The Birds, the Bees, and the Gospel
Praying . . . also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:18-20
I can remember asking my father where babies came from, and I remember him telling me I wasn’t old enough for the conversation. By the time I was old enough and he broached the subject, I understood enough to be really uncomfortable talking about it with him. My poor son, in his turn, had to listen while I gave the birds and the bees talk to the boys in his class at school. He still talks about the distress of sitting with the other boys while his dad talked about human reproduction.
Some subjects – not just the birds and the bees – simply make us uncomfortable. For some, it’s difficult just to say, “I love you”. It can be hard to honestly express our emotions to those closest to us. At other times, we must confront some destructive behavior with a family member or friend, but we avoid it, because that too, is painful to talk about. This avoidance behavior of ours is unfortunate because the most difficult topics are usually the most important things in life.
In today’s passage, Paul asked the Ephesians to pray for his ministry. He instructed that they pray for wisdom and bravery for him – that he may boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel. Even Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, needed courage, indicating that sometimes he too, found it more comfortable to remain silent, even when he needed to speak up.
For most of us, sharing our faith is the most awkward thing we could imagine. Yes, we believe in God. Yes, he’s saved us, and we know what he can do for others, but still, the idea of sharing our faith with anyone is horrible. It may be the most important conversation we could have in life, yet we avoid it because it’s way out of our comfort zone.
I get it. I’m there too. I don’t want to be a religious nut. It’s easier to simply go along to get along, not making things weird. Some subjects though are worth the discomfort and sometimes, we need to stop being such cowards. Sometimes, we must simply grow up and do what needs to be done. Yes, this will require bravery, but often, the most important things in life do. We may not like it, but sometimes others need us to do the right thing, even if it’s more uncomfortable than talking about the birds and the bees.