Eugene Cho

30 days of sex

What are your thoughts about this pastor/church challenging their church to a 30-day sex challenge?  The challenge for single folks is 30 days of no sex. [via CNN]

A southwest Florida church issued a challenge for its married members: Hanky panky every day.

Relevant Church head pastor Paul Wirth issued the 30-day sex challenge to take on high divorce rates.

“And that’s no different for people who attend church,” Wirth said Sunday. “Sometimes life gets in the way. Our jobs get in the way.”

The challenge doesn’t extend to unwed congregants, however.

I think the idea is interesting but lacks sensitivity for various reasons and awkward that it takes place during the Lent season – culminating on Palm Sunday.  

How would you respond if your church did something like this?  Would definitely make the conversations during fellowship time quite interesting…

*  The billboard in the video pretty much sums it up that part of the motivation is to attract people. I have to trust that their hearts [church leadership] are in the right place but it’s amazing that in a church’s attempt to be “relevant”…how far they miss the mark.

In my humble opinion, they really missed the mark.

But they certainly “succeeded” in getting people’s attention. I’m sure their web traffic these few days have spiked dramatically.

Filed under: religion

21 Responses

  1. Don Bryant says:

    I have blooged a bit about this at First, been wondering aloud whether people who have ED can get the money for extra Viagra from the “Helping Hands” fund. (pun inteneded). I also wonder if the pastor was 65 instead of thirty something whether or not it would the 30 day oatmeal challenge. Third, a think a lot of the couples where the wife has some “not yet discussed” sexual trauma is going to be “outed” during this experiment and some real damage is going to be done. As a pastor I have become aware of how widespread this issue is and that a lot of women are able to do “ordinary” intimacy but really struggle. When this church’s experiment goes into hyper drive a lot of people are going to be hurt. And lastly, this proves how irrelevant Relevant Church is.

  2. Jason Dye says:

    makes sense that the church is called Relevant.

    i’m sorry, it’s just insensitive. it’s awkward and weird, both for married couples who have troubles (whether ED or lack of birth control or, as mentioned above, trauma and intimacy issues) and are kind of pushed into the limelight and, well, obviously, the singles.

  3. Pastorboy says:

    Why not thirty days of thirty minutes of uninteruppted conversation between husband and wife?
    Why not thirty days of sacrificial service to one another?
    Why not thirty days of mutual submission? Thirty days of purposeful agape love?
    Thirty days of any of these things, and having sex will not be the exception-it will be the rule.

    And I thought the Bible has clear instruction about singles NOT having sex…..

  4. Jennifer says:

    Awkward, weird, and insensitive.

    And, actually, if you’ve ever gone through infertility, you know that you HAVE to have sex at perscribed times, something gets a bit lost. I imagine the folks at that church might find the same thing.

  5. swissbob says:

    I know it sounds flippant and maybe it’s just me and my wife, but isn’t there like 5-7days in the thirty when it is just not going to happen? ( Or did I miss something about the elimination of the cycle)?

    Seriously though, from a spiritual sense, great lovemaking happens when you just open up to you spouse at every level. I don’t think an obligation to daily sex is going to help. The sex is what wonderfully happens when everything else has occurred. Concentration on the end result objectifies the act and prevents true intimacy.

    FYI I have been married to the same woman for twenty five years and my sex life has never been better. I would not trust this pastor. His views on sexual intimacy seem very immature.

  6. Blake says:

    @ PastorBoy: Good word!

    @ Swissbob: As a guy who hopes to be married at some completely unknown point in my life, I appreciate your insights.🙂

  7. JB says:

    Is it fair to assume that this pastor is not the same one who says you have to pee standing up?

  8. daniel so says:

    Eugene — I definitely think it is awkward/inappropriate timing that such a “campaign” coincides with the Lenten season. Equating sex with intimacy is immature and wrong in the first place, but to engage in this kind of posturing during a season of quietness, repentance and reflection just seems out of place.

    I agree with Blake — families and church communities would do much better to heed the advice of Pastorboy and swissbob than to follow an ill-conceived plan like this one.

  9. Neil says:

    I reluctantly accept the challenge.

    Seriously, I agree with the comments above re. it being gimmicky and immature. He seems to be missing the point about sex.

  10. me says:

    JB: no, different pastor. don’t you appreciate me just a little bit more that I don’t force your husband to piss against your house wall or challenge you guys to have sex for 30 straight days.

    The billboard in the video pretty much sums it up that part of the motivation is to attract people. I have to trust that their hearts are in the right place but it’s amazing that in a church’s attempt to be “relevant”…how far they miss the mark.

    my humble opinion.

    but they certainly “succeeded” in getting people’s attention. i’m sure their web traffic these few days have spiked dramatically.

  11. Ali BG says:

    …it is gimicky, but there’s something beautiful and redemptive in the way it acknowledges “life” getting in the way of physical intimacy for couples–and it issues a light-hearted way to re-engage.

    Also, I think solid, gentle teaching and the open eyes of small group leaders during the “experimental season” could do a lot for the various potentially troubled populations (folks who’ve experienced infertility, ED, sexual trauma, etc)…while messy, it might be a good kind of mess…

  12. chad says:

    sex is the key to good marriages. why do i feel like more churches are teaching this lie these days?
    have sex. then your marriage will succeed. i wish it were that easy.
    this is nothing more than a campaign; a marketing tool.
    another church deciding that some in your face, gimmicky idea will bring people to Christ better than Christ himself.
    where is the Gospel in all this?

  13. Tom says:

    I think it’s a great idea. All of our divorced friends said that they’d had long periods in their marriage without sex. Some for three months, some for three years! Pride is the biggest issue, didn’t want to beg, appear weak, or be dependent on any one, thus opening themselves up to being hurt or let down. The 30 day challenge is a simple goal that people can start from and re-start that very important part of their marriage. My wife (of 20+ years) are going to take the challenge and we don’t even go to the church.

  14. Brad says:

    Sex is extremely important in marriage so much so God addresses it through Paul in 1 Cor. 7. Sex is more than just cookie cutter intercourse that we all picture in our heads. People with ED have ways to be sexually intimate with their wives so that not an excuse. Its true there might be cases where a spouse has a hidden sexual trauma preventing them from performing. However, don’t you think that the trauma needs to be addressed through counseling because with out help it will never go away just grow bigger.

    I feel that the problem with our churches and pastors today is that they are afraid to teach Gods word for the fear of hurting someone’s feelings. Churches teach sex is dirty and evil so it should be avoided at all cost. They lead people to believe sex is only for having babies and that’s it. Pastors stand in front of the congregation and talk about how they are so sad about the divorce rate in the U.S. today. They should take a look at the statistics and see that sex is a major factor.

    Sex is part of intimacy. There are basically 5 parts to intimacy and sex falls under the physical part.

    Wow, I’ll continue searching Gods Holy word for where it tells me that there are times of year that we have to be silent. It is funny how the Christian churches come up with all of these different requirements to make us holier than though i.e. vows of silence, women must wear dresses to church/ men suits and ties, you must eat fish on Fridays… We need to get back to the Bible. Churches/denominations are distorting Gods plan for salvation by placing all of these silly rules. It’s not salvation through works. Its salvation through by grace through faith in Jesus Christ only.

    When it all boils down sex is very important part to a healthy marriage. People have learned through church, tv, or other means that sex is not important. So much so that people grow up to believe you can with hold sex as a tool to punish your spouse and it’s ok.

    My hat goes off to the church in Florida. Keep up the good job.

  15. me says:

    brad: i think you’re missing the gist of what folks are saying. everyone support sex in the context of marriage. it’s a beautiful and healthy thing. we agree with you.

    i can’t speak of others but i just don’t think you need to have 30 days of sex to make that point.

    but then again, to each their own.

    tom: more power to you and your wife. come back in 30 days and share how you guys do. seriously…

  16. Katie says:

    Hmmmmm….what to say. I think I fall somewhere in between all the other comments here. I think that this church has it’s heart in the right place – I do have a problem with the “marketing” of it, though. It feels like sensationalism at best. If a pastor wants to get up in front of his church and say, “Hey, if you’re married and you aren’t being intimate enough, you have a problem,” that’s fine. The point that I see as missing is that sex comes from intimacy, not intimacy from sex. In other words, if we are intimate with our spouses in all ways – spiritually (sharing our callings, words from God, worship times, etc), socially (spending time together playing games, going on dates, fellowship with other believers, etc) and physically (kissing, holding hands, hugging, sitting close to each other in church, etc) – sex will come from that. However, I know that for my husband and myself, if we are dealing with a lack of other forms of intimacy, sex just isn’t happening (or at least not 30 days in a row). Not only that, but just because sex within marriage is beautiful in the sight of God does not mean that we are sinning if we don’t have sex every day. Yes, in the beginning of marriage, it is common to have sex every day (or three times a day…), but as time goes by and children come along, it is natural for that frequency to scale back – AND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

    In my opinion, this church misses the mark. It says to happy couples – even if our marriage is wonderful and we have sex as often as we like it, it’s not enough. It says to unhappy couples – having sex thirty days in a row will fix all the problems in our marriage.

    Obviously, ED and other issues (the monthly one for sure, swissbob, unless the woman is pregnant or past menopause) would also make this challenge difficult, but I don’t really think that this is the biggest issue here. I think they are trying to get people to say, “Woah! A church that talks about sex! How cool!” and trying a little too hard to live up to their name. And I’m sorry, but if you feel the need to name your church “Relevant Church” I think you’re trying too hard. Forget a name that might actually point people to God, we’re just trying to be relevant, so we’ll name it that.

    I think churches today try too hard to be relevant and miss the point entirely. Joshua, I would guess that this is what you were driving at with your reference to 2 Timothy 4:3-4. It is so true. More and more today, churches come up with great gimicks to draw people in, and many churches spend a whole lot of time focusing on making new believers with exciting activities while neglecting the needs of others.

    Yes, I think some people would certainly benefit from thirty days of sex. I know at the right time in life, I could, too. I’m nearly six months pregnant right now, though, and thirty days of sex would be nearly impossible for me unless I wanted to start resenting my husband. I think that’s one thing that would worry me – that a woman might agree to this challenge because she wants her marriage to improve, while a man might agree to it because he wants more sex. I know my husband wants more sex, but I don’t think he would ever say he is deprived – just that he is a man is enough to have the desire he has.

    On a final note (I promise), I also have a problem with the singles part of the challenge. Why not say what they really want to (and should be) saying to singles, “Stop having sex until you are married.” End of story. Instead, it feels as though they are saying, “Just say no for a month and then you can go right back to fornicating.” The Bible is pretty clear on sex being a great and important thing within marriage and being a really bad idea and a sin outside of marriage. You can argue all you want against that, but the Word doesn’t change. The interview with the single guy bugged me big time – it sounds like typically, he doesn’t give any thought to whether he has sex or not, but that he seems to think that a month of no sex when he was twenty-six will be a great thing to give his wife. I know that I am so extremely grateful that my husband was a virgin when we got married. If he had stopped for a month a few years before, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference if he went right back to it.
    Okay, like I said, I’m done now. I more or less agree with what a lot of people have said, but still felt that I was seeing it a bit differently.

  17. me says:

    katie: congrats to you and your husband.

  18. SolShine7 says:

    I just added this video to my YouTube account. I like the idea behind this campaign.

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It appears I brought a little Seattle to the NYC. Drizzle fest. 24 hour gathering with a small group of leaders from around the country. Learning. Listening. Asking hard questions. Head exploding. Heart trying to have hope. As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
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And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
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I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

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