Culture

February 08 2013
21

Maybe these weren’t the links you expected to find over your morning coffee.

Last week, our own Sarah Bessey wrote a little piece that started a big conversation.

Since, there have been a number of conversations cropping up around the blogosphere about sexuality and church. A few caught our eye and we wanted to link them here for what one reader casually termed, impromptu sex week on the Internet.

These links are not endorsements, they appear in no particular order, but we hope that as these important issues are continued conversation for all of us, we can all further listen and understand one another and our unique perspectives.

(And if we missed a post that caught your eye, leave it in the comments below!)

 

IMPROMPTU SEX WEEK ON THE INTERNET (A LINK LIST)

On virginity:

In the scheme of my story, my virginity is merely a chapter, perhaps an excessively long footnote. Because while it is a part of me, it does not define me. My worth as a creation of God is not confined to my untouched body. It is not dependent on a shiny ring. It is not dependent on something that is not meant to last. Because, one day, my virginity will be gone.
— I am not my Virginity. by Cassie Clerget

I do know this: I didn’t feel much different after the rings went on our fingers and we actually did the deed. Not like I felt as we were exploring as young people looking down a long month of Sundays at a future wedding date.
Two Different Things by Sarah Markley

The boy who will teach you not to be afraid. The boy who will kiss you, finally, in the rain. The boy who will hold you while you can’t sleep for the insomnia and the anorexia and the anxiety, the boy who will bring you ice chips as you give birth to the first of two sons, the boy who will ask you to take walks with him every day of your life, for the rest of your life, till death do us part.
— Everyday Radical: To The Last Virgins Standing by Emily Wierenga

But instead of an all or nothing approach, instead of reducing the scope of human sexuality to one specific act and stamping that act with a no until marriage makes it a magical yes, I’m building a holistic sexual ethic. I’m learning to be aware of the difference between healthy interactions and harmful behavior patterns.
The Day I Turned in My V-Card by Emily Maynard

It’s a prevalent idea that God seems to not only forgive us but also take away the consequences of sin. This isn’t to say that we then have to somehow earn God’s love. Or that by doing specific things we can avoid God’s discipline. Not at all. It is through God’s love that He then disciplines us to bring us nearer to Him.

— Virginity is Valuable by Tyler Braun

Yes, we Christians say, we believe in the inherent dignity of all human life. But we especially believe in it if that human life is virginal, wears a purity ring and bleeds on her wedding night.
— Virginity: New & Improved! by Elizabeth Esther

On purity culture:

If you are not a virgin, and especially if you struggle with guilt or with fear of the moment when you must reveal this to a special someone, hear this: God is a God of second chances. Whether you made a mistake or made a conscious choice, you do not have to wallow in guilt. No mistake is too great for God to redeem, and no choice is unforgivable.
— News Flash: You Probably Won’t Marry a Virgin by Joy Bennet

Nothing prepared for me this. Not signing a True Love Waits card at age 14, youth group sermons on modesty, discussions with my mom about waiting until marriage, or discussions with my friends who didn’t care they hadn’t waited.
— The Morning After by Leigh Kramer

Respect was defined in terms of masculine pronouns and the possibility that a woman could ever have a sexual desire outside of a motivation to destroy the men of God was largely not entertained.
— when purity culture hurts men, too by Preston Yancey

There was the time on the bus, maybe eight years ago now, when we were coming back from a school event and she and I played an old song with our hands and bodies to the hypnotic rhythms of seeing just how far we could go without going all the way.
— when it should be about love by Preston Yancey

We make sure teenagers are hedged in with little rules like flimsy fences.  And then the fences have to be mended when kids ask, “How far is too far?”  When we entertain those questions, we too have missed the point.  We ought to be focused on how intimate our kids’ relationship with the Lord is, rather than telling them what base they can go to before Jesus gets pissed off.
— What I Wish I Had Told My Youth Group About Purity by Matt Appling

21 comments

  1. So, this is a related post, though not about the purity culture in particular.

    An app called “Bang With Friends” was recently released. Seriously. Adam Jeske wrote a piece for Intervarsity to raise awareness of this thing and the havoc it can create in lives. http://www.intervarsity.org/blog/evilest-app-ever

    It made me wonder- how do we raise the bar on this conversation, how do we make it about Jesus more than rules and grace more than shame, but still call out the fact that some things are not okay? I don’t know how to have that conversation well. Except to say that if anything objectifies another person instead of seeing them as a beautiful imago dei of God, certainly it is an app like this.

    Reply
  2. Preston, thanks for posting all these!! I’ve been bouncing all over this week reading, and I’m so grateful I can bookmark this list for future reference. I don’t want to miss even one of them!!

    Reply
  3. This is a great list and I was challenged and moved by this past week in blogging.

    I worked pretty hard on this response on my own site: http://66.147.244.94/~leannepe/2013/02/02/red-yarn-purity-and-my-misplaced-worth/

    Reply
  4. Thank you for including my post! Honored to be a part of the discussion. Or you know, anything impromptu.

    Reply
  5. Thank you for putting so many of these in the same place. I’ve seen these stories be dismissed as “well, that was just *your* experience,” and this list flies in the face of that dismissal.

    I’ve written about my personal experience with this problem here:

    http://defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/51/

    It’s called “Roses– how the purity culture taught me to be abused.”

    Reply

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