Love, Desire, and Consent: Rethinking Purity Culture Narratives

You Can Never Say No

I hope this isn’t too triggering for some of you. But I bet it might be because this theology is so prevalent in the church. It is in society too where men just think it is their right to take a woman’s body. Religion and purity culture takes this patriarchal, male-dominant idea to a whole new level by weaponizing scripture, theology, and spiritual authority to govern and afflict women.

purity culture can never say no cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

(Download a digital copy of this cartoon by clicking on the image or HERE.)

This man is in for an important lesson.

And it is this:

This woman has autonomy over her body, she knows it, and she won’t surrender it.

I’ll be honest with you guys. I grew up with this theology that our bodies are not our own. But the thing is, I never saw this… ever… in all my decades in the church and in the ministry… I never saw this used against men. It was always used against women.

Basically, it is used to pressure and even force wives to have sex when they didn’t want to.

And we all know what sex without consent is. I learned this lesson very early in our marriage. But the lesson wasn’t I had to resentfully wait until Lisa wanted it. It’s deeper and more important than that.

What I learned was there is context that we both need to work on. Context like trust, vulnerability, health, mood, communication, connection, intimacy, flirting and wooing, knowledge, practice, experimenting, learning, discovering. All that and more!

Sure, there were plenty of what we called quickies. But they too happened against the backdrop of love and all the context I mentioned above.

Never a demand.
Never a requirement.
Never nonconsensual.

Drawn together by love and desire is where it’s at. This takes work.
My observation:

Too many men aren’t willing to do the work.

But like most good work, it bears good fruit, and fruit that will last.

I know!

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