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God wants to help you to better know your spouse ... in a Biblical sense. That's the message that will be delivered this month by Journey Community Church Pastor Steve Lowe in a series that will address why, he says, God wants couples to have great sex.

Lowe, 33 of Finksburg, will give a four-part series "Great Sexpectations," at 10:30 a.m. Sundays in September at The Freedom Optimist Community Hall, 6315 Sykesville Road, Eldersburg.

"I know it may be surprising and may be offensive to some people that a church would even discuss a subject like this," Lowe said last week. "But the reality is that God cares about our sex lives."

Lowe cites the Song of Solomon and other scriptures that he said are quite frank about sex. Though not Kama Sutra quality, it will make you blush, said the pastor of the non-denominational church.

Flipping one day through a Maxim magazine, he said, he noticed how much of the stories were about sex. It made him consider how many people aren't fulfilling their sex lives.

"I never read Maxim before ... I've been happily married for 13 years and I kind of forgotten that there's a contingency of people who see sex like it's talked about in Maxim."

Lowe said he believes people are placing too much emphasis on sex or participating in casual or random sex -- and that's what motivated to do the sermon series.

"We all have some sense a broken sexuality, but the good news is that God wants to fix what's broken," he said.

Topics of the sermons will include discussing how far is too far before marriage, pornography, masturbation, homosexuality, casual sex and the idea that there's no such thing as "safe sex."

To get the community involved in the discussion, Lowe invites area residents to take part in an anonymous online survey about their sex lives and their views on various aspects of sexuality.

You must be 18 or older to take the survey, he said. No IP addresses, names or other information will be collected, Lowe said. So far, more than 100 people have completed the survey, he said. However, as the questions progressed, people have answered fewer questions, he said.

He hopes people are honest and willing to at least answer the questions online, realizing that he probably will not have people openly talk about their sex lives at church.

Lowe also invites teens to the series realizing how sexually active they are nowadays. Sixty two percent of 12th graders have had sex, according to a 2005 Centers of Disease Control Youth Risk Behavior study. The CDC also found that the median age for teens having his or hers first sexual intercourse is 16.9 for boys and 17.4 for girls.

"I'm hoping the parents bring their kids and kids under 18 come and teenagers come because I think it's so highly relevant to them," he said.

Journey Church member Bonnie Nordvedt, 22 of Dayton, commends the church tackling sex and said she hopes teens attend the series.

Nordvedt, who married last year, said she had sex when she was a teen and that the message of "don't do it" didn't click with her. She said parents need to discuss sex with teens and give reasons, such as emotional, physical and spiritual preparedness, as reasons why teens should wait.

"Sex -- like most things if it's something you don't talk about -- if you don't talk about it, then (teenagers) will be super interested in it automatically," she said. "It's not a bad thing; it's suppose to be a wonderful thing."

Lowe said he hopes to remove the taboo of discussing sex.

"A lot of people who grew up in church, once they get married, they still feel it's taboo and even dirty, and I feel that it's such a shame," he said.

"As parents it's easy for us to say, 'don't, don't, don't.' And I know it should be, 'wait, wait, wait and wait, and have at it once you're married.'"

Lowe rates the series as PG-13, parental discretion is advised.

The Journey also offers a KidsJourney program that can host kids up to 15 years old if parents think the subject is inappropriate for their children, he said.


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