Earlier this week I was asked to preach twice at a local church on the subject of – now wait for it – sex! We started at the beginning, how God intended sex to be, how the corruption of sex has destroyed families and, finally, how we can get back to “the Garden,”where a man and his wife’s sexual relationship was a sacred and beautiful thing, and where they were in partnership/companionship together.
Well, the bit in the middle was tough to talk about … how patriarchy was a consequence of disobedience to God. I reminded the congregation that it was NEVER God’s plan for his children to leave the Garden (Eden) and suffer the results of BOTH their sin. Remember, Adam was told about not eating from the tree before Eve was even created! Talked about some of the results of patriarchy …. abuse of women, pornography & its effect on the family, and domestic abuse. Then the “second Adam”, Jesus, came and liberated women. Every story we read about him meeting women, we learn of the way he treated them with dignity, respect, and gave them equality with men. “We are all ONE in Christ Jesus” – big stuff in a culture that treated women as mere property, to be bought and sold. Jesus wants us to return to the Garden his Father created. The response to both services was incredible. Men came to me and confessed that they had sexual addictions or had been unfaithful to their wives, two elderly women came and shared they had been molested when they were children and felt too ashamed to talk about it before, people asked for help …. they want to change. They are hurting.
The amazing thing is that I am a female and was asked to do this by a male pastor. I was raised in a strongly patriarchal denomination, and the elderly members of my family still believe that I am “being disobedient to Scripture” because I am a female and women “should be silent in church.” I love them, but I believe their interpretation of some Scripture is wrong, and I am just doing what God has called me to do ….. as it is with all the women who are longing to follow the call of God on their hearts. World wide. It is happening. And we offer thanks to our brothers in ministry who support and encourage us!