I have recently survived the world’s most boring church service. As I sat there with the bad music, long and poorly presented sermon, and the dead interactions of people I could not help but think how opposite this must be from the thrill and adventure of the early church founders who were risking their lives and hiding in homes to tell tales of miracles and resurrections. How their pulses must have raced with passion as their bodies were laced with adrenaline at the task of growing the Church.
If we are not careful, we create a very counterfeit understanding of Church by thinking that Sunday morning services are church. They aren’t. And the thinking that they are contributes to the deadening of souls who long for something more than the mundane and veils rather than reveals the glory of God.
There has to be more to life than empty traditions, routines, working 9-5, and hollow church services. Does this call out to your spirit like a spring of water to a thirsty traveler? Is boredom sucking the life out of you? I have hope for you.
This may be the hardest blog post I’ve ever written. Single women have been writing to me this week with one question: “How can I satisfy my sexual desire if I’m destined to remain single my whole life?” In part, this question is coming from women who’ve recently read Pulling Back The Shades, a candid look at erotica, intimacy, and the longings of a woman’s heart, which I co-authored with Dr Juli Slattery. But the truth is the question has been coming my way for a long time and I’ve managed to dodge it. My motivation to answer is impaled on the horns of a dilemma: do I, a married woman, pass you on to some one else with more “experience” for the answer OR do I tell you the truth which is undoubtedly not what you really want to hear in which case you may happily use my married status to disqualify the advice? Today I’m mustering up the courage to go for the latter.
As my new book releases this week, I’ve cringed a few times at the comments that get posted. I know we’re not supposed to use porn or erotica, but sometimes in our criticism of it we forget that our Christian sisters are struggling. Our condemnation, if not carefully worded, can fuel shame or create distance rather than bringing struggling women closer to Jesus. That’s why every word we wrote had to be just right! Few times have I felt more dependent on God than when Dr Juli Slattery and I decided to write a response to the “mommy porn” craze that’s overtaken the Church. Yep, I do mean the Church—there’s no statistical difference in the percentage of Christian vs overall women who’ve read the Fifty Shades of Grey series. We knew the problem was big, but we didn’t know where to begin.
CONGRATULATIONS TO MELANIE, TISH, DOREEN, CLAIRE, VICKI, TARA, ANGIE, VALERIE, ANNA, AND ERIN WHO WON THIS RANDOM DRAWING. THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED. WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED BY EMAIL!
Can spiritual women also be sexually satisfied? It’s a sad question to have to ask, but the incomplete manner in which the Church has answered sexual questions does mandate that we discuss it.
If you’re one of my more modest followers, please don’t be disappointed but this article isn’t for you. However, if you’re a spiritual woman trying desperately to make sense of sexual desires and often finding answers outside of the Church, read on! I don’t want you to find yourself falling for counterfeits in the quest. A lot of women have.
As of last week, the sales of the Fifty Shades of Grey series has sold over 100,000,000 and the series has had a seat on the New York Times Best-seller list for 100 weeks straight. Let me be honest: the book has revived the sexual appetites of many women. But is that good?
I’d like to suggest that it’s not so great and that the best way to a vibrant sex life might just to become an “official church lady!”
For so long it’s been unacceptable in the Christian community for a spiritual woman to talk openly about issues of sexual pleasure and need. There are all these unwritten “Christian” rules that govern how openly we talk about sex. Then along came Fifty Shades of Grey—a book offering a bounty of explicit, erotic sex scenes all wrapped up in a love story. The book and its follow-ups provided a place for women to explore their longings and fantasies and promised to revive sexual passion in marriage or channel sexual desire for singles.
When the book was first released I naively thought not that many Christian women would read it. I was wrong. Over 100 million women have read it according to new counts just this week, making it the fastest selling book of all time other than the Bible. (Only God has outsold E.L. James!) And there is no difference between the percentage of Christians who have read Fifty Shades of Grey and the percentage of all Americans who have read the book that introduced us to the term “mommy porn.“
If you are one of the Christian women who devoured the book, Dr. Juli Slattery and I want you to know you’re not alone. And, along with a growing number of increasingly transparent Christian leaders, we intend to approach this topic quite differently. Why? Because Jesus did.