Author Archives: holytension

Age of Patriarchy: Desire of Woman & Rule of Man

When Adam and Eve chose the rule of humankind over the rule of God, they ushered in the Age of Patriarchy

I fell in love with the erotic poem Song of Songs in the Bible when I was twelve years old. Of all the different ways a young girl could receive her sexual education, I’ll be forever thankful that mine was partially formed by a poem celebrating mutual male and female ecstasy. The Song revealed that sex was a good gift, and the refrain “do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” taught me that it was something sacred to share in the life-giving bonds of marriage. I do not regret those lessons. The Song guided me well during my sexual awakening, so it’s fitting it was the Song again that led me to a spiritual epiphany during my mid-life crisis of faith.

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Heaven & Hell on Earth

Can the concept of a Loving God & Hell coexist?

Before any discussion of hell begins, I want to establish first and foremost I believe God is Love. Goodness, Justice, and Mercy are bound up in the previous statement. I also humbly accept that I see in a mirror dimly. I do know my personal convictions about God have changed how I live this side of death, but I’m ok if my hot take on heaven & hell is completely wrong. There’s no way to know. As has often been quipped, ”The dead tell no tales.” That being said, I know the way heaven/hell has been taught and understood by many of my peers is often a stumbling block to their ability to trust God’s Love, so I think it’s a beneficial conversation to have.

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Holy Tension

The difficulty of holding the tension of seemingly opposed truths create many of the dividing forces between different sects of Christianity. Danger arises when you cling too tightly to one facet of truth, and completely lose hold of its complement. Extremes move away from the truth and love found at the cross.

I wish I could more easily convey a 3D image, because belief systems are complex and a linear spectrum oversimplifies.

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Sexual Healing in the Song of Songs

I wanted to share specific ways I found sexual healing in Scripture as a woman raised in a Christian culture that overwhelming focuses on male sexual desire:

1. The female singer of the song initiated sex. The poem opens with her desire:

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth…
Take me away with you—let us hurry!
Let the king bring me into his chambers.

Song of Songs 1:2-4
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Craft and Conversation Table

A resource for community building, easily adjusted to meet group needs. We live in a culture of loneliness, paradoxically plagued by oversharing in digital spaces and trivial conversation in our real relationships. The Craft and Conversation Table exists to provide space for women to safely share about life experiences and beliefs that are rarely shared with others openly and honestly.

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Viagra®, Vibrators, and Vulvas, Oh My!

The sexually higher-drive woman/lower-drive man dynamic in marriage is often painfully overlooked, especially in evangelical resources. To all the couples in this situation, know that you are seen and not alone.

My husband and I have joked for years that if we ever wrote a sex book, we would call it Viagra®, Vibrators, and Vulvas: The Christian Couple’s Guide When He’s Not Up To It. But that plan was always in the hypothetical future, some day when we’d “arrived” sexually, once the kids were out of the house, and we were old and didn’t care what anybody else thought about us anymore. We’re still enjoying the kids in the house, and I don’t think we’ll ever “arrive” sexually, but we’re approaching the other milestone quicker than I expected. The reality is, we’re not experienced enough to write that book, and it’s not a book I ever really want to write, but I sure do wish someone had written such a book for my younger self. These last few years have brought me to a place where I want to share our journey so that other couples with a higher-drive woman/lower-drive man dynamic in their relationship know that they are seen and not alone.

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“Married Sex” Lacks Strong Biblical Exegesis

Latest evangelical book relies on gender tropes, personal anecdotes, and debatable brain studies instead of God’s Word. A book review of Married Sex by Gary Thomas and Debra Fileta

Yet another Christian sex book is hurting many brothers and sisters in Christ. Shame on Zondervan for giving a celebrity pastor a platform to speak into a topic in which he is not professionally trained in order to make money. Gary Thomas shares on his blog that the reason he and Debra Fileta partnered to write a sex book was three-fold. One is “given the current sociological climate, my publisher (Zondervan) and I didn’t feel that the time was right for an older male to write a book on his own lecturing men and women about sex.” The second (unstated) reason is Zondervan also knows many Christian men will not read books written solely by a female author. Which leads to the third reason – because “Christian publishing is a business,” they decided to create a book that benefited from a “pastor who focuses on the spiritual side and a licensed counselor who focuses on the practical side.” Gary himself recognizes that he is not a licensed counselor, and that he was brought on board for his male “authority” and “spiritual” contributions. In his new book, he (ab)uses his spiritual authority to make bold claims about male and female sexuality based on his own opinions and life experiences, instead of the Bible.

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