I have something on my heart. It's not an easy thing to share because it's on a topic that everyone likes to avoid. But I'm feeling sassy enough to bring it up, so let's hope I don't regret it in the morning.
I started a blog post that was meant to gently share my thoughts on this but after more than half an hour and only finishing a couple scant paragraphs I realized that I was going about this the wrong way. So instead I'm unleashing my real, raw emotion because I think this topic deserves it.
Modesty. Purity. Sex. Breastfeeding.
In the modern American Christian church we've got a little problem. We've been teaching our young ladies and gents for quite some time that modesty equals covering your body and purity equals saving yourself for marriage. But I've got a bit of a problem with that. I do believe that God designed sex for marriage and I also believe in wearing clothing that reflects modesty. But there's more to purity and modesty than the superficial, outward reflections of what God is doing in our hearts.
It wasn't until Kris and I were engaged that I started to become aware of the major flaw in the system. Now, as we're approaching our five year anniversary and I'm breastfeeding our second child my eyes are increasingly opened to how skewed our teachings are.
I have talked to too many young women who walked into their marriages terrified of sex. Why? Because after years and years of being taught a one-sided theology of the importance of modesty and sexual purity they're lost. They've valued their virginity and their covered bodies so much that they can't find pleasure in the act of sex. They are filled with so much mental conflict over finally giving up what they've held onto for so long. Then, a little down the road, they are approached with the task of giving birth to, and breastfeeding, a baby. I have a little newsflash for you here: God doesn't reach down and place a holy covering on every new, modest Christian mom. Birth is raw and it's eye opening. Breastfeeding is a learned skill. Neither of these things comes as naturally as you might think and both require an immense amount of comfort in your own skin.
If we really want to impress upon Christian men and women that purity
isn't defined by virginity, but instead a state of being in Christ,
then I think we'll pull them into the depths of God's abundant love.
That is where the real teaching begins, you know? But here's the catch:
we aren't going to change this flawed perception of purity without
talking about sex. I'm so tired of the idea that simply saying "Save sex
for marriage!" we're somehow teaching a deep truth. It takes talking
about the WHY and the HOW and the WHERE in the bible do we learn about
that? In depth, real, raw discussions of the every day challenges of
sexual purity in today's American culture.
What I want is for every woman struggling with this is to understand a little something that I've struggled with and learned along the way. Modesty and purity are as much a state of your heart as they are of your body. God made your body and he didn't add an ounce of shame. I want to see our young women saving themselves for marriage because they believe in God's design for sex, not because they think that God is standing in heaven with a checklist. I want to see them choosing clothing that is a reflection of the modesty and purity of their hearts, not a shallow representation of their church's teachings.
These are my very short and to the point musings on this topic. Seriously, I could go on and on and on. But I'd like to hear the thoughts of others in my faith community who have been a part of this generation of teaching about purity! Please feel free to (gracefully) share your thoughts :-)