College and the Power of Feminine Sexuality

As part of her summer internship with Kairos this summer, Carly Caldwell attended a Redeeming Sexuality class with her fellow female interns. Take a few moments to read her response to the class and how she feels it specifically applies to life as a college student at Clemson. 

From my position as a female in the Christian community at Clemson University, the fourth chapter in Redeeming Sexuality on the power of sex was  thought provoking and convicting. There seem to be two main sub-cultures that dominate Clemson’s campus and each group has its own approach to dating. There is the Christian group, which mostly stays in its FCA/Young Life bubble, and then there is the party crowd. While this isn’t totally representative of the whole student population, it does give an accurate picture of the different dating mindsets. The party crowd goes along with the hookup mindset that was mentioned earlier in Redeeming Sexuality. People have casual sex, treating it as a commodity to be thrown about without regard for the emotional intimacy that it creates. The Christian crowd takes a different approach, with a strange hyperawareness to dating and physical boundaries, and at times  a reckless pursuit of spiritual and emotional intimacy with people of the opposite gender. I feel both of these groups are acting in ways that expose the corruption and power of sex.

“While I don’t intentionally entice by wearing provocative clothes, I am well aware of ways I can talk and act to get the things I want with my guy friends.”

The majority of women are well aware of the power and influence we can have on men. We have many basic tendencies that are subconsciously rooted in the ability to wield  power and gain control of situations and people. The biggest gray area for me is how to be a good friend to the guys who are in my community, without creating too much emotional connection. The chapter’s question: “Do you entice men and awaken desires in them that you cannot righteously satisfy?” is an important concept to consider. I am not a flirty person, but I have always been comfortable around guys. I have an older brother, so it has always been easy for me to be close friends with boys. While I don’t intentionally entice by wearing provocative clothes, I am well aware of ways I can talk and act to get the things I want with my guy friends. I manipulate with small things, like choosing where to eat. Even though these simple situations don’t have immediate or obvious consequences, any form of manipulation is detrimental to relationships. It is using my power in a way that does not glorify God.

Another concept I appreciated in chapter four can be summed up in this statement: “as you bring all of who you are—your strengths, talents, life experiences, personality—alongside others in a supportive way, you enable them to become who God intends them to be.” I don’t currently have a husband to come alongside, but there are ways that I can enable the men in my life. I can respect and love my dad in a way that affirms his leadership and encourages him to be active in all of his relationships. I have the ability to love and affirm my male friends in ways that are not manipulative and will help them own their roles as Christian men. The best way I can affirm and enable the men around me is by recognizing the ways God has gifted me uniquely and laying those gifts down at His feet, to be used by Him. He has given women a special power, but it needs to be used on His terms, not ours.

– Carly Caldwell, Kairos Intern

Are you using your feminine power for the good of others or for your own gain? How can you specifically use this power for the good of those around you in your specific season?