The Gift – A Biblical View of Sexuality (LESSON)


Time
3-4 hours (You may want to do this in segments of about an hour apiece.  The material easily breaks at the headings.  Of course, you are welcome to present only pieces of the material, as well.)

Audience
Youth and Young Adults – Please use caution and discretion when presenting this material.  It should not be presented without the knowledge and consent of parents and church leadership.

Description
This lesson helps youth and young adults to understand God’s plan for sex.  It shows that sex is a battlefield for the spiritual warfare between God and Satan and encourages kids to take a stand for sexual purity so that they can give the “gift” of sex to their life partner on the day of their marriage.

Materials
•    Participant guides – “Gift, The – A Biblical View of Sexuality – PG” (available on the “Lesson and Material Downloads” page.)
•    Pens/pencils for the kids to use to take notes
•    A box (about the size of a shoe box should be fine)
•    Ribbon and a bow
•    Tape for wrapping the gift
•    Assorted items to put in the box so that it makes noise when you shake it
•    A roll of duct tape
•    Whiteboard and markers
•    Note cards

Preparation
•    Make copies of the participant guides (one per person), and pass them out.
•    Put the assorted items into the box, and wrap it as nicely as you can.
•    At some point, I recommend giving a few note cards to each youth or young adult and allowing them to anonymously ask questions about sex on the cards.  You might want to hand out the cards before your lesson and explain their purpose, or you might want to wait and hand them out after the first or second parts of the lesson.  Collect the cards in an envelope or bag, and give yourself at least an evening to pray over them and formulate your answers.  I have found this to be a good exercise that allows them to ask some honest questions that are troubling them about sex.
•    Practice the script.

Procedure
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

“The Gift”
•    “Today, we are going to talk about God’s view about sex.  Each of you has a participant guide and something to write with, so please take notes with me.”
•    “Let’s start at the beginning.  Can I get a volunteer to read Genesis 2:18-25 for me?”  (Select a volunteer to read.)
•    “Woman came from man.  It’s a beautiful picture.  Man and woman were once one.  Now, to regain that oneness, we need each other.”
•    “Notice that they were both naked and unashamed.  It was pure and good.  In fact, Genesis 1:31 tells us that God said, ‘it was very good.’”
•    “God gave Eve to Adam as a gift – a companion that was like him, a companion who he could share everything with – his thoughts, his emotions, his body, his spirit.”
•    “Sex was a crucial part of that gift, because it was through sex that the man and the woman experienced complete and total oneness – at least as complete and total as we can experience.”
•    “Well, a lot has changed about sex since God first gave it to Adam and Eve, but He still gives it to us as a gift.”
•    “In fact, it is one of the best gifts you will ever get in your entire life!”
•    “I can’t really even describe to you how incredible it is; it is precious and wonderful!”
•    “God is a giver.  He gets excited about giving us gifts – especially one as special as the gift of sex, but He doesn’t want us to open the gift until it’s time.”
•    “Remember when you were younger and Christmas was coming?”  (Pick up gift and hold it where it can be seen.)
•    “Wasn’t it exciting to see that gift under the tree?”
•    “To look at the gorgeous wrapping?  To shake the box?”  (Shake the box.)
•    “Did you ever want to just take a peek and see what was inside?”  (Wait for some responses.)
•    “Me, too.  Will any of you admit to having peeked at a gift or two during your lifetime?”  (Wait for responses.)
•    “Sometimes it just feels irresistible, doesn’t it?  You can’t stand not knowing what is inside that package.”
•    “But what happens if you peek?” (Pretend to peek behind the paper, and listen for responses.)
•    “Right.  Guilt, dread at being caught, a ruined surprise, no joyful Christmas morning.”
•    “Why is that?”  (Listen for responses – you are waiting for someone to say something like, “We took the gift before it was time” or “We got to see the gift in the wrong way.”)
•    “Exactly!  A Christmas gift has a specific time when it is supposed to be opened.”
•    “If you open it early, you ruin the surprise and the joy of discovery on Christmas morning.”
•    “While everyone else is saying, ‘Oooooh!’ and ‘Ahhhhh!’ and ‘Wow!’ you are feeling miserable and doing your best to fake excitement.”
•    “A very important part of my message to you today is that sex is like that Christmas gift.”
•    “It has a very specific time when it is supposed to be opened, and that is on the day of your wedding.”
•    “If you open it before then, you will ruin the surprise and take away much of the joy.”
•    “But if you can just wait until the right time, that gift will be a joy and a surprise to you and your spouse for the rest of your married life.”
•    “And there is another reason why you should wait to open it…because the gift is not really for you!”
•    “Sure, you have access to it, and you can open it if you want to, but it doesn’t belong to you.”
•    “That gift was given to you to cherish and protect until the day you give it to the person it really belongs to – your marriage partner.”
•    “God has given it to you, and you are the steward of the gift.  It’s your job to keep it safe and in excellent condition until that special day.”
•    “The good news is that someone out there has a gift that God gave them for you, too.”
•    “Hopefully, they are doing a good job of keeping it safe.”
•    “Some people don’t.  They take the gift and share it with other people….sometimes a lot of other people.”
•    “When you share the gift with anyone other than your spouse, you are doing something you have no right to do.”
•    “It’s not yours to share.   You’re just keeping it until it’s time to give it to its rightful owner.  You are just the steward, the keeper of the gift.”
•    “Think about it this way.  What if I had a gift to give you for Christmas, but before I gave it to you, I shared it with several different people?”
•    “I let them open the gift and use the gift, but then I decided that they weren’t the right people to share the gift with, so I took it back.” (Start unwrapping the gift.)
•    “Unfortunately, while they had it, they took off the nice wrapping paper.  They scuffed it up and dented it.  They used it for purposes it wasn’t intended for.”  (Continue unwrapping the gift.  Toss it around some, drop it and/or step on it.)
•    “So, when it’s time for me to share it with the one it was intended for, it’s no longer new and special.”
•    “Most likely, it is damaged in some way, and it could be damaged in such a way that it could even hurt the person I give it to.”
•    “I can do my best to rewrap it and cover up the dents and the scuffs and the tears, but I’m not going to be able to hide them for long.”  (Try to rewrap the gift in a hurried way.)
•    “How special would you feel if I gave you a gift that looked like this?”
•    “Would you feel like you were the most special person in my life?”
•    “Or would you be hugely disappointed?  …especially if you had saved my gift for me even though I shared yours.”
•    “Would you be just a little angry that I had shared your gift with strangers and let them do whatever they wanted to with it?”
•    “Well, you would have a right to be angry.  That would be incredibly insensitive and selfish of me.”
•    “We should do whatever it takes to protect the gift…to save it for that one person God intended it for.”
•    “But it won’t be easy.  I don’t know if you know it or not, but there is a war going on.”
•    “It’s a spiritual war between the armies of God and the armies of Satan, and one of their main battlefields is the gift of sex.”
•    “Satan wants to destroy the gift, and he is doing everything in his power to corrupt it, distort it, cheapen it, dent it, break it, twist it, poison it and pervert it.”
•    “To know why, we need to look at God’s purposes for sex.  There are three.  You can fill in the blanks in your participant guide.”

God’s Purposes for Sex – “POP!”

gods-purposes-for-sex-fg1
•    “Procreation – it means having children.  In Genesis 1:28 God commanded man to ‘be fruitful and multiply.’  He wants us to fill the earth.”
•    “Oneness – this is a mystery – no one knows exactly what it means, but through sex, two people become one – not just physically, but also spiritually, mentally and emotionally, as well.  Genesis 2:24 says that a man will ‘leave father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh.’”
•    “Pleasure – this is the one people have the most trouble with.  Satan has so twisted our view of sex that many people think of it as dirty or bad, but it’s not.  It’s glorious and wonderful when it’s the way that God intended it.  Proverbs 5:18-19 says ‘May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.  A loving doe, a graceful deer – may her breasts satisfy you always, may you be captivated by her love.’ and the book of the Song of Solomon is a picture of the beauty and joy of the pleasure of sex between a married couple.”
•    “God wants us to enjoy the gift that he has given to us, and He doesn’t want us to feel bad about it.  He rejoices when a married man and woman give themselves fully to one another during sex.”

“The War”
•    “But remember, there is a war going on in the spiritual realm, and sex is at the middle of it.”
•    “Satan absolutely hates sex as God intended it, because of the three reasons we just covered.”
•    “When a married man and woman have sex, they create families and bring joy and hope into the world through the miracle of conception and birth.  Babies are full of potential, and when they are born to Christian families, they are likely to believe in the God of their mothers and fathers.”
•    “The closeness a man and woman experience during sex is the closest picture of the oneness of God in his three Persons.  We can actually understand this mystery much better when we experience the oneness of sex.”
•    “Finally, the pleasure that we feel during sex is offensive to Satan.  He doesn’t want us enjoying what God gave us.  That might lead us to feel gratitude and love for our Creator.”
•    “Satan hates sex, because it is powerful!  …the incredible gift of a loving God.”
•    “Let’s see where all this started.  Can I get a volunteer to read Genesis 3:1-7 for me?”  (Select volunteer to read.)
•    “Notice that the first consequence of Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was shame about their nakedness.  That’s a sexual consequence.”
•    “Satan’s first attack has a sexual consequence.  I think that is very interesting.  We should be asking, ‘What does sex have to do with the battle between Satan and God?’”
•    “Everything!  It’s a key battlefield!  Because of the three purposes God has for sex, it’s crucially important.”
•    “Now, there was nothing shameful about Adam’s and Eve’s nakedness.  Nothing changed in their bodies when they ate the fruit.  What changed was in their minds.”
•    “When they ate from the tree, they started to think about their nakedness differently than they did before.  This is where their shame came from.  Not from what God created but from what they did mentally with what God created.”
•    “So, this is Satan’s strategy.  He can’t do any damage to God, Himself, so he hurts the Creator through His creation.”
•    “By attacking us and the gift that received from God, Satan brings God grief.”
•    “And it didn’t stop in the Garden.  Satan is still attacking us and the gift.”
•    “I’m going to break you into small groups right now, and I want you to brainstorm all the different ways that Satan is attacking the gift of sex in the world today.”  (Break the kids into groups of 3-5, and have them brainstorm ways Satan is attacking the gift of sex.  They can write their answers on the second page of their participant guides.  If you need to give them a few ideas to get them started, mention pornography, sexual abuse, distorted views of what beauty is, etc.  Allow them five minutes to brainstorm, then have them share one idea per group until all ideas have been captured.  I recommend writing them on a whiteboard so that they can see the arsenal Satan is leveling against the gift.)
•    “Isn’t this incredible!  Can you believe how many different ways Satan is attacking the gift?”
•    “There was an interview with a veteran pilot who flew missions in Viet Nam, and he said something very interesting that I think applies here.  He said that you get the most flak (that’s the anti-aircraft artillery that you sometimes see exploding near planes on old war films) when you are over the target.”
•    “In other words, the enemy doesn’t bother to shoot at you if you are hundreds of miles from the target, but the closer you get, the more flak is coming your way.”
•    “When you are right over the target, he is going to fire everything he has at you.”
•    “Do you see what I’m pointing out?  Satan is launching all this firepower at the gift of sex.  That means it must be hugely, crucially important!”
•    “When we get close to God’s understanding of sex, we are threatening Satan’s strongholds.  We are right on top of what Satan doesn’t want us to discover.”
•    “Sex is a key battlefield in this spiritual war.”

“Rules for the Gift”
•    “God has set down some rules for the gift.”
•    “We don’t need to read them, but there are twenty-one rules for the gift of sex in Leviticus 18, and Leviticus 20 tells us what the consequences for breaking the rules will be – mostly death.”
•    “Basically, the rules are – no sex with…family, a woman during menstruation, someone else’s husband/wife, (related to) idol worship, persons of the same sex, animals.  I know, gross.”
•    “These are pretty good rules, but there’s no death penalty anymore – at least not physically.  What will die if you break the rules is your relationship with Christ and your ability to experience the beauty and wonder of the gift.”
•    “The New Testament is more appropriate for us to read about God’s rules for the gift.  Can someone read for us 1 Corinthians 6:15-20?”  (Allow volunteer to read.)
•    “Paul tells us that our bodies…are one with Christ…are the temple of the Holy Spirit…not ours….purchased at a price.”
•    “We are to glorify God in our bodies and in our spirits.”
•    “Now, can someone read Ephesians 5:3-7?”  (Allow volunteer to read.)
•     “Okay, so we are not to allow even a hint of sexual immorality in our lives – not even sexual joking – because it is not appropriate for those who have been united with Christ.”
•    “Do you see the graphic on your third page?  Let’s fill that in.”

sex-uniting-god-with-fg

•    “God says that we are not to unite our bodies (or Him, because we are the temple for the Holy Spirit) with:
o    “Prostitutes, The Promiscuous (those that have sex a lot) or The Public (anyone other than our spouse)” – (Do duct tape example.  Invite several young men up, and put duct tape on their forearms.  This doesn’t work well in humid environments, so you might want to have some rubbing alcohol and a cloth close by to prepare the men’s arms.)
•    “This is a picture of what it is like to have sex.”
•    “The tape is now one with each man’s arm.”  (Then rip off the tape as quickly as you can.)
•    “When you are one with someone, and you separate, it hurts!”
•    “That person takes a piece of you with them that you will never get back.”  (Show the tape with the men’s arm hair stuck to it.)
•    “Now, if you unite in oneness with someone else, it’s going to be less ‘sticky.’”  (Reapply the tape to each man’s arm.  Then, rip it back off.)
•    “It’s easier to separate, but it’s also harder to create true oneness.”  (Reapply the tape and then rip off several more times.)
•    “The more you do this, the less ‘sticky’ (the less capable of true oneness) you will be.”
•    “By the time you marry, it may be very difficult for you to create oneness with your wife.”
•    “This is why God wants us to save our ‘stickiness’ (our oneness) for that one person.”
•    “Once you have lost your ‘stickiness,’ it’s very difficult (but not impossible) to get it back.”  (Thank volunteers, and allow them to return to their seats.)
o    “We should also not unite ourselves with ‘Our People (relatives), Our Parents or Our Progeny (our kids).”
o    “We shouldn’t unite ourselves (and God, remember) with ‘Porn.”
o    “…with ‘Persons of the same sex,”
o    “…or with ‘Perversions’ like animals and objects.”
•    “If you look at the list of things we are to avoid, it’s not really that difficult to follow God’s rules – especially if you never get started breaking the rules.”
•    “It’s when you cross the line that you get into trouble.”
•    “Once you cross it the first time, it’s much easier to cross it again…and again….and again…”
•    “So, that’s what God says we should stay away from.  Now let’s look at what He wants for us related to sex.”

“What God Intends”
•    “God wants us to experience the full beauty and joy of the gift of sex.  He’s given us some guidelines in Scripture that will help.”
•    “Can someone read for us 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8?”  (Allow volunteer to read.)
•    “So, we are to have no sexual immorality, and we should control our bodies.”
•    “We are unique in all of creation.  We aren’t like the angels or the animals that were created before us.”
•    “Angels are spirits without bodies.  They don’t have sex.  They don’t procreate. God didn’t create them to participate in sex.”
•    “Animals, on the other hand, have bodies and maybe spirits but not in the sense that they consider their actions.  They never worry about temptation or lust.  They just do what animals do – they mate when it’s time to mate.  It’s a simple response to a biological need.”
•    “We are between these two sets of created beings on the continuum.  We have both body and spirit.  We have the ability to consider our actions, to be tempted, to lust but also to resist that temptation.”
•    “Angels can’t have sex; animals can’t resist, but we can, and God calls us not to be angels or animals.”
•    “We are not supposed to completely abstain from sex (at least not most of us), and we aren’t supposed to have it whenever the urge hits us.”
•    “God calls us to control our bodies.”
•    “Some people act like angels, because they are afraid of awakening their desire.  This is okay if God has called you to be single and to devote your life to serving Him, but Paul says that most of us can’t do that.”
•    “Some people act like animals, because they feel that they can’t help giving in to their lust.  But this is settling for so much less than God has planned for us.”
•    “God wants us to have sex, but He wants us to control our bodies so that we don’t open the gift before it is time.”
•    “Now, can someone read for us 1 Corinthians 7:3-5?”  (Allow volunteer to read.)
•    “This Scripture is for married couples, but it’s good for you to know it ahead of time.”
•    “It says that the husband has authority over his wife’s body, and that the wife has authority over her husband’s body.”
•    “Neither of them has authority over his/her own body in marriage.  They are to submit to each other sexually, because depriving their spouse from sex might lead your spouse into temptation.”
•    “Remember, the gift is not for you; you’re just holding it for your spouse.  Part of that gift is your body.”
•    “When a married couple follows this teaching, there is such harmony in their marriage.”
•    “It teaches them to always think of their spouse first, and by doing that, they become one.”
•    “The more they put their spouse ahead of themselves, the more they look like Christ, who always put the Father’s will ahead of His own.”
•    “Marriage is a beautiful wonderful tool that God uses to shape us in His image.  The less we think of ourselves, and the more we think of our spouses, the more we resemble Him.”
•    “Finally, there is the Song of Solomon.  We’re not going to read it here, because, honestly, it’s very graphic.”
•    “God gives us a very erotic picture of sex between a husband and wife in this book, and you should know that it’s there as you get closer to marriage.  It will help you understand what God intends.”
•    “You will probably need a commentary to unlock its symbolism, but it doesn’t take much help before you start to realize how graphic the book is.”

“What If You’ve Messed Up?”
•    “But what if you’ve messed up already?”
•    “I know that there is incredible pressure out there on young people to have sex before you get married.”
•    “If you’ve messed up, I have to tell you that you can’t get your physical virginity back.  It’s just not possible.”
•    “The gift will not be new and perfect when you give it to your spouse on your wedding day.”
•    “But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be special and wonderful.”
•    “God can redeem any sin that you bring to Him.”
•    “All you have to do is confess it and repent of it – make a 180 degree turn and head the other direction.  Commit to cherishing your gift from now on, and God will bless your commitment.”
•    “On your wedding day, you will still have something very special to share.  It won’t be exactly as God intended it, but it can be the next best thing.”
•    “The important thing is that you’ve got to put an end to whatever you’ve done or are doing, and you’ve got to do it right away.”
•    “In the first chapter of Joel, God tells about His judgment on the people of Israel for their sin.”
•    “He sent armies of locusts to devour everything in their path, and they left the land desolate.”
•    “He says in Joel 1:4: ‘What the locust swarm has left, the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left other locusts have eaten.’”
•    “This is what happens to Christians who continue in sin that they know they shouldn’t be doing.  God disciplines His children, because He wants them to return to Him from their sin.”
•    “If you continue in sexual sin, the ‘locusts’ will do their work.  Your relationship with God will dry up; your prayers will stop receiving answers; your relationships with other people (especially those you are sinning with) will start to suffer…”
•    “But there is hope!  Restoration is closer than you think.”  (Have a volunteer read Joel 2:12-13 and then 2:25.)
•    “God says that if you will just turn back to Him, He will restore the years that the locust have eaten.  He will restore your relationship with Him and He will restore what you’ve lost in other areas, as well.”
•    “But the longer you persist in sinning, the longer and harder it is going to be to get back to God’s best for you.  God forgives you for your sins, but He will often allow you to suffer the consequences of them so that you will grow.”
•    “I would like to finish by telling you a story:”
•    “Maybe you’ve seen the e-mail that’s made several trips around the world or maybe you’ve heard the song. They are about a young girl who saw a string of gleaming white pearls at the dime store and fell in love with them.”
•    “They weren’t real, but to her, they were beautiful.”
•    “Working hard over the following weeks, she earned enough money (two dollars) to buy them and began wearing them everywhere she went – even to bed.”
•    “She only took them off for bath time, because her mother told her that they would turn her neck green if they got wet.”
•    “The girl’s daddy loved her immensely and would make time every night to put her to bed with a story and a kiss.”
•    “After finishing the story and tucking her in one night, her daddy asked her, ‘Sweetheart, do you love me?’”
•    “Enthusiastically, she answered, ‘Oh, yes, Daddy! Of course I love you!’”
•    “’Then give me your pearls,’ he said.”
•    “’Oh, no, Daddy! Not my pearls! But you can have Princess. She’s my favorite toy horse.’”
•    “’That’s okay, Sweetheart. I love you. Good night.’”
•    “He kissed her cheek and turned out her light as he left the room.”
•    “This exchange was repeated every night for a few weeks.”
•    “Each time, the young girl offered something other than her pearls, and each time her daddy patiently declined, kissed her goodnight and left the room.”
•    “Then one night, her daddy entered her room to find her sitting up in bed.”
•    “Her chin trembled, and a tear rolled down her cheek as she held out her pearl necklace to him.”
•    “’Here, Daddy. These are for you.’”
•    “With tears in his own eyes, her daddy reached out and accepted her dime store necklace.”
•    “Then, he reached inside his pocket and drew out a blue velvet case and handed it to her.”
•    “When she opened the case, she found a beautiful strand of genuine pearls.”
———-
•    “The story is such an accurate description of the exchange our Daddy wants to make with us if we are engaging in sexual sin.”
•    “Tight-fisted, we hang onto something cheap and unworthy of us.”
•    “The relationship might seem so important to us; it might seem like it’s the most important thing in our lives right now.”
•    “Maybe we aren’t sure how we can do without it…without him or without her.”
•    “Patiently, God continues to ask us to give it up.”
•    “Patiently, He listens to our excuses.”
•    “He waits for us to come to the point where we love Him more than we love this other person or this other thing and our sin.”
•    “When we do, He shares His plan for us, and it’s always ‘exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…’” (Ephesians 3:20, KJV)
•    “If you are in sexual sin right now, whether it’s a relationship or porn or something else, God wants you to know that it’s a dime store necklace compared to what He has planned for you.”
•    “The sooner you give it up, the sooner He can bless you with His best.”

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