NASHVILLE – Sex is a topic that should be discussed in church more than it currently is, said Chip Ingram, senior pastor of Venture Christian Church in California and president of Living on the Edge ministry.
The dependency between love and physical intimacy is an ongoing topic with which many couples struggle, Ingram told The Christian Post at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, Tenn.
His latest tutorial, "House or Home?: Marriage Edition," revisits the topic of relationships and sex (the minister has already wrote two books about it, Love, Sex & Lasting Relationships and Sex 180).
"House or Home?" and his books address, among other issues, a growing problem in the United States – the high divorce rates. But they also help Christians, including pastors, understand that sex is a natural and biblical phenomenon, Ingram said.
"I think the need for human intimacy and connection is a deep need that God gave us," the minister told CP. "Sex is a very holy, holy thing. … The scripture says that the marriage bed is holy."
Ingram observed through years of ministry that there is a real need for talk about not only sex, but its meaning.
"Where does sex fit in in God's economy?" he asked. "What does it mean to love another person and where does physical intimacy come in?"
It is a big question, and pastors tend to avoid "big" topics like that, he noted. But it should not be so.
"Pastors don't talk a lot about sex, but we have an HIV epidemic, we have unwed mothers," Ingram said. It is risky to avoid the topic in church, because some of the congregants who do not know how to follow it in a Christian way "have sex at the wrong time, for the wrong reason, thinking that it's going to deliver intimacy, and it doesn't," he said.
Money, sex, pride, hypocrisy, are things "Jesus talked a lot about and you would think we as pastors would talk a little more about them," he concluded.
Ingram is the author of 11 books, including his newest releases: Living on the Edge, Overcoming Emotions that Destroy and Holy Ambition. His teaching reaches more than a million people a week, according to his ministry's website. As a pastor, author, coach and teacher for more than 25 years, he has "helped people around the world break out of spiritual ruts and live out God's purpose for their lives," while preaching in churches ranging from 500 to 5,000 congregants.
The minister and his wife, Theresa, have four children and eight grandchildren.