Determined to articulate God’s plan for sex within the context of marriage, Pastor Ed Young and his wife, Lisa, were nearly halfway through their 24-hour "bed-in" on their church’s rooftop Friday, when they realized their message was going to be harder to deliver than first thought.
Fully clothed and using a king-sized bed as a prop, the Youngs’ discussion on marriage, date nights, and without any graphic details, the importance of married couples having a good sexual relationship, was streamed live over the Web from Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas. The bed-in began at 6 a.m. and ended the same time on Saturday.
The method was used to also help promote their book Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse. Released on Tuesday, the book is aimed at serving as a catalyst for people to dialogue about sex and to challenge couples to make sex a priority in the marriage bed so they will remain united beyond the bed.
While getting ready to conduct one of their many interviews with TV and radio stations anxious to cover what some might consider to be the Christian version of the John Lennon and Yoko Ono bed-in during the late 1960s, the bright sun, low temperature and windy conditions had taken a toll on the couple.
“We’re going to need sunglasses,” said Lisa Young shortly before an interview to be broadcast live at a local CBS station. “My eyes are killing me.”
Later, the couple revealed that they had taken medicated eye drops during a break and they vowed to continue, resorting to sunglasses even at nighttime.
Despite the conditions, the couple pressed on.
Ed Young told the viewing audience that the idea for Sexperiment came from his wife’s suggestion.
She was at pediatrician's office when she read an article about married couples who have sexless marriages as a result of their career, fatigue, and the NASCAR pace of life. Some couples thus decided to go on a journey of seven straight days of sex.
“So, we thought let's challenge our church to do that. We say (in the book) that some people aren't ready for [a week of sex] because there's hurt, and pain,” he said. As a way to go through the dysfunction, the Youngs emphasize the importance of getting help through counseling.
They want readers of their book to “see sex and sexuality like they’ve never seen before.”
“Sex is not X-rated, it's God-created,” Young said.
The Youngs were joined on the webcast by pastors and other Christian married couples through Skype.
Author and pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Charlotte, N.C., said he was happy to see that the couple was trying to make everyone aware of God’s vision for sex and that through learning, people will be able to act appropriately.
“Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law,” Furtick said, citing Proverbs. The Youngs are attempting to “create a vision for what God intended sex to be and the restraint will come as a byproduct.”
Furtick complimented the couple for openly sharing about their lives.
“You guys are trying to get the vision out,” he said, rather than writing a book about the evils of sex.
Not everyone is thrilled with the Youngs’ approach on teaching what God says about sex.
“I think what Ed Young is doing is sad,” Pastor Nathan Lorick of First Baptist Church in Malakoff, Texas, told The Christian Post. "I see no need for gimmicks when it comes to the truth of the Gospel.”
“Jesus doesn't need for us to be over the top with our approach or extreme with our creativity, just faithful to the Scriptures. I believe pastors are called to present the Gospel and communicate Christ's truths, not to sell books but to win people to Christ," Lorick said.
“I think the church should be vocal on all issues. However, I believe there is a reverent way to address the issues,” he continued. “One that is more aligned with the Word's perspective than the world’s perspective.”
Upon learning of the webcast on Facebook, Mars Hill Orange County church member Nick Schoeneberger said he was concerned about “stunts being used to try to further good doctrine.”
“If we as Christians want to live a transformed life and be a good witness to the lost, I think starting with a bit more reverence for the marital bed is a good idea. I'm not talking prudishness, I'm just concerned that this is so gimmicky.”
Though the Youngs drew a lot of attention, including criticism, for their “bed-in,” they made it clear that they wanted to reclaim sex from the culture.
“Culture has downgraded sex,” Ed Young lamented. “We’ve diminished it; we’ve allowed our culture to hijack it.”
It’s time to bring God back in the bed, he stressed.
“Those of us that are the followers of Christ are the sexperts,” he highlighted, “because we know personally the author of sex.”