The
Inspiration
Project

WITH BRENDAN CORR

GUEST Patricia Weerakoon

Episode 05

Dr Patricia Weerakoon: Episode Summary

On this episode of ‘The Inspiration Project’, Brendan Corr talks to Patricia Weerakoon about her books, faith and God’s good design for sex.

Among other things Patricia shares:

  • what led Patricia to study medicine.
  • how boarding school in Sri Lanka led Patricia to Christ.
  • about living a counter-cultural life.
  • from a scholarship in Hawaii how Patricia ended up a sexologist.
  • that God’s story of sex is better than culture’s story.
  • that not all emotions are good and must be satisfied.
  • why sexual stereotypes are dangerous.
  • that being a Christian means honouring God’s Word.

Dr Patricia Weerakoon: Episode Transcript

Sponsor Announcement
This podcast is sponsored by Australian Christian College, a network of schools committed to student wellbeing, character development, and academic improvement.

Introduction
Welcome to The Inspiration Project, where well-known Christians share their stories to inspire young people in their faith and life. Here’s your host, Brendan Corr.

Brendan Corr
Good morning everybody. Welcome to another episode of The Inspiration Project podcast. We hope that you’re enjoying the conversations that we’ve been bring to you, with some very prominent Christian leaders and thinkers and influencers. The guest that we have this morning is somebody who will be known to a number of our community, Dr. Weerakoon. Dr. Patricia Weerakoon is a medical doctor that has explored a particular specialty in the area of human sexuality and sexual education. She first graduated with a degree from Colombo, the University of Colombo, undertook further studies in the University of Hawaii, and then with the University of New South Wales. She is a prominent presenter, and author, and educator. Dr. Weerakoon, it is absolutely lovely to have you with us this morning. How are you on this fine day?

Patricia Weerakoon
Pleasure to be with you. It is a fine day, isn’t it? Just looking at the beautiful skies over Parramatta, which is where I live.

Brendan Corr
Lovely. You’re not too far from where we are. We’re based out in Western Sydney. I agree with you. As I was driving in, beautiful weather, made me really appreciate the gift that God gives us in so many different ways.

Patricia Weerakoon
Mm-hmm.

Brendan Corr
Patricia, are you okay if I call you Patricia?

Patricia Weerakoon
Yes, please. Yes.

Brendan Corr
Patricia, you are a medical doctor. Your first degree was in medicine. Can you tell me about how you decided, or what led you to that vocation? It’s not an easy line of work to assign yourself. Lots of study. Lots of intensity. What was it that drew you to medicine as a career?

Patricia Weerakoon
In Sri Lanka, which is where I grew up, basically if you did well in high school, if you were a girl, you went into medicine. If you were a boy, then you went into engineering. That was the way it was.

Brendan Corr
It was just a pattern of society.

Patricia Weerakoon
Hmm?

Brendan Corr
It was just a pattern of the culture that you were in.

Patricia Weerakoon
It was the pattern, because the way we were brought up, we were very conservative. I grew up in a very conservative Tamil Christian family. Going to medical school, or going for higher education, was really considered a finishing school before you went into an arranged marriage. So my parents were like, “Oh, that’s nice dear. Go and study medicine, and then we won’t have to pay as much dowry for you.”

Brendan Corr
Oh, that’s interesting. I’m interested to know that you were in a Christian, a Tamil Christian family. Arranged marriages were still part of your culture? That was something that carried over into the Christian community, as equally as other faith backgrounds who had the arranged marriage. That would be true?

Patricia Weerakoon
It was at my time. Look, I’m 73 now, so we are talking a long, long time ago. At that time arranged marriages were very much the way it was done. Although, I didn’t. I married a man from the other ethnic group. I married a Sinhalese, so I went against the grain of the arranged marriage. But arranged marriages are different from forced marriages. Arranged marriage means, basically, you would be introduced to someone by the parents, or by an Auntie. Then that was it, if you kind of get on well together, then you got married.

Brendan Corr
Yeah, that’s a good distinction. An arrangement, a facilitated relationship, rather than a forced relationship. That’s very helpful. So you obviously did well at school. What was school like for you as a young person in Sri Lanka?

Patricia Weerakoon
It was actually fascinating, because my parents were in a tea plantation. It was the time of the British Empire. We’re talking 1947, so about when I was born in [inaudible 00:04:38]. So at the time of the British Empire, my father was looking after a tea factory. So I was in a boarding school in Sri Lanka, in Colombo. So I tell people, being in a boarding school for eight years, I think I was perfectly prepared to live under lockdown conditions.

Brendan Corr
Yes. “I was made for this!”

Patricia Weerakoon
It is. I can eat anything. I can just make do with anything. I grew up in a boarding school. It was a Methodist missionary boarding school. Although I grew up as a Christian, my grandparents were converted from Hinduism, and so although I grew up under what might stand for the drippings of grace, I actually came to understand what Lord Jesus Christ meant in my life, at the feet of wonderful British missionary women in boarding school. So I would really say that’s when I kind of concreted my faith, in school. So it played a big role in my life, the missionary.

Brendan Corr
So you’re in boarding school, and you have these Christian missionary teachers. Was it the classes, was it the chapel services, was it camps? What was the thing that made Christianity come alive for you in that school context?

Patricia Weerakoon
I would say it was a couple of things. One is, because we were in the boarding school, we had the Chaplain, and the Principal, who would actually spend time with us reading the Bible on an evening, and singing all the old Wesleyan hymns. That’s one main factor. The other factor was, that the way they actually understood and treated those of us, like myself, who were really the naughty ones in school, in boarding school. I always pushed boundaries, which is probably why I ended up as a psychologist. I was always pushing boundaries, and these wonderful missionary women would just understand and tell my parents, “Look, let her be. She’ll be okay.”

Brendan Corr
Mm-hmm.

Patricia Weerakoon
That understanding, that Godliness, that they showed us, was such an amazing, amazing saintliness to grow under. It was like we grew under the saints. That to me was what really made me, my faith today.

Brendan Corr
So, it’s interesting. You had a nature that was interested in exploring the limits, or experiencing new things, pushing boundaries, as you described it. That’s not necessarily the way most people view a Christian faith. They see it as a very conservative, very safe, very careful, cautious, constrained life. How have you lived with that notion of a Christian faith, and yet this nature that is exploratory, and wants to experience?

Patricia Weerakoon
See, the point is that being a Christian, and this is where I challenge our young people today, especially in our culture now. Even when I was growing up in a country that was mainly Buddhists, 80% Buddhists, 20 perhaps Hindu, and less than 6% or so, really, Christians. Even then, a much smaller number of Christians who were Evangelicals, like us. The point is, we are counter-cultural. We were counter-cultural in Sri Lanka, when we were growing up in our faith and our belief, because you know we grew up in a time of devil worship, and devil dancers, and things, and customs, and all sorts of traditions. So being Christian, was counter-cultural then. I tell people today, in our world today, we teach a false truth postmodernity culture. To be a Christian who says, “I believe in one truth”, it’s totally counter-cultural. That’s why I think I was always one who was counter-cultural. I now say to young people today, if you want to be counter-cultural, be counter-cultural for Christ.

Brendan Corr
Mm-hmm. Yeah, that’s good. Yeah, that’s good. Do you feel that now that you are living in a community, a culture, that drew so much of its heritage from Christianity, is it harder, or easier, to be counter-cultural, when the fabric assumptions of the community you’re part of have so much Christian overlay in it?

Patricia Weerakoon
What I feel now is… Look, I’m 73, and I’m retired. I worked in academics for the University of Sydney for 25 years, and for eight years of that I was director of a graduate programme in sexual health. So I retired when I was 65, which means I’m eight years retired now, and doing just speaking and writing. The reality is that it is never going to be easy in our culture today to speak out as a Christian. Now I personally have had some experiences of, we’ll call it persecution, but I had some not so nice things happen. So anyone… Now I can say I’m retired, I don’t care, I can speak, but a lot of young people, a lot of people who are in university, or working, are going to be challenged in their Christian beliefs, especially the area of gender today. If we get gender fluidity, one man, one woman, married at the place for sexual intimacy, that is so completely against what culture believes in today, or the majority of cultures. Which is amazing, because in the past, supposedly a country that came out of Christendom.

Brendan Corr
Yes.

Patricia Weerakoon
Like Sri Lanka, which doesn’t make any pretence from being Christian. You have a Sinhalese Buddhist country. We are supposed to be a country built on Christendom, who repeat the Lord’s prayer in government. So until we are in this place where we are standing for Christian values, especially in the area of sexuality, we’ll be challenged.

Brendan Corr
I want to come back to you, and ask you some questions about your standing for Christian values in that particular area, gender identity and sexuality. Let me take you a little further back to your own story. You’ve been at boarding school. You obviously do well. You follow the expected pattern of your culture, head off to University Colombo, finish your medical degree. What then carried you to overseas studies? Further studies? What was the prompt for that?

Patricia Weerakoon
When I was in medical school, I fell in love with my, now 46 years married, husband.

Brendan Corr
Congratulations.

Patricia Weerakoon
Yes. I needed to top the batch, if I was going to get a position in Colombo, because we had 200 medics in our batch. In our time, if you graduated, depends where you stand in the kind of meriting, and then you get a position. So I studied really hard, and I did well, and I got the position in Colombo. I was working in the [inaudible 00:12:56] unit for a couple years. Then the professor of physiology actually invited me to apply for an academic position. So I was a lecturer in reproductive physiology, at the faculty of medicine in Colombo. I got a scholarship to study in the University of Hawaii. When I went there, I was going to do reproductive physiology, but my professor was a Psychologist. At that time, we’re talking 1980, one of the best known professors was working in the area of gender, by the name of Professor Milton Diamond. So, I worked with him. At that time, I was just so fascinated with this whole area of sexuality, and especially gender. He was running transgender clinics, or in those days they were called transsexual clinics.

Brendan Corr
Mm-hmm.

Patricia Weerakoon
I was helping him run the clinics in 1980. I studied with him, and worked in sexual health. I was worshipping in a wonderful Evangelical Baptist Church. So I able to what I call, bring my twin passions of God and sex together. That’s where I really brought that idea, that God’s story, when it comes to gender and sexuality, and sexual behaviour, is a good story. A better story than what culture gives us, and therefore we as Christians have a better story to tell the world.

Brendan Corr
We’ll come back and visit this story too, because I think that’s a large part of what God has gifted you with, insight and expertise to be able to share. Can I, before we get into that, ask you… It’s an area where Christians often feel a bit uncomfortable. Why do you think that is? Why is it that Christians aren’t all that comfortable talking about this part of our identity, or of our culture, even?

Patricia Weerakoon
Well, at one level it amazes me, because we, as I said, the Bible is a book that speaks clearly about sexuality. At one point, I don’t know why we feel so anxious about it, but on the other side, the fact is that I think historically, especially Western Christian girls have looked at sexuality as, “That was the primal sin”. It’s not the apple on the tree, but the pear on the ground was the problem, kind of thing. That is so untrue. The Western Christians have looked at sex as being something not nice. The body… has not been using your body, and pleasure, and therefore sexual things become some kind of sin that is worse than other sins.

Brendan Corr
Yes.

Patricia Weerakoon
I think that’s built into the church’s view, were even like ministers even today are anxious about speaking on sex and sexuality, in case it affects people. That’s interesting. The Bible speaks about sex all the time from Genesis. Adam and Eve are naked, and no shame, and one flesh, to Revelation, and of course Song of Songs in the middle. That embarrassment about speaking, because somehow sex is considered something dirty, and not to be talked about. Sexual things, are some sort of out there thing, not like other things. There is that, but I think that’s still carried in many places, and our churches.

Brendan Corr
Rather than being an inherently Christian thing, it’s more part of that conservative English empire, Victorian morality that has left some imprint.

Patricia Weerakoon
I come from a subcontinent. We wrote the Kama Sutra, so.

Brendan Corr
Is there room for a Christian version of that, or is that going a step too far? Is it something that is…?

Patricia Weerakoon
Well, I would say that’s the book we wrote for marriage, called The Best Sex for Life.

Brendan Corr
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Patricia Weerakoon
The book for The Best Sex for Life, which basically talks about Godly marriage, good sex, from engagement to the nursing home, which is where my husband and I will be soon.

Brendan Corr
The notion that you mentioned there. A book. A book written on the subcontinent about the topic. You’ve written your own book, which is Sex by the Book. What do you mean by that? There are ways you can interpret that. It could be, here is an instruction manual, or it could be, here is the code of conduct. There are two different ways of viewing the book.

Patricia Weerakoon
Our book, well I have a number of books, but the book that we wrote for couples, called The Best Sex for Life, is basically a book that talks about Godly marriage, and the role of sex in Godly marriage. In one that God created, and gave as a gift, and a good gift, with a place, and a pattern, and a purpose used for procreation and recreation, and bind husband and wife together. Ultimately to mirror Christ’s love for the church. Then it talks about, how then do we live it out. How do we live out this pleasure, in an other focused manner in marriages? That’s in a nut shell, called the book, The Best Sex for Life.

Brendan Corr
So it’s not just articulating all the rules that the Bible puts up around it. It is more exploration of its place in human creation, as ordained by God. That’s sort of how you approach the whole thing?

Patricia Weerakoon
It’s that, all that you said, and more, because it’s how do you apply it on a day to day manner as husband and wife. Our ethos is that a husband and wife look at each other, and say “How can I serve you in every way, including in our sex life?“. That makes for a great marriage. That’s 1 Corinthians 13, that’s Ephesians 5, the relationship of Christ and the Church. That’s what we are putting out there for husband and wife. You’re made to care for, to love, to sacrifice, and have to have fun, and have sex.

Brendan Corr
Mm-hmm. Patricia you’re describing aspects of sexual relations that are maybe a little bit foreign for what our current culture attempts to adopt. We’ve talked, just before, that the Victorian notion, the Puritanical view, of Christian culture elevated sexuality to a level that was above any other part of life, or any other expression. Is there…? Has the pendulum swung the other way for our current culture, that it has lost it’s meaning, and it’s lost its significance? It’s just…

Patricia Weerakoon
Yeah. It’s exactly as you were saying. We’ve gone, in our current culture, you’ve come in… It’s a weird depending on which way you look at it. One way when we talk about sex, it’s kind of nothing. It’s something I use as a commodity, for my self gratification. It’s completely different from what I was talking about, Christ and the purpose. So it’s something I use for my self gratification. I don’t honour you. I don’t honour my own body. I will just use whatever is there for my satisfaction. Of course pornography plays into that perfectly. Demeaning to women. I think a sexual object, if I can… If I can’t get a human being, I just watch pornography, because all that matters is that I have my feelings satisfied. So it’s the desire driven, my desire, I must have them met, whatever I do, I am what matters. It’s the self gratification. That’s one thing, where sex is commodified. On the other end, we talk about gender, where we talk about sex then becomes your very identity.

Brendan Corr
Yes.

Patricia Weerakoon
If you don’t have sex, I am nothing.

Brendan Corr
Yes.

Patricia Weerakoon
It has be content to be all, I must somehow be sexual. Have sex. Even my own body must be adapted to whatever my sexual feelings are. So on the one hand, nothing. Yet it is my very identity.

Brendan Corr
Yes. That is the juxtaposition of those ideas that are so prevalent in our… The conversation that we’re part of. I think you’re right that Christians need to find a better understanding of the place of sexual identity, in the whole notion of, what does it mean to be an image bearer, created for a purpose. Created to be in a relationship. That’s quite profound. What is for young people who have grown up in Christian homes, Christian schools, where this has not been a topic of instruction. They’ve been left to make it up, or pick up what they can from their culture. If a young person feels that they haven’t understood well, where this part of them exists. What advice would you have for them about where to go for help, or where to go to get clarity?

Patricia Weerakoon
Okay. Let me just give this to you in a nut shell. I would say go to our books, but well. Basically, let me just give it to you in a nut shell. What I talk to schools about. When we talk to young people, the first thing I tell them is, look, recognise that in this cyber connected crazy world you live in, you need to understand that it’s okay to be confused. It’s okay, because you know what, your brains are still developing. So you just have to understand, that it is the time of confusion. The emotional, sexual, brain is erupting like a volcano, but the slower brain, what we call the frontal brain, doesn’t immature until you’re well into your 20s. Opinions that are developing from childhood to your early twenties, you’re like a red Ferrari on steroids, with your acts, hardly any brake pedals, and no GPS. So children are confused, who needs help, needs guidance, is actually normal. To be carried away by what your peers say, what social media… So understand that your brain needs help. So it’s okay to be confused.

Patricia Weerakoon
The second thing is to understand that in the world today, there are all these influences grabbing at you to give you a world focused identity, and it’s important that you recognise that world focused identity is going to really take you away from God’s good plan for your life. Then look to where your identity truly comes from, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. So I take them to like, from Genesis to Ephesians, you are chosen. You can call God “Daddy”. I take them to Psalm 139. You were knitted in your mother’s womb. If our young people seem to be confused with your identity, then you can influence, you can control your behaviour. So we talk about understanding sexual desires. The desires are given by God, but we are supposed to control, and direct our desires. That’s were kids need help. We talk about what you feed your brain is important, because the brain remains malleable, science of neuroplasticity. So if you feed your brain with pornography, you are going to build those channels in your brain, those pathways, that will accept porn as normal behaviour. That is culturally different to what God wants you to feed your brain. You need good things Ephesians 4:8. You think about good things.

Patricia Weerakoon
Let’s talk about what it is to feed your brain with good things. Understand it’s okay to fall in love. Love is good. Song of Songs speaks about it. Again, it’s an emotion. Don’t get trapped into the world’s lies that every feeling, every emotion, must be satisfied. That is the world. We are given self control. We are given a good pattern, and place, and purpose for our sexuality. These are things our young people need to understand. So I tell them, yes. That’s why we wrote the book. We’ve got Insects by the Book, which is perfect for 15+, and Growing Up by the Book, which is like 10 to 14 year olds. And for primary schoolers, for parents, and grandparents to read with primary schoolers, we have Birds and Bees by the Book. So we’ve written the book. I’m just doing the last edits on a parenting book. So we’ve got the resources, but more than anything else, I tell young people, go to your parents. Go to people you trust, with your questions. Don’t go to ‘Doctor Google’, or to your friends, or worse, do not go to pornography to get your questions answered.

Brendan Corr
Yes. You raise an interesting point there. That, well what I’m hearing you describe is that, the notion of sexuality and sexual practise, actually stems from some much more fundamental ideas. There are some much bigger questions that need to be asked and answered, before you can get to the practicalities of how is this going to look, and what it’s going to be like in life. You made a point about the tendency of young people to go to their peers. To look for counsel of their colleagues, who are likely to be in the same confused state, without a lot of input, and yet it’s a source of information, largely. Is that a problem for this current generation, or is it a problem for every generation?

Patricia Weerakoon
Well, that’s a natural part of growing up. You see, when an adolescent brain develops, part of it is separation from the family. A natural part of adolescent development. We all need that differentiation from the family. So, we adapt. That’s part of growing up. We all did that. We went to friends, you went to your friends. Unfortunately, you overlay the cyber world on this, and suddenly your peers are not just people you walk to school with. Your peers are everybody. Your 1200 friends on SnapChat, and Instagram, and on Facebook. On all the media. So then those influences establish what are the ideas for identity and behaviour. There lies the danger. In the good old days, the parents who you were talking to school with. Then knew who the kids you were playing with. Now parents have no idea, which parents should know, but your kids are doing in the cyber world. Unfortunately many parents don’t. So, that’s the danger. Not that group peer influences can be avoided. They can’t. It’s what’s your peer group? What’s your cyber world influences? That’s what parents need to be aware of.

Brendan Corr
Patricia, we’ve been talking a lot about the idea of gender. Gender, in sense of sexuality, but can I explore with you a bit more a general concept of gender? You spoke at the beginning of our conversation of the pattern of the Sri Lankan culture, that the girls that did well at school would follow one path, and the boys who did well at school would follow another path. That in itself is a type of gendering of life. Is that something that is based in Christian understanding, or is that something that is open for reframing?

Patricia Weerakoon
I love that question, because I always… When I talk about gender, again I won’t go into details, but when I speak about gender, I say look, what we really need to understand that’s basically biology. We are created male or female. Nothing in between. There is no gradation of biology. Male, female, and a few particular medical conditions when that doesn’t work out, but that’s biology. What we’re talking about now, is how do we, what we call gender performance, or gender behaviour. What’s fascinating, even at the church, we do sterotype. That’s something we need to be very careful about. Like I said, in Sri Lanka, we were very stereotyped. I was supposed to do the cooking and the cleaning, and helping Mommy out, while my two brothers were allowed get out there and play on their bikes, and climb trees, and have fun. I hated being a girl, because that didn’t make sense. Of course, I was too lazy to break out and do something different. The reality is that, yes, we grew up in stereotyped cultures. The churches need to be so careful, because the culture today, in our culture today, a little girl who likes doing boyish things… She likes being with Daddy when he’s working on the car, or likes playing trucker, and hates Barbie dolls, and hates cooking. All of a sudden… There was a time when we would say, “Oh, she’s such a tomboy.”, that’s sweet. Today, that girl would be told, “Oh, you must be a boy.”, because you like boy things.

Brendan Corr
Yes

Patricia Weerakoon
If a boy who likes doing girlish things, so called stereotyped girl things, wearing dresses, and going for ballet, would be told, “You must be a girl. That’s why you want to do this.”

Brendan Corr
Yes

Patricia Weerakoon
We as a church need to be so aware of this. What is masculinity? What is femininity? Do we keep the stereotype? Let’s look at the Bible. We can talk about it, when I talk to young people. I say, look at the Bible. Look at the young man who used to play music on the harp, and you know to be dancing with the girls, but he was such a warrier. Today, King David would probably be called transgender. We have models.

Brendan Corr
Yes. Yes.

Patricia Weerakoon
We have grown women. Even Mary, the mother of Jesus, she was a typical mother, nurturing, but she was a strong woman. So we have so many examples. Even biblical examples of low masculinity. It shows in the Lord Jesus Christ. He was gentle, and nurturing. So we need to build on this non-stereotypical, and yet definite masculinity and femininity, unashamedly for our young people.

Brendan Corr
Yeah, that’s very good. As you were describing, or pointing out, that shift in the way people are thinking, it’s almost as though there’s reverse stereotyping, and it’s just as strong. If an individual likes certain things, it is ipso facto, speaking to their gender. Rather than gender identity prescribing behaviours, it’s now almost flipped around, that it’s certain behaviours that are speaking back to the gender identity of that person. The stereotype is just as inflexible, even thought it’s travelling in a different direction. I think from the conversation we’re having, just is false, just is deceptive.

Patricia Weerakoon
Yeah. It’s just one example there. For instance, if you take men, biological men, who decried that they are women. They of course have some feeling in their brain that they are women, and therefore they go through transition, or in today’s terminology, acclimation, but of course do whatever your desire states, against your biology. So if you go through that, it often times that those men are going, becoming so-called women, are actually more female in their behaviour than a standard female. Their dress, and their behaviour, make-up. That is exaggerated. The question of womanhood, like most women are going, “What?“.

Brendan Corr
Yeah. It’s a caricature, almost. Yeah.

Patricia Weerakoon
That’s right. It’s an interesting concept.

Brendan Corr
Yeah. Yeah, that is. As we come to a close, Patricia, we’re just about out of our time. I’m really fascinated in the way this particular topic has launched into much deeper issues of human identity, and how that works. You’re an educator. You became an educator. You were first appointed as an academic at Colombo, and that’s become a thing for your life. There is some fundamental difference of understanding about how people learn. One school of though would say, you learn from experience. You have to get out there and try it. Trial and error, fail, succeed. Another area of learning talks about being, how to learn by instruction, lecture, the advice of others. Where do you feel in the notion of how you are educating about this aspect of human identity? Where is the balance between those two? Is it incumbent for young people to learn by experience, get out and make mistakes, or should they be taking advice from those that have gone before, and the advice from the book? Whether it’s yours, whether it’s the word of God? Where do you see the balance between those?

Patricia Weerakoon
I would say it would come down to two, maybe three, principles. The first thing is that for young people, to recognise the importance of sitting at the feet of good teaching. Because the reality, especially young people, your brains are developing, and what goes to your brain is going to wire your brain for the future. So just think of the peak of good teaching. Now, while you’re thinking at the peak of good teaching, doesn’t mean you’re like a sponge just absorbing things. So good teaching, but correcting teaching. So that is why we always encourage, and this is what I’m bringing out in the parenting book that I’m just at the last stages of writing, or editing, is that it’s about conversation. Because today, especially, it’s not just do it because I say it. Let’s talk about it, and let me show you that God’s word actually has a better plan. So instruction, and talking about it between parents, using everyday examples, allowing the literacy to critique worldview. Not just because I say. Let me give you that underlying resource, and knowledge to critique the worldview. So that’s impacting. Thirdly, learning from role modelling and example.

Brendan Corr
That’s good.

Patricia Weerakoon
Yes. The peak of good teaching, interacting, giving that media literacy, cyber literacy to critique culture, and thirdly, make sure you have good role models for your children. Whether they be teachers, youth workers, above all, parents.

Brendan Corr
Yeah. That’s very good. One of the things that I appreciate about your communication, Patricia, is that you clearly have an understanding that God isn’t afraid of our questions. He’s not one who refuses, or denies, the fact we can ask, and we can want to know things that aren’t plain to us at the moment. Is that sort of how you lived your life before God?

Patricia Weerakoon
Definitely, because, look, I’ve lived through three race riots in Sri Lanka. We had racial riots. My husband and I belonged to the two ethnic groups, we were about to get rid of each other. My poor little boy, my son, was in the middle, and not knowing what he was. There were times we would cry out to God and say, “What is happening?“. Ask to understand. I know the Lord hears our prayers, and he knows our confusion. Look at what the reality is. We’re never going to be totally happy until we get to heaven. So God knows that we live in a world that is confusing and sinful, and therefore we cry out to Him. And it is okay, to cry out to Him.

Brendan Corr
Yeah. That’s very good. Dr Patricia Weerakoon, thank you so much for your time. I think where we’ve ended up has been a really helpful place for us to come to say, where the part of life it is. Don’t blindly step into what your culture might be dictating. Find good teachers. Ask questions. Interact with them. Look for good role models. That again would be a good influence in your life. Whether it’s your gender identity, your sexual expression, or the career that opens up ahead of you, there is something that God is interested in being involved in every part of our lives. Any last little words that you might want to share, or leave, with our listeners?

Patricia Weerakoon
All I would say is that, look, we live in a world that is going to challenge us. As I said to every young person out there, our God is a good God, who gives us good gifts, and sex is a good gift. There’s a pattern, a place, and a purpose of one man, one woman marriage. That’s the place for sexual intimacy. Just have a good life, but know that being a Christian means honouring God’s word, and God will bless that desire that you have to serve Him.

Brendan Corr
Yeah. That’s lovely. So that final point, that the Bible is not just a code of conduct, that it is a user manual, instruction, how to get the best out of the product. That’s a good bit of advice just to leave on. Congratulations on your 73 years of service, your 46 years of marriage.

Patricia Weerakoon
Thank you.

Brendan Corr
Thank you for your ministry to the church, and to the Christians that you’ve had a positive influence in. We continue to pray. God bless you. I encourage our listeners, if you’ve got some questions, go and find one of Patricia’s books. Dig deep, and ask questions. Thank you Patricia. May the Lord be with you.

Patricia Weerakoon
God bless you too. Thank you.

About Patricia Weerakoon

Patricia Weerakoon is a Sexologist, sex educator and writer with a Christ-focussed, Biblical framework. Petricia trained in medicine in the University of Sri Lanka and did a postgraduate study in Sexology at the University of Hawaii. Petricia spent 25 years as an academic at the University of Sydney, during which time she was the director of an internationally recognised postgraduate program in sexual health. Petricia is now retired and continues to follow her passion to educate people of all ages on good holistic sexual health by speaking and writing.

Photo of Brendan Corr

About Brendan Corr

Originally a Secondary Science Teacher, Brendan is a graduate of UTS, Deakin and Regent College, Canada. While Deputy Principal at Pacific Hills for 12 years, Brendan also led the NSW Christian Schools Australia registration system. Brendan’s faith is grounded in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a deep knowledge of God’s Word. Married for over 30 years, Brendan and Kim have 4 adult children. On the weekends, Brendan enjoys cycling (but he enjoys coffee with his mates afterwards slightly more).