I can remember it like it was yesterday. Bored out of my mind in the balcony of Salem Baptist Church’s 11:00 am worship service, I started thumbing through the Bible. And that’s when an 8-year-old Andy found a naughty word in the sacred text. Surely, I misread it. Heavens be, there couldn’t be such a word in the Bible.
It would take me a few more years to realize that Song of Songs had more to offer than the word “breast.” And yet, no one at my church talked about it. Well, they did, but it was more of the talk of resisting your sexual impulses because teenage guys and girls are succumbing to temptation and becoming sexually immoral.
As a person of faith, we turn to the Bible for truth, guidance, and insight into life. While the Bible talks a great deal about sex, we have to recognize that it was written through a highly patriarchal lens, where women were often viewed as second-rate citizens and silent objects. There is more written about things to avoid sexually but not so much on a guide to a healthy sex life and sexuality. And yet, that doesn’t prevent people from using the Bible as the end all be all on the topic of sexuality.
We sat down with Sheila Wray Gregoire, writer of numerous books on religion and human sexuality. Gregoire and I discuss the challenges of Evangelical purity culture, the psychological and sexual impact of this movement on Generation X and Millennials, and the effects of unhealthy male-dominated religious perspectives on the sexual relationship within marriage.
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Andy Hale is the creator and host of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Podcast. Hale is the Associate Executive Coordinator of CBF North Carolina. He’s also served as CBF’s Church Start Specialist, the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton, and the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge. Follow on Twitter @haleandy.
Just finished your audiobook, the Great Sex Rescue. My wife and I listened to most of it together. I really need God’s miracle-working power to love my wife in ways I have not been able to until now. Menopause has lasted about 10 years and has left her with no libido at all. She just turned 60. I love her, but not the way she needs me to and I need help. Her lack of desire for sex and control over it in our marriage has imbittered me and I need the Holy Spirit to do a work in my heart in my responding to her as my only hope for her to change. Your book has exposed all of the bad teachings that have influenced us both, but only the work of God in my heart can lift the pain I feel inside as a husband. I would like to continue to seek resources from your ministry.