Sep 022014

Greg: 0SCORECARD 1 (1)

Shannon: 50+

That’s how the scorecard would have read, had there been one. I’d walked into marriage at twenty-two years old with more than fifty sexual partners in my past. Greg, at twenty-six, was still a virgin. Together, we flew in the face of conventional stereotypes of the sexually experienced macho male and the pure-as-the-driven-snow female. As I entered counseling several years into our marriage, my main goals were to get the scarlet letter off my sweater, cut the soul ties that had bound me for too long, and rid my mind of the relational ghosts that continued to haunt me.

My counselor’s challenge was simple enough. Make a list of all your sexual partners, and figure out what each of them have in common.  Sounds easy, right?  Not if your scorecard is as full as mine.  It took several weeks, and the floodgates of emotion burst wide open as I began digging for answers to the question, “And why did I sleep with him?” over and over.  However, a distinct pattern soon surfaced. Over 95% of these men had been older than me, and most had been in some type of authority over me.  Translation:  Just like Hester in The Scarlet Letter, Meggie in The Thorn Birds, and Christine in Phantom of the Opera, I’d been blindly giving myself away, hoping to find a loving father-figure to help me feel safe, secure, and special.  But my tactics had backfired royally.  My lifestyle had become very dangerous, creating major insecurities, and robbing me of any notion that I was, or could ever be, special to any man.

Excerpted from  The Sexually Confident Wife: Connecting with Your Husband Mind*Body*Heart*Spirit  by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2008.  All Rights Reserved. Published by Random House Inc, New York, NY. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval. 

Aug 282014

The GiftEveGaveAwayIn the first chapter of Genesis we see that God created man and woman in His image and placed them in the Garden of Eden with the intention of having them rule and reign over everything. To visualize this picture, imagine God’s giving Adam and Eve a beautifully wrapped gift box. Inside is a gift called authority. God gave this gift of authority to Adam and Eve, intending them to act wisely as stewards over all creation.

But the crafty serpent, perhaps knowing that the woman is enticed by what she hears, hissed in Eve’s ear something about how she could have the power of God’s wisdom if she took a bite of the forbidden fruit. Because Eve had been given authority to rule and reign over this creature, not the other way around, her response should have been to shut him up and send him packing when he tried to tempt her into disobeying God. But mesmerized by the enticement of power, Eve sank her teeth into the forbidden fruit, making the most bitter mistake of her life, a mistake which resulted in her being the one to have to pack up and leave paradise forever. Her sin was rebellion against her Creator, but the underlying tragedy was that she gave away her gift of authority to the crafty serpent.

…God’s sovereign justice required consequences for humanity’s deliberate disobedience. First, God cursed the serpent and promised that the woman’s offspring would crush his head (a promise that was fulfilled with Christ’s victory over Satan). Then God promised to increase Eve’s pains in childbearing and said, “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you” (verse 16). Then He punished Adam by cursing the ground and requiring that man work diligently to make the earth produce food (verses 17-19).

But let’s rewind back to verse 16. When God told Eve, “Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you,” was He saying that women will have a sexual desire for their husbands? While most scholars read the first half of this sentence and make that assumption, I want to challenge you to look at the entire sentence before drawing your conclusion. It says, “Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.”

Why would Scripture use these two phrases in the same sentence? Could they perhaps be connected? I think they are. I believe a woman’s desire and the issue of rulership or power are related in a way that unwraps some of the mystery behind a woman’s sexual conduct (or misconduct, rather). I believe that the desire for power (and the belief that men possess the power women crave) is what causes many women to seduce men, as well as what prompts some to use sex as a bargaining tool in their marriage. It’s not as much sex or love that these women are in pursuit of as it is the power behind bringing a man to his knees with her charms.

Excerpted from Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.