Chapter two of Lisa McMinn’s book, Sexuality and Holy Longing, is titled “Adolescence: Awakening and Choices.” In it she discusses our cultural understanding of sex before the 1960s and after the sexual revolution of the 1970s. She discusses “postrevolution morals” in which sex “as biology” and sex “as personal choice” are the primary emphases. McMinn then turns to a Christian perspective and unpacks the consequences of sex and focuses on the tendency today to confuse love and sex and to focus narrowly on the pleasure of sex.
After a discussion of pregnancy, STIs and abstinence, McMinn considers what it means to aspire to more. In the section on abstinence, she shares the following:
We can tell our adolescents that sex outside of marriage is a sin and inside of marriage a gift. We can show them pictures of lesions, boils, and warts. We can give them numbers about infertility and cervical cancer. But unless we help them embrace the beauty and sacredness of the image of God within them, encouraging meaningful engagement with others through bodies that are sensual and sexually alive and awake, we stop short. [pp. 52-53]
For reflection: What are some ways in which the church might help in the area of education and prevention? What challenges exist in implementing the vision McMinn’s articulates?