Brim – Relationships & Sex
Equipment: pens, paper, some kind of box, Healthy Relationships Resource Kit (Click to download)
Notes Before Running This Session
This session covers 2 big issues in the lives of young people and it’s important to think about what you want the aims of the session to be beforehand. This session has been put together to enable young people to discuss and engage with parts of the bible but also think about what makes a healthy relationship.
The question box allows young people to openly and honestly ask questions however be prepared to answer questions honestly…leaders who run this session should be prepared to appropriately share their own journeys with young people.
You could also include: Some testimonies from couples in your church
Opening Activity: Get the group into 2 or 3 groups and give them 3 minutes to write down as many famous couples (real or fictional) as they can. After the 3 minutes compare with the others groups. They will get a point for each unique couple they have written down.
Explain: Explain that tonight’s session is about relationships and sex. We have lots of different types of relationships with people but tonight is about romantic ones.
The Box: At this stage of the session explain that there’s plenty of opportunity for discussion but you also want to have a chance for questions at the end. They can be anything about sex and relationships and can be said out loud or written anonymously in the box, all questions will be answered. You may also want to mention to your group that this discussion (unless something safeguarding related comes out of it) will be kept within the group hopefully allowing a free, open atmosphere. You may also like to let the group know they can use whatever language they feel comfortable using to talk about sex and relationships.
Explain: We started off with a game and all of the people you’ve written down in your opening game are examples of relationships.
Ask: Which do you think are good examples? Why?
Which don’t you think are good examples? Why?
Groups: Invite groups to make a list of positive & negative relationship traits…these could include,
Honest, Kind, Caring, Fair Compassionate Assertive, Easy going Respectful Common interests Good Listener, Pleasant or Cheerful, Fun to be with, Supportive, Helpful, Loyal, Trustworthy Dependable
Paranoid, dishonest, doesn’t trust you, checks phone, no respect, doesn’t listen, unsupportive, not interested in you, unreliable, negative
Quiz: Inviting the group to move to one side of the room for true and the other false have a go at the ‘Healthy Relationships Question Set from page 51 of the Healthy Relationships Resource Kit – Link
Ask: What do you think the bible says about relationships?
Bible: Genesis 2:18-26 (God creates woman), Matthew 5:43-44 (Love your neighbour as you love yourself), Matthew 19:3-6
(Discuss these passages)
Explain: These bible passages tell us that God intends for humans to be in relationships…God is pro-relationships…not just romantic but all interactions…but also that it’s important that as we love others we do that with respect.
Video Clip – Film: American Pie – Play from 16:08 to 19:04
Explain: This clip is from quite early on in the film, some of the characters are in relationships, some aren’t but they make this pact to lose their virginity before Prom.
Ask: What ideas does the clip suggest about sex? Does it tie in with what you hear at school/college? Why/Why not?
What do you think the bible says about sex? (Link back to the Genesis passage and Matthew 19 passage from earlier)
Read: Song of Solomon 1: 1-5
Explain: Explain that Song of Solomon is a book unlike any other in the bible…it’s a book which is essentially a conversation between a couple all to do with love and sex.
Ask: What do you think having a book like this in the bible tells us?
Explain: Song of Solomon can teach us, like our passages from earlier that God created sex, the couple of Song of Solomon are self-giving and loving, it’s about their relationship and not just sex, sex is part of their relationship.
Likewise the bible tells us that God intends for sex to be between two people in a stable, permanent relationship, in the bible this is often talked about as marriage and today that often fits into that model too. The bible talks about how marriage is. ideally, two people who are joined together in God (although of course we know from our society this isn’t always true).
Ask: Do you think the idea of sex being only for marriage is a good one? Why? Is it outdated (or not)? Why do you think this?
Note: You will want to be prepared to tweak what you say depending on how the young people respond, be aware that some young people will come from homes where parents are divorced but also that some young people will have already had sex.
This section does however provide an opportunity to link back the discussion on what makes a good relationship and how sex can be part of that healthy committed relationship and to encourage the young people to think about how sex connects people emotionally and not just physically.
There’s an old illustration as sex being like gluing two pieces of paper together and when they’re ripped apart you find there are still parts of the paper stuck to the other and that this represents the emotional and spiritual side of sex rather than it just being an act.
This is the best time in your session to tackle the anonymous question box. Try and open the questions up to the group to discuss rather than them just being answered by leaders.
Prayer: Close the session by praying, asking God to give us wisdom in our relationships and helping us to stick to His word rather than feeling pressured into things.