Sexual Stewardship

by G. Corey Carlisle, MDiv, LMFT, CST

You may remember the story Jesus told of the man who entrusted his three servants with various amounts of money (talents), and urged them to manage his affairs well while he was gone. The first two servants were rewarded for trusting their masters heart, taking a risk, and doubling their investment. The third servant, however, did not trust his masters heart. Feeling afraid, he played it safe and hid what was given to him. The master responded by throwing the “useless servant into utter darkness” (Matthew 25:14-30). 

This passage reminds us we must be faithful stewards of what God has entrusted to our care. Certainly this includes our money, possessions, and time, but it also includes our sexuality. Our sexuality is a gift given to us by God to manage; it is not our own. And more importantly, the passage shows us how will handle our gifts reveals what we truly think about God. Will we steward our sexuality boldly and freely as sons and daughters, or in fear and rebellion as slaves (Galatians 4:7)?

It seems we often swing from a prodigal approach (Luke 15:13) to a timid approach, either carelessly using our gifts or playing it safe and “hiding” them. Whether we are sleeping around with others or fearfully holding back and neglecting to cultivate what we have been given, we have missed Gods heart for us. We don't get to be reckless or cowardly with our sexuality.

As stewards, we have been entrusted to protect, cultivate, and promote our sexuality for the glory of our Master.

Protect
Courageously defending our sexuality from every distortion that would steal, kill, or destroy its goodness and beauty

Cultivate
Wisely growing our sexuality into its true potential, becoming more valuable, beneficial, and mature 

Promote
Joyfully delighting in our sexuality as we use it to minister Gods manifold grace to one another

In marriage, the need to protect our sexuality from perversions seems pretty well understood by most, though not always practiced. What is less acknowledged is the need to continue growing our sexuality into its full potential. Many couples settle into fairly functional routines and years later are no more sexually mature than when they were first married. While they may have not “acted out” with an affair, pornography, or the like, their sexuality has also not grown deeper, richer, or sweeter over the years.

Likewise, for other couples, sex has been accepted as a duty or obligation in marriage, not as something to be relished and savored. An opportunity to glorify the goodness of God is missed when sex is merely tolerated, or is hidden in shame and secrecy. Promoting the beauty of sex is part of how we use this gift to minister Gods grace to the world (1 Peter 4:10). Flirting in front of your children or out in public is one simple way to accomplish this. Smiling, winking, touching, holding hands, and kissing, for example, are small gestures that convey a subtle, yet profound message that sexual intimacy can flourish in marriage. In a fallen world, the passion and romance of marriage provides a vivid picture of spiritual triumph as the two are united into one. This is a glimpse of Gods passionate desire to romance and be joined in holy union with each of us.

Have you been a faithful steward of your sexuality? What is this telling you about your view of God? What areas do you need to better protect? What aspects need to be cultivated? What are other ways for you to delight in and promote your sexuality for Gods glory?

If you want assistance stewarding any aspect of your sexuality, please give us a call. Our trained counselors are ready to help you protect, cultivate, and promote this sacred trust.