Men, Sex and Love

I would really, really like to quote the entirity of Micah Murray’s post on the idea that men give love to get sex and women give sex to get love. But doing that is frowned upon here on the internets, so I’m just going to quote a couple juicy bits. But these are no better than the rest of the post.

It seemed reasonable enough. And it fit neatly with the gender stereotypes I’d heard all my life: Men think about sex every seven seconds. Women aren’t visual. Men are like microwaves; women are like crockpots.

But, as a newly married man, I soon discovered that these ideas were both inaccurate and damaging in our relationship. Beneath the glib cliché was an economic model of sex-bartering that undermines the very essence of love.

If it’s true that men give love to get sex, then our shared sexuality is simply a business arrangement, a deal brokered in flowers and kisses. My wife is a deluxe call girl with a long-term contract, marriage is sheer capitalism, and love is a filthy currency.

I have to be perfectly honest and say that this view of men as base creature who want sex more than they want anything was a real problem for me. I suspect it’s been a problem for a lot of people and the church isn’t doing any favors peddling this sort of outdated stereotyping of men and women.

I like sex. My husband says I’m good at it. But I don’t like sex so much that I’d put it above love. Frankly, I can’t imagine what sort of person “gives love” in order to get sex. At the worst, such a person is someone who uses me for his own enjoyment. At best, such a person is not someone I can really trust. What if the sex is bad? What if I’m sick or injured and can’t have sex? What if I’m upset or angry or busy? I can’t trust in a person’s love for me if it’s dependant on the quality of our sex life. How can I even understand such a person? They’re like some weird, alien being to me.

And really, that was long how I viewed men. How I viewed my husband. I thought of them as untrustworthy, alien beings who I would never be able to really understand. Which is a horrendous perspective to bring into a situation where two people are expected to “become one”! How can I become one with someone whose love resides in their genitals and not in their heart? How could I trust their heart? Did they really have one or did everything run through their little head instead? How could I raise my boys if this were an immutable part of their mental make up?

Of course, as Micah points out, and I’ve been learning, this isn’t actually the reality of men, love and sex. Or at least it shouldn’t be true. Any ways. You should go read the article. And pass it on!

Advertisements

Women, Church and God’s Kingdom

A few years ago my family needed a new church. So we were looking a couple of non-denominational churches in our town. The problem was that I quickly learned that none of them allowed women in leadership positions. But, as my husband pointed out, it’s not like I was looking to be made pastor. And we aren’t going to agree on everything. So I figured we could give them a shot. The problem became that at each of them I had the same experience. As I was sitting in service, something in me kept saying, “get up. Leave. Walk out.” Finally, it was more like a scream and I couldn’t ignore it anymore. So I walked out and didn’t return to any of them.

When I did that, a wave of utter peace came over me. I realized that it had been the Spirit in me which was telling me to leave. And I knew that never again would I be able to look at the teaching of the unique submission* of women as something we can agree to disagree on. Like Jesus said, anyone who, having put their hand to the plow turns and looks back is not worthy of the Kingdom of God. God had already lead me out of humanity’s old ideas about women and trying to ignore that to sit under churches which were perpetuating what I had been lead out of was like looking back.

The reason the issue of women in leadership, the church and family is such a flash point is because it gets to the heart of the challenge of what it means for the Kingdom of God to be made manifest among us. It’s not just a matter of the interpretation of scripture or rules governing churches, but is a potent sign of how we understand God’s Kingdom ways. Are they improved versions of our ways? Or is God calling us to utterly abandon our ways in favor of an entirely new Kingdom’s set of rules? What we’re seeing here is actually a spiritual battle between the stronghold of of the enemy’s ways which have reigned for so long and the coming Kingdom of God. (Yes, I know it’s not nice or charitable to say that fellow Christians are actually fighting for Satan on this issue. But as you will see below, I do believe it’s well justified. And I don’t mean to say that they are evil. We’re all just learning to grow up, after all.) Continue reading

Worst Clobber Verse EVER – Christian Patriarchy Edition

In a more perfect world, the title of this post would be complete jibberish to all of my lovely readers. But alas, we live in a world which is in the process of being redeemed, so some of you know all too well about Christian Patriarchy and clobber verses. However – joy of joys! – we live in a world which is in the process of being redeemed and I know that some of you have no idea what Christian Patriarchy or clobber verses are. So, for the blissfully uninitiated, allow I to explain a bit.

At its simplest, Christian Patriarchy is the teaching that there is a God ordained hierarchy in which men are over women and children. A daughter is under her father’s headship until she marries and responsibility for her is transfered to her husband. Ideally in this arrangement, the man is responsible for protecting his wife and daughter from other men as well as providing for her and overseeing her spiritual, moral and personal development. In exchange for this protection and leadership, a female treats her father/husband with respect, obedience and deference. Although this arrangement has been propagated around the world and throughout time irregardless of religion, Christian Patriarchy proponents insist that this is a Christian arrangement rather than just something people have had a tendency to do. Like going to war or practicing dietary restrictions.

A clobber verse is a verse of scripture which is used to provide definitive proof – in the mind of the person using it – that a particular idea or teaching is true, biblical and theologically unassailable. Now I have a few verses which I will use this way all day, everyday. “God is love” for example. What makes a clobber verse a clobber verse is that inevitably, they are pulled completely out of the context they were spoken into. Nearly always, on closer examination  the verse in question doesn’t even say what the person using it seems to think it is saying. Continue reading

The Myth of Sex by Tim Muldoon

I came across this today at patheos.com and I thought it was so beautiful that I’m totally cutting and pasting the whole darn thing because you should read it too:

The Myth of Sex by Tim Muldoon

This is the myth of all myths: that people could use each other and still remember what compassion and tenderness looked and felt like.

In the beginning, the LORD created man and woman in his image.

He blessed them and made them fruitful. Among his many gifts he gave man the gift of physical strength to work, and he gave woman the gift of compassion to cultivate relationships.

Together, man and woman learned each other’s gifts. Woman developed strength and offered her work as an act of compassion. Man learned compassion with his wife and child. Continue reading