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Speaker Introduces New Idea of Stewardship

By Brett Wilson | March 26, 2013

Dr. Yarhouse spoke to students on Monday, March 18 at the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) monthly assembly.

Traditionally, the term "stewardship" is often used for describing the usage of time or financial resources in the lives of Christ-followers. However, Regent University's School of Psychology & Counseling professor, Dr. Mark Yarhouse, introduced an atypical application of stewardship at the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) monthly assembly: sexuality.

On Monday, March 18, Yarhouse challenged his audience of students and faculty members with the idea of "sexual stewardship." Yarhouse explained that just as they are taught to be faithful with their lives, careers and other gifts from God, believers must also learn to be mindful of their sexuality.

This is an idea, according to Yarhouse, that has been neglected. While Christians may be able to reconcile the idea that all good things come from God, Yarhouse said that there are several obstacles that hinder believers from holding themselves accountable for their sexual desires. The first is the projected Western civilized idea that the act of sex is something that is simply owned by an individual. "We don't own our sexuality," said Yarhouse. "The beginning of sexual stewarding is admitting that sex isn't ours; it belongs to God."

Yarhouse said that our culture's incessant portrayal of sexual acts as the highest form of self-actualization is something that further hinders this particular form of stewardship.

"While this makes it appear that we have a high regard for sexuality, it actually just reduces humans to nothing more than objects used for pleasure," said Yarhouse.

Yarhouse encouraged his listeners to dismiss what the world proclaims about sex, and turn their eyes to a Godly, holistic approach to sexuality. According to Yarhouse, sexual stewardship begins when believers acknowledge the procreative, uniting and instructive purposes sex provides.

Within the context of marriage, sexuality has the opportunity to provide Christ-followers with a true "reflection of transcendent reality," according to Yarhouse. Sexuality can be a reminder to believers that God is an intimate, relational being.

Though sexuality in the realm of a Godly marriage is certainly a positive thing, Yarhouse acknowledged that it is oftentimes difficult to keep stewardship at the forefront in a world that broadcasts such dissimilar ideals. Yarhouse suggested students, in order to foster sexual stewardship in their lives, commit to being prayerful about their desires, and ask their friends to hold them accountable to their relational choices.

"Sexual stewardship is a lifelong choice, and it doesn't end with marriage," said Yarhouse. "This must be actively pursued throughout your life." Held each month, the CAS assembly aims to provide students with the chance to hear from distinguished scholars in a variety of fields.

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