Episode 042 – Can You Imagine Jesus Demanding Sex? – Interview with Sheila Wray Gregoire.
Christian teachers notoriously have lots of opinions about sex. Sometimes they even claim those opinions are God’s will. But what if some of those teachings are hurting people and wrecking marriages?
In this interview with Sheila Wray Gregoire we talk about the stunning findings from her survey of 20,000 Christian women about their sex lives, beliefs, and what they were taught in church about sex. This is a crucial conversation if the church is going to be healthy, life-giving community.
CONTENT ADVISORY: We’re going talk frankly about sex, body parts, sex acts, and porn. Sexual abuse, rape, and marital rape will be mentioned.
- Meet Sheila: Sheila Wray Gregoire is passionate about changing the evangelical conversation about sex! A popular speaker, marriage blogger, and award-winning author of nine books, including The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, she wants to challenge Christians to go beyond pat answers on marriage to reach real intimacy. Sheila believes in authenticity, and gives real solutions to the very real and messy problems women, and couples, can face. She and her husband Keith spend a lot of their time touring North America in an RV, speaking at marriage conferences, hiking, and birdwatching. The parents to two adult daughters, you can usually find her in Belleville, Ontario, where she’s either knitting, blogging, or taking her grandson out for a walk.
- Gregoire’s study evaluated the impact of the following beliefs taught many in Fundamentalist or Evangelical churches:
- “Boys will want to push girl’s sexual boundaries.”
- “All men struggle with lust. It is every man’s battle.”
- “If you have sex before you are married, that means you have less of yourself to give your future spouse because a part of you will always belong to someone else.”
- “The only Biblical reason for divorce is an affair.”
- “It is a man’s God-given role to provide for his family and a woman’s God-given role to stay home raising her children.”
- “Women should have frequent sex with their husbands to keep them from cheating or watching porn.”
- “A wife is obligated to give her husband sex when he wants it.”
- Interesting Comments
- In regard to the belief about lust being every man’s battle: “We are conflating sexual attraction with sin.” Sexual attraction is normal and healthy. Lust is objectification that turns people into objects for our pleasure.
- In regard to the belief that wives are obligated to provide sex to their husbands on demand. One of the consequences of this belief is physical pain. “Evangelical women have twice the rate of sexual pain as the general population.” This is on par with the rates for women who experienced childhood abuse. This belief is abusive.
- “Consent is the conversation that is missing in our resources.” Almost all of the Christian books on marriage and sex reviewed in this study did not mention consent at all!
- Gregoire’s Rubric for evaluating Christian Sex & Marriage Books
- See the questions used to evaluate the sex & marriage books mentioned.
You can also watch and share the video version on Youtube.
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- The Untangled Heart Online Course – An online workshop to help you learn to sit with your emotions, identify them, and discern wisdom in what you learn from them.
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