Below you will find players with bonus content for The Scarlet Virgins in the form of podcast episodes. These are the first five episodes to whet your appetite – the remainder (over a dozen planned in total) will go up on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play closer to the book launch later this month, so check back soon!
#1 – Everything Wrong With “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”
Joshua Harris’ famous (or infamous) book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye is a major piece of purity culture’s history. The content of this book is so controversial that many parents and children who grew up in the era this book influenced are still sorting out their thoughts about it! In this episode, Rebecca discusses her current attitude towards the author and respectfully challenges many of his assertions.
#2 – Singleness and Relationships
The vocations of singleness and marriage are ones that can be mishandled by the modern Christian church. Imbalance has come about in thinking about and discussing both vocations, often due to misrepresentation, twisting of scripture, and a lack of empathy. In this episode, Rebecca discusses the importance of viewing the vocations of this life through a holistic mindset and not being caught up in counting the quantity of people in any given vocation.
#3 – Mindset in Marriage
Our assumptions and internalized beliefs about sex can have a negative impact on the intimacy that takes place in marriage, especially when you’ve been raised in legalism or purity culture. In this episode, Rebecca challenges some of the common mindset problems that disrupt healthy sexuality such as the nasty rumor that women aren’t sexual. She also addresses some of the insecurities that crop up for both sexes, like body imagine issues and previous sexual encounters or assaults.
#4 – Sexpectations
Both purity culture and secular culture set our expectations of sex (or “sexpectations”). While it may be tempting to reduce one view to being right and the other view to being wrong, we must examine both through the truth of scripture and our own consciences. In this episode, Rebecca talks about what both cultures get wrong when it comes to setting sexual expectations, and encourages listeners to nix what they think they know about sex.
#5 – Sex and Love
Secular culture tells us that, before we enter into marriage, we need to “try” each other out sexually. This culture has a large focus on love in connection with sex and attraction. On the flip-side, legalistic purity culture often dictates that marriage is more about obligation, and some facets even claim that love is only a choice as opposed to a feeling. In this episode, Rebecca seeks to unite what each culture gets right about sex and love while dispelling the incorrect and faulty assumptions found on both sides.
#6 – Modesty
Growing up, Rebecca Lemke was taught that modesty was a woman’s issue. She was told that men were visual and didn’t possess self-control, so it was the duty of her and her female friends to keep their male companions on the straight and narrow.
After leaving legalism and purity culture, Rebecca was introduced to the idea that women play no part in loving their male neighbors through their wardrobe. This rhetoric left her thinking: Am I my brother’s keeper?
In this episode, she recounts her experiences with both of these schools of thought and offers her Christ-focused approach as an alternative.
#7 – Pornography and Purity
Secular culture and Christian purity culture both push certain narratives about pornography, but are they correct? In this episode, Rebecca discusses the social scripts on both sides of the spectrum and identifies issues she finds with both. Her belief is that we need a new approach to pornography, one that is truly empowering.
#8 – Brokenness in Jesus
When Rebecca talks about taboo topics that come up in purity culture like mental health and sex, she often hears something along the lines of, “Aren’t you worried what people will think?” In this episode, she challenges the assumption that speaking about something means you are being irreverent and shares the lack of fear she has in talking about brokenness in Jesus.
#9 – Hangups in Marriage After Purity Culture
Many purity culture “graduates” experience hangups when they get married when it comes to their sexual lives and relationship with their spouse. The fear and shame learned from purity culture often leads them to stay silent about their private thought lives and other intimate details that should be freely shared with their spouse. In this episode, Rebecca addresses a few of these hangups and encourages spouses to love one another fully by working together to overcome these hangups.
#10 – Apostasy in Purity Culture
After being raised in legalistic purity culture, Rebecca experienced the loss of many friends walking away from the Christian faith. In this episode, she details her journey in dealing with friends apostatizing and what she has learned to do (and what not to do) when this happens.
#11 – Ladies Who Lust
Growing up in purity culture, Rebecca and her female friends always heard phrases like “men are visual”, “boys will be boys”, etc. These phrases taught that men were perverted sex beasts due to their interest in sex and that women were more prim and proper, and naturally disinterested in sex. In this episode, Rebecca talks about ladies who struggle with lust to let them know they aren’t alone and assures all who struggle that our identity is not found in our failings, but in Christ’s sacrifice!
#12 – Healing Wounds
Legalism in purity culture produces shame, which in turn can cause internalized self-hatred. Addiction, mental health issues, and self-harm are all a result of this internalized self-hatred. In this episode, Rebecca talks about the scars we carry, whether they are physical or mental, and introduces a new way of thinking about our permanent marks. Jesus has scars just like us, and ours serve as a perfect way to point us to Him.
#13 – The Truth About Failed Courtship
When you break off a dating relationship, it hurts. But what happens when you get dumped (by a Dad or otherwise) in courtship? The stakes are the equivalent of a broken engagement, and some would even say a marriage. The pain is excruciating, but if you’ve had a failed courtship, you aren’t alone!
In this episode, Rebecca talks about her own experience with a failed courtship (and her husband’s) and what you can do to heal afterwards.
#14 – What About Masturbation?
Masturbation is a taboo subject, sometimes even in secular culture. But if we never talk about it, we inadvertently add unnecessary shame to the topic. Most of us have learned that the Bible says it is wrong, but what does the Bible actually say about it?
In this episode, Rebecca talks about relevant Scripture on the topic, practical things to consider, and he own thoughts on the matter.
#15 – Bonus Episode: Rebecca with Thomas Umstattd Jr. on KXTW
On 6/23/2017 Rebecca was interviewed by Thomas Umstattd Jr on The Bridge in Austin, TX. Listen here to the audio of there exchange, where they discuss the way legalistic Purity Culture elevates sex and a false idea of “purity,” and buries the Gospel.
#16 – Modesty, Makeup, Jewelry, and more
Is it okay to cut your hair, wear makeup, wear spaghetti straps, and get your ears pierced? It depends on who you ask!
As a child, Rebecca had many friends who were not allowed or afforded even the most basic of grooming and cosmetic choices. In this episode, she discusses coming out of this unique part of modesty and purity culture and the things that have helped her in this journey.
#17 – Men and Purity Culture
“Men can’t be sexually assaulted,” “men are emotionless,” “men are inherently bad because they are sexual,” etc. These are all things Rebecca learned about men through purity culture.
In this episode, she addresses these assumptions and calls out purity culture’s failed promises by pointing out how the side effects of the movement are not unlike the ramifications of a pornography addiction.