Let's Talk About Purity Culture

Can we talk about the negative effects of Purity Culture for a bit? 
As a recently married woman who grew up in the height of the modern Purity Movement and choose to remain a virgin until marriage, I am beginning to see even more reasons why this culture and its teachings are SO SO dangerous.
Here are just two core..
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Happy Six-Months, My Love!

Happy sixth month anniversary to the love of my life!! I never dreamed marriage could be so sweet, but I guess that‘s what happens when you marry your best friend. 💗
I’ve absolutely loved our continued traditions of four-hour long coffee dates, spontaneous “Haagen-Dazs Emergencies”, and late-night Downton Abby dates. ☺️ 
I’ve treasure our evening strolls together around the apartment and how we sometimes...
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Justice At Last -- Finding Freedom in Divorce

We’ve been preparing for the today for months. Actually, 40 years is probably more accurate. And finally, it is finished. 
After abandoning my mother six years ago and leaving her financially destitute, bruised, and broken, my father finally decided to file for divorce last year. Once it was made clear my parents were headed to trial, I was asked if I would be willing to testify against my father.
After growing up with domestic violence...
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Triggers are Our Teachers

My husband, Joshua, and I were in our counselors office earlier this week to discuss this very topic. Five months into marriage and we’ve both noticed a pattern of a few things that each of us do that annoys or upsets the other. We didn’t know why. Our counselor surprised when she said, “You’re getting triggered.” 
Ooohhhh....
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I Am No Longer Praying For Healing

In the last two months I have made a large shift in my belief system.  I am no longer going to pray for God to heal me of my chronic illness.
You may have noticed I’ve been very quiet lately.  Almost immediately after my marriage in March, my health took another drastic turn.  I’ve suffered from a severe chronic illness for the past 16 years and the last two years have been especially difficult.  Even though I live in daily physical pain...
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When Victims Take The Blame

My heart has been heavy this week. In February 2019 during a live interview with NRP, I took a public stand against a wolf in my family and community. Over a year and one half later, I am *still* being attacked and ostracized by some people for “trash talking” this individual.  
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Dating Long Distance

Long-distance dating is HARD, no question about it.  But when Josh and I entered this relationship we committed to one another that we would give 100% effort to keeping the romance alive, even while 1,500 miles apart. 
One way we do that is with unique...
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The Wedding That Wasn't

I awake to a warm breeze coming from our bedroom deck door brushing against my cheek. It’s a beautiful morning. A momma duck is keeping her baby eggs warm just a few feet away from our deck, the trees are bright purple with tiny flowering buds, and the early morning birds are singing their cheery, springtime choruses.
I turn over to see my new husband’s chest rise and fall with each steady breath.  It’s a sight I have longed for ages to wake up to, but this morning I am too distracted by the deep heaviness inside of me to fully enjoy the moment. The reality of what this day was suddenly hits me.
Today was supposed to be our wedding day...
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The High Cost of Speaking Out

One year ago today I gathered every ounce of courage I had and did something that would forever change my writing and public story. I went live on NPR and for the very first time, publicly named my second sexual abuser — my father. 
Until that day I had been very open with my story about my former cult leader and his abuse against me, but I had not yet been ready to share the details of the abuse I had endured within my very home.  Prior to my interview...
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Finding Hope in Unconditional Love

“Your past is too much baggage.”
It was one of the most hurtful things someone has ever said to me.  
We had been dating for almost three months and it was a whirlwind relationship with a bond growing fast.  He appeared to be everything I wanted: he was a committed Christian, he had the “perfect” family, we had similar goals and values, and we shared the same sense of humor.  I ignored that warning signs of strong arrogance, pride, and a controlling behavior because I believed this guy perfectly fit the mold...
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