Woven in Truth Podcast

Embodied Christianity: Pain, Pleasure & The Pursuit of God

September 03, 2022 Lauren Peterson Season 1 Episode 66
Woven in Truth Podcast
Embodied Christianity: Pain, Pleasure & The Pursuit of God
Woven in Truth Podcast
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Show Notes

In this episode, Lauren Peterson joins us to unpack the historically ambiguous concept of living life in physical bodies as Christian women. There’s a distinct duality that many of us face: in religious circles we may have learned to view life in a body as something to be tamed or ignored. Then we have the opposite messaging of our secular culture which can place an inordinate degree of value and pressure on all that is physical. Lauren invites us to identify and separate unhealthy ideologies from God’s divine intention for us to exist as fully-integrated human beings.  

About the Speaker
Lauren is a therapist with Strength & Serenity Counseling LLC. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Drury University and her MSW from Loyola University Chicago. She currently resides in the Quad Cities where she and her husband Craig have been married for 10 years and have 3 wonderful children: Eliana, Cael and Enya. 

Episode Notes:

Goal: To normalize the questions and frustrations many Christian women experience about their bodies and encourage gentle curiosity. 

Matthew Anderson in Earthen Vessels, “more often than not, we don’t know which lies and bad arguments we have formed our lives around. After all, the ideas that are deepest in us are almost never learned in books, but are forged and engrained through the habitual patterns of life that make up our embodied existence”

“May we be women who filter these messages through the Word of God so our deepest ideas about our precious bodies are not built by habit or unwittingly adopted patterns but by the Holy Spirit himself.”

The “problem” of the body. We tend to:

  • Ignore it
  • Demonize it
  • Feel overwhelmed/confused by it
  • Internalize the world’s misuse and objectification of it.
  • Medicalize the body

“Dualisms that are embedded in our religious traditions have created a false separation between the spiritual realm and the material world, leaving us an “ambiguous legacy” regarding the body…” Ruth Haley Barton. 

Consequences of separating from the body:

  1. Cannot experience joy and positive emotion to their fullest extent.
  2. Disconnection can open the door to sin. When we are disconnected from our bodies, we are unaware of the good but also deeply unaware of our deep seeded anger, fear, etc. Satan uses this as fuel.

The Solution: Recognize the body as essential to the human spiritual experience and as GOOD in its original form.

  1. Learn to parse out what is original from what is broken.
  2. Learn to differentiate biblically between body and “flesh”/“sarx”: ‘Romans 8:5.
  3. Be a student of the Word when it comes to Scriptures on the body.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
  4. Paul’s writings are built on the Old Testament foundation of a perfectly created body, knitted together in our mother’s wombs. 
  5. Integrate the body as a part of the WHOLE and bring praise and gratitude to the areas of the body the world ignores
  6. Incorporate the physical spiritual disciplines- sabbath, silence and solitude, slow movement-taste, touch,etc

In Hopeful Summary- the scriptures on resurrectional embodiment teach us that the body is originally good, built for pleasure, and will be perfectly good again.

We can be a part of a culture shift that challenges both the cultural objectification but also the religious silencing of the body. 

Resources:

  • Real Sex by Lauren Winner
  • Unwanted by Jay Stringer
  • Redeemed Sexuality and Art of Intimate Marriage by J
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