Tag Archives: women

Another Chance…..

Wouldn’t it be nice to be born again? To get a chance to have a fresh start and completely erase all the horrible things you’ve done and all the horrible things that have been done to you. I watched a movie about a girl that was physically abused by her mother. Because of that abuse she was a very damaged adult  that did pretty terrible things. Being overwhelmed by the guilt of the things she had done and unable to forget what had been done to her  she ended up committing suicide . She ended  her life with the hope that she would be born again and have a better life. I could never really understand the reasoning behind incarnation but after watching this film, I get it.

I too, have said many times that I want another chance, ” God give  me the chance to be born again, to live a different life, to make better choices.” I’ve said so in fits of anger, and pain, forgetting that as a Christian I have been born again.  That I too, will die and have a fresh start in heaven but not only in heaven here on earth as well.  Because Jesus died for me I am not shacked by the mistakes of my past, or of the pain inflicted upon me by others and myself. I am free. I may never forget what I have done or what was done to me but because I know I am free  I can choose to live a better life. I have hope in Christ that tomorrow will be better than today.

Sometimes life can be painful. Living itself, being human is painful. Maybe you want another chance but you don’t see a way out. Maybe, you’re too scared to stop what you’re doing and try something different.  Or maybe you feel like you deserve to suffer or be punished because of  the things you’ve done or things others have done to you.  What I want to say is this,”In Jesus Christ you have another chance, in fact because He loves you so much you have many chances. There is hope to live a better life and make a different choice, a better choice and you don’t need to be reincarnated for that.

In terms of sexual abuse or sexual activity it can feel like you’re forever marked or scarred by what has happened to you or by your choices.  It can feel like you’re stuck, stuck forever with the remnants of your past  forever stained and wounded on the inside. Because its your body, a body that you can’t change you may feel like in this life “I will never have another chance, because no amount of washing, or cutting, or starving, will ever make me clean again.”  But I’m here to tell myself and to tell you that in this life you can have another chance. Jesus sees you and in Him you are whole, He sees you and He wants you to come as you are.  At least, that is my hope, and my belief. Tomorrow will be better than today. Choose to be free.  God bless.

Image by Judy Prosser http://www.judyprosser.com.au/prints&cards/Prints/309.htm

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God loves you

Good Morning,

I would be doing an injustice on this blog if I didn’t mention the love of God.  God loves you. He wants you. He understands you.  He wants to save you from your sin and your  suffering and give you peace. Perhaps by saying this I am reminding myself of the love God has for me.

I’ve been at the very bottom. Struggling since I can remember with self worth, struggling with abusing my body, and abusing my mind even today. Sin has had a strong hold but in Christ I know I am free.

How could God love a vile person such as me? Well,He just does. Jesus loves me and He loves you too. His love is free, you don’t have to earn it, you don’t have to starve yourself for it, or cut yourself, or be abused, you don’t need to be beautiful to get it, He just loves you and me.   Because Jesus suffered and died for my sins I do not have to have to punish myself, I do not have to be weighed down by guilt. In Jesus Christ I am free and you can be too.

We are looking for love. Looking for acceptance.  Some of us looking for riches, for fame. We all want validation. But that is the hunger and the thirst  that our souls have for God. We feel if we have love from a man it will satisfy our longings, ease the ache in our chest, and give us peace. But you can have a good man and still be uneasy ,still be discontent, still feel empty because no man will ever love you the way that God loves you and no man can give you what God can.

Men will leave you, they disappoint you but God has always been there. He’s been there even in those times when you have felt alone. The times you feel used, ugly, worthless, the times you clinged shamelessly to a person that doesn’t want you anymore. God has been there. He’s been there when you’ve cried into your pillow, when you have self- destructed. God has been there. He’s always been there because God is love and He loves you.

The best advice I would give to anyone struggling with life, with themselves, is to cry out to God. Cry to Jesus. He’s there no matter what you have done, are doing or where you are or where you have been.  He wants to love you and He accepts you . Only God can take the ugliness of our sin and make it into something beautiful. God Bless you.

A Hurt that Won’t Quit

Do all children that have been sexually abused, objectified and exploited all grow up into adults that have a hard time feeling loved?

I have a hard time feeling love. A part of me knows I am loved but there is a part of me that can’t quite accept the love of the men in my life. I have a nagging voice in my head and aching anxiety in my heart that makes me feel like I am not loved.

It’s painful, a hurt that won’t quit. No matter how much my father tells me he loves me, no matter what he does for me I still feel unloved by him. Like a child I constantly need his assurance of love and he has to assure me the way I want to be assured. Every day he has to tell me he loves me. Every day I need hugs and validation that I am loved and accepted by my father.

With my boyfriend its even worse. Everyday multiple times a day I tell him I love him with the expectation of him saying it back. After seven years he has said it more times than I can think to remember, but it’s still not enough for me.

I have searched through him, underneath and above him trying to find the answer, trying to feel loved, looking to him for acceptance. But he is only human; there are limits to what he can do. I am emotionally draining because I am emotionally drained myself.

Despite my knowing that nothing was taken from me on the day of the death of my nine year old self, it still feels like a part of me is missing. Something is missing, I can feel it. I feel this painful hole, this void of loveless-ness and unworthiness within my chest.

I sometimes revert back to that girl crying on the shower flow. But it’s more than crying its mourning, it’s a grief that comes from deep within my belly causing my whole body to distort. It is painful. I wrote a letter to my nine year old self trying to make peace, but how can I make peace when my soul is crying out for justice. Where is justice for me? Where is my peace? It’s not in this world of that I am sure.

He sees me crying for hours over the simplest things. But 90 percent of the time the pain I feel has nothing to do with petty, insignificant matters he just happens to scratch the surface of a wound that never healed. And like a wound just a touch, makes it bleed and bleed and bleed. All the tears I never cried I am crying now. All the pain I couldn’t feel I feel it now.

Pain, pain and more pain is what that man gave to me.  He was the first man to use and dump me. He was the first person to make me feel like a pile of garbage, like nothing, like I was not human.

Patriarchal Pornography

“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” Mathew 5:9

As a woman I am offended when I hear other women making excuses for their husbands and boyfriends infidelity or use of pornography. Why is the woman always at fault? I overheard a conversation between two married women. One kept pointing out that men need sex, and when a woman is not fulfilling her role in the bedroom it drives him to porn. Well women need sex too, maybe even more than a man does. The vagina has so many different pleasure points, and our orgasms are more intense. I have never heard a woman say well my “man” isn’t satisfying me so I am going to whip out my turbo vibrator and 12 inch dildo and watch Big Dick porn. When are women going to let men take accountability for their actions?

I hear that excuse all the time. That is not reason enough for me. Let’s face it we all need to get off. Men have a strong sex drive but so do women. And I am not talking about single men; I am referring to men who get “the pussy” served to them on a platter every night or at least some nights. Whatever happened to self control? Whatever happened to being a team? Whatever happened to selflessness? And for the women who blame and condemn their other female counter parts for going to bed in baggy clothes and not feeding their husbands appetites pray that it does not happen to you. Do you think she wants an obtrusive penis inside her when she knows her husband’s been jacking his dick to the images of another woman’s vagina and butt hole? Do you think she wants his hands that have imagined caressing another woman around her? Do you think she wants to share her nakedness with someone who pays to go to the strip club and look at pornography? Would you? Would you want that man touching you after seeing the images of what he pleasures himself too?

Where is the respect? Stop blaming women. Stop blaming her because of what she is wearing or what she’s not. Stop blaming her for being drunk. Stop blaming her for being naive and trusting. Stop blaming her for being human and not a sex toy. Stop blaming women for men’s shortcomings.

If you are having  an intimacy problem pornography, strip clubs and affairs make it worse. If you want to better your sex life then you need to better the emotional aspect of the relationship. Instead of hoping on Ashley Madison or porn sites, ask her, ask her why she does not want to sleep with you. Tell her I want to try new positions. Communicate with your partner. Using lack of sex or lack of her sexiness as an excuse for watching porn is just going lead to you using your hand more and losing intimacy with your partner.
If you have a problem with lust and porn it’s your problem, your fault and not your partners. How about blocking the porn from your computer? How about not to the strip club?

If your eye is causing you to sin, to stray then fix your eye. Don’t blame the porn that you’re looking at and the wife or girlfriend that you’re not looking at, blame yourself. Only you can fix you.

I want to add that all the destruction, all the damage and pain that pornography causes in your relationships God can heal. There is hope, happiness and love for you too.

Feminism, Casual Sex and Open Relationships

This is an educational piece and I would ask that everyone read this carefully. I was inspired to write this after having a discussion on Thought  catalog about casual sex. There is a lot of confusion that surrounds casual sex practices. Before you do it, know what is about then make an informed decision. Great news,  common sense does not require a degree. Happy reading :).

Casual sex and open relationships are like apples and oranges, both are fruits but both are different.

An open relationship is where both partners agree that they can have sexual relations with others. I have no experience with open relationships so I can’t say much on it but I do believe a lot of women pushing for this Casual  Sex Movement/Hookup Culture, and its” freedoms” want and are involved in open relationships. They want the relationship and emotional connectedness that casual sex lacks, and they want the freedom of sleeping with other people or mainly  the ability to accept openly that their partner is sleeping  with other people without feeling humiliated or judged. In my book I mention   that women want the intercourse and men want the sex. When you join private parts its called sexual intercourse, with an open relationship it seems that both parties get what they want? I believe that some of these feminist, and women really want a relationship because  they talk about connecting with the other person. Casual sex is not about connecting emotionally, lets join private parts, that is the only connection. When I hear women defending casual sex as this emotionally satisfying situation that is not selfish, and has regard for the other person and people around them  I think, “You my dear are misinformed,”if that is the case you are not involved in the casual sex  lifestyle.

The pattern I see is women still wanting the relationship, the connection, the friendship, the care, and  the concern, so why shove this idea of casual sex and its perks down other peoples throats when you have not experienced, or lived it, when you want a relationship and not casual sex? Why encourage other women , young women to go down a path that more than likely leads to misery when you get to have your cake and eat it too.  I would ask that these women, and  men stop misleading our youth about casual sex and talk about their convenient open relationships instead.  

It is essential to define the relationship because then you can properly act and make an informed choice. Casual sex is that  grey area  between black and white but its still grey, and the fact that it is grey is not left up to perception its factual. How you navigate through an open relationship is completely different from how you would engage in casual sex. One is inclusive of a relationship, connection, and sharing, a soft place to rest your head at night knowing that this man is there, the other is lonely, there is no care or concern and there should be no expectation of any form of emotional support.

Casual sex then becomes the cop out  and scapegoat for an open relationship. No woman really wants to admit that, “Hey I’m in an open relationship, he has sex with whoever he wants, I have sex with who I want but we support each other emotionally, we just choose to have different sex partners simultaneously or at the same time.” Be honest, it’s a little embarrassing, and humiliating. Stop pushing polyamory and disguising it as casual sex. Besides society is more accepting of casual sex than of open or polyamorous  relationships. .People understand having multiple partners to a point but its harder to understand being in a relationship but wanting to have sex with other people and the other person having knowledge of that. One must ask the question then why even bother being in a relationship? Does that man even love or care about you? Do you really care about him? So some choose to call it casual sex, which is insulting to anyone like myself who has engaged in casual sex and it is misleading to the people who have not engaged in casual sex.

There is confusion about what casual sex is and isn’t. The word “casual”  is lack of commitment ,devoid of emotion, and sex is your penis or vagina, putting t the two terms, action and parts, together  there is no room left  for concern, or this lasting partnership or friendship; if so you  were  or are more than likely in an open relationship.  ” Casual sex” is supposed to be easy, no stings,  but because of  the way our bodies fit together during sex it does not work out that way all the time. Someone,  more than likely the woman catches feelings from just the touch of a penis and she is confused. The act of sex alone tells you that there is nothing casual about it, yet some  continue to push the notion that “casual” sex exists. There is nothing casual about a penis penetrating your vagina. I don’t understand why feminist get angry when I say that casual sex is selfish, its supposed to be, isn’t that what they are fighting for “sexual freedom”and  women can have sex just like a man.” But no, they are mistake and confused because they don’t even understand what casual sex is, they bend it to fit a convenient description of an open relationship. And we go back to the point that women engaging in casual sex want some form of a RELATIONSHIP.

 Casual sex is selfish, no one goes out of their way to have a one night only to consciously think about how it will affect the next person. Who does that? Seriously, in what world, what fantasy, fairy tale, fiction does someone have casual sex with you and think hmm I wonder how she will feel afterwards? How will this affect my family and friends close to me? This type of thinking is not realistic. And if you do have casual sex with that mindset it is not for you.

Don’t get an open relationship confused with casual sex. Please, ladies for your own well being don’t confuse the two. If you want an open relationship fine, if you want to have casual sex that is fine too, but please don’t hide behind one and skew its meaning because your lifestyle is not as accepted.

You need to respect the behavior and live in the reality of the situation not a sugar coated version of what it could be, not a rationalization that casual sex or an open relationship is this great amazing experience full of love and care, and connection. Stop pretending. In this  moment I ask, that you be real with yourself.

Singleness and Sexuality in the Church: A Research Paper by Kelsey Cowie

I wrote this paper when I attended Liberty University. A fellow blogger lulunjapa.wordpress.com did a blog on Singleness and Sexuality in the Church.Back when I was in school I did a research paper on singleness and sexuality in the church and I thought it appropriate to share it on my blog. I normally do posts solely directed at casual sex because with this blog I want to educate women about casual sex but sexuality in the church especially single sexuality is a subject that deserves a platform.  This paper focuses mainly on the issues that single women face in the church.I hope this paper will be helpful and will encourage single women in the body of the church. Happy reading :)!

Abstract

Singleness in the Church especially among women is a new and growing concern. Yet, despite the research which points to a lack of male attendance as the major root of the issues the Church refuses to address it. Rather than adopt new methods for handling singleness, the Church has insisted on using old fashioned methodology. Not only has the Church continued to use old fashioned methodology when interacting with singles, it also has continued to have a prudish attitude towards single sexuality as well. Research shows that cultural influences are penetrating through the Church walls and single Christians are falling into the same temptations as those singles outside of the Church. Because the Church has not adopted a new attitude of handling singles and single sexuality the problem has just continued to spread. Unfortunately the research shows that this matter has yet to be resolved and addressed in the Church.

Introduction

Singleness in the church is now a pervasive issue that has to be addressed. Singleness is a “recent phenomena,” (Wehr, 2011, p.75), times have changed, and people, especially women are getting married at a much later age than they ever did before. Rising college debt and singles’ financial inability to move out from under their parent’s roof is also a factor in why many people are getting married at a much later age. The pressure to get married right away has subsided because of society’s ever changing moral standards. Attitudes towards premarital sex and cohabitation have drastically changed in this generation compared to past generations. The view the media paints of the single woman is also impacting single Christian women, in her book  Single Woman: A Discursive Investigation Jill Reynolds writes, “ Popular media representations are an even more critical influence in creating a  discursive context for singleness,” ( Reynolds, 2008,p.149), meaning  the media does not help single women understand singleness. If a certain single woman was to look at the media portrayals of single women she would be confused by the confusing cacophony of voices rambling on about their views on about their views on single women. Understandably, the influences of the culture have impacted the Church and therefore the number of single women in the church is rising, “ Christian dating agencies report having up to 70 percent women on their books –a trend reflected in other dating agencies,”(Chalmers, 2006).Outside of the church the pressure to get married is not as pertinent. In fact, most non- Christian women do not want to get married until their late twenties because they do not feel morally convicted about sex outside of marriage, and they do not understand the sacredness that Christ teaches about the importance of marriage. And yet, single Christian and non- Christian women alike have to deal with the constant scrutiny of outsiders asking about their relationship status in ways that make them feel like they are incomplete because they lack a significant other,“ In many ways, single women are under constant social surveillance. They are constantly being questioned so what’s new? Are you seeing anyone? What are you waiting for? They are constantly being warned that they are liable to miss their train or die alone,” (Lahad, 2012).  This pressure is heightened even more among the Christian community, as marriage is an important part of helping Christians abstain from premarital sex. There are plenty of similes in the Bible that compare the relationship that Christ has with the Church to marriage. For example, verses in Revelation 19:7-9 and Ephesians 5:25-27 compare a husbands love for his wife to the way Christ loves the Church as well as the church being the bride who makes herself ready for Christ her bridegroom. The Bible states, “ It is not good for man to be alone, I will make him a helper fit for him,” (Genesis 2:18 KJV), in the same chapter it also states, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife and they shall become one flesh,”(Genesis 2:20, KJV).These verses reinforce the importance of marriage to the Christian population and a large number of Christian women are waiting on God to send them their spouse. The majority of women want to be chosen by a man, and those who are single often feel excluded from the married community. Single women in the church often complain that they are treated as if they are a threat to the married women in the church. Many believe that the church has an old fashioned unsympathetic approach to what it means to be single in this present day. Often times the church ignores the sexual desires of the female members in its congregation that are single. In this present day and age the church has to develop an attitude of acceptance and provide a safe environment towards unmarried women in their entirety not overlooking their desire to be married and express their longings to be sexually intimate with someone. Because singleness among women is becoming an overwhelming phenomenon in churches, the Church has to change its attitude towards single women.

Treatment of Single Women in the Church

 Singles as a Threat to Married Couples

Lacking the title of wife, and having no specific ministry directed to them it is easy for single women in the church to feel left out. On top of feeling left out they also feel isolated and rejected. On giving advice to singles and how they should deal with singleness among married couples in their church associate pastor Chelsea Harmon (2013) writes, “Some people may be afraid that your singleness threatens their marriage,” (Harmon, 2013).  This fear of single women breaking up marriages ostracizes them and can push them out of the church. In Furness’s (2013) article on single Christians and the church she acknowledges that “Single women were often treated as a threat to couples, with other’s saying they felt more valued outside the church than within.” Furness based her article on research done by Christian author David Pullinger, who found that out  of 2754 Christians surveyed 37 percent, did not feel like they were treated as family members (Furness, 2013). For Christian institutions this number should be alarming because married as well as single Christians make up the body of Christ. Some view a wedding ring as a sacred passage into a group that excludes all the women who do not have one. In her article Singleness and Scripture, popular ,Christian author Lisa Harper (2011) raises an important question, “Sometimes I wonder if myths about Christians and singleness contribute to making women without a diamond ring on their left hand feel like misfits.” Because the norm in the Church environment is that of a traditional family, consisting of husband and wife and maybe children, it is a lot easier for single Christian women to feel like outsiders. Chalmers (2006), in her article quotes Minister Jenny Mcintosh who, “Fears that single women were feeling alienated and were being pushed away because the norm was to be in a family.”  Single women are be speckled throughout different churches which makes it harder for them to find a community within their home church where they feel they belong.

The Church’s Attitude toward Helping Singles Find a Spouse

Another problem that arises between single women and the Church is that the church does not feel responsible in helping single Christian women find a godly mate. The Church has yet to address the lack of single Christian men and the influx of single Christian women in its congregation.  In her book Single Women a Challenge to the Church? Kristina Aune states, “A quarter of women cited the lack of Christian men as one of the major issues facing single Christian women,” (Aune, 2002, p.56).  Why are there so few Christian men in the church? It is clear that the problem of single women is a reflection of the declining number of male attendance in the Church which might reflect that the Church is not growing at the rate that is should be. Many have the attitude that the reason for going to church should be solely to worship God but fail to address this season of singleness in some of its believers lives. Because there are an abundance of Christian women who desire to get married and are part of the church community but cannot find a suitable spouse it then becomes a problem within the Church. One has to question the reason for lack of godly single men that are nowhere to be found in the church. When Christian women start dating non Christians they are frowned upon. For example, in her article “More black women Single Church Possibly to Blame”, Gheni Platenburg examines the sample focus group of African American Christian women who are single throughout the Church. Her article mentions a recent Yale study pointing out 42 percent of African American women remain unmarried (Platenburg, 2011). Platenburg mentions a quote from a popular blogger Deborah Cooper that the addresses the issues of black women finding a mate outside the Church, “Black women go to Church week after week, hearing over and over again they should be seeking a God fearing man. Sisters in the Church are instructed by their pastors that there should be no room in their lives for a man without faith in the Lord,” (Platenburg, 2011). In this particular example women are encouraged to abstain from dating non-Christian men and seek out Bible believing men but there are not enough of those men in the churches. This leaves this particular group of women with very few options when trying to find a spouse.

It is unfair for the church to ignore this aspect of a single woman’s life. By taking this approach towards helping singles find mates it makes the issue of singleness a topic that needs to be discussed and heard, “Nearly half of the adults who are not married are often treated with ambivalence, leaving many to wonder what their singleness means and where they fit within the Church,” (Wehr,2011,p.75).  Wehr poses two very important questions that are fundamental to understanding a person’s individual struggle with accepting the fact that they are single. Avoiding the growing number of single women and individuals in the church is not helping the church grow. Christian singles should be able to find belongingness and community in the Church.

Singleness as a Gift  

According to her survey Kristin Aune mentions that a large number of Christian women view singleness as a gift, (Aune, 2002, p.3). Those who view singleness as a gift often refer to Paul’s message in 1 Corinthians 7, “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman,” (1 Corinthians 7:1, NIV).  Statistics showed that less than one in ten Christian women saw singleness as a gift (Aune,2002, p. 82). This idea of singleness being a gift is an old fashioned idea, and can be easily misinterpreted.  Lisa Harper agrees that singleness being a gift is a myth, “Perhaps we should stop viewing singleness as a gift, and recognize the true prize undistracted devotion to God,” (Harper, 2011).  Singleness in itself is not the gift, being alone and lacking companionship is not a gift but having the time to devote to God without the distraction of family life is the gift. Calling singleness a gift is insulting to some Christian women. Beth Phillips in her article states that, “The point is that whatever our marital status, we must not let anxieties of this world cloud our undivided devotion to Christ,” (Phillips, 2001, p.124).  If singleness is a gift then what is marriage? Neither one should be placed above the other. For some singleness is a season for others it is a permanent condition and it is up to the church to help its members transition into and out of this stage in their lives. The notion that singleness is a gift is used to pacify the fact that there are more and more single women saturating the church. Actually of the women surveyed in her book Aune found that a number of women felt that singleness was not for the majority of women, (Aune,2011,p.83). Despite the freedoms of singleness many women in the church and outside of the church would prefer not to remain single. God’s word in the New Testament also advocated the importance of companionship, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down,    one can help the other up But pity anyone who falls  and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 KJV).  Singleness is not a gift. The Church should not approach single women in this way as it has been shown to be ineffective. Instead the blessing of being single and having time to fully devote to God should be pointed out to singles.

Singleness and Sexuality in the Church

Singleness does not mean that a woman is void of sexual desires. Being single also does not mean Christian single women are destined for a life of celibacy and virginity. A life of celibacy and purely virginal desires are the two most common and incorrect notions that the church has about single Christian women.  “Although as a single person you may not be having sex right now, sexuality is for always. It is an essential part of your being,” (Harmon, 2013).  The Church has yet to find ways to address sexuality among Christian single women. In her book Aune states, “While marital sex is celebrated in the Church environments sexual desire felt by singles I either ignored or assumed to be bad. Little practical advice is given as to how to view and handle sexual desire and whether genital expression such as masturbation is acceptable for Christians,”(Aune, 2002,p.71).This attitude  of not addressing  single sexuality breeds a culture of shame, fear and rebellion surrounding Christian women and their sexuality. A woman’s sexuality whether she is married or single is something that should be celebrated.

Single Sexuality a Gift

Virginity and purity for single women are traditionally viewed as desirable qualities in the Church.  The Church views a woman’s virginity as gift that she gives to her husband. The “gift of virginity” prevents single women from exploring their sexuality in a normal and natural way, “It is a gift to be unwrapped, discovered, and pursued,” (Starr, 2008, p.114). The assumption by some Christians that virginity is a gift dissects a single woman’s sexuality as something separate from who she is.   This attitude towards a single woman’s sexuality does not leave room for single Christian women to express their sexuality in a healthy way. Being single does not eliminate the sexual nature that God created single women with, “Just because you aren’t experiencing some of these forms of intimacy doesn’t mean you don’t -or shouldn’t- have the desire to experience them, (Harmon, 2013). Expressing these sexual desires go against the old fashioned teachings of the church. The church has a bad reputation of reprimanding, denying and dismissing the sexual struggle amongst the single members in its church’s. “The record the church has when it comes to sex has not been stellar. It has, in fact, been characterized by the denial of sex,” (Van Belle, 2013), Harry Van Belle in his article “Where do We Draw the Line” makes a very valid point. Rick Stedman in his article “Sex and the Single Christian, Moving from Don’t to Do” does a great job of summarizing the Church’s view of single sexuality,    “Sexuality is related to personal value. This is the revolutionary thought we must place in singles minds to help them understand the purpose behind the practice of temporary celibacy – separating oneself from sexual activity to establish and enhance personal self-worth” ( Stedman 2013). Stedman makes a valid point in the latter part of his argument in that sexual activity or the lack thereof does not take away from or add to one’s self-worth.   By focusing solely on the purity and virginity of single women the church is denying single women a chance to have safe sexuality.

The Church’s Attitude towards Single’s Sexual Desires

Sexual desires cannot be ignored by the single Christian woman who is feeling them nor should sexuality among single women in the church be dismissed. Christians are engaging in premarital sex quite possibly because the church represses single sexuality. In her article featured in Christianity Today  AFA journal staff writer Rebecca Grace states, “ Three surveys of single Christians conducted in the 1990s turned a lot of premarital sex; Approximately one third of the respondents were virgins – that means, of course, that two thirds were not ,” (Grace, 2005)). This research demonstrates that sexuality is a struggle for the single Christian. Not only is sexuality a physical struggle for single Christians but sex in society has become extremely rampant. One cannot turn on the TV without seeing some form of implied sex. Society in this modern day is all about sexual freeness and being a Christian does not protect single Christian women from the cultures sexual influence. Grace makes reference to Dr. Henry Clouds informal observation of singles and sex in the Church, “Dr. Henry Cloud, clinical psychologist and author, is aware of the problem. It does appear in today’s society that cultural influences of more sexual expression outside of marriage have had its influence in the church,” (Grace, 2005). The Church needs to more than just point out the issue of single sexuality the Church has to get involved with singles and help them deal with their sexuality. Some have suggested that in lieu of simply telling Christians to wait, the church needs to teach Christian singles self-discipline (Wehr, 2011). The old way of ignoring the sexual desires of singles especially that of women is not working, if the Church starts to teach these singles discipline concerning their sexuality it would show that the church is acknowledging the sexual struggle of its singles. The church teaches that single women should live a life of celibacy. Adding his own observations to the discussion on single sexuality among Christians Van belle suggests that, “For much of its history the message of the Church to young people has been to one of abstinence. If you wanted to become a full time servant of God your best bet was to become a nun or unmarried priest,” (Van Belle, 2013). By saying no to the expression of sexuality among singles the church has bred an environment of dishonesty and shame among the members of its congregation that are single and struggle with lust, and or natural sexual passion:

Finally, singles that lack a positive rationale for celibacy can also get caught up in the more serious and dangerous world of pornography, prostitution, homosexuality, and molestation. If someone descends into this behavior there is no easy way out. A positive view of single sexuality, however, will help a person- even in these extreme situations take the appropriate steps to recovery, (Stedman, 2013).

These sexual deviants are formed from an attitude of shame, and hiding. Both women and men suffer from pornography addictions. There is researching that proves that pornography has infiltrated the church. One evangelical leader of a church found that 60 percent of the men in his congregation look at porn; he also found research that showed 1 in 3 visitors to porn sites were women (Morgan, 2008). Porn addiction is generally believed to develop when one is single.  Without proper guidance e from the Church of how to deal with their sexuality singles are looking to outside sources. The Church is guilty of treating single sexuality especially that of the single women as not important. Not discussing single women’s sexuality within the Church has not made the issue go away, instead it has had the adverse effect and led to singles engaging in fornication, excessive masturbation, and feeling disjointed from their sexuality.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the research proves that the Church’s attitude on dealing with single women and their sexuality has not evolved with the changing times. Studies have proven that people are getting married later and later due to economic reasons, and research has shown that the average age of marriage has gone up by about a year (Huffington Post, 2013). Also one has to factor in that society’s view on marriage and sex outside of marriage has changed making the institution of marriage even among Christians lack as much precedence as it did before. Obviously, the culture’s view on marriage has infiltrated the Church and the rising number of single women in the Church does not help the situation.  It is apparent that the Church instead of addressing the issues of singleness and single sexuality has chosen to ignore these issues and therefore the lack of response to these issues in the Church is being reflected in its congregation. Treating singleness and a singles sexuality as a gift is a long held view that does not have a positive effect on singles anymore. Singleness and sexuality in the Church needs to be viewed as one whole function not two separate entities.  Lastly, single women make up a huge number of the body of Christ, and in all fairness their struggles should be heard and not overlooked.

References

Chalmers, A. (2006, September 9). Ah men sigh lone church women. Dominion Post. Retrieved September 12, 2013, from search.proquest.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/docview/338271034

Furness, H. (2013, April 25). Single People Feel Ignored and Lonely at Church. telegraph. Retrieved September 12, 2013, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10016925/single-people-feel-ignored-and-lonely-at-church.html

Grace, R. (2005). Sex and the Single Christian. American Family Association Journal, 1. Retrieved September 12, 2013, from http://www.afajournal.org/2005/july/705single_christians.asp

Harmon, C., & Belle, H. V. (2013, June 19). Sex, Intimacy and the Single Person. Banner, 1. Retrieved September 12, 2013, from http://www.thebanner.org/features/2013/06/sex-intimacy-and-the-single-person

Harper, L. (2011, May). Singleness And Scripture. Christianity Today, 1. Retrieved September 12, 2013, from http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2011/may/singleness.html

Lahad, K. (2012). Singlehood, Waiting, and the Sociology of Time. Eastern Sociological Society, 27(1). Retrieved September 12, 2013, from ://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1573-7861.2011.01306.x/full

Morgan, T. (2008, March 7). Porn’s Stranglehold. Christianity Today, 1. Retrieved October 2, 2013, from http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/article&id=53976

Phillips, B. (2001). 1 Corinthians 7 and Singleness in the Church. LEAVEN, 9(3), 123-128. Retrieved September 12, 2013, from http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/leaven/vol9/iss3/4

Platenburg, G. (2011, March 13). More black women single, church possibly to blame. Tribune Business News, p. 3. Retrieved September 12, 2013, from the ProQuest database.

Reynolds, J. (2008). The single woman: a discursive investigation. London: Routledge.

Starr, R. (2008). Virginity at All Costs? Cappadocian Teaching on Virginity for the Life of the Church. LEAVEN, 16(3). Retrieved September 12, 2013, from http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/leaven/vol16/iss3/4

Stedman, R. (2013). Sex and the Single Christian Moving from Don’t to Do. Enrichment Journal, 64. Retrieved September 12, 2013, from enrichmentjournal.ag.org/201103/201103_64_sex_single.cfm

The Huffington Post (2012, March 28). Study Suggests Young People are Delaying Marriage Because Of Riding College Debt.  The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 12, 2013, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/study-college-debt-marriage-loans-rates-rising_n_1385548.html

Wehr, K. (2011). Virginity. Singleness and Celibacy: Late Fourth-Century and Recent Evangelical Visions of Unmarried Christians. Theology and Sexuality, 17(1), 75-99. Retrieved September 12, 2013, from the ProQuest database.

 

 

 

 

SexRape

Sexrape is a term often searched on my blog. First of all I would like to say that it  saddens me that many women and men do not know the difference between consensual sex and rape. Does  sexrape  exist?  Is there a  grey area between sex and rape? I believe that sexrape is a mental state. In my opinion it is either sex or rape not both. Rape is a serious act that should not be pandered with. But maybe admitting that you have been raped is too painful of a realization, or maybe you are man who has raped a woman and you don’t want to admit that you are now a rapist.

I’ve had sex when I did not want to, but I never said no, or stop, I suffered through it but that does not count as rape because I never said no. Maybe if I had said no, I would not have  been punished by an ugly penis.

I’ve been pressured into having sex. I did not want to do it but because the guy kept begging me I gave in. That does not count as rape either.

“Sexrape maybe  is a place where a lot of women have been mentally. There are times when I have engaged in sex and inside I have screamed no, but instead moans of pleasure came out my mouth. This is obviously a situation of the disconnectedness between the mind and the body. It is a  very confusing place to be. I had disgust for the guy that I had sex with and I was upset at myself because I never spoke up. It was rape in my mind, but sex with my body?? Is there such a thing? Do a lot of women have sex when they really don’t want to?

Is casual sex the breeding ground for sexrape? Should it matter that I’m agreeing to “consensual sex” but in my mind what I’m doing feels far from consensual?  Is there really a grey area between sex and rape?

Sexrape is not just limited to casual sex, it can happen with a boyfriend or spouse, but the great news about this grey area between sex and rape is that it  is avoidable.

It is okay to say no to sex, even if he drove 20 miles just to see you because you agreed to have sex with him over the phone. It is okay to change your mind, in fact it is your right…You don’t owe any man sex whether it be your husband, boyfriend, friend, booty call, sugar daddy or whomever , you always have the option of saying no. And if you say no and he physically insists, then its rape.