Popular Christian author and blogger Sarah Bessey describes a disturbing experience with purity culture that exemplifies a danger I often hear from young women in my own ministry. As an illustration, he passed around a cup of water and asked everyone to spit into it.
Bessey describes how some boys hawked their worst into the cup while everyone laughed. She writes that the preacher then. Bessey was not a virgin, and she shares how it took her years to overcome the shame of that well-intentioned talk about sex. If women hear messages that their bodies are polluted—or another theme of purity culture, that they are stumbling blocks for men—then women may struggle with unhealthy sexual embodiment.
After all, years of sexual shame and repression cannot and do not instantly disappear when people get married. It should also be noted that some women hearing such messages had no choice in their own virginity status because their first sexual experiences were those of molestation and rape.
Thus, when talking to women of any age about sexuality, pastors in particular and the church in general must discuss how to make healthy sexual choices without resorting to judgment, shame, or stereotyping.
The Song of Songs offers a powerful and positive model of healthy sexual embodiment that is absent of shame and refuses to adhere to unhealthy patterns and outcomes of purity culture. Lastly, the Shulammite woman models healthy sexual agency. In unhealthy sexuality, women do not initiate sexual relationships or assert their needs and desires. Because of their exposure to traditional femininity ideologies that undermine agency, women need models of healthy sexual agency. The Shulammite woman provides healthy examples by taking sexual initiative in ch.
Here she awakens her lover under an apple tree and speaks freely of kissing him and leading him to the privacy of home —3. She is uninhibited by the stereotypes traditionally attributed to women who initiate romantic and sexual activities.
Throughout the Song she is independent, fully the equal of the man. Although at times he approaches her, more often she initiates their meetings. Her movements are bold and open. The Song of Songs paints a picture of a fully egalitarian sexual experience that does not allow for objectification of either partner.
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It is a broken and unhealthy sexuality that makes dull objects of life-filled humans created in the image of God. Neither the Shulammite woman nor her lover wields exclusive power. For example, ch. When he initiates intimacy in ch. I had bathed my feet; how could I soil them? She is tired and has already settled in for the night.
Later, however, she regrets her hesitation and runs after him.
Then in ch. Sex can become a tool for abusive power when one partner must always initiate and the other partner always holds the sex key. It is important for sexual health and agency that both partners sometimes initiate and that both have the freedom to decline. Both should have moments of running after the other, not only sexually but emotionally and spiritually as well.
The Song of Songs models this mutuality and healthy sexual agency for both partners, because both have the ability to initiate sex, consent to sex, and decline sex, while still being honored and cherished in the relationship. I regularly read the Song with college students in a Bible course I teach. While many students appreciate the discussion, a few still insist that sex is not an appropriate topic for Bible class or even for the Bible itself.
Some even vote for removing it from the canon.
What other books to improve your sex life would you add to the list?
The fact that we can be surrounded by sexual talk and images in every aspect of culture but feel like we must pretend sex does not exist when we pray, open the Bible, or walk into a chapel testifies to the failure of the church to engage in the reality of sexual experience in a healthy way. The solution to this problem will have to be multifaceted, but a good place to start is to teach the Song more often. It instructs us the most when we simply let the poem say what it says and do what it does, which is celebrate sexuality in a spiritual context. It educates us about God and Israel, and about Christ and the church.
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It also helps us imagine a fuller definition of intimacy—physical, emotional, spiritual intimacy. Because of the prevalence of traditional femininity ideologies that have subjugated women and shamed them for their sexuality, and because of unhealthy sexual narratives in our daily news, it is vital to teach an alternative spiritual narrative. The Song is an example of lovers who talk about sex and intimacy in a healthy mutual exchange. Women who are overcoming teaching, language, or experiences that have sexually disempowered them can be encouraged by the sensual and passionate Shulammite woman who takes initiative, for she seeks her lover, she is responsive to him, she wants intimacy, and she is intimate.
She illustrates that healthy communal relationships—friendship, conversation, and support from other women, including her mother—are central to her health. Karen he then blurted out, I did not expect this place would be like this. Of course. Well, those medical support staff at the time aurogra prices testified that they had been subjected to heat doctor natural male enhancement m exhaustion and heat exhaustion identify vital signs and symptoms of the training, and what they did not diagnose the heat exhaustion, is this not true Eliot suddenly get hard movie rate jumped up.
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Elliott laughed. Randy is it more than sex speaks a dialect always made him feel happy. For ah, but I can not say anything. Simon said. There are a lot of nonsense can say things, but does not reveal any secrets Listen, We are convinced that Crandall minister died in medical malpractice.
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So he found a job in the shipping company, to become an ordinary seaman. God, ah, how much he wanted her to this time at home. If I lit those cylinders, cartons filled with chemicals will burn up. Or, you could discover that the nearest abortion clinic to you is a long drive because your state lacks clinics and abortion providers due to laws and policies that restrict abortion healthcare. Click on the following for information about your reproductive rights! Some of the most important things for you to know about your reproductive health are your resources.
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