Welcome back to Part 8 of our series on Flourish, where we examine the damaging teachings that are being exemplified in this book by Christian Light Publications. I think that it's important to note that this book isn't the disease. It's a symptom of the disease. These ideas float around in the collective consciousness and affect, to various degrees, all of us who are, or were, part of this culture.
This is not some new thing that Dorcas is laying out for us, some new dogma that's frightening and scary. Rather, this is merely another expression of long-held beliefs, but it's the more damaging coming from the mouth of one whom the teachings and ideas have hurt the most.
One of the hugely damaging ideas is that woman are supposed to be using their sexual appeal to keep their men on the strait and narrow. The implication being that, somehow, if she can be sexy enough, and inviting enough, but in a wholesome way, she can compete with the millions of explicit images of nubile women that are readily accessible every single day. And the harsh truth is that she can't.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's have a look at the section entitled The Power of Sexual Intimacy.
No amount of nagging, pleading, talking, or counseling can grab your husband's attention the way his sexual desire for you can. Just look at advertising. No approach is used more frequently or more successfully that sex appeal. Then what is keeping you from using it in your marriage? I'm not advising you to use sex to manipulate your husband and get him to do what you want. That would be gross and wrong! But many forces in your husband's environment use sex to get his attention, stealing the power God intended you to use. Yes, ladies. The world is full of objectification of women, which may appeal to your husband's pornified mindset. And the answer to that is, of course, to out-objectify those women.
Instead of sitting passively by or refusing to unclothe yourself for your husband to enjoy, claim this power of influence that God has given you as a wife.
One of the things that horrifies me the most about this passage is the idea that women are interchangable sex receptacles.
The reason that a man is supposed to sexually desire his wife is more than the fact that she is physically attractive and turns heads everywhere she goes. The reason a man is supposed to desire his wife is because she is his and he is hers, and they've experienced life together, and they are on the same team, and the idea that somehow she has to compete for his sexual affection based on some kind of objective external standards is soul-crushing.
I suspect some of my readers may find it difficult to understand how wicked and ungodly and soul-crushing this idea truly is, because we are fish swimming in the water of female objectification.
So, imagine, if you will, that we would take this same idea into another realm.
I want you to imagine that this little girl is your daughter, or your niece, or your granddaughter, and she just picked some flowers for her daddy. Now, if you look at the flowers, maybe they're dandelions or some other common flower, maybe they are a tad wilted, maybe she crushed them a bit in her chubby little fists as she brought them to him.
Now, imagine someone (allegedly well-meaning) telling her that she needs to step up her flower game. After all, there are florists out there that Daddy could buy exotic roses from. There are fields out there, full of flowers, ripe for the picking. And they aren't dandelions. They're buttercups, and tiger lilies, and violets. If you really want to get Daddy's attention (because Daddys do love flowers), you need to focus on bringing him more flowers, more often. Because there's a lot of other flowers out there competing for his attention, and other little girls out there who have flowerbeds, instead of just weeds from the yard. And if your Daddy one day goes out for milk, and doesn't come back, well... just saying. Maybe you could have done more with the flowers thing.
Can you imagine anything more wicked than that?
The flowers that your little girl brings to you are important and matter because they come from her, and they are a token of love from her, and no flowers could be more precious, no matter where they come from- because she gave them to you. And anyone that would compare those flowers with something you could get from a florist online has the soul of an ogre forged in the very pits of Hell.
Yet, we tell women this all the time about the sexual intimacy between them and their husbands. Sex isn't a tool. It's not some way of keeping the guy around. It's an expression of love that, maybe, is sometimes like a fistful of wilted flowers, but if you're focusing on the flaws of the flowers instead of the love that's being shown, than maybe, just maybe, you need some serious help.
I was going to write more today, but I think this concept is important enough that it needs to stand alone.