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Dane Skelton is the Pastor of Faith Community Church and the author of Jungle Flight: Spiritual Adventures at the Ends of the Earth, a book of true stories from the ministry of JAARS (formerly Jungle Aviation and Radio Service). His second book, Papua Pilot: Flying the Bible to the Last Lost Peoples, co-authored with the late Paul Westlund, is now available on Amazon.com and Christianbook.com.
It’s February 5th and romance is in the air, or at least around the corner, as Valentine’s Day is less than ten days away. Which leads me to ask this pertinent question: Moms & Dads, what are you teaching your kids about the Bible, romance, and sex?
The question is more relevant than you might think. My wife and I found out the hard way not long ago when our grown children, all three of them godly, intelligent young women in their 20’s, informed us of what a lousy job we did in preparing them regarding something so central to their experience as human beings. I’m not quoting any of them directly but the bottom line went something like this: “You did exactly what most Evangelical parents do with their children on this issue: freaked us out, scared us to death, and generally made us feel like sex is the last thing on earth we would ever want to have anything to do with, even in marriage. Other than that, you are great parents!” Their female college friends who were raised in conservative Christian homes concur.
You could have knocked me over with a feather. I thought we’d done a pretty good job of keeping things in balance. Sex is, as I’ve said from the pulpit many times, one of God’s great gifts to men and women. We thought we had conveyed that to our girls. My wife and I certainly didn’t hide our affection for each other from them, often smooching right there in the kitchen just to gross them out. (You wouldn’t believe the howling. “Bleh! How embarrassing!” It was great). As they came of age we gave them what we thought was the best instruction available, making liberal use of Christian tapes and books of the era.
Boy, were we wrong. When it came to sex, romance, and the Bible, we thought our daughters were fine. But, their comments reminded me of a line from a favorite movie: “You know what fine means? Freaked out, insecure, neurotic, and emotional.” OK, they weren’t that bad, but it wasn’t acceptable either.
That drove me to begin a Bible study on The Song of Solomon, a book I have long ignored because I found it difficult to interpret. I hope to share my findings with you soon, in our Sunday morning adult Bible class. The study will be based on a book by Douglas Sean O’Donnell titled: THE SONG OF SOLOMON: An Invitation to Intimacy. O’Donnell is senior pastor of New Covenant Church in Naperville, Illinois and serves as an instructor for the Charles Simeon Trust (see simeontrust.org). His book is part of a series published by the trust titled PREACHING the WORD. I chose O’Donnell’s book because of his interpretive approach, which is aptly described by Iain Duguid, Professor of Old Testament, Grove City College.
“These days the Song of Solomon is often treated on the one hand as merely a manual of practical teaching about sex and relationships that says nothing about Christ or, on the other hand, as a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church that says nothing to the marriages of ordinary men and women. Doug O’Donnnell has given us a masterful exposition that unfolds the book’s very real wisdom for human relationships in a way that constantly and without allegory points us to the gospel.”
The purpose for the study will be to equip parents of younger children with Biblical wisdom on this most delicate yet essential topic so that when their kids reach adulthood they will be much, much more than fine. I’ll keep you posted on the dates. Until then, enjoy Valentines Day!