The Purity Culture – How to Move Beyond the Fallout

Recently the news has been filled with fallout from the short comings of the purity movement. Many wives in Awaken Love classes relate to the challenge of embracing sex when the only message they heard was, “Don’t do it!” Other women just gave up trying to be pure. Once lines were crossed – whether it was their choice or not – they figured they were already ruined, so why try. And I’ve met plenty of brides that felt confused and angry when sex didn’t feel amazing, even though they followed all the rules. But pointing out the failings of the purity culture only casts blame. How do we move beyond the purity culture, not only for ourselves but for future generations?

Healing for You

If you grew up during the purity movement, you may have related to one of the examples of fallout. Regardless, we all have believed lies about sex and we all have sexual brokenness. Don’t put off working on your marriage bed until years of resentment build. Make it all that God intended by taking an Awaken Love class, joining a Passion Pursuit study, reading my book Awaken Love, or meeting with a counselor. Regardless of where you have been or what you have been through, go after healing. We cannot change the past, but we can take responsibility for pursuing our own healing today.

Moving Forward in The Church

The main message of the purity movement, waiting to have sex until marriage, was not wrong. God created sex as a way to unite marriages and to create a deep intimacy. Connecting intimately during sex also helps us understand deep intimacy with Christ.

Saving sex for marriage shows trust in God’s goodness and spares us natural consequences. God is not stingy. He wants to protect us from broken hearts, comparisons of past experiences, or creating a habit of disconnection during sex. But when we only hear, “Don’t do it”, we haven’t received the full picture of sex. We need to know what we are saving ourselves for.

God created sex for marriage and it is definitely something to look forward to. Though it will take hard work in marriage to create a mutually satisfying sex life, God creates intimacy through the struggle. Song of Songs shows us the passion and intimacy God intends for marriage. Sex is something worth waiting for.

Single people also need to understand that crossing boundaries does not ruin them for life, like that flower that lost all of its petals. God is a God that forgives and redeems. When we repent, we can start fresh as we learn to live in a way that honors Him with sexual integrity. The church can’t be afraid to share with others what they’ve learned from their mistakes. Let’s equip others to make good choice for themselves. Let’s move beyond simple messages for “Don’t do it” or simplistic answers that convey fear and shame about sex.

Changing the Culture of Sex in the Church

It’s easy to complain about the faults of the purity movement, or throw up our arms because nothing ever changes in church. But I am here to encourage you and say that things can change. I’ve witnessed it.

Start at Home

The truth is that conversations in the home about sex have more of an impact than any youth group message, or sermon. When you grow up knowing that your parents enjoy sex and they aren’t afraid to talk with you about it, you end up with a healthy respect and attitude for sex. As parents, we cannot let message from culture, or porn, or even church, trump the influence that we have with our kids. If you don’t know where to start check out Tips for Conversations, What Do You Want to Communicate, and Creating New Messages for Teens. Work through your baggage around sex, embrace the freedom God intended for you, and start talking to your kids about what they are waiting for and why.

Churches

More and more churches address the topic of sex in a positive way. Recently a local church contacted me because they were doing a sermon series on sex.  They not only hosted an Awaken Love class, but the pastors facilitated the Men’s Edition class for the husbands. As a culmination to the series they invited me and 2 others from outside of the congregation to answer sex questions during church. Not only did we talk about sex, we talked about masturbation. This church normalized the conversation of sex and created a safe place to find answers. The silence and shame surrounding sex was replaced with God’s truth – and it came from the top down.

I’ve seen other churches open up the topic of sex when one individual stepped up. I’ve had lots of ladies seek approval to host Awaken Love video classes at their church. Sometimes the leaders are happy to help and offer a room, office help or even marketing. Other times leaders aren’t ready and the women end up hosting classes in their house.

Either way the transformation ripples out to create conversations about sex with spouses, kids, and in the church body. You do not have to wait for your church leadership to tackle the topic of sex. You can start by inviting a few friends from church in your corner of the world.

Final Thoughts

The purity movement missed the mark for many people. Thirty years later,  during the age of internet and porn, we cannot expect simple answers or formulas to work when we talk about navigating singleness. We must go after healing and embrace God’s gift of sex for ourselves first. Then when we talk to our kids, we become the source of Godly truth and real answers.

Help married couples understand the importance of sex and the freedom God offers. Create a safe place for singles to ask questions, understand natural consequences, and begin a journey of sexual integrity. Open up the conversation about sex in your church and see the impact ripple. Move beyond the purity culture and take sex back from the world.

Becoming a Sexually Confident Spouse

What does it take to create an amazing sex life?

It takes two sexually confident people, showing up and sharing themselves. Though you can’t change your spouse, you can work on yourself. We all have plenty  to work on, so here are 8 Characteristics  of a Sexually Confident Spouse.

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Restore Vulvar Skin with Julva

Navigating the changes of menopause comes with extra challenges if you love to have sex on a regular basis. When already sensitive skin loses its suppleness because of a lack of estrogen, it doesn’t take much for what used to be pleasurable to turn painful in a hurry. One of the products that I became curious about in restoring vulvar health was Julva, a cream created by OB/GYN Dr. Anna Cabeca. After finally tiring Julva myself for 2 months, I am eager to share about my experience.

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The Basics of Vulvar Skin Care

I have always had sensitive skin that required special care – especially my vulva. With a tendency toward yeast infections, an auto immune skin disease called Lichen Sclerosus, and the challenges of menopause, I finally made an appointment to see a Vulvar pain specialist. I found an amazing doctor who immediately put me at ease by asking questions and listening to my story.  What surprised me most was the importance she placed on the basics of vulvar skin care.  Many of her tips confirmed practices I had already put in place, but these important guidelines might be helpful for you too.

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Support for Sexually Betrayed Wives

After teaching Awaken Love to hundreds of women, I am painfully aware of the lack of resources for women that have been sexually betrayed. Many churches offer resources to help men who struggle with porn, but few offer resources for the wife. While the husband feels the relief of finally coming clean with an accountability groups, the wife suffers in silence with no one to share her own fears and grief.

Wives that have been sexually betrayed did not cause or choose this path. But the betrayal impacts them in profound ways.  Regardless of whether her marriage survives or not, or her husband achieves sobriety and recovery, the wife needs healing from the wounds of betrayal.

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A Resilient Sex Life That Will Last

Though we might not realize it, all of us will eventually face things that threaten our sex life. Sometimes the challenge lasts for a short season, like the lack of privacy when living with your in-laws during a housing transition. Other times the challenge lasts for a season like when you feel exhausted raising kids. And sometimes, the challenge might never end. Receiving treatment for prostate cancer may forever alter the way a husband’s body responds. Most of us wait to work on something until we have a problem.  But If you want to enjoy sex for a lifetime, choose today to create a resilient sex life that can handle the challenges of tomorrow.

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Husbands – Do You Want a Better Sex Life?

Many husbands are under the perception that if their wife just fixed her issues with sex, their problems would disappear. But marriage is a two-way street. Both husbands and wives have things to learn in order to create intimacy. If you want a better sex life,  will you invest just $10 to take Awaken Love Men’s Edition and learn how to love your wife better? Discover just how intimate your marriage can be!!

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Take Care of Yourself First

In June, after a busy year of publishing my book, recording the Men’s Edition, teaching classes and speaking to many groups, I knew that it was imperative for me to purposefully spend time restoring my soul. I needed to take a break from ministry and take care of myself.  So, I sat down and made a list of what it meant to take care of myself for the summer. As I dive back into ministry, I thought I would give you a little glimpse of what it means to take care of myself, and encourage you to do the same.

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Why Do Women Host an Awaken Love Video Class

Rarely do women sign up to host an Awaken Love video class by finding my website. Without a personal recommendation from a trusted friend, they can’t imagine taking the chance.  Much safer to just stay with the status quo, or work on things quietly by reading blogs or listening to podcasts. But every once in a while, someone from the website has the courage to host a video class.

Recently I received this powerful testimony…

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Prostate Massage – Uncharted Territory

Prostate massage will stretch a husband as he learns to trust and enjoy his wife’s touch in an area that he closely guards. Though not an area that many couples are willing to go, it holds treasures for those open, mature enough and ready to discover something new.

Though I sometimes wonder whether I should address prostate massage, I choose to err on the side of empowering you to make your own decisions for your marriage.  Even though I teach about prostate massage in Awaken Love classes, it is time to take the next step and write about it. If you feel squeamish or uncomfortable learning about prostate massage, please feel free to skip this article.

I’d like to give you my simplified take on prostate massage, starting with the history, why couples enjoy it and how to do it if you are interested.

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