By Lydia Switzer
Laughter and friendly conversation fill the lecture hall as young women chat and catch up from their weeks. By 7:00 pm, the room is almost completely full, with people continuing to filter in as the event begins. The event that so many have shown up to attend isn’t a group meeting, a political speaker, or even a movie showing; it’s the third week of an all-female seminar on Biblical sexuality.
The series, called “The Talk,” began in 2016 through the leadership of Dean of Women Mindy May, as well as Resident Directors of the female dorms. Its purpose? To inform young women on what the Bible says about sex and how it applies to their lives, whether they are single, dating, or married.
“When I first came to Cedarville, there was a lot of people struggling from pornography; even in counseling there was a lot of questions coming up about sexuality in general, and it became pretty apparent pretty quickly that we could address this in a little bit more of a discipleship-oriented way,” May said.
For her, this stems from her belief that the Bible clearly teaches that sexuality is a gift from God. Because of this, she said, “we should be comfortable and confident to talk about that, but also in an appropriate way, and [consider] how do we steward that for God’s glory.”
That is exactly the mission of The Talk. The first session covered the purpose of sex and sexuality as laid out in the first few chapters of Genesis. In the second session, the group discussed the difference between temptation and sin, and the third session was a Q&A in which girls could anonymously text their relevant questions to a panel including Mindy May and the RDs of each female dorm.
The fourth and final session of The Talk will take place this coming Monday, October 14th, and May plans to offer practical steps for moving forward and overcoming sexual sin, as well as explain the concept of accountability.
After the four weeks of the seminar have concluded, any young woman may join a smaller accountability group specifically oriented around a particular issue. May reported incredible growth as a result of both the sessions and the accountability groups.
“We’re starting with the seminars and just laying a theological foundation, but then through the groups are coming great victory in overcoming some of the sexual struggles that they have had and the sin they’ve been wrestling with for awhile,” she said. “We’ve got girls who are no longer enslaved to some of the battles that they’ve been facing.”
While this is an incredible testimony, The Talk isn’t just for girls struggling with a particular sin. It is also for those who want to receive a Biblical perspective on a topic that, too often, popular culture has twisted.
According to Mindy May, talking about Biblical sexuality is important for Christians, but it is often avoided in more conservative circles because it’s considered awkward or indecent. However, Rachel Erich, a freshman Economics major, thinks that “having a place where it can be discussed in a Biblical manner that’s appropriate is very good for us.”
Abby Burr, a Resident Assistant in Johnson Hall, would agree. “I know growing up we never talked about sexual purity and what that looked like, so I think it’s good to have it addressed, and in a very biblical way.” She added, “it is an area of our lives that we still need to glorify God in.”
There is only one week left in the seminar this year, but it will be worth attending. As Erich pointed out, “it offers some solidarity and community to know that you’re not alone in this.” Whether you have questions, need encouragement, or are just curious as to what The Talk is all about, BTS 104 is the place to be this coming Monday.
Lydia Switzer is a sophomore Political Science student. When she is not studying, she enjoys playing the euphonium in Cedarville’s Wind Symphony and competing with the debate team.