It's A Human Condition
I grew up in a Christian family and was highly involved in my church, yet the education and messaging I received about sexuality was grossly inadequate. I was made to believe that sexual sin is something that predominantly men struggle with, and that, as a woman, I must take responsibility for how men view me and my body.
Only after joining 423 Women did I discover just how prevalent the problem of sexual sin is for women. Sin is an equal opportunity problem. As men and women, our sins and traumas are intertwined and enmeshed. As a result, we have hurt not only ourselves, but each other. Instead of blaming and degrading one another, we need to recognize how the enemy of our souls’ is determined to steal, kill and destroy that which is good and beneficial.
The enemy is trying to distort sexuality, beauty, marriage for all people. If God created it, then the enemy is trying to counterfeit it to leverage for his own purposes, not to our benefit. Therefore, porneia is not “every man’s battle” its every person’s battle, every parent’s battle, and it needs to be part of every church’s battle.
In the New Testament, Jesus is always creating space for women where the Jewish or Greco-Roman culture did not. A prime example is of Mary sitting at His feet in Luke 10. Mary was taking the position a student would, sitting at the feet of a rabbi where traditionally only men were allowed. When she is chastised by her sister, Jesus does not scold Mary and even defends her choice as “the better” one, supporting her deviation from the gender roles of the time.
Paul was also a master of looking at culture (religious or secular) and putting a new spin on it to highlight the truths of God and the Gospel. Paul breaks down gender stereotypes as a way of resisting conformity to the “world” (Rom. 12:2). He does this by:
Using male metaphors to address all believers. (1 Cor. 16:13).
Using female metaphors to apply to all believers. (2 Cor. 11:1-2)
Using women’s work (according to their culture) to speak about the way a man is to care for his wife. (Eph. 5:25)
Within the modern Church we still do not fully represent or help people apply the gospel to their lives from an equally gendered perspective. Porneia is a human issue and our language and presentation of sexual sin and recovery need to reflect that. We are better and stronger together.
Contributor: Kathy A.