If you have ever known sexual shame or brokenness, then this message is for you. Whether you are married or single, young or old, you were created in God’s image as a sexual being with a deep longing to know and be known. And that, my friend, is a good and beautiful thing.
But perhaps your sexuality doesn’t feel like a good thing. Despite the truth of what sex is, it still feels dirty, sullied, shameful.
Like all of us, you are inundated with confusing messages about sexuality. Our hypersexual culture promotes the lie that sex is a god. Sex is everywhere. We can’t walk through a grocery store or turn on the TV without being assaulted by provocative images or ads using sex to sell everything from Hardee’s hamburgers to luxury cars.
Sex is a good gift created by God, but too often sex is treated as a god to be worshipped and pursued in its own right. We have begun worshipping the creation (sex) rather than the Creator (God).
In reaction to our porn-ified culture, you may have absorbed a different but equally damaging message: sex is evil. Like me, you may have grown up learning about purity and True Love Waits. Despite good intentions, a few key words were emphasized more than others. As a teenage girl trying to make sense of my own sexual feelings, what I often heard was SEX (before marriage) IS BAD!!!!
Maybe you waited to have sex until marriage. After focusing on all the ways to not indulge sexual feelings for so many years, the wedding ceremony was supposed to flip the switch and lead to euphoric and guilt-free sex. Even though you know that sex within marriage is not a sin, it still feels like a sin.
Or perhaps a conversation about sex feels overwhelming because of all the shame it triggers in you. One of the most damaging lies about sexuality is this: what you have done (or had done to you) is who you are.
This lie would have you believe that you are your sexual history, whether that is trauma or addiction, abuse or unwanted sexual experiences, shame or regret. But here is the beautiful, redemptive truth, friend: you are not your abuse, your woundedness, your sin or your shame who you are is who you are becoming in Christ.
Conversations about sexuality are hard, but they are so important! They matter because they are really conversations about personhood, and we are a redeemed people. God can and does redeem us from shame, but that is not the end of the story. He redeems us to love – to reflect the shape of God’s love in our lives, our relationships and our communities.
You have a story, and that story may involve some pretty painful chapters. But who you are is not those past chapters. It is today. None of us can erase those earlier chapters, and pretending they didn’t happen does not facilitate healing. But they do not have to define your future. You get to write the next chapter of your story, and God wants to write that story with you –one of redemption and grace.
So let’s go write a new story.