Fear. Glad. Angry. Hurt. Shame.
I’m working on a message (so far it’s just in my head) for a men’s conference in February. I’ve been asked to speak about “Men and Sex.” Here is the session description:
Men and Sex
Passion. Lust. Desire. Guilt. Powerful. Integrity. Pornography. Purity. Addiction. Discouragement. Shame. Raging. Longing. Helpless. Hopeless. Pressure. Secrecy. Dangerous. Scared. Lonely. Hopeful. This session is for every man who wants to be the same person in private as he is in public . . . who wants to be the same on Friday and Saturday as he is on Sunday.
Wrestling in my heart and mind about this enormous issue. Feeling fear as I imagine myself standing in front of a room full guys and opening my mouth on the subject. My strength will be my willingness to talk about my own life and to identify the elephants in the room. My weakness will be . . . well, the likelihood that much of what is in my heart and mind won’t make it into coherent words that come out of my mouth.
I don’t want to talk about this the tired way I’ve always heard it discussed. I feel anger when I read most of what is written about this subject and more anger when I hear people speak about it. The approaches are mostly external and shaming. Threatening and defeating. Full of self-will and light on surrender. Full of religious jargon and light on the admission of just how tangled up we all are when it comes to our sexuality. Whereas I believe the journey out of shackles of any sexual struggle and/or an ongoing healthy sexuality begins with honesty (me with me, me with you, me with God), I have seen few Christian settings (only two in my lifetime – neither of which was in a church) where honesty and vulnerability were met with the empathy, grace, and hope that would invite that kind of honesty and self-disclosure.
Where am I? Glad I said yes to addressing this topic because I’m "wanting" for the men who will be there . . . as "wanting" as I am for me because I’ll be there too and I believe God has something He wants for me in this. But I’m also wondering why I didn’t choose a home run topic I could deliver in my sleep and not need to feel fear (and trust God for) these next several weeks. I’ve already told them they cannot record the message.