My senior pastor and I have been in conversation about sexuality. Our conversations have revolved around teenagers and their parents because of its relevance to our context, as well as the topic of homosexuality because it is such a divisive issue in our denominiation. In our conversations, we have come to some conclusions. These conclusions are not new nor are they simplistic-- they do not solve the complex problems. However, they are very true theologically & psychologically. As well, they provide the right kind of language by which to understand ourselves as made in the image of God.
First, our job as the community of faith is to form Christians who see their "selfs" as made in the image of God and are able to understand their bodies and sexual being as a gift to be cherished, guarded, and guided. The reason for this is that sex is such a good and poweful aspect of humanity. We want our students (and all our congregants) to cherish self and cherish the other-- to revere, honor, dignify self and other. Such a practice and habit has the ultimate effect of turning sexuality into a virtue. A virtue goes beyond practice or habit to being an instictual way of living out core convictions. As such, sexuality as virtue cannot possibly injure self or other. What we are after with our young people is to help form sexual practices in them that create virtues. Indeed, sexuality is a practice of Christian virtue.