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[Technology] Sexting. There, We Said It

Tim and Tasha Levert —  December 5, 2013 — 37 Comments

Tim and Tasha Levert By TIM & TASHA LEVERT

I (Tim) am a technology nerd. I’ve always liked having the latest gadget, app, game, and electronic toy. I’m a cyber-geek, and I’m OK with that. Tasha says she’s ambivalent when it comes to technology, but throughout the 19 years of our marriage, I’ve learned that she secretly likes to channel her inner cyber-geek and see what all the fuss is about. She tries to hide it, but I know the truth.

That’s why we struggle when we read the numerous articles that slam technology and list all the things you shouldn’t do:

  • Don’t answer calls during dinner.
  • Don’t check your fantasy football scores while you’re on a date.
  • Don’t complain on social media about your husband’s super-manly beard during no-shave-November.
  • Don’t look over your husband’s shoulder and keep correcting the article list while he’s the one doing all of the typing.

These are just examples, and have no grounding in real life.

When it comes to relationships, we think technology has just as much potential for fun as it does for trouble. Here are our favorite examples:

  1. Social media can tell your story. The way you interact with your spouse on social media tells the world about your frustrations or about your adventures. Our students love when we post our family pics, couple pics, #tbt (throwback Thursday) pics, etc. Take a minute to review your recent posts, tweets, and instagrams, and see what story you’re telling.
  2. Use your calendar for more than scheduling. What if you hacked into your spouse’s calendar app and added a sweet or sexy message that would pop up in a month? And what if you set it to recur again every 6 weeks? You know it would work out well for you.
  3. Sexting. That’s right, we said it. Look, you’re married. There are perks. Enjoy them! You might consider password-protecting your phone and tweaking your message settings so the actual content of your message doesn’t show on the screen until you want it to.
  4. Make up your own. The beauty of technology is that it’s always changing. New apps and sites are emerging almost daily. Be on the lookout for the latest and greatest that can help your ministry, but don’t overlook the benefits of technology for your marriage.

Sorry, gotta go text my spouse . . .

Thanks for loving students!

Tim and Tasha Levert

@timlevert   @tashalevert

*Don’t miss another marriage and family tip from Tim & Tasha Levert or Jake & Melissa Kircher! Get their posts emailed directly to you every Friday when you subscribe to the SYM Today Newsletter!*

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Tim and Tasha Levert

Tim and Tasha Levert

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Tim and Tasha have been in youth ministry since 1992, though they look much younger. They've been involved in large churches, small churches, denominational churches, non-denominational churches, and most everything in between. They both earned PhDs - Tim in adolescent spiritual formation and Tasha in marriage and family counseling - but please don't call them "doctor;" they prefer to be called "Grandmaster T" and "Skinny Lady," respectively. Tim is currently the Student Pastor at the Vineyard Church of New Orleans. Tasha is a writer, speaker, worship leader, and counselor. They have three beautiful daughters and a dog named Gumbo.

37 responses to [Technology] Sexting. There, We Said It

  1. So you’re married and we teach our kids that sexting is not ok, yet we do it ourselves? Did I get that right? So with the same reasoning, we should preach against porn, but watch a porn movie with out spouse before a romantic night.
    This logic is STUPID! Embrace your inner nerd and find a way to actually communicate with your wife. Find her love language and speak to her in that way. The fact that you advocate this kind of stuff yet preach against it is hypocritical.
    You think that we already have a problem reaching students, but when this comes out and we say it’s ok for adults to do it but not you, that will make tons of students come back to the church.
    When it comes to this kind of stuff, you should take a vacation with just you and your wife. Or better yet, seek counseling. I’ve seen it before where something like this happens with the spouse but what happens when they get bored with this? Does the man, youth minister, take it elsewhere like snap chat with students or even worse?
    The fact that you and this company would advocate this garbage is sickening. I get that the married life can become routine, but that is where you need to find REAL ways to communicate with your spouse. I’m not holier than the next person but I think I speak for tons of people on this. The fact that any youth minister would he ok with this should very much check their hearts. We are called to be different and above the world. Sexting your wife or spouse is NOT above the world. Awful. There should be a retraction and apology for this crap being posted.
    My name is Mark Ashby and I stand by every word I write in this comment.

    • So Mark, why do we tell kids not to sext? Because they become “bad Christians” if they do it or because sexual activity outside of marriage is harmful and doesn’t glorify God? Because if it’s the latter, your comment is pretty harsh. If it’s the former, maybe YOU need to step back and think about what you’re teaching (directly or indirectly) about legalism. Also, not all sexting needs to include photos. It can simply be a text to a spouse telling them what you’re excited for later in the day. How would that be harmful? I hope you treat your students with more love and grace when they come to you with something you dislike or don’t approve of than you treat people on the Internet. Just because you aren’t face to face with a writer when you jump down their throats doesn’t mean they (and others) don’t read what you write.

      • Im totally knew others would read this. And no when physical intimacy outside marriage happens with students it isn’t glorifying to God but God still loves them and can/will forgive them with a real repentant heart. Plus I did talk with Tim. And yes I did jump down his throat and apologized for it. The last few sentences should be redacted. However, the terminology, in my opinion is wrong. I’m not wrong to have an opinion either. I should have chosen my terminology better as well.

    • By your logic Mark, we probably shouldn’t have sex either. Cause we tell students not to do it but as married couples we do.

      • Not what I meant at all but I could see how you would arrive to that conclusion. I think the article was to point out to find ways to communicate with your spouse. I know this article is for married couples.
        I simply feel that “sexting” is the wrong terminology. It could lead to worse things, in the way that America and websters would define that. A sext message usually involves pictures and nasty words. I never once said we should not have intimacy in the marriage and i did state that this is about communication with the spouse.

    • Tim and Tasha Levert

      Mark-

      I’m so sorry this article got you so riled up, but I’m glad you felt comfortable enough to interact about it. I’ve read your comments a few times, and while it seems likely that we will end up disagreeing on some things, I do want to reply with an alternative perspective on the issue of sexting. Perhaps our conversation will help others flesh out their own views about issues related to sexuality.

      I discourage Christ-followers from doing anything less than God’s best for them. In this case, I discourage students from engaging in any form of sexual activity until they’ve made a lifelong commitment to their spouse in front of God and their loved ones in marriage. But once they’re married, I will encourage them to experience the fullness of God’s plan for sexuality. The difference is the context of the relationship – before you’re married, you should trust God and wait; once you’re married, you should trust God and enjoy his gift. This article is addressed to married couples, not to unmarried students.

      I also believe we might have differing perspectives on what is or isn’t sexting. Sexting I would discourage anyone from using coarse and obscene language, but consider these passages in the Song of Solomon:

      * Like the finest apple tree in the orchard is my lover among other young men. I sit in his delightful shade and taste his delicious fruit. (2:3)

      * Your lips are as sweet as nectar, my bride. Honey and milk are under your tongue. (4:11)

      * Your thighs shelter a paradise of pomegranates with rare spices. (4:13)

      * Your navel is perfectly formed like a goblet filled with mixed wine. Between your thighs lies a mound of wheat bordered with lilies. (7:2)

      There are more, but you get the point. Sexting doesn’t have to be gross.

      I’m not going to reply to your lengthy insinuations about my personal integrity or the health of marriage, except to encourage you to be careful about reading more into people’s words than are actually there. I don’t presume to be right about everything, and I appreciate and welcome challenging dialogue with truth and love. I’m assuming you don’t intend them to be, but your comments here come across as attacking and judgmental. I hope we can talk soon.

      Your brother in Christ-
      Tim

      • Dear Tim,

        May you, your family and loved ones, and your ministry be assured of blessing, as we all are through obedience to Christ.

        I read your article about a week+ ago, but since then have been ill. Now that I am recovering I see it has attracted quite a lot of mostly one-sided comments.

        I can understand why Mark reacted to your post as he first did. Surprising how his emotional response may have seemed to you, it was I believe you that lit that touchpaper.

        You make a true point by saying how social media tells a story. You told a story yourself when you named the article ‘[Technology] Sexting. There, We Said It.’

        Those that read the full article, all the way to the end, then heard a second story. Unfortunately, by that time, everyone is thinking and talking about the first story.

        I’d suggest re-editing the article’s title to reflect the story that you originally intended to tell.

        I also agree with Mark that we are called to be counter-cultural. You make a link between your habit of sending your spouse an intimate personal message, and ‘sexting’. As a consequence, we as readers are now talking about when sexting is good or when it’s bad. I read so many comments, where a ‘justification by context’ argument was given, e.g.:
        - the article is meant to be read by x not y type of person
        - it’s okay in this situation, but not in that
        - this wasn’t meant to be passed on to the kids
        From the very different voices of the comments, I guess that we wouldn’t be able to come up with a context that we can all agree on. I’d say it’s better just not to go to that place. Just don’t make use of the term ‘sexting’, when writing a fairly light-hearted piece. It doesn’t belong.

        When adults put simplistic definitions like ‘before marriage equals bad, after marriage equals good’, it influences people’s behaviour in a non-godly way, and produces hypocrites. There are undoubtedly situations when sending a sexually intimate message to a spouse by text can be bad on any given day; especially from husband to wife as men think about sex more.

        The use of the word ‘perks’ is also a touch-paper, though I seem to be the only one who makes mention of it.

        How do you know what your wife feels when she is on the other end of town. Much better to encourage one’s wife by sending words about her day, and the challenges she’ll be facing like physical pain, medical worry, a college assignment that is overdue, whether she needs a hand getting back from work, concerns about the children’s welfare etc. These are the type of things that you should use texting for, so that there is a continually mutually supportive emotional connection between you as a couple. I’d be surprised if most of our wives react that well to being sent a verse from Songs of Solomon in the middle of school drop-off, or when a project they were responsible for hasn’t gone to plan.

        I appreciate it may be rough to be challenged, and I do hope and trust that my words are not received as condemning. I’m simply choosing to add my voice and reaction to this debate, in the hope that through further discussion we might all be strengthened in our resolve for Christ!

        God Bless

        I hope my post is readable, it’s very difficult to type through the webform.

    • We tell teenagers that they shouldn’t engage in sexual behavior before marriage (right?). Does that mean if we’re married we shouldn’t have sex? That seems a little silly, but that’s the logic your employing.
      The article was not aimed at teaching teens, or advocating sexting at youth group. The focus was on married couples. The authors seem to imply that no one (especially the teenagers you work with) would or should know about what you do with your spouse behind close doors.
      Also, the authors were not advocating sexting to fix a communication or marriage problem. You missed the point of the article, which was to highlight some positive ways to add some fun to your marriage using social media.
      Context is key, and I think you took this article way out of context. I’m all for standing up for truth and not allowing culture to trump our ministry, but I don’t think your response is warranted.

      • If you preach you shouldn’t have intimacy after marriage then we might be on the wrong page. I never said those words or anything close. We preach we should not have sex before marriage. I’ve never stated anything if the sort after marriage.
        I’m glad this opened dialogue.
        Context is key, you’re right. However the wording I believe is wrong. Just my opinion. Sexting is rooted as derogatory and dirty. I would never and have never ‘sexted’ my wife in any way. I tell her I love her and how great she is etc, but nothing in the sense of sexting (how the entire world would define it). My terminology in my first post should have been chosen differently as well.

      • Preach on, brotha

    • Mark,
      Your logic is wrong, dude. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so ridiculous. I find it crazy that you criticize the author’s logic when your logic is so obviously twisted. With your logic, it would be wrong for two married individuals to have sex (because we teach umarried students that sex before marriage is wrong). Sexting isn’t any more of a sin than sex is. (Yes, there may be risks to sexting, but that doesn’t make it a sin.)

      Come on dude

  2. Kurt Johnston

    “Between your thighs lies a mound of wheat bordered with lilies.”
    ….I’m gonna try whispering that in my wife’s ear tonight.

  3. Tim and Tasha,

    Love the article! Great words.

    Mark Ashby, I don’t understand your point with the sexting topic. If they were sexting others besides their spouse, yes, that would be sinful for sure!! But they said sext your spouse. Which is completely, 100% okay. Porn brings in others into your marriage in a sexual way which is 100% sinful. We should preach against that AND not do it. If sexting can lead you to other things, then so can talking about sex with your spouse, having sex with your spouse, etc.

    Taking vacations with your spouse is also a great idea. If all a couple did was sext each other, then yes, that would lead to an empty relationship but I don’t think that’s what they were saying at all.

    I also agree that godly men should definitely guard themselves against adultry but I think sexting their spouse would actually help guard against that. Have fun in your marriage! Be playful!

  4. Peyton Porterfield December 6, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Mark, modern technology has opened up more levels of communication between spouses, strangers, and the world. Part of our job as ministers is to lead our students to an understanding what is appropriate. We do not (I hope) shame our students for having sexual desires, but we do help them to understand how to honor God by respecting his intention for sex ONLY within the confines of marriage.
    What’s the difference between one spouse teasing the other at home with a slip of skin, leaving the other a flirting note in a lunch bag, sending a playful text, or SnapChat’ing a risqué photo?
    Let’s stop painting a picture of the Christian marriage as boring and stuffy, lights off and lips sealed. There are ways to lead our students to an understanding what’s appropriate and what’s not.
    Your other concerns seem a bit hyperbolic. Each spouse would have to check their own hearts to discern whether they are objectifying the other or merely being excited about the amazing perks of a physical and spiritual covenant union. I’m not sure I see what is hypocritical in expressing affection for a spouse while teaching students to understand what is appropriate inside and outside of a marriage.

  5. Thank you for the encouragement for marriages! Creatively loving our spouses is awesome. When I teach on Sex and some other ‘hot’ topics I lean heavily on teaching kids ‘How too’ rather then DON’T DO IT. Teach them HOW to have sex. in the contact of marriage. And how great it can be. It is a gift from God. to many Christians think sex is bad and then even in marriage they do not talk about it openly with their spouse. Years ago my wife and I read Sheet Music by Kevin Lyman. It changed our marriage! being abel to talk frankly about the subject was such a huge weight lifted. as you said if students have access to your phone you should be careful.
    With respect to Mark, to compare flirting in provocative ways with your wife via texting to porn is ridiculous. The last thing we need in marriages is to feel guilt about desiring sex with our spouse.
    to the idea of this being hypocritical to students. The truth is that we have a lot of things that it is ‘OK’ for adults and not for students. Teaching them to be OK with were they are so they can fully enjoy the fruits of next stages in life is a beautiful thing.
    As for my wife and I we would not send compromising pictures to each other, as that is just were our line is. Perhaps that is one of the benefits of a conversation on this topic is to get couples talking about what they think and are comfortable with? There most defiantly is a line that crosses into inappropriate and even sin. But I think that there may be a gray area leading up to that line where the individual needs to decide their freedoms.
    In HIM
    Chris

  6. I regret saying the article is garbage. I have talked with Tim. We agree to disagree. I never said we should not be intimate in marriage. Our perception of the word sext is where this is deriving from.
    That being said, in was simply trying to say that men and women should guard their hearts. It could help a marriage but COULD lead to other, more damaging things as well. Should one flirt with their spouse? All day long. Enjoy the walls of marriage. Be careful is all I was trying to get across.
    Sorry I came across as harsh. I apologized to Tim and I do the same to everyone reading the article.
    I do feel the terminology is wrong. Sexting is naturally a derogatory, dirty thing. Sending and saying intimate things to your spouse is not. These are things that we need to be careful of because it can lead to worse things. It boils down to the terminology that bothers me and that we should rethink. That is all. We should be crazy about our spouse and find ways to continue to communicate. Didn’t mean to start controversy just wanted to open dialogue.

  7. This is awesome! Im glad matters were resolved. #ILOVEMYWIFE

  8. Tim & Mark – I think too many Christians are far too comfortable talking about sex anymore. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t talk about sex and it’s proper place within a marriage, but we should show some discretion and respect when speaking on this topic.The terminology and the flippant discussion of this topic demeans sex and the beauty God created it for. I would say that the terminology is wrong. I’m sure Tim meant well, but the term “sexting” wasn’t a good choice. Sexting is perverse and crud and I’d rather not associate my wonderful intimacy with my wife with something disgusting. I do believe as men we should pursue our wives and communicate intimacy, but tastefully.

  9. I personally am also very sensitive to the word, sexting. In my mind it is derogatory. Having a teen, working with youth, and knowing some of the horrible situations some have found themselves in created this connotation for me. For me, the word is like using porn and romantic movie interchangeably. It doesn’t work. Just wanted to add my two cen
    Obviously, we are all Christ lovers and have good intentions. I love the dialog here…

  10. I am new to this site. I was looking for information about youth ministry, not my sex life or my marriage. I agree with Alan.

    • Kurt Johnston

      Hey Cheryl,
      The goal of this website is to provide thoughtful discussion concerning all areas of youth ministry life; from youth ministry nuts and bolts to larger life issues that youth workers deal with. There aree articles discussing youth ministry resources, theology, youth ministry-specific topics, and day-to-day stuff that youth workers navigate, like marriage, family etc.

      Snoop around….and stick around. I think you’ll find what you’re looking for.

  11. The dialogue is great I think there is valid points across the board I also think that increased love and communication between husband and wife ministry teams can only be a huge blessing! After all OUR God is love and if love is overflowing then there can’t help but be healing restoration and breakthrough in the ministries that we are all involved in.
    Love you guys! may He bless you and increase you

  12. Unbelievable, Do you know what world we are living today. Some of these comments sure don’t look like it. Our teens are faced everyday with much more than anything any of us grew up with and I hate to be the bearer of bad news but teens are using the word sexting everyday. Many of them are sexting everyday. If we are truly about trying to reach our kids today where they are at then we have to be engulfed in the culture and we have to know it. I have been in youth ministry now for a couple decades and one thing I have learned (from some of the great youth leaders from Simply Youth Ministry) is that kids respond to us as leaders when they feel they can trust us to know what they are going through right now, not what we went through when we were teens. To me this is childish making a big deal about the term sexting. Does that mean we don’t use the term pornography when we are trying to help teens with the addiction to it. If any of you think that using that term here in this article will make it ok for teens to do you are very naive. They already know it and use it but I think it is another way for them to see that in a loving MARRIAGE relationship sexual fun can happen. I’m so sick of all these people trying to hide things from students when the students themselves know more about it than us. Our concentration should be on finding ways to communicate what is wrong when it is and how to use certain things the right way. Please don’t look into any of these comments for more than they are meant. Too many times you take one line out of context and for get the whole text. Sound familiar. Finally I have fun with my wife this way and I wouldn’t have a problem talking to students about it. My preaching today is always about finding ways for the students to see how modern things of today can be used for the right thing and for God. Once they see a connection then I talk to them about the importance of grounding themselves in a relationship with Christ through scripture, prayer, and service. So yes back to the original argument here. It would be hypocritical to say sexting is wrong and then do it our selves. But if we tell our students that sexting is another part of sexual fun that a married couple should engage in just like when you would talk about any of the sexual aspects that would be only done in the marriage covenant. And for any of you to relate sexting to pornography is simply childish too. What a wife and husband do with there phones between each other is not pornography and very far from it. Pornography is very dangerous and has no part in the world period and that is why we preach the dangers of it and try to help our teens steer clear of it.
    Wow, I think I said too much. Please let’s pray for our students and concentrate on fighting against the evil one’s attacks that our students face each and everyday. and Kurt thanks for all you do, see you all at the conference I hope:)

  13. Dustin K. Brown December 8, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    If you think sexting is wrong in marriage you probably also think sex is wrong in marriage. As long as it doesn’t include someone else, disrespect or unbiblical methods sex is ok in marriage in the sight of God. Our young people would be more encouraged to stay pure if there leaders were having fun loving and yes even sexual marriages. I’m not saying sharing your sex life with your students or using to much PDA that is out of hand but they can look at your normal interaction and tell.

  14. Hello:) I subscribe to this “More Than Dodgeball” to get ideas on how to connect with my youth. I clicked on the link thinking that I would in some way get some insight on how to help my youth dealing with the problem of sexting. I was blown away. I feel that this topic would have been acceptable on a website that was offering tips on marriage and not youth ministry. My father has been a police officer for more than 30 years. He currently handles cases of adults sexting and youth sexting. There is nothing and I mean nothing safe about anyone sexting. I know of cases of women sexting and sending it to the wrong person and it has absolutely ruined lives. What if you accidentally send your provocative messages to your youth instead of your spouse? In most cases it will be against the law. I am a big advocate for intimacy in marriage, I believe it is very important! But I do not understand why it has to be done through social media. And yes, texting between 2 phones is social because once you send it, it’s out there for the world to see. Yes. The world. There are many other intimate ways to spice up your marriage besides sexting and especially using the youth ministry website to do share about it. And by the way…. I’m in my early thirties, have two kids… I’m not an old fart stuck in legalism. Let’s not make excuses, take responsibility, and be a good example for the lost world that may be reading these posts of arguing youth ministers. If you feel the need to sext your spouse, do it, but we don’t need to know about it and I certainly won’t be advising anyone else to do it. Just come up with a good explanation for the police when they come for your phone.

    • yeah, this is my concern too. I have consistently heard that everything sent can be retrieved.
      I am comfortable with flirtatious comments or relatively safe pic but that’s not my definition of “sexting.” I have also occasionally sent messages to the wrong intended person and would hate to risk that level of revelation on any media device. This is a rare blog I would recommend for retraction.
      If you want to take that risk fine, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

      And as a man married both with 25 years of student ministry and a blessed marriage I know my wife would prefer words to pics anyway–and tho I like the concept between married couples, I guess suggestive words will continue to have to do for me til I know there is no risk (like a locked bedroom door).

      PT

    • This was a great point Kasey. Social media is SOCIAL media. Once it goes out, it is out there. Is it worth the risk?

  15. Great job Tim.
    Thanks for challenging us!

    -Jake

  16. Andrea Reynolds December 9, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    The topic of the article got my attention “Sexting, there we said it”; however I was disappointed by the article itself. Reason being that I assumed the articles would be resources for the youth worker to help with the youth. However the article is apparently addressed to married couples.

    I’ve noticed that there are several comments that are not the nicest I’ve read. I realize that we are all humans and our perfection is only in Christ. I can see Tim’s point and I can also see Mark’s point.

    Tim was giving suggestions on the different ways you can use technology in your relationship and a suggestion is “sexting”.

    Mark’s point is that the term “sexting” is worldly and it has a negative connotation. On top of which a possible problem it may pose with the youth is – some of them may view it as a double standard, you tell them that they should not engage in sexting yet you are even though you are married. They are not considering that the adults are married and that the married bed is undefiled. All they will see is that you are doing it and there shouldn’t be a problem if they do it too.

    We should all remember that we should be affecting the world not the world affecting us. There is nothing wrong with being romantic with your spouse, there are many romantic expressions in the bible (Psalms), which is what Tim is expressing. And Mark did not imply that there shouldn’t be any romance in marriage, his concern is the double standard that is poses to the youth. I believe the term “sexting” is the source of contention here because of the connotation behind the word.

    I pray that we remember these scriptures:

    James 1:19 – 20 “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”

    Matthew 7:1-3 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

    Sometimes we should take a moment and ask for clarification before we speak. And we don’t necessarily have to agree with the articles we read. I believe Tim, Mark, myself and everyone else that read this article and the ensuing comments can take something away from this experience.

    Have a great evening or morning everyone!!!!!

  17. Tim and Tasha Levert

    Friends,

    Tasha and I are excited that this article has generated so much discussion. We believe it’s healthy to have significant conversations like this, and we believe truth is best discerned in community. Rarely has any one person – us included – cornered the market on truth. This conversation is important.

    After watching the comments stack up, we’d like to share a few additional thoughts.

    1. A healthy sex life is a key ingredient to a healthy marriage. Research is conclusive on this. It’s not the ONLY ingredient to a healthy marriage, but it is as important as communication, values alignment, etc.

    A healthy sex life means far more than intercourse. Healthy sexuality is physical, emotional, and spiritual. (For a little fun, do some research on the Hebrew word we transliterate as “yada;” it’s Strong’s #3045 if you’re interested.)

    The intimacy that a husband and wife share is sacred and God-ordained. The way this intimacy is expressed is appropriate as long as it doesn’t violate the scriptures or what the husband AND the wife — in a mutually submissive and sacrificial way — agree are appropriate.

    2. Many of our opinions are socially formed as much as they are Biblically informed, including some in our original article AND some in your responses. If an issue is not explicitly addressed in the scriptures, we must humbly navigate the Biblical narrative and make application as we understand it.

    The Bible writers never wrote, “Sexting is great!” or, “Sexting is terrible!” We all bring various perspectives to the conversation, and while all of our thoughts are valid and important, we must be careful not to confuse the truth of the scripture and our opinions. We all have the opportunity and responsibility to live in community with one another, to bear with one another, and to love one another. Even if we have different and competing opinions.

    3. Technology is neither good nor evil. It’s amoral; it can be used for good things or bad things. Both the sender and receiver of information play a role in determining it’s effect. Neither the sender nor the receiver can guarantee communication remains exclusive to the two of them only.

    Several comments here have related to privacy and the wisdom in sharing private conversation via text messaging. We understand and appreciate the concern, but would caution against hyperbolizing to support our arguments. Some readers of this blog might not be comfortable making online purchases because of the risk of credit card fraud. We should be able to respect their decision, even if we would act differently.

    4. For married youth leaders, the health of your marriage is of paramount importance to the health of your ministry. This is rooted in the Bible (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1), supported by research (“The Spirit and Culture of Youth Ministry” by Luther Seminary), and validated at minimum by our own 20+ years in full-time, local church youth ministry.

    We can’t speak for Group or Simply Youth Ministry, but we believe they provide support for the married youth leader on this blog, in print resources, and at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference because they want youth leaders to be healthy Christ-followers in healthy marriages so they can be healthy youth leaders.

    5. We are family. Good conversation is important, even if it’s passionate and tension-filled. But we must resist the urge to vilify those with whom we disagree. Making personal, disparaging comments distracts us from the conversation that needs to take place. Sharing an opinion – stated as as opinion – is welcome and wanted and encouraged. But please respond in the spirit of community and Kingdom-mindedness.

    We’re honored to serve students beside you.
    Tim and Tasha

  18. I am a little offended at the title of this article. Had it been properly labeled there would not be the confusion, frustration, or irritation that has followed. I too thought this article might offer insight on how to speak to my students about the issue of sexting (I’ve gotten more helpful information on that from the replies). This article should have properly been labeled something like: “Adding a Little Technological Spice to Your Marriage”. That would have been appropriate, but then again, it would have been less controversial and possibly caused less interest. Why mention “sexting” as the major title of this article? I think it is a sad attempt to be “edgy and relevant”. Why not let your writings speak for themselves and the topics they address, than pull a “bait and switch” stunt?

  19. A teacher in our area just got fired because a nude picture of her found its way online. Apparently what had happened was her phone was stolen, and in that period of time someone else got the picture and it got posted online somewhere. I just wanted to add that scenario to this discussion. I don’t think its wrong, but at least in her case, it got her fired. So maybe the question is whether or not having sensitive material on such a public device (password or not) that can be lost, misplaced, stolen, or that our students try to take goofy pictures when we aren’t paying attention is a good idea.

  20. Yeah, I’m with Kasey; comment above. I am very disappointed that this article was put out there in the way it was. I don’t think sexting is appropriate or healthy; wrong, I don’t think I can say that either, but I don’t think most parents would want us telling their students that we are sexting our spouse. My cell phone is an open book to the students that I minister to. It is the only MP3 player allowed on car/bus rides (because it has music that is approved), and therefore is in the hands of students to play music. I have no fear that a student will stumble across anything on my phone that would be inappropriate / compromising. If I told them they were not allowed to use my phone, or they picked it up and saw it is password protected, they might just wonder what I’m hiding…
    Doug

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