This morning, I spent some time with a group of women who are leaders of women’s ministries, women’s discipleship, and other women’s organizations. In January 2016, Authentic Intimacy will be holding a 1 day conference for women, related to what godly sexual intimacy looks like…. for married, and single, women. This meeting was an informational meeting for women’s ministry & organization leaders to have a better understanding about Authentic Intimacy as a ministry, and ask questions about the conference.
In our group, we had a woman who was a missionary to Africa. There were two women who work with pregnancy crisis centers in our area. There was a woman who leads discipleship among women and speaks on Indian Reservations. There were women who had their own experiences of sexual brokenness and those who are helping people heal their own. It was a precious group of women, coming together because we see a need in our community & we want to support this conference.
What was interesting to me about this meeting is how united we are in our brokenness. As the missionary shared the brokenness of the women in Africa, I could see those same stories in the faces of women that I personally know. I know women who have been raped, and someone tried to blame them… being accused of doing something to encourage it. Women who were sexually abused by their husband, doing their “wifely duty” against their will. As I listened to the crisis pregnancy volunteers, I could see the faces of girls who were afraid to tell their parents they were pregnant.
I listened to story after story of dysfunction in relationships because the subject of sex has been too taboo to approach in homes and in the church. Last year I served on a team of women who were responding to the Fifty Shades of Gray books, and many of the women shared that their Pastors and the Pastors wives didn’t think it was “an issue in our church”. We can’t stand in a place where simply saying “don’t do it” is the only correct response to sex, the only message we give our kids.
We need to be not only discussing what healthy Christians sexuality is NOT, but also what it IS. We have children from broken homes getting married, who have no idea what a Christian marriage looks like. They don’t have a resource of friends to speak to that can advise them of what healthy single life looks like either.
The enemy shames our women by mocking their choice of purity, making them embarrassed over the decision. The world (including Christians) shames the ones who have not maintained their virginity. We spend so much time telling girls to wait, that they are intimidated when they get married, and many are dealing with guilt because their purity has become an idol to them. They are finding shame in even having sex with their husbands. They have guilt over their past, uncomfortable with their present.
Yet, we brush it under the rug. Because it’s not “an issue in our church”. The church is more than the four walls we meet in each Sunday. The body of believers is our church, and what affects others should affect us.
In her book For the Love, Jen Hatmaker states that if something we believe is not true for the single mom in impoverished Haiti… then it is not true. Which means that if it is true for the single mom in impoverished Haiti, then it is true for us too. Sex trafficking, rape, sexual abuse, marital sexual abuse, etc… it is true for women all over the globe, which makes it “an issue in our church”.
Church, let’s minister to the least of these…. because we are united in our brokenness.