Asking awkward questions

Years ago, early in my faith and my marriage I was in the music team, mainly because I did their admin and not for any musical qualities I possessed.

It was around this time I had a group of single friends who, in private and quiet times asked me a lot of questions about dating, sex, marriage and relationships. Why did they ask me? I was a rare breed in Church circles, I was a Christian who would happily talk openly and honestly about anything.

What I hadn't quite grasped was that these subjects were still taboo in much of the church. In the secular world, the one I'd come from people talk about sex and relationships all the time! When I came to faith I asked a lot of questions.

"I needed to know how to live differently and so I asked." <<<~ Tweet This

There were two incidents where I realised that this was not necessarily the done thing in Church. During a music ministry meal a young single woman was asking me if it'd been difficult to abstain from sex before marriage, especially given my previously active background. She came from a similar life and knew she'd likely face similar challenges.

I knew another young married woman quite well and thought she'd be a great help in this conversation, so across the table I asked her (not too loudly) if she'd abstained from sex before she married. My single friend was shocked into silence and disbelief that I would ask such an outright question. Now I admit, as I look at it in black and white it does look like a very blunt question and perhaps wasn't the most appropriate time to ask.
My married friend however just scooted round the table and got in on our conversation, which by now had gained a couple of new members.

The shock experienced by a young single woman who was desperate for answers is so familiar. She, like many had been brought up to believe the taboos and would never have dared ask an outright question. Yet, as married women, we were more than happy to talk. We wanted help and encourage in any way we could because we'd been there and we knew the struggle.

The second incident did happen in private but if anything the shock from the young single women was worse. I was talking about marriage to an elder in the church who was 30 years my senior. She mentioned that she'd dated her husband for four years before they married, without even hesitating I blurted out "How did you manage to abstain from sex for four years!"
We sat for nearly an hour talking about the difficulties, the temptations, the way to live sensibly, how to avoid temptation and about how much it was worth it. She was not shocked or reluctant to talk.

The shock came as I relayed this story back to the singles group I was leading on a Let's Talk About Sex and Relationships course. As members of my church they knew this elder and could not believe that I would talk to such a respected member of church about such things. She was happy to talk and for me to share her story, because she understood the struggles and wanted to help others.

As a mother of a teen I know that the young think the older know nothing or that they wouldn't want to talk. This just isn't true or biblical, young women need to start asking awkward questions. "You do not get because you do not ask", James 4:2 is talking about worldliness but in the same way you will never get answers to the difficult questions in life if you don't ask them. Everything is in the Bible, Jesus talked about sex and so should we. As long as it is done in the context of sharing God's plan for relationships and to encourage and help others.

Let's Talk About Ministries exists so that the questions that need to be answered can be asked. How can we live a different life if we never ask what it looks like?

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