Gender, Pleasure, and God – Rev. Lura Groen

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I’m still learning to embrace the word ‘pleasure’. From childhood, I learned all too quickly that the word immediately referenced sexual touching, and that was meant for a specific time and place in all times and in all places. Anything else was shameful.

At least, that’s my limited view of the world interpreted the messages I received.

Whispering to myself that I feel pleasure in eating a homemade meal I’d put together from scratch was revolutionary. And scary. It felt dirty and wrong and carnal.

Doesn’t God hate all things carnal?

Learning to acknowledge body pleasure, in its various forms, as GOOD is a journey I’m far from completing. But even with the muscle ease that comes with deep breathing, I’m discovering that pleasure is connected to life in more ways than sex only.

Having said that, I’m learning that my greatest moments of pleasure are distinctly private. I do experience pleasure when I’m out with a few friends for coffee, buried in deep discussion. But when I’m alone and have the time to actually sit with this experience called pleasure, be afraid of it, be welcoming of it, or move however I need to with it, I find that I am able to release more of the fear that I’ve held for too long.

Great thoughts from We Talk We Listen.

We Talk. We Listen.

ThomasLinda sittingIn many, many Christian circles enjoyment is suspect and “pleasure” is a dirty word. This quandary even more problematic when you’re a woman (let alone any other gender-oppressed group), as society is often perpetually finding ways to force itself upon everything in your life – let alone your sense of pleasure. In response to this, Rev. Lura Groen provides a rather eloquent and affirmation that bodily pleasures are part of what it means to be created by God – and by extension are holy. It makes a wonderful addition to this months entries and we hope you enjoy it. Read, comment, and share!

Rev. Dr. Linda E. Thomas – Professor of Theology and Anthropology, Chair of LSTC’s Diversity Committee, Editor –“We Talk. We Listen.”


Like an apple tree among the wild trees,
so is my lover among the young men.
In his shade I take pleasure in sitting,
and…

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