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Recently, the world was shocked, or not so shocked, by the revelation that Josh Duggar—of the hyper-conservative Duggar clan—was caught red-handed seeking to engage in an affair on the now infamous Ashley Madison site. His name was dropped, along with countless other pastors and public figures, who must now answer for their behavior. Now, this topic has been done and done again in the last few weeks, so I don’t want to recycle better and more informed analyses of how the Duggars’ beliefs can lead, psychologically, sexually, relationally, and spiritually, to this kind of moral failure. I also don’t want to devote an article to what Josh individually did wrong as it is my hope that the body of Christ can agree that the depth of violation and abuse is inarguable... Read more
I was in the lunch room with my friends. I had just broken up with my boyfriend of seven months—a big deal for a seventeen year-old. I was consumed with all the awkwardness that comes with figuring out who to sit with at the lunch table now that the relationship has ended. An annoying teenage boy voice interrupted my inner monologue: “He broke up with you, because you wouldn’t let him kiss you, didn’t he?” Tears in my eyes, I picked up my lunch tray and walked away, defeated. There was no way around it. I was the know-it-all virgin who wouldn’t give boys what they wanted, and would probably die a virgin in a house full of cats. No, not cats. Dogs. I didn’t like cats. A year later, I met the man who would eventually become my husband.... Read more
For years, the Proverbs 31 woman has been held over the heads of women in the church, a caricature of singular perfection—making them feel inadequate and less than holy. “Look at all the things this woman does!” books and Bible teachers remind women. “Why can’t you do those things, too?” they ask. Many Christian women have been hurt and diminished by stereotype-driven, culture-biased presentations of the Proverbs 31 figure. Is it any wonder, then, that many women have come to dislike this chapter so much? I believe, however, that it is possible to go beyond the stereotypes and impossible standards of "biblical" womanhood to redeem the truth of this passage—without adding an additional burden onto women’s shoulders. "An excel... Read more