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An Evangelical Press Association award winning poem:  God gave me a rose, A delicate thing and beautiful, Trembling in the breath of God, Tearful in the showered rain.

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“Do you want a divorce?” My husband was momentarily speechless. From the earliest days of our marriage, we struggled with sex. By the time I asked the question that so shocked my husband, it was apparent that we couldn’t resolve the issue by talking to each other or to our friends or by reading books. 

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I know that lack of sex and consent education harmed my husband’s and my sex life in the early years of our marriage. But as I look back, I realize that’s only one side of the coin. The other was biblical illiteracy.

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Sisters in ministry, I hope you will take these words to heart as you continue in the good work to which God has called you. Let’s reclaim our time together!

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We in the church who continue to enforce the Billy Graham rule have fostered an atmosphere of distrust, not giving godly men and women the credit they deserve for doing the right thing.

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Growing up in the church, “I didn’t sense that women were oppressed,” author and seminary professor Cleophus J. LaRue admitted. The Baptist church he attended was made up of 75% women, and they served in many leadership positions. 

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Before we get too far into this sermon, I need to say one thing: my brother had it coming. So none of this is my fault. Well, not entirely my fault. It might be his fault. Or my parents’ fault, even, for the whole thing started because they had the audacity to sell their house. The one we had was fine. I had my own space there, away from my brothers—a nice reading spot, a shelf full of books, and plenty of room for my favorite pastime: minding my own business.

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I wondered if something was wrong with me, a woman, or with my female body. Did I dress too provocatively? I began to hide behind loose clothes and old thrift finds. I diminished myself, listening to the messages of shame and fear. Bowing to the voice that whispered that I was dust—unclean.

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