If I were to ask you one thing you’d change about your body, chances are it wouldn’t take long to think of an answer. We all have things we dislike when we look in the mirror. Somewhere between the acne and the wrinkles, the growing pains and the body aches, it can be all too easy to think of our bodies as a nuisance rather than a gift. No matter what age you are.
Every month like clockwork (give or take a day or two) we get the consequential reminder that, thanks to our mother Eve, we carry the curse of pain in child-birth. But are the crippling cramps and embarrassing blood soaked stains all that there is to It? Is that what periods are really all about?
When it comes to human sexuality, the Church knows what we are against, but does it know what we are for? That's the question this book seeks to answer. Throughout our 2000-year history, the Church has failed to thoroughly articulate a Christian vision for the body. Scripture teaches us that creation is good, that we are made in the image of God, and that we represent Him in the world, yet we often ignore the ways our bodies communicate His grace in our everyday lives.
I believe we need to bring loving and faithful accountability back into the church. And it starts with ourselves. It starts with being willing to take a step of vulnerability towards the members of our church family instead of away. And I will be the first to admit I am not good at being vulnerable. It’s something that does not come naturally to me, and I find it hard and painful. But in addition to being those things, it is also necessary for healing, reconciliation, and sanctification.
I’ve heard so many speakers designed to hype me up about who I am and how that should draw me close to God as a result. You’re a princess, they’ll say. You’re a queen; God made you perfect; He made you beautiful, and so on. That’s all well and good until suddenly…I’m faced with my own sin and struggles. Sure, God did make me beautiful. He did make me perfect…but then I was born into sin, and I let “ugly” things in (Psalm 51:5). So a clichéd phrase about my being flawless does not help me when I look in the mirror, or when I’ve disappointed a friend who comes to me with hurt feelings from an unhealthy moment I didn’t speak from a place of love.
Lucy’s is just one of many stories author Abigail Shrier tells in her book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. Although not a Christian book, Shrier analyzes a problem facing a segment of our population Across My Heart Ministries cares deeply about: teenage girls. In her book, she unpacks the gender identity crisis seizing today’s adolescent girls like a viral contagion. For this reason, I read the book, and I am so glad I did!
As a single woman, though I’ve been passionate about the topics of sexuality and purity, I’ve had a hard time understanding where I fit in the puzzle. The church is so good at telling single Christians “no, don’t do that” and “wait.” At times it’s felt like I was in a holding area until meeting my future husband and starting our lives together. Through reading this book, I felt like my passions were reignited.
Intimacy in marriage reflects a powerful truth of the gospel - that we are fully known by God, yet deeply loved. Just as the woman caught in adultery in John 7 stands before the Savior fully exposed yet not condemned, each one of His daughters stands before God, fully known but free.
In her book, Love Thy Body, Nancy Pearcey argues that the Bible has a positive sexual ethic because all throughout the Bible, the body is treated as a good part of God's creation.
Modesty is a hot topic! No one wants to be told what they can and cannot wear. As a ministry that tackles these tough topics, believe me, we know. But the seductive, tight-fitting clothes aren’t the true problem. It’s the heart behind them, the heart that says to God... “I don’t care what you have to say about my body.” But God does care. He wants what is best for us in all areas of life.... even our wardrobe. And modesty is about so much more than the outfits hanging in our closet. In the book “What’s Up with the Fig Leaves?”, Heather Thieneman uncovers the purposes and practices of modesty. I read the book this summer, and it answered so many questions that I, frankly, didn't know how to address. Rather than asking what to wear and where to draw the “hemlines”, she challenges us to consider why we wear the clothes that we do.