Pure Intimacy: God's Design for Sex

Encouragement for Ministry Leaders

The ministry leader usually wears a number of hats in the course of a day.

by Daniel L. Weiss

Pastors and other ministry leaders in the 21st century are faced with a daunting task. As Christian educator Christopher West said, “If the task of the twentieth century was to rid itself of the Christian sexual ethic, the task of the twenty-first century must be to reclaim it.”

Since its founding, the Christian Church has battled the secular culture over sexual mores. Moreover, the Church has frequently had to battle those within its own fellowship on these matters. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans…”

Despite the hyper-sexualization of our culture, few seminaries are providing pastors adequate training to counteract the sexual lies bombarding Christians every day. Many denominations do not have an adequate theology of sexuality—how it fits into God’s plan for humanity. Others have developed theology on the subject, but fail to deliver it to the average congregant or, worse, actively subvert it through personal teaching or behavior. Add this to real temptations toward pornography—with which many overworked pastors struggle—and the result can accurately be called a mess.

Pure Intimacy is not a ministry of condemnation, but of compassionate support. Our goal with this site—specifically with this section—is to begin to rebuild a culture of Christian life within the Church. Our God provided the Good News of Jesus Christ, through whom His entire creation is redeemed, renewed, and restored.

The resources offered here are designed to help the ministry leader struggling with sexual brokenness in his life or that of his parishioners. Assistance is also offered to congregations whose leader has suffered moral failure.

More than that, however, we hope to introduce Christian leaders to the inspiring, glorious vision for sexual wholeness that was designed by God “in the beginning” and restored by Christ through His death and resurrection. Our loving Father desires that no one should perish, but that all should be saved through His Son. This redemption includes every aspect of our lives, including our sexuality.

The ministry leader usually wears a number of hats in the course of a day: pastor, preacher, confessor, caregiver, teacher, counselor, administrator, father, mother, sister or brother. And those to whom he ministers are as diverse as any aspect of God’s creation. Considering the range of pastoral obligations, we invite leaders to avail themselves not only of the resources offered in this section, but of those in every section.

We believe the sections dealing with couples and parents will offer much practical knowledge, and those addressing homosexuality, intimacy disorders, and addiction will provide a solid framework for understanding difficult and often misunderstood issues. Our hope is that these articles will assist your own ministry efforts as you encounter these problems in your local community and congregation.

The area that might provide the greatest grist for your mind, however, is God's design for sex. The articles contained therein were chosen for their emphasis on God’s plan for sexuality and His relationship with His people. The boundaries established in Scripture were God’s way of protecting His people throughout time, but He never wanted our gaze to be focused on where our freedom ends and the fence begins. True freedom entails directing our gaze from our limits to our fulfillment in Jesus Christ. The relationship that God desires with us is far more ecstatic, joyous, and gratifying than many could ever imagine.

Please note that we did not intend to satisfy every theological position on these matters; our hope is to provide a greater exploration of God’s love and inspire a truer and deeper communion with Him.

May the Lord guide and bless you as you go about His will.

Copyright © 2004 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

About the author

Daniel L. Weiss is the Media and Sexuality Analyst for Focus on the Family. He also serves as project manager for Pure Intimacy.