donation to help support us.
This month if you can make a donation to support the ministry of FamilyLife Today we’d love to send you a copy of an audio CD that features Jody and Linda Dillow giving a presentation on what they call The Four Flames of Marital Intimacy: Looking at Themes that come from The Song of Songs – The Song of Solomon, and looking at what it teaches us about marital love.
We’d love to send you a copy of that CD – again it’s our way of saying thank you for your financial support of the ministry of FamilyLife Today. If you make a donation of any amount on-line at FamilyLifeToday.com and you’d like to get a copy of the CD type the word “FOUR” into the key code box on the on-line donation form.
Or when you call 1-800-FLTODAY and make your donation over the phone just ask for the CD on intimacy or the CD on The Four Flames, and we’ll know to send it out to you. Again we appreciate your partnership with us, and glad to have you listening to FamilyLife Today.
We hope you have a great weekend. Hope you and your family are able to be back with us on Monday when Francis Chan is going to join us. We’re going to talk about what he calls The Forgotten God – The Ministry of the Holy Spirit and how that relates to our families. I hope you can join us for that.
I want to thank our engineer today Keith Lynch and our entire broadcast production team. Thanks to Phil Krause for his special help as well on behalf of our host Dennis Rainey I’m Bob Lepine. See you back Monday for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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