When I tell people about what field I want to get into I get quite a few different reactions. Most of them are ones of surprise, shock, and confusion...masked in politeness that sounds like "oh... yeah... that's a really needed thing these days".
I am studying to be a marriage and family therapist. Here's the unique part about it: I'm Christian and I want the focus of my work to be with sexual issues. When I tell some of my friends about wanting to be a sex therapist (or something along those lines), I get confused reactions. One friend recently said to me "...but...sex...isn't it against God?" I responded with "He invented it!".
Whether it's Christians or non-Christians, many would probably not put God and sex in the same sentence. Sex is not bad; it's good. God created sex for a specific context though; marriage. Wait- before you blow me off and not read the rest of this because I mentioned celibacy...just give it a chance. By understanding God's purpose for sex and the context it is to be practiced in, we can understand so much about family, gender, sexual orientation and more. I want to be able to learn about, teach and defend God's view of a healthy sexuality in a theologically rich manner.
How can we as Christian not want to get into this realm? There are some things that may be disturbing to listen to, like sexual offenses, bestiality and getting sexually turned on by poop (this is actually happens!). Sorry, just grossed some of you guys out. Anyway, this stuff happens and as a Christian, I'd like to delve into this area because God is not as distant from it as the world thinks He is.
Upon my research for an essay about intersex (formerly known as hermaphrodites), I came across the book Controversies in body theology. I only read the chapter that pertained to my research, titled "This body trans/forming me: Indecencies in transgender/intersex bodies, body facism and the doctrine of the incarnation". It enraged me because it twists the teachings of the Bible in the attempt to show how the doctrine of the incarnation addresses transexuality. The author says "For all its drama against certain matters related to the discourse on body/ies and sexuality, the Church's pre-eminent dogma deal with trans/formation of the divine into a human body. Therefore, it makes Jesus a glorified transgender person!" We don't have to make Jesus transgendered to make Him relate to those who deal with sexual issues! This is ridiculous and unnecessary!
We don't have to twist the scripture to make God out to be someone who can relate to those who are suffering with sexual issues... He already does! In talking about Jesus, the author of Hebrews (4:15-16) says "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
May God send people to the dark areas that are complex and disturbing. He can handle them. He has the grace and power needed to help people who deal with sexual issues and bring them through it. It isn't only the great need that exists in helping those with sexual issues but it's also these kinds of lies that make me want to get into this area. I'd like to contribute a sound theological teaching that addresses the issues of sexuality. We never know what our future will look like, but if this passion of mine aligns to what God has in store for me then let it be done!