From Shame to Restoration: A Transformative Approach to Authentic Sexuality

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Ling Dinse
Morgan Adams
Carissa Vietti
Andrea Smith
Lauren Wilson
Sarah Harris


human sexuality, biblical sexuality, shame, purity culture, authentic sexuality


The Christian community perpetuates a narrative that human sexuality is shameful rather than a natural, beautiful expression of God's created design. Christian culture's longstanding conflagration of shame and sexuality is also evident in its discomfort in discussing healthy sexual relationships and in its promotion of resources that reduce sexuality to its procreative purposes. Promoting a false association between sexuality and shame also increases the risk of sexual abuse and the revictimization of abuse victims. In contrast, Scripture promotes the interconnectedness of sexuality and spirituality as equally holy to each other and fully redeemed by Jesus's death and resurrection. A biblical view elevates sexuality as a unique expression of love and the relational communion of the Trinitarian God. As the Church moves forward to recover a proper biblical understanding of sex, it must examine its disparate treatment of women in and outside the congregation, reclaim the gift of sex as God intended, and normalize discussing topics relating to sexuality. Removing the shame around sex by focusing on God's grace will diminish confusion, strengthen relationships, and foster a biblically authentic view of sexuality.

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