I hadn’t planned to post anything for International Women’s Day. Then I realized it was International Women’s Day and heard this podcast. The podcast summarizes what I’ve learned about the toxic messages of what some call “biblical manhood and womanhood”, the damage caused by purity culture, and the evangelical tendency to perpetuate harmful myths about marriage and sex. I agree with one of the pastors in the podcast when he said, “This is a theological crisis.” Tragically, many of the best-selling Christian marriage books and a lot of teaching in the evangelical church are teaching us a pornified style of relating to one another. This is damaging to both men and women.
This Should Not Be
This is an important and thorough conversation between The Gravity Leadership Podcast team, Sarah McDugal, and Shelia Gregoire on these topics. Some of the myths perpetuated by Christians and taught regularly in churches include:
- male entitlement to unconditional respect
- women are responsible to keep men from lusting
- wives can keep their husbands faithful with more sex
- wives can keep their husbands from watching porn with more sex
- men are always ready to seize a sexual opportunity
- women are created to serve men
- noticing a woman equals lusting
I’m thankful God allowed me to read the Bible with fresh eyes and an open heart years ago and begin the process of unlearning these destructive ways of thinking. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” God created male and female.
How can we return to the beauty and goodness that God meant for us and join in His work together? Sarah and Sheila talk about this and end with a hopeful message. Anyone who is serious about following Jesus NEEDS to listen to this conversation. If you’re a parent, this will be an eye-opening conversation that will help you navigate how to talk to your boys and girls about modesty, sex, and porn.
Contrast these destructive teachings with the way of Christ. Read again the well-known story of the woman who washed the feet of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50. The men in the house were upset that Jesus allowed this woman to touch him. They no longer saw the woman as an image bearer of God. They saw her sin. They saw her body. Jesus said to Simon, “Do you see this woman?”
Jesus wanted Simon to see her. Not her body. Not the scandal. But to see her – the woman God created.