Women lined the walls, filled the chairs and the floor of Myer’s Lounge to hear a faith-based perspective on sexuality from Christian sex therapist Sarah Young on Jan. 26.
Young was invited by Ali Walls, resident director of Fox and Whittier, after the resident directors wanted to host a talk for students on sexuality much like the men had last fall after a chapel focusing on the negative effects of porn.
Walls knew Young from her college days at Indiana Wesleyan when Young was her resident director, and later when Walls served with Young’s former church.
“We just wanted to allow some honest conversation that wasn’t covered up by what women should think and say but really just authentic,” Walls said.
There were no men allowed at the event.
“The turnout is a lot more than we expected, so we are excited to continue the conversation in the future,” Walls said.
Sophomore communication arts major Erin Montgomery was one of the participants at the talk. She came with a group of friends and said it is a cause she finds important.
“I think it’s something we need to be aware of in our generation and the sex-saturated society we live in,” Montgomery said. “I think it’s something we need to be strong together as young ladies and try to emulate Christ in every way.”
Young had an informal way of approaching the topic talking about her own family. She talked about the way women interpret culture and how that in turn affects expectations, the struggle of pornography and how crucial ages 18-23 are for correcting one’s sexual misinterpretations.
“She did an excellent job on being lighthearted and yet being serious about what we were talking about and the subject of it all,” Montgomery said. “She didn’t a make you feel intimidated. She was just sweet and compassionate, which made me respect her and what she had to say.”
Young took questions from the audience and gave hope at the end of the conversation.
“God never meant for us to feel regret or shame, but that’s what happens on this side of heaven when we get outside of his plan,” Young said.
She urged women to deal now with the misconceptions they might have from their parents, others or the media of sexuality and what it is worth. A common phrase of hers was “your sexuality is worth more than that.”
Young went to the Institute for Sexual Wholeness in Atlanta where she received her master’s degree. She lives with her husband, who is a youth pastor, and their two daughters in Michigan.