“Why won’t the Church talk about this?  It’s everywhere, all over social media….. it’s got such a strong pull; why can’t I even have a real conversation  with other Christians about it?”

These questions are a composite of several questions brought to me after workshops presented recently at a conference for young adults and their mentors.

The attendees were eager to hear more about God’s intent for sexuality, and “Why does God Care Who I Sleep With?[i]”  (Sam Allberry 2020)  They also wanted to know what Christians should do about the sexualized culture in which we live.

Their questions reminded me of my own urgency in 1972 at first discovering God’s standards, when I asked myself the question, “How did I (and we as a culture) get so messed up?  What can we do about it?”  At that time, Francis Shaeffer’s book, “How Should We Then Live?”[ii] had what I needed to get started living God’s way and being “in the world, but not of it.”[iii]  (John 17:16)

Shaeffer’s was a prophetic voice, still relevant, as the problem has only grown exponentially.  And, sadly, from my perspective, the Church is still largely ineffective in the battle for sexual sanity in our culture.

In one workshop, I presented my thoughts on “What Will It Take?” for Christians to be relevant in the conversation about sexuality.  This talk is also part of our Uphold video series for parents.[iv]

Responding to the question, “What Will It Take?” here are a few brief excerpts from that talk:

“We need to understand the context we are in, the real state of things.  Most people know that in social media, news and advertising, Sexuality and Gender is the constant focus.  No surprise there.

“The hard part is realizing… in the Body of Christ, among our own families, ..among our own leaders. . we are not exempt!  In the late 90s, I woke up to a radio broadcast from a Promise Keepers conference, I think it was in Kansas City – the men were cheering…., laughing raucously, as the speaker  starts with light-hearted banter.  This was a loud gathering, a typical noisy football stadium sound.

“Then the  speaker launches into his message, almost yelling:  “The greatest sin among Christian men is sexual sin.”  At this, there was sudden dead silence!  Then he added fuel to his point: “And the second greatest sin is lying about the first sin.”  I wasn’t there, but even listening on the radio, the old adage comes to mind: “You could hear a pin drop!”

We need to face hard facts about what the Bible calls the logs in our own eyes.

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.  (Matt 7:3-5 ESV)

As we pray, face facts, and turn to the Lord for direction as to what He would have us do, he will show us first the logs in our own eyes.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2Chron 7:14)

The world is watching us….

“Some of those watching, do so in order to mock and expose the Church as hypocritical, as does one activist, Kristin Browde, who keeps track of all the sexual crimes against children in the United States,  on a website called ‘Who’s Making News?’ [v](whoismakingnews.com).  She takes special note of those crimes that are committed by people who were “religious employed” (pastors, teachers, leaders, missionaries, church employees.  (The stats show that out of 6235 reported crimes in the US between 2/15/23 and 1/10/24, there were 528 crimes committed by the category of ‘religious employed’, and 4 by ‘transgenders’ and 0 by ‘drag queens.’)

“As the world watches us, they will see positive news about Christian or traditional values as well.  It is true that there is good news in research studies too.  Although the survey was done in 1994, psychologists will tell you from what they are hearing in their counseling rooms that the survey findings are still supported by what their clients are saying.  In a  Secular survey of 3400 face-to-face interviews with a random selection of people 18-59, the (University of Chicago) on sexual practices, Sex in America:  A Definitive Study[vi]  still holds true.

“A few of their findings:

  • “data presented seems to support an extraordinarily conventional view of love, sex, and marriage. . . . “
  • married people report that they are more physically pleased and emotionally satisfied
  • both emotional and physical satisfaction declined when people had more than one sexual partner.
  • affairs reduced overall satisfaction, most reported preference for primary partner rather than “affair.”


“Good news!  Isn’t it great that the researchers are finding that God’s “extraordinarily conventional” standards are also the most satisfying to His people?  Could it be that’s why he gave the guidelines, so that we could experience the pleasure in marital intimacy He intended?”

Other good news is evidenced every week in WGA support groups, and the prayer closets of many individuals as they take God seriously and bring their sexual struggles and conflicts to Him.  The people, which are called by [His] name, are humbling themselves, and praying, and seeking His face, and turning  from their sin.  Thank you for praying for WGA staff, leaders, and the people they serve in support groups, discipleship counseling, questions after workshops, etc.  We are so grateful for your support.   

As for the culture at large, let us pray together that there will be an awakening of God’s people to humble themselves, turn from hypocrisy to transparency and humility as they approach the sexual sin they see around them.  May the Lord help us all be people who speak the truth without compromising a radical love for people we are talking to and about.  And may we love well without compromising God’s truth.  We know, of course that this can’t be accomplished in our own strength, but we can do it with Him as promised in scripture, “not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord.” (Zechariah 4:6)

[i] Why does God care who I sleep with? (Oxford Apologetics): Sam Allberry: 9781784982775: Amazon.com: Books

[ii] How Should We Then Live?: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture (L’Abri 50th Anniversary Edition): Schaeffer, Francis A., Dennis, Lane T.: 9781581345360: Amazon.com: Books

[iii] Let’s Revise the Popular Phrase “In, But Not Of” | Desiring God

[iv] Uphold – My Child Came Out, What Do I Do? (upholdministry.org)

[v] Who’s Making News?’ [v](whoismakingnews.com)

[vi] Results of sex study by University researchers revealed in two books (uchicago.edu)

Mary Heathman

Mary Heathman

Founding Director

Mary is one of the founders of Where Grace Abounds and served as Executive Director from its inception on July, 1986 through March 31st, 2007.  She speaks and teaches at churches and conferences across the country. She has also served on several boards of non-profit organizations, is a conference speaker on a variety of topics that include: Intimacy with God, Healthy Sexuality, and leadership development.  Currently serving in leadership in her denomination, Mary’s favorite ministry roles are discipleship counseling, group facilitation, and leadership development.

Mary often characterizes herself as “a seeker of Truth” and has a long-standing fascination with human behavior and motivation.  Her education consists of lay and discipleship counseling, independent study about the integration of psychology and theology, counseling and human sexuality. She also holds a BS in Human Services and an MA in Psychology from Regis University.

Mary attends a Friends (Quaker) Church.

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