Sex and Respect

A recent post got me thinking about what led me to give up the idea that a man choosing to wait until marriage to have sex with his significant other was a sign of respect for her. There was a time, of course, when I held this view very strongly. I had been raised to view that any young man who would even consider having sex with a young woman before marriage did not respect her, and that any relationship built on that foundation would be troubled.While in college I met a young man---Sean. I … [Read more...]


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Sexual Repression, the Duggar Parents, and Mine

When people on the outside think about fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals and others who teach that sex before marriage is sin, they often seem to have this picture of people who are completely sexually repressed, who feel shame about having sex and can't bring themselves to say the word "sex." Now I'm not denying that such people exist---they certainly do. What I want to point out is simply that this does not describe all fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals who teach that … [Read more...]


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“Normal Childhood Sexual Exploration”?

When I was around seven, we often got together with a family with a little boy my own age. His parents went to my parents' church, and I think they were in the same Bible study. At some point he began nagging me, wanting me to pull down my underwear and let him see my bare bottom. I didn't want to do that, and I told him as much, but he wouldn't let up. Finally, I gave in. When no one was around, I laid down on the floor face down and pulled my underwear down so he could see my bare bottom. Afte … [Read more...]


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Blogger: Affirmative Consent Will End the Sexual Revolution

Earlier today a post from the Patheos family channel, came across my facebook feed. It was titled "Men: The Sexual Revolution Is Over." Curious, I clicked on it and found myself on a blog titled "Church for Men," run by a man named David Murrow. The purpose of the blog appears to be finding ways to combat the feminized nature of American evangelical Christianity. But that was not the topic of this particular post. Not in the least. The topic of this post was far different. Let's have a look, shal … [Read more...]


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Premarital Sex and Marital Problems

I've written a lot about my parents decision to have us children court rather than date. From time to time I've seen readers express confusion as to why parents would reject for their children a process that worked for them. The truth is that my parents turned to courtship for my siblings and I because they believed that dating hadn't worked for them.I recently mentioned that I was conceived before my parents married. In other words, when my parents taught my siblings and I abstinence before … [Read more...]


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The Limits of Forgiveness

Several weeks ago I wrote a post touching on how evangelical teachings on forgiveness make things easy for sex offenders and hard for their victims. Generally, evangelicals believe that those who repent should be forgiven unconditionally, and that those who have been victimized need to forgive those who hurt them and avoid becoming "bitter." You can see how this might play out in the case of sexual abuse. But in the comment section, several readers pointed out the limits of evangelical … [Read more...]


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Gothard’s Sex Rules: Marital Consent? What’s That?

My family never attended one of Bill Gothard's seminars, and we didn't use Gothard's curriculum. We children were, instead, raised on the outskirts of Gothardism. We knew people who were followers of Bill Gothard, and we imbibed a few of his teachings (umbrella of authority, anyone?), but that was the extent of it. As things began to snowball over the past months and Gothard was exposed as a sexual predator and ultimately relieved of his leadership position, I wanted to learn more about what … [Read more...]


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