The Relatable Podcast, Episode 3 – Childlessness and changed plans – what happens when the ‘Christian ideal’ doesn’t happen?November 18, 2019
The church has long linked fertility to being blessed by God. ‘Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him…Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them’ is even in the bible. What does it mean to be a man who can’t reproduce? How do Christians respond when longed-for children don’t come along? What does a full life look like when dreams and desires are unfulfilled? I talk to writer and broadcaster Sheridan Voysey about masculinity, marriage, infertility, love, redemption and what happens when life doesn’t go to plan.
Don’t forget to subscribe, rate and share!
Christian teaching about sex outside of marriage can be very black and white – ‘Don’t do it!’ – but increasingly Christians have a wide range of sexual ethics. Is there one right way? How do church expectations affect sexual development? I talk to Kate Mounce and Eleanor Young AKA the Beside Ourselves Collective, whose theatre show ‘Just Don’t Do It’ unpicks their own experiences of growing up, sex, sexuality and faith. Covering shame, struggle, singleness, frustration, freedom and desire, what could change and should it?
Don’t forget to subscribe, rate and share!
Does avoiding physically intimacy before marriage make for a great relationship after? That’s one of the big ‘sales pitches’ often given to young Christians but does anyone take it seriously? In the first full episode of the Relatable Podcast, I talk to Australian performer Lara Pilcher who didn’t kiss her husband Andrew until their wedding day, thirteen years ago. What led them to that decision? What happened next? Have they changed their views since then? Would they recommend their relationship choices to others?
Don’t forget to subscribe, rate and share!
Get 25% off Christian Connection membership by visiting https://www.christianconnection.com/relatable
Music provided by Clap and Thunder.
‘Relatable: Exploring God, Love and Connection in the Age of Choice’ has been out in the world since May and starting lots of great conversations. It’s been a privilege to hear the responses, read the reviews and see the brilliant photos of all the places it’s travelled to (it’s definitely had more adventures than me this summer…). Find out more here if you’d like to – and please do keep leaving reviews on Amazon, Goodreads etc – they all help to spread the word.
The great response has inspired me to carry on asking questions (which was always likely as I’m pretty nosey…). So I’m very pleased to let you know the Relatable Podcast is about to happen! There’s a little trailer here: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-relatable-podcast/id1481842754 and you’ll soon be able to find it wherever you get your podcasts. Each episode is an interview with a very interesting person, talking honestly and openly about how their faith and relationship choices have unfolded and their stories are fascinating. Love, sex, celibacy, singleness, marriage, men’s and women’s roles, dating, and what difference faith makes to all of it – it’s all there! In the first episode I’m going in search of the answer to question ‘Why would a couple not kiss until their wedding day and what happens after?’ A woman who has lived the story tells me all about it…
I’d love it if you’d give it a whirl! Please do subscribe and prepare yourself (emotionally, physically, spiritually – whatever you need to do) for the first episode, coming very soon. As ever you can follow Relatable conversations on social media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using #RelatableBook or now #RelatablePodcast
After three long years, Relatable: Exploring God, Love and Connection in the Age of Choice (to give it it’s full name) arrived in May. Somehow it’s already been out in the world for a month! It all started with a survey – the Real Life Love survey, eventually completed by nearly 1500 people – and turned into a journey of discovery. About the history of marriage, the ‘science’ that may or may not tell us about women and men, the numbers gap in church, how technology is affecting relationships and human interaction in general, how dating is changing and lots more. I’ve been genuinely delighted and honoured at the lovely people who’ve given endorsements for the book. Here are just a couple:
“Relatable is a brilliant, encouraging, revealing, informative and fascinating look at the history up to current times of relationships between men and women in church. I love Vicky’s humour, which brings a lightness to what can be a very intense subject… Very excited to see this book out there and cannot recommend it strongly enough!” – Katharine Welby-Roberts, speaker and author of I Thought There Would be Cake
“Through wit, candour, and fresh research, Vicky Walker gives us not another how-to-get-hitched book, but a snapshot of varied opinions on modern day love, partnering and matrimony. The results are enlightening, sometimes concerning, and always educational, providing a necessary critique of much relationship advice and the distortions they can carry…a helpful resource.” – Sheridan Voysey, writer, speaker, broadcaster, and author of The Making of Us: Who We Can Become When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned
“Of all of the confusing things I experienced growing up “on fire for Jesus,” the way faith leaders talked about love and relationships was among the blurriest. Sexual purity seemed to be oddly conjoined with “real” faith, and this led, for me, to all kinds of shame and fear and unkindness. Relatable offers a way through all of the mis-information and slanted theology about love, sex, and marriage present in Christian culture. Drawing from a deep well of resources, including church history, cultural constructs, and a broad range of interviews, Vicky Walker helps readers think through the complexities of relationships in a way that leads to wholeness.” – Addie Zierman, writer and author of ‘When We Were On Fire’
I would love to know what you think of it all – and for you to join in the conversation and share your thoughts. If you’re a tweeter, there’s a Relatable account, and a #RelatableBook hashtag. You can follow on Instagram too for reviews, events, media and much more. It’s very exciting to see pictures of the book making it’s way across the world – Austria and Australia have been represented, among other places. Looking forward to seeing where’s next!
You can buy the book directly from me – and get a free bookmark! – on my website. Or you can order from Amazon (UK), Amazon (US) Waterstones, Wordery, Eden and other lovely book-selling places. Please do leave a review on Amazon (which you can do no matter where you bought the book), as this helps to spread the word! I’ll post lots of the media coverage of Relatable soon. It’s prompted some very interesting conversations…
I’m delighted to let you know Relatable: Exploring God, Love and Connection in the Age of Choice is nearly here!
You can pre-order it this very minute from Waterstones, Wordery, Eden, Amazon in the US to be one of the first to read it when it appears in May. Here’s what the book is about: relationships are changing, and the church is struggling to keep up. Many Christians are adrift, faced with a faith culture far removed from their experiences and a faith that finds itself in interesting times: diverging theologies, reports of a shrinking church, and unequal numbers of women and men. Technology is changing how people meet and match, loneliness is increasing, and norms of dating, family, sex, marriage, work, and life are evolving. What is the future for relationships between men and women? What will singleness and marriage look like? Relatable hopes to provide answers and start conversations.
Exploring science, sociology, history, theology, and the many, many messages circulating in society and church culture about men, women and relationships (spoiler: some of them are pretty wild…), Relatable looks at the history of marriage (spoiler: even wilder), and why Christians are prone to promote coupling up as the ultimate achievement. From Old Testament polygamy to Samantha the sex robot, changing perceptions of singleness, sexual hang ups and celibacy, why dating looks different when it happens through a screen, whether women and men really are so different, who doesn’t go to church and why, and whether churches can be part of the answer in creating supportive communities.
If you’re one of the almost 1500 people who contributed to the early stages of the book, sharing experiences and opinions with the Real Life Love survey, huge thanks. I’m honoured you’ve trusted me with your stories and shared your wisdom.
Please do get in touch if you’re interested in hosting an event or conversation about modern relationships or with any media enquiries: email@example.com
A sneaky little reminder popped up today letting me know this blog is six years old today! My posts have become almost an annual event, thanks to being busy with other things but here’s a little update on what I have been spending time on…
Mostly the Real Life Love project! Yes, it turns out opening a window into the world of how Christians talk about men and women and love and God is a large and complex subject. Who knew? Thanks to almost 1500 lovely people sharing their experiences and opinions, and a lot of research into history, sociology, faith around the world, sex, marriage, living patterns and much more the book is taking shape. I’m planning for it to make. its way into the world early next year. I would love to let you know more as the book develops and plans unfold, so for occasional updates you can sign up here and I won’t bother you too often. If you’d like to add a comment to the project, you can do so here.
Last week I presented the Daily Service on Radio 4, and it’s available to listen to for a few weeks here (don’t click the picture; that’s just for fun). I talked about Acts of Generosity, as part of the Lent programming and there’s some nice choral singing too (it’s not me, don’t worry). I have other bits of talking (this time with moving pictures!) on my website, if you decide you want to hear / watch more. Click here if you want to see me interview author Michael Morpurgo – now a Sir – or watch a talk I gave about – can you guess – Christians and marriage and dating and singleness or listen to a few other talks, including a panel discussion about online dating. No wonder I ended up writing a book about it all…
In other news, a long term project to help women’s voices be heard finally went live on March 8th, International Women’s Day. Project 3:28, a collective working towards gender balance in the church, has launched a database for women to sign up to so event organisers and media outlets can contact them and invite them to speak at conferences, festivals, churches, on radio and TV, and anywhere else women’s varied and brilliant contributions should be represented, but often aren’t. It has taken several years to get to this stage, and we – the small team behind it – are delighted it finally exists. If you are a UK-based woman interested in signing up, or a producer or event organiser working in this area, please do visit the site! You can FIND THE DATABASE HERE. Yes, all caps. It’s that good. We have nearly 200 women already signed up, with specialisms including theology, mission, youth work, the arts, leadership, charity, business, entrepreneurship and lots, lots more. Please do encourage women you know to sign up too – we’d love to reflect the breadth of knowledge, skills and experience we know women have to offer.
OK, time to celebrate the blog-birthday with the traditional cake and cheer 😀 Catch you again soon