The Great Sex Rescue Toolkit to Combat Toxic Evangelical Teachings on Sex

by | Jul 5, 2023 | Theology of Marriage and Sex | 8 comments

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What do you actually SAY to people who believe horrible stuff about sex? 

Everyday when I start sipping my tea and check my inbox or social media messages, I’m inevitably greeted by a message that goes something like this: 

My church is about to start a small group study on [Love & Respect/some other horrid book]. I know it’s going to be awful, but what can I say to the small group leaders to explain how awful this is? And what can I say to my friends to warn people not to go?

Or I’ll get something like this:

My pastor has been in the middle of a series on marriage, and overall it wasn’t that bad, but  yesterday the sermon took an awful turn. He kept going on and on about how men were created with such high physical needs, and that this is hard wired into men, and then told women they had to be modest but also had to meet their husbands’ physical needs. I want to send my pastor an email but I don’t know what to say.

Or I hear:

I have a meeting scheduled for next week with the pastoral care team at our church about the resources that we’re using for marriage. Any pointers on what I should say before I go in?

Sometimes it’s even closer to home:

I feel like if my husband just understood what I’ve been learning from you, our marriage would be so much better. But I don’t know how to start. And he keeps bringing up 1 Corinthians 7, that sex is something that we each owe to each other. I want to get him to listen to the audio version of The Great Sex Rescue, but what can I say to make him see that it will make things better for him, not worse? 

All over the world, in all kinds of churches & homes, so many of you are speaking up about toxic teachings.

But I know it’s hard. You’ve been listening to the Bare Marriage podcast, or you’ve been reading the blog and reading the books, and you’re passionate about what you’ve heard. But it all gets jumbled, or you try to say something and you lose your bearings half way through the conversation. Or you get so angry that you can’t think straight.

I want to make it easy for you to have these important conversations. 

After all, these conversations are what is going to ultimately change the church!  

I’ve said all along that our goal is to change the evangelical conversation about sex. But we can only do so much. We can put podcasts and blog posts and social media posts into the Great Internet, but only you have access to your circle of friends; to your individual church; to your family.

So if you desperately want to see your own corner of the world change, it often starts with you.

Now, sometimes this is fairly straightforward, because you tell others that you’ve been reading Great Sex Rescue, and they read it with you (and we do have a free video book study that goes along with it!). Or you tell your sisters and your friends about She Deserves Better, and they read that and love it (we’ve got a free book study launching in August for that too!).

But it’s hard to convince your pastor or youth pastor to read a book, or to convince your small group leader to listen to a whole list of podcasts.

You may need something else. Something that lays it all out for you, that you can easily show them that distills our findings into something easy-to-understand.

That’s where The Great Sex Rescue toolkit comes in.

Over the last two months we’ve been working behind the scenes on an awesome toolkit to make these conversations easier. In fact, in some cases you don’t have to have a conversation at all–you can just forward them the information in a beautifully laid out handout. 

Or you can show your small group leader or pastor a video of me explaining just the findings from our surveys, and the implications of that for how the teach on marriage and sex.

The toolkit contains videos, cheatsheets, handouts and more to help walk you through these conversations–or to have those conversations for you!

The Great Sex Rescue toolkit contains handouts on each of the 5 major toxic teachings we measured:

  • The Obligation Sex Message
  • The “All Men Struggle with Lust” Message
  • The “Have Sex So He Won’t Watch Porn” Message
  • The “Girls Have to Be the Gatekeepers” Message
  • And the “Don’t Be a Stumbling Block” Modesty Messages

Plus there’s even a printable one-sheet cheatsheet on ALL of our findings, summarized for you!


And the Toolkit is Name-Your-Price, meaning I haven’t set a price. I don’t want price to be a barrier for you getting access; I just ask people who can afford it to pay more to help us cover our costs and produce more helpful resources like this!

The Great Sex Rescue Toolkit also has helpful information on HOW to have these conversations

We’ve got three different handouts on how to have these conversations, including:

  • How to raise the issues, and WHO to raise the issues to
  • How to uncover people’s motivations and how to talk in a way that is most effective
  • How to respond to common objections

Plus I’ve got a video that helps you understand what’s your responsibility–and when you may need to just shake the dust off of your feet!

Because it is not your job ot change people’s minds, and that isn’t in your power to do anyway. It’s simply important to speak up (and I’ll tell you why it’s good that it’s clarifying, even if their views don’t change).

And we’re going to keep updating it with more helpful resources!

Our rubric and scorecard for all the books we measured are there, along with the onesheets for the books we’ve looked at so far, like Every Man’s Battle, Love & Respect, and Power of a Praying Wife. Whenever we add something more, we’ll add it to the toolkit as well so you always have more current information. 


Great Sex Rescue Toolkit

What Does Pay-What-You-Can Mean?

I haven’t set a price (though there is a $3 minimum), because I don’t want price to be an obstacle to people getting this information in their hands.

Our other products benefit YOU–our books, our libido or orgasm courses, our puberty course for parents and kids. 

But this one benefits the kingdom. 

So we decided to allow you to set the price.

We ask that people be generous, because we did have significant designer costs for this. And it’s the sale of products in our store that keeps the blog and podcast afloat, because we don’t have advertisting in the same way anymore. So when you pay for the toolkit, you support us so that we can keep doing what we do.

But we also just want as many people to have this as possible. 

So come on over–and name your price!

The Toolkit gives you all our findings at your fingertips. 

Help solidify in your mind why the obligation sex message is wrong, and why using 1 Corinthians 7 to tell women they can’t say no to their husbands isn’t a fair reading of that passage.

Remind yourself why modesty messages hurt girls long-term, and have an awesome hand-out to give to your youth pastor.

And so much more!

I’m really happy with how the toolkit turned out, and I know it’s going to be a huge help as we reach our goal:

Together, we can change the evangelical conversation about sex. 

Be part of it with us, and check out the toolkit!

Great Sex Rescue Toolkit on toxic teachings around sex

Have you ever talked to others about toxic teachings around sex in evangelicalism? How did that conversation go? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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  1. Lisa Johns

    Well, I will definitely make use of this soon…
    Meanwhile, I’ve (finally!) been reading She Deserves Better (I’m late, but I had papers to write for school) and it is FIRE!! 🔥🔥🔥
    Thank you so much for all the research and hard work you all have put into this whole area, for not stopping after GSR, for continuing to pound at this. It has blessed so many of us.
    I have a meeting with my pastor tomorrow, and for part of it I plan on sharing the “marriage is hard” part with him, and talking about how, since nobody in my church had the faintest idea what a red flag was, we were just assumed to be having “normal” difficulties in our marriage, and we NEVER got serious help. (His biggest advice during premarital counseling — and 30 years on he’s STILL boasting this — was “never even SAY the D-word…”) (Oh, and I am about to file the papers.) 😬
    He’s truly not a horrible pastor, just really ignorant of the issues at stake. If he stays that way it won’t be my fault! 😆
    Another thing I will be doing soon is to talk to the people who keep the church library about the issues with John Piper and see if we can’t prune some deadweight off the shelves there… (They also have a copy of “Praying Wife” that I barely refrained from trashing last week… yes, I’m giving them the one-sheet!)
    Thank you all, again, so much!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’m so glad that you’re loving She Deserves Better! And that’s awesome that you’re speaking up with your pastor and the church library. That’s how change happens!

    • Jane Eyre

      My own theory: if you understand that divorce is a possibility, you will work *harder* at your marriage. Very few people wantonly walk out on their spouses; most divorces happen because the garbage piles up over time and people just can’t take it anymore. Once the other spouse figure it out, it’s either too late to fix or the habits are too ingrained.

      It’s weird to see people think, “my spouse can’t leave me because that is wrong, so there’s no need to fix X annoying habit or Y callous bedroom behaviour; s/he just has to put up with it since it’s not adultery or abuse.”

      Eventually, people figure out that the person their spouse treats the worst in life is them, because everyone else can pull back or leave if they are sick of their crap. Wow shocker that those marriages don’t work.

      • Lisa Johns


    • James Ricker

      I’ve been reading some of your articles.

      I have one question, how many of the struggling marriages, were sexually active before marriage?

      Based on being involved in casting out spirits and such
      that opens up more manipulation from spirits in the marriage.

      I know of many men who had their future wives put hands on body parts during courtship when the men were trying to not go there. (Men can do this too. God told me during courtship, I was in charge of keeping the relationship pure and that many woman had compromised because of the man)

      I know of some men that were having sex 2 to 3 times per day before marriage. After marriage, the same wives barely want sex, ever, even while having an orgasm every time.

      I see demons influencing these marriages before the marriage and then after.

      In my marriage, we didn’t kiss till we were married.

      We wanted to glorify God with our marriage and he’s put massive stamps on it.

      We have awesome love making. We can go several hours and she loves it. But for me, love making is all about her. That seems to go with your teaching.

      But we didn’t allow Satan into our marriage before. And I think that is a big secret.

      I’m satisfied And feel so fulfilled.

      My friend got married a similar way and he said there is a fulfillment in it.

      We both follow love and respect as do our wives. We both have given our lives over to Jesus Christ and don’t live for ourselves. We live to do God’s will, for real.

      Serving Jesus Christ isn’t a game to us. (My friend and our wives) I get up at 3:45 to spend time with Jesus. My wife was doing devotions when I was coming up to my office to study.

      How many struggling marriages fornication before they tied the knot?

      I have a feeling, that’s a telling question.

      Thank you for your writings!

      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        In answer to your question, there is no real statistical difference in sex problems with those who had sex before marriage and those who did not. If you have multiple sex partners then we see an effect.

        In addition, vaginismus rates are higher if you wait for marriage, likely because at first intercourse she feels pressured and isn’t aroused. That’s why we advocate doing the honeymoon very differently in our books The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex and The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex.

        So please don’t assume that those who have problems with sex must have had sex before they were married. That’s simply untrue.

  2. Laura

    I bought the tool-kit already and plan to print it up. My goal is to take it with me on a trip with some of the other Celebrate Recovery leaders and if any conversations about women and the church come up, I will pull out these pages and show them. I don’t know if I will change minds, but I want others to know how harmful many teachings in the church have been for women.

    • Lisa Johns

      I have heard of CR leaders tell wives of addicts that “they need to work on their disrespect issues.” I would encourage you to MAKE those conversations happen rather than just waiting for them. ❤️


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