Naturally, we don’t share the private and intimate details of our sexual life with just anyone. There is a sacredness to our sexuality that we want to protect from those who might not handle it well. However, when it is time to address problems in our sexuality, or simply continue growing into God’s best, we often have to invite others into this journey. Who can we trust with these sensitive areas of our life?
Some Christians might start meeting with a pastor or spiritual director. While these individuals are able to provide sound Biblical counsel, many are not equipped to deal practically with the sexual areas of life. In turning to professionals trained in sex therapy, many Christians again wonder whom they can trust.
Does it make a difference to choose “Christian” sex therapy over non-Christian services? While it’s nice that my dentist is a Christian, I’m not sure my teeth are any cleaner because of his faith. I selected him because of his expertise in dental care, more than our shared faith. Does the same hold true with professional sex therapy services? Well, yes and no.
Both Christian and non-Christian sex therapists are trained to address problems related to sexual desire, arousal and release issues, sexual pain, recovering from sexual trauma, problems with compulsive sexual behaviors, and concerns about sexual attractions or orientation. Many of the techniques and suggestions on these issues will be the same for both Christian and non-Christian therapists. The main difference is the frame of reference used in applying these interventions.
For instance, a Christian sex therapist might practice with the understanding that God uses our sexuality to help transform us into the image of Christ. Sexual problems are then interpreted as opportunities to practice loving as Christ does. A non-Christian therapist might practice with the understanding that the purpose of our sexuality is to provide us with deep personal fulfillment. Sexual problems are then interpreted as barriers to overcome on the path toward personal fulfillment.
These different frames of reference will influence the suggestions made in therapy. For example, conflict over different desire levels is a common issue for many couples. Let’s say the husband is the higher desire spouse and the wife is the lower desire spouse. If the purpose of sex is our own personal fulfillment, the husband might be advised to consider outlets apart from his wife if she is not meeting his sexual needs. The wife might be encouraged to “give in” if she wants to keep her man, or to leave if she no longer wants to deal with his sexual demands.
A Christian sex therapist would be concerned with helping the couple use this conflict as an opportunity to grow in love. The husband would be coached in using his sexual energy to love his wife as Christ, as the wife learns to embrace her sexuality and offer it as a free gift of love to her husband. The same conflict over desire levels would be handled very differently based on the frame of reference of the therapist.
Yes, there are some excellent non-Christian sex therapists that can provide you with quality professional care. When you choose a Christian sex therapist, you not only get this professional care, you can also trust that their recommendations are in keeping with your core values and beliefs. You are able to get more out of the therapy process when you don’t have to worry about the values of your therapist. Christian sex therapy frees you to discover the passionate sex life you desire and were created for.