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.
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.
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.
All the headlines say it was an empowering female-led halftime show, but there is more to the story. Yes. Women were the ones filling the stage. Yes. The Latina vocals were heard booming over the field. But women didn’t lead. We followed.
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.
As the rainbow flag proudly waves over my city’s Pride Festival this weekend, a prism of color fills my instagram feed with stories of friends coming out and reminding the world that love is love. But what is love? I ask. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud….” 1 Corinthians 13. Love is not proud. Did you catch that?
Sitting in the church pew, Mo admits that she looked every part “good girl”. She wasn’t trying to lose her virginity before prom night like so many of her classmates. She didn’t even feel the need to have a boyfriend. No. She admits that it all felt beneath her. Like a judgmental prude in her ivory tower, she pompously promoted abstinence knowing she still had her own virginity vow intact. But her self-righteousness lacked the humble reverence for God’s ways. And it didn’t take long for her heart to shatter under the weight of her pride.
From front to back, the authors are candidly honest yet gracefully tactful about the details of their own sexual sin. If there is one thing you’ll get form this book, it’s that you are not alone. We all sin. We all have sexual struggles. And we all have the same solution - Jesus Christ. Written for older teens and college girls, this book includes practical resources for the Christian woman who wants to reclaim purity in her life.
In the church, we often talk about the sexual acts we should not commit. Some sign purity pledges, some get accountability, and some simply say it’s too hard to live in purity, so they compromise their theology. Really though, as with all sin, at the end of the day, it all comes down to being a heart issue. With sexual sin, lust is the root of the problem, and lust is 100% a heart issue. Lust starts in your heart before it makes its ways into your actions. So it’s time we get real about what our hearts desire and start thinking about what we're thinking about.