Faith

Forget “The Talk”: Focus on Chastity Rather Than Purity

“You see those two grasshoppers on top of each other over there?” I asked my daughters when they were preschoolers. “What do you think they are doing?” Biology I started early teaching my kids about sex by focusing on biology. My husband and I don’t believe in the concept of a “big talk” where primary […]

Sex Matters

Sex matters.  Not simply how we have sex, but how and what we think about sex.  Figuring all of this out is seldom simple because the extremes views—represented by contemporary hook-up culture and purity movement—dominate the conversation even as they mislead us. The former advocates that we divorce the emotional/relational component from sex and use […]

For the Single Ladies

She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that’s best in dark and bright Meet in her aspect and in her eyes; Thus mellowed to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies. -Lord Byron   I think of you as I sit at my desk this morning. […]

Can a Christian Woman Be Hot for Sex?

My junior year in high school, my mom lent me my parents’ bedroom for me to do my homework. I sat at a little desk facing fake-wood paneling, but if I turned around, walked to the other side of the bed with its green JCPenney bedspread, and turned to the top of a chest, I […]

Drunk in Love

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. Song of Solomon 6:3 KJV And We are Drunk in Love.   When Mr. & Mrs. Shawn Carter hit the stage of the 2014 Grammys their appearance was about more than collaborating on another hit. As Laura Turner wrote for BuzzFeed at the time, “Their performance […]

Christian Fiction Permitted Me to Desire

My twin brother and I survived high school by reading. Home life was fundamentalist and chaotic: a father recovering from once-secret chemical abuse and a mother undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Some of the books were my father’s books. I read all of the Sherlock Holme’s mysteries. Some of the books were my brother’s: science […]

Responding to the Brokenness

When I was in high school my mom found out I was having sex. I was 16. And to make matters worse, it was with a boyfriend she didn’t approve of. And rightly so, he was no good for me. I was a broken teenager looking for love. When I found out she knew I […]

The Math of Friendship

Math has always been my hardest subject. I still count on my fingers and only know my times table by rote. If my life depended on solving a quadratic equation, I would be absent in the body and present with the Lord. But no math vexes me quite like the math of friendship with my […]

Does God Love My Body?

I’m half-crouched on grass at the base of a wood pile. As an eleven-year-old, I take care of the chickens in the nearby coop. I’m sucking in breaths, and so is my little sister as we stumble over the knobs of black walnuts fallen from the tree above and make occasional lunges at the pile. […]

Sexual Redemption in Community

Not many of us can find strength to resist temptation, perseverance in purity, and lasting forgiveness without community. Shepherds, teachers, mentors, leaders: You have people under your care who are engaging in self harm and dangerous behavior to externalize pain, and contemplating suicide to end pain because they are being crushed beneath suffering and sin. […]

New Life Starts in the Dark

Ok, God. I’m ready. I’ve been in the tomb for a while now and, FYI, as I lie here, struck down by chronic illness, unable to get out of bed for hour after hour, day after day, week after week . . . year after year . . . I am MORE than ready to […]

How Truth-Telling Overcomes Shame

In my mid-twenties, a fabulously handsome and wealthy man pursued me. He picked me up in his Jaguar, took me to expensive restaurants, and always called the next day to express how much he enjoyed our time together. While I appreciated the attention and affirmation, I felt somewhat ambivalent because I knew I was working overtime […]