Overall, I found the course to be freeing, liberating and challenging. I have what many think to be an unorthodox view regarding sexuality and the way that the physical union between husband and wife reflects our relationship with God. It was freeing to be confirmed in my open exploration and beliefs. It was liberating to apply areas of Penner’s readings to my marriage. It is good to introduce freshness to a marriage along the way and even more so as the years go by. I am challenged to new levels and depths of biblical thinking regarding sex and sexuality. The Crooks and Baur text was a good contrast to Penner’s text. The two text books coupled with the Bible made for interesting discoveries and confirmations.
Writing out my story of sexual abuse helped me to move beyond healing and into a newfound freedom to share. “Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4). I am now more prepared to share my story with others. Sharing the story is not a new thing. However, I feel more emboldened to share. If God can heal me, He can heal others through me.
I so agreed with what Penner said regarding sexuality being a part of one’s created being and not a result of the fall from grace (page 25). The idea that God also instilled the desire for sex within His creation is a solid biblical thought. In my opinion, the inability of Christians and the church at large to embrace this truth is the greatest obstacle to the freedom to enjoy God’s good gift and the inability to protect the same good gift from perversion. I believe this truth makes a profound difference in how the creation can receive the gift of sex from the creator. This concept is one I will utilize in teaching others sound biblical beliefs in regards to sexuality.
I was challenged personally in the area of self-awareness. Knowing one’s self is essential to bringing wholeness and health to the union. “Physical and emotional self-awareness are crucial elements in satisfying sexual experiences” (Morehouse, 2001; Schwartz, 2003). After one has embraced the gift of sex, one still must be whole, healthy and know one’s self well. The individual who is confident and comfortable with self is ready to be united in marriage and experience the enjoyment of all aspects of the gift of marriage with another. Any attempt to become one with another apart from wholeness will most likely result in the unrealistic expectation of completeness coming from one’s spouse. This is idolatry, because it is Christ who completes us and giving that responsibility to someone else is wrong. “And you are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:10). Self-awareness is a personal responsibility to God, self, and one’s mate. While I know myself well, I still discovered that I can know myself better as self evolves as one experiences seasons of life.
Another concept that was thought...