Ed and Lisa Young, founders of Texas-based Fellowship Church, began Friday at 6 a.m. a 24-hour "bed-in," in which the pair discuss their book, Sexperiment, and the role sex plays in marriage.
Pastor Young and his wife are doing various interviews and bringing their children and parents into the sex discussions, and they are doing so from a bed on the roof of their Grapevine, Texas, megachurch. The event is being webcast live.
Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse was released on Tuesday, and serves as a catalyst for people to begin a dialogue about sex and a challenge to make sex a priority in the marriage bed so couples will remain united beyond the bed.
Sexperiment encourages married couples to have sex for seven straight days – a challenge that made headlines in 2008 when Pastor Young first introduced it to his church – with the promise that the "amazing results" will last far beyond the week.
The Fellowship Church founders began the "bed-in" as promised, fully clothed in a large bed surrounded by a film crew. Describing it as "the coldest day of the year" in Texas, the Youngs wore gloves and used an electric blanket to keep warm as they began answering questions from reporters who interviewed them at their bedside, radio-hosts who spoke to them on the phone, and friends and fellow pastors who chatted with them via webcam on Skype.
At the beginning of the program, Lisa Young expressed:
"Individuals do not have that right vertical relationship with God and then they look for their needs to be met in the horizontal relationship. [You] cannot ask an individual to do what only God can do for you."
She also promised that throughout the day they will discuss factors that might have placed a strain on a relationship – such as pornography, extra-marital affairs, issues with sexual trauma and abuse – "[We’re] not going to shy away from talking about them."
In one Skype interview with another pair of church leaders, Carl and Laura Lentz from Hillsong Church in New York, the Youngs asked the couple to share how they approached a successful marriage.
Carl Lentz said: "I ask Laura how am I doing as a husband. We have to be honest with each other and we give each other feedback week by week, almost day by day."
Lisa Young commented: "You said you are vulnerable to one another. Guys have such a hard time asking 'how I am doing as a husband?' A spouse can degrade their spouse by sharing [stories about the couple’s problems] with a whole group of people, but here you are sharing it with someone you trust. That is what the Bible calls wise counsel."
On the topic of "how do you talk to your kids about sex?" Carl Lentz offered:
"I take them out for dates and I try to hear what they know and what they say. For now we do not discuss sex, since they cannot understand how it really works – Roman is 2 ½-years-old."
Mrs. Young then referenced Dr. James Dobson, who provides biblical advice on Christian marriages, families and parenting through the ministry of Family Talk. Dobson has said that it is good for mothers to talk about sex with their daughters, while fathers would be better prepared to have such a talk with their sons, Young said.
Later on during the live "bed-in," Ed Young remarked:
"Paul said if you have struggle with lust you have to get married. If you want to be single and do that, God is good with that as well. I just want single adults and young adults [to know] that God is pro-marriage. Church should be the second-best place to learn about sex after the home."
During an interview with reporter Dan Harris from Nightline ABC, Lisa had another piece of advice for those who are single and dating: "Think more about sex. It is emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical."
Harris then asked: "Is there any evidence that you are actually helping people?"
Ed Young answered an affirmative "yes." He explained, "[We have received] scores and scores of emails and phone calls in support. Even people who do not believe in Christianity have had a very positive response to this message."
Mrs. Young added, "Everything we teach, we don't always get to see the results. We are planting seeds and moving along."
Ed Young concluded that he and his wife wanted to lead a sexual revolution and "take back" sex for the church: "The sexual revolution [in society] started in the 60s – but it was an Illusion that caused some serious pollution. God's revolution is about pure sex."
Although the Youngs are having regular "comfort breaks" in which they climb back inside the church for refreshments, the live "bed-in" stream is set to continue until 6 a.m. Saturday morning.