Wednesday, February 5, 2014

knowing him with the lights on

{via pinterest}
I want to talk about sex.


on Monday, I wrote about Beyonce and her husband-lover and the way they held each other close and moved as one flesh at the Grammys, and the way the Christian world rose up against them. I wrote about redemption of sex and of freedom to wrap arms wildly around the neck of marital lust.

and that was when I realized. I've found a voice and I've started wondering things...more things.

I wonder why we're made so afraid of sexuality, as though being sexual creatures is not something Holy-Created, as though whispering the words or leaning too close on your husband's arm within the confines of Church is scandelous. we look at the wedding rings and we know, we see the pregnant women and smile at their joy, all the while refusing to acknowledge what brought this new life into being.

I wonder why we can read the words laid out in Biblical black and white, but then cringe and giggle and find ourselves whispering the names for our body parts in sheepish undertones, as though they are not there if we don't pronounce them, as though our sexuality is non-existent if we do not speak its name.

there's safety in the darkness, quietly tucking ourselves into dimly lit bedrooms, curtained off like voting booths, every action a secret and never discussed. it's as though we expect our bodies to burst into flames if their flesh is exposed to the light. sexuality is the new vampirism.

but there's that Hebrew word :: yada. that word that comes up whispered in the early pages of the Word, when the first man took the first woman into his arms and knew her. that's yada. that's knowing. and then comes the word, the whispering of be still and know. that's yada. same word, same holy hush falling.

I delight to sit in his shade,    
and his fruit is sweet to my taste.
:: song of solomon 2:3

we as woman are told that we are dangerous. each morning as we dress, we cover the danger, and the more we wear, the safer we become. we press our palms against the man-hands beside us and blush, hesitant in that affection, that rare bit of skin allowed to brush in public. there are expectations, and being Beyonce isn't one of them.

{via pinterest}
and so we go home and turn down the lights and slip down to our skin in darkness and slide under covers, less for warmth of body and more for safety of soul. who are we protecting? is it ourselves, the shame from the outside carrying into this marital room where only you and he will ever lay? are we protecting the man that shares this mattress, that burden placed upon our bodies for all male are we supposed to turn it of for him, for one hour or two or six, and then make sure that we put the vixen away, and carry on as normal for everyone else that we are supposed to call "brother"?

I want 
to do with you 
what spring does with the cherry trees.
:: Pablo Neruda

and so we come back to yada. being known, the deepest and most intimate knowing of all. it's holy ground. shaking is appropriate.

so you, oh woman, you are not dangerous. your body is not a wrecking ball and your touch is not acid. your loving him is not a sin, and your wildness need not be hidden. not here, not with him.

did you know that silence is not required here? it is allowed, of course, but not required.

it's in those moments when bodies meet, not passing like ships but merging like an eclipse, that the loudest crashes are heard. because that is the sound of walls tumbling. every move he and I make together is a pass around Jericho walls, and with a mighty shout, the fortress crashes.

so, oh woman, blow out the candle and flip the switch.

he can call me Peaches with the lights on.


  1. You GO, woman! This is incredible. As an unmarried woman, I have noticed how the church likes to shuuush the "s-word", because that's not decent to discuss in public. Christians should know better, apparently. Not me! When i get married, i will love my man and who cares if the church is shocked if i feel like kissing him in public!
    Ah great, now you've gotten me all fired up. Maybe it's time for some roaring from a single lady. ;)

  2. Rachel, I love your willingness to ask some of these tough questions, and to conisder, so boldly, female sexuality and the shame often surrounding it.

  3. "I wonder why we're made so afraid of sexuality, as though being sexual creatures is not something Holy-Created, as though whispering the words or leaning too close on your husband's arm within the confines of Church is scandalous." Rach, I wonder over these things too - so very often. I remember feeling kind of shamed at a True Love Waits Event, once upon a time, and I hadn't even "done" anything at the time. The only thing I recall fondly from the TLW's event was that I looked pretty fab in my brand new dress my daddy had bought for me. (I know you've mentioned a similar experience here on your blog before.) Talk of sex was rigid and labeled as a total no-no, which I get, to a degree. I just wish it had been talked about with holy-ness and excitement and of a desire worth saving myself for, not littered with guilt-riddance - casting the young women as "temptresses" because of a modesty issue and slating men as just hard-wired lust-animals. We were/are all so much more than that as naturally wired sexual beings. We were created to be sexually charged beings, and sexuality and God have a lot more in common than one would originally think (read Rob Bell's book called 'Sex God' and you'll see what I mean.) Sexuality was cast in such a forbidden, evil light and I couldn't understand then what I understand now. Sexuality is truly a gift. I remember my dad pressing his hands to my mother's hips and waist in the kitchen, kissing her gently on the neck, caressing her playfully at times, even talking in passing on occasion of how they had "enjoyed one another" recently and were still so in love (never in technical terms though, thankfully) right in front of my sister and me, and I thought "Nobody else's parents that I am around do this sort of thing." My parents displayed affection and desire for one another - well, I always assumed it was gross or wrong because others in the church had made me see it as such - because, reiterating again here, no one else's parents were doing this sort of thing. And then I got married. I had to un-church and un-shame my mind on my wedding night out of where it had long been lodged by outside influences in the name of Christianity so that I could fully desire my husband (note that I wanted to make love to him for a long while, even before it was "okay" and really struggled with those want-stricken feelings), like my father had shown me time and time again in the kitchen with my mother. I had to let go and declare myself a sexual being - one seeking holy intimacy with my husband. I finally found no shame in this whatsoever. I delight in my husband, now that I feel I've been given permission, instead of shame, for thinking of and "doing such things." I now see that my faith and sexuality and marriage are all wrapped up in one - there is no separation. When those lights are on, or just turned down, I become a sexual creature with the other half of my soul, and we are made unafraid.

    Oh, and I also boldly hold onto my husband's hands and arms and kiss him softly on the cheek and rub my hand against his back, even within the walls of the Church. There is no shame in our sexuality, and oh how my heart aches for other women and men to know this freedom of love. ;)

  4. Beautifully said and written. Well done.


I look at you and see all the ways a soul can bruise, and I wish I could sink my hands into your flesh and light lanterns along your spine so you know there's nothing but light when I see you. :: Shinji Moon