Sexuality and Spirituality | July 16-22, 2017

Series Big Idea

Conversations can help us understand the many facets of a tough topic, which can lead to us better understand the heart of God as we seek to help others find their way back to him.

Scripture

Matthew 19:13-15, John 4:5-27, and John 11:1-44

Ice Breaker

Share an awkward date experience.

Opening Thought

Remember that all difficult conversations require grace and compassion. When we start conversations around sexuality, there can be a lot of fear, shame, or guilt that’s stirred up. If so, what makes a conversation around sexuality and spirituality so hard and how could we make it constructive?

Bible Discussion

1. Read Matthew 19:13-15 and John 4:5-27. How do you see Jesus break down cultural stereotypes or barriers around men and women’s roles gracefully?
2. Read John 11:1-44. Look at how Jesus’ three different friendships are portrayed in this passage. How do Jesus’ friendships impact him?
3. Can you think of other examples of when Jesus acted counter-culturally in his relationships?

Life Application

Watch the video online of Deb Hirsch’s interview and then discuss together. This is a challenging conversation and we have intentionally included more questions. Please feel free to pick and choose the questions that’ll be of the most use to a discussion with your group.
4. How did Deb’s personal story impact you?
5. Consider the quote, “The young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God.” What do you think it means? In what ways is it true and in what ways false?
6. How does Deb’s comment that all humans experience simultaneously a God-longing and a people-longing connect the concepts of spirituality and sexuality? How does grace play a role in fulfilling both of these longings?
7. Our sexuality is more than the act of sex. Deb defines three divisions: gender-sexuality (male or female with their cultural roles and attributes), social-sexuality (relational needs for intimacy, friends, physical touch, and the hunger for community), and genital-sexuality (the intimacy of sex itself). How does this broaden your understanding of sexuality?
8. If we accept Deb’s notion that, “All of our orientations are broken or disoriented,” how does that impact our approach to this topic?
9. Have you been able to maintain friendships/relationships with people who think differently than you about human sexuality? What are some of the challenges? What are some of the rewards?
10. How do we lead with embrace before making a theological statement? What could that look like in our lives?

Challenge

Deb challenges the church to live a posture of embrace so as to bring grace back into our conversations around sexuality. How do you feel God moving you? Where do you need prayer to be open to God’s voice and action in your life and the lives of everyone you’ll encounter this week?

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