Dear church, you’re wrong about sex.
Not all the time – but a lot of the time. There’s been some truth sprinkled here and there. There’ve been some speakers and ministries who’ve done this tender topic the justice it deserves. But in general, the sexual narrative Christian women have heard over the last four decades is not one of gospel freedom. It is a message burdened by fear, guilt, shame, and legalism – sometimes all of these at once. It’s why Christian girls are done with courtship culture. It’s why many are fleeing legalism and others flee the church. Through one ear, women are being taught about the love and grace of Jesus Christ, while into the other pour proof-texted, fear-based half-truths about female sexuality.
So – you like him. Actually, you love him. If he’s the guy you grew up with, this love is probably the phileo-agape real deal. You’ll love him even if he moves on or you move on or both. Which is, of course, not your ideal ending – but always a possibility. You love him, and the timing is absolutely horrible.
You’re about to graduate and take a job in another state.
He has two years left at a school you don’t attend.
You’re not even out of high school, looking at a minimum of five years before marriage is on the table.
What do you do?
For Christians, the wedding night is a treated with sacred significance – and for many young women, a whole lot of fear. Because of the biblical emphasis on sex within marriage, Christian culture has placed a burden of weight on the wedding night that this one evening really doesn’t deserve.
That said, pretending the wedding night doesn’t exist and refusing to educate young women about their sexuality, their bodies, and the act of intimacy itself is a foolish decision. It is bad stewardship of a very good gift. So how much should one think about the wedding night before it happens, and should they do it at all? I think young women should absolutely consider this before the big day, but within some healthy boundaries.
My seven-year-old son just started taking notice of how people come in different sizes and shapes. He talks to his Daddy about how to get “big” muscles and pretends to do push ups. And, just the other day, as I innocently sat on the couch wearing a pair of shorts, he pushed at the flab under my thighs and said with enthusiasm, “Wow, Mom! Look at how big this is! Wow! You’re sooo huge! Good job, Mom.”
Not exactly, son. Not exactly.
I tried not to over-react. Part of me wanted to yell at him, “That is NOT a compliment for a girl!” But, since I just published a book on body image, I’m supposed to be as neutral as Switzerland when it comes to body shapes and sizes. I must teach my children that people come in a variety of packages and we love and treat them all, just the same.