For the Christian woman, a lingerie shower is an opportunity to celebrate true sexual freedom. It is a chance to revel in the redemption of God over a sexuality that may have once been captive to sin.

I invited Jesus to my lingerie shower.

He attended, no questions asked.

In the jokes and the gifts and the lace, His presence was real. He didn’t look like Himself, of course – His face was the face of my friends, the women who love Him and love me. But Jesus was there, right in the middle of our raucous laughter and our innuendoes about marital sex. He saw the joy, the anticipation, and the love of the women around me – women celebrating the sexuality He designed.

I’ve attended many lingerie showers since then, all of them for women who follow Christ. Every time, I sensed His same presence in that room. Many times it was because we gathered around the bride, laid hands on her shoulders and prayed for the power of God to cover her marriage, to bless her union, to encompass her sexuality. Other times it was the divine love of the women present: women who viewed sexuality through a lens of honor, and who trusted God enough to choose His design.

That’s why I am deeply saddened when women are awkward at parties like this. I am saddened that their perspective – or their pain – has caused them to see sex as bad, gross, or dirty, when Christian women have more to celebrate about sex than all other women in the world. But when you associate sex only with sin, it becomes something dark. It becomes something foreign. It ceases to be celebratory.

This doesn’t happen by accident. The enemy of our souls is also the enemy of our sexuality. If he can twist our perspective of sex, he can tear down our marriages from the inside out. He can tear down our character, our minds, and our identities. When we accept his lie that sex is either irresistible or inherently evil, our lives follow the trajectory of that extreme. Both promiscuity and legalism begin with a lie.

But the truth is far different. The truth is that our sexuality is part of our created design. It is a vehicle of the gospel. It is as much a part of us as our minds and emotions, and like our minds and emotions, our sexuality can glorify God.

For the Christian woman, a lingerie shower is an opportunity to celebrate true sexual freedom. It is a chance to revel in the redemption of God over a sexuality that may have once been captive to sin. It is a chance to praise God for His protection over a sexuality prevented from pain. It is a chance to join hands with women – married and unmarried – and proclaim the glory of God through our femininity.

A Christian lingerie shower is a celebration of God’s design.

Read More: Celebrating Your Sexuality as a Single Woman

For too long, we have separated our sexuality from the rest of our lives. We talk about the influence of Christ on our minds, our clothes, and our service – but we forget that His is a holistic influence. When we invite Jesus in, we invite His influence into every part of who we are. We allow Him to transform our understanding of ourselves.

We should invite Jesus to our lingerie showers because we invite Jesus into our lives. Our sexuality is as available to His transforming influence as our spending habits and our words. We don’t take a break from Jesus to throw an awesome pre-marriage party. We invite Him into it. And in doing so, we invite accountability, unity, and honor into our sexuality and our relationships.

We need to allow the Bible to transform our understanding of sex; to see it the way God sees it and to celebrate that design. We need to take joy in our friends who boldly follow God’s plan for their sexuality, celebrating their endurance and tenacity. We need to let go of self-consciousness and see the big picture: that sexuality doesn’t begin when we say our wedding vows. It’s part of who we are. And if it’s already part of who we are, it has a purpose to serve for God’s kingdom.

So let’s become women of celebration, because the world needs more of us. The world needs more women who celebrate honor and stand up for redemptive sexuality.

The world needs more women to boldly share their testimonies so others can have hope.

The world needs more women to see the beauty of their own sexuality when used according to God’s design, and to live out that freedom in front of their friends.

There are enough Christian women to meet this need, but it will remain unmet. It will remain unmet unless we allow God to remove the lies we’ve believed about sex and replace them with His truth – that in marriage,

…sex is not bad – It is beautiful.

…sex is not gross – It is God-designed.

…sex is not dirty – It is holy.

Sex is something to celebrate. The world doesn’t hold rights to it. We do.

We – Christian women – are sexually free. Free from the pain of sin. Free to use our sexuality for a higher purpose – not be dictated by its demands.

So at your next lingerie shower, I hope you celebrate. I hope you laugh and tease and glorify God for the grace He’s given us, because ours is a celebratory sexuality – unparalleled in this world.

“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure.” Hebrews 13:4

Do you struggle to reframe your understanding of sex? Do you view sex as bad, gross, or dirty? Get Phylicia’s e-book Christian Cosmo, launching March 1st, 2017!

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