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When Victoria's Secret launched Angels, one of its most popular lines of intimate wear, the company was playing to the fantasy of the "good girl, bad girl" image. Men want women to be just the right blend of goodness and badness—sweet and innocent on the surface, yet sexy and sultry in the bedroom. Models with flowing hair and oversized wings on their backs strutted the runway and showed us just how sexy saintliness can be.
For some women, this can be a hard ideal to attain. We often compartmentalize our sexuality from our spirituality because we don't know how to reconcile these two aspects of our being, especially when one or the other has been strongly tainted by sin or brokenness. Thanks be to God, no sin—whether your sin or someone's sin against you—is beyond God's forgiveness, redemption, and healing (Romans 8:35–39).
In this week's issue, Mary DeMuth writes about the trauma of being sexually abused as a girl and how hard it was for her to see herself as a forgiven, clean saint once she accepted Jesus. She offers you two simple (but difficult) steps you can take to find hope and healing after sexual abuse.
In an interview with Dr. Juli Slattery, we discuss the tension between a woman's longing to be sexually alive and spiritually mature. Juli says it's time for us to stop viewing our life in sectioned off silos, and instead begin cultivating a holy sexuality, a biblical perspective that integrates our spirituality with our sexuality. According to Dr. Harry W. Schaumburg, this type of holy sexuality exists because there's an intricate connection between our faith and our sex life. "To be spiritually mature you must be sexually mature; to be sexually mature you must be spiritually mature," he says.
As Christians, we may be tempted to think that spiritual maturity happens only in the context of studying the Bible. Hannah Nitz looks at how celebrating God's gift of sex and talking with other women about it can help us grow closer to God too.
Our sexuality is part of how we've been fearfully and wonderfully made.. For us to attain to the full measure of Christ, we need to present our whole selves to God—even our wounded and dirty parts. He promises to wash us clean and sanctify us for his good purposes. We might not be angels, but we're definitely saints.
Here's to sexy saints!
Marian V. Liautaud, Editor