So, through what I can only describe as God's hand (either because I needed to really step out of my comfort zone or possibly as punishment for spending too much time on social media), I ended up being chosen to be part of the launch team for a new book by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery. The book is Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman's Heart. If there is anyone who feels completely uncomfortable talking about sex and anything that has to do with that, it's me. Yet, here I am, having to talk to my daughter about sex when she's in kindergarten because she read too far ahead in her science book, encouraging a group of moms and daughters to do dates that focus on modesty, leading a conference for girls on modesty and why it's important, and now this. The Lord really does have a great sense of humor!
Alas, here I am doing what little I can to shed some light on an area of great importance, yet is discussed very little in the church because it's so private and personal. Of course, this isn't really helping anything, but mostly hurting, as women have questions that just go unanswered. All around us we are bombarded with images and characters, etc, that leave us confused and lost. And that's the adults. Our kids are seeing these same images and characters, probably more, can you imagine how confused they must be? Because of it's private, and often shameful, nature many parents never talk their children about it, either. I honestly can't even imagine having any in-depth conversation with my daughter about sex, but I know that if I don't, the world will give her answers that are nothing but lies and a distortion of what God created this amazing gift to be.
Now, I did not read any of the 50 Shades of Grey books and have no intention of ever reading it. Without even reading it, going solely based a few excerpts from it included in PBTS and what I have heard those that did read it said, there is nothing in this book that would be God honoring or honoring to my husband. While there are portions of this book that are hard to read, I do encourage Christian women to read it. It pointed out a lot of things I never knew or never even gave much thought to.
I've gone back and forth on the best way to share about this book with you, and I've decided that's just sharing quotes from the book. Because of PBTS, I started reading THIS BOOK and I am really enjoying it, too. I am even thinking about trying to get a group of ladies together to do THIS STUDY...(but still praying about that one! That's REALLY outside my comfort zone!!!) Anywhere, here are some quotes that I thought would let you know what the book's about and hopefully encourage you to read it:
"Erotica strategically and masterfully pulls you in by exploiting what your heart secretly longs for."
"All of us have a deep, imbedded desire to make a profound difference in the life of a man...God created you to be a completer or 'helper' for the man you marry. How wonderful that God gave you the innate longing to do just that."
"Sexually charged books seem a lot less harmful than having a bunch of 'hook-ups', cheating on your husband, or looking at pornographic images on the internet."
"We want to be very clear: your sexual desire is not wrong. God created you to be sexual. Your body and your mind are wired to long for sexual pleasure and intimacy. Unfortunately, many religious messages separate being a sexual woman from being a spiritual woman."
"The Hebrew word for sexual intimacy, yada, means 'to know, to be known, to be deeply respected.' It is a word that transcended the physical act to speak of a deep emotional connection. In a beautiful expression of His desire to know us, God inspired that this same word be used in the Scriptures to express a deep knowing and longing for God. 'You have searched me, Lord, and you know (yada) me' (Psalm 139:1). Because sex is a portrait of God's love, Satan will do anything he can to destroy the beauty of it."
"Reserving sex, sexual fantasies, and sexual expression only for your husband means more than just what you do physically-it also includes what you look at and what you think about."
There are so many more good quotes, but then I'd just be re-writing the book! Grab it, read it, and let's all figure out how to apply it in each of our own lives. Let's truly pray and seek the Lord and ask how we can help to turn the tide of sexual sin inside and outside the church. Let's ask God how we can do this in a loving way that points only to Him. Let's ask God how we can use this topic to lead others to Him so they can accept His gift of salvation and eternal life. Lord, show me how You can use me, even in the smallest way, in this battle for the hearts, souls, and lives of Your beautiful creation.