CR spoke with Sarah Teibo about handling sexual feelings as a Christian

Sarah Teibo
Sarah Teibo

Sarah Teibo is the author of Sex Interrupted, a scripture inspired guide to love, relationships and sex for youth and singles. She has a passion for empowering young people in the area of relationships and Sarah J caught up with her to hear her story and advice.

Sarah J: Sex Interrupted is your first book. What made you write a book about sex?

Sarah: I started my Christian life at the age of 10. All through puberty I was a Christian until I started realising that there were certain emotions and feelings that you have for the opposite sex. Those feelings make you wonder if you're still a Christian. I had these sorts of questions, but I didn't have literature to guide me to help me understand what I was feeling.

When I started dating my husband, I found that this strong feeling called love sometimes gets confused with lust and sometimes borders on seduction. At that stage I found there wasn't a lot of Christian literature to give guidance on these feelings to help you manage them in a way that you don't sin. I started doing research and asking questions, reading books and reading the Bible and decided to write. The next thing I knew I had a book, simply because I wanted to know and get more understanding on how to manage the feelings you have as a Christian.

People need to realise that you will feel feelings even though you're a Christian. You will have to manage these feelings and not sin. You will need to interrupt the notion that the world has that sex equals love or that in relationships if you don't have sex you're not doing it right. That's how Sex Interrupted was born.

Sarah J: In the media and generally in society sex isn't necessarily seen as having anything to do with being married; it's just about having pleasure.

Sarah: Absolutely. The thing I found is that the body of Christ is doing a good job teaching the church how to get to heaven, how to prosper, how to have health, but we're not doing a lot in teaching people and especially young people about sex. Society has seen that gap and has literally taken that responsibility to teach and educate about sex and they're teaching the wrong things. We need resources in the body of Christ that teach practical things.

In my book I've taken fictional stories, but the kind of stories that people can identity with and then moved on to biblical principles that teach on certain topics; for example how to deal with guilt if you've done it before, or how to run from temptation when you find yourself in the eye of the storm, when those feelings start coming.

Sarah J: One of the fictional stories that stood out to me was about a single man called Chris and how he was feeling alone at Christmas and was tempted to pursue sexual relationships with women. If loneliness can sometimes be a trigger for people to explore wrong relationships, how would you suggest people overcome the loneliness issue?

Sarah: The thing about that story is it's in a chapter that asks the question, who am I? You need to understand your purpose. In the story, Chris is lonely; his house is in order and he just wanted somebody to come and ruffle the sheets a bit and have some company. If he understood that his calling or his purpose in life was say, helping underprivileged children and he was pursuing that, when he comes back home at the end of the day he feels fulfilled and he would know in his heart that he has done something good. He would probably still feel lonely but that wouldn't steal his joy of existence from him. Marriage is a good thing, but marriage isn't the only reason to live or the only sign of fulfilment, otherwise Jesus wasn't fulfilled, because he never got married.

Sarah J: You talked about the importance of using your singleness purposefully, tell me more about that.

Sarah: One of the things that pushed me to that topic was because I was surrounded by a lot of people who were older singles and the only thing on their prayer list was, God give me a spouse. When I see this I feel a bit hurt that they're not even trying to understand what they are created for. I discovered you could be in the choir and you could meet your husband. I was in the choir when I was in school and I met my husband as we were singing together and that's how we developed a relationship. Sometimes it could be in the course of what you've been called to do that you meet the person that God designed for you. If you're just sitting in the choir praying, God give me a husband, God give me a wife, 24/7, you might lose out on the real purpose for your existence.

Sarah J: Do you feel it's important to choose a partner with a similar mission in life?

Sarah: I believe you should write the vision and make it plain, because the Bible says you need to run with an understanding when you're running the race of life. What you don't want to do is to be running in one direction and have a spouse who's running in the other direction, because when you get tired, which you would do in the course of running, you need someone to hold your hand and to hold you up.