Updated: Nov 4, 2019
Last week I reposted an old blog that allowed you all to peek inside my quest for sexual identity and security. I wrote that before I was married. I was a young single mom who was trying to pursue purity in my relationship with my, now, husband. I am humble enough to admit that we weren't perfect. I'm not here to sugarcoat anything with anybody. I am a sinner, saved by grace, looking to God daily for forgiveness, renewal, and strength to flee sin. In no way do I condone our actions. We offended the Lord, who designed sex for marriage, and He did so for good reason. This is why I'm writing this to you.
It's the summer time. Most of us have been inundated with the idea that our youth is the time to be free and discover ourselves. The summer memes have flooded our timelines reminding us that if we have not yet been "chosen", now is the time to do the choosing. I haven't been married long enough to forget what it feels like to be young and attractive and free. I also haven't forgotten what it feels like to be lonely and longing for a spouse. Even as Christian girls, we invest our extra time in "ministry" and "fellowship", spending a little extra time prepping ourselves to be seen by that one guy who we are infatuated with. I'm super guilty of this. Some of us church girls allow our summers to move us further away from the body as we pursue flings with unbelievers. I'm guilty of this, too. The culture tries to tell us that it's all harmless fun. That we can mess with fire and walk away unscathed, but the Bible is true. I've experienced it and my actions before marriage have affected my life in ways I would have never imagined. I don't want my self-inflicted pain to be yours. I want to be a bit transparent about some of my struggles, if you'll allow me.
1. Sex before marriage destroyed my view of my husband.
My husband is only 1 of 2 men who I have ever "known". The first was an awkward situation that I'll muster the courage to tell you about one day, unless I achieve my hope of forgetting it. I held a pretty high view of virginity and purity, to the point that it was a pride of mine. When I lost my virginity I was depressed for 2 months. I thought my life would end. I didn't know who I was and I ran from God. I didn't allow it to happen, for 2 years after that. When I finally accepted the grace and forgiveness of God, I was determined to never return to that place. Still, in between I played with fire like the idiot I am.
I met my husband in July 2012. I was in the middle of a fiery situationship that God graciously ended for me. Cyle and I grew very close very fast and I got pregnant with our first son 6 months after we met. I was a college junior and he was a 1st year law student. We both had a promising future ahead of us and many people who looked up to us. We both had an image to uphold. This would ruin us, and although I would never say it, I hated him for it.
Our relationship was rocky to say the least. I have shamed him in many ways because I didn't respect him like I should have. I have always loved him, but I didn't want to show it because I felt he didn't deserve it. I felt as if my sexual history (or lack thereof in comparison to others) should have gotten me a "better" mate. How arrogant and nasty! I almost missed out on the greatest blessing of my life, after salvation itself, because of my view of sexual sin. Thanks be to God for holding us together.
2. Sex before marriage destroyed my view of self.
I am a self-proclaimed loner. Some of it is a genuine characteristic that I believe God gave me. Most of it is defensive and self-deprecating. I avoid people because I'm ashamed. I'm ashamed that the thing I once prided in myself was lost. I don't see myself as a treasure every day. Sometimes, I feel ugly, used, and unlovable. Many nights I cry in pain because the memories are so shameful and won't go away. I have wanted to run away and start over. But it's not that simple. The pain of sin is sometimes so great that I don't want to wake up in the morning.
Some might attribute this to my pious attitude toward sex in the first place, but I know I'm not alone. I know there are women who are, for some reason, scorned by sex and feel no convictions about the fact that they pursued the activity. We can try to cover it with any term we'd like but sexual freedom without the sanctity of marriage is sexual bondage. Bondage to our own desires which are fleeting and unquenchable outside of Christ. Sex, or all the actions that lead to it, was never meant to fill us. It was never meant to define us or give us a sense of satisfaction. Sex is meant for me to relate to my husband in a way I can offer no one else. It is a moment where I am the ONLY thing that matters to him. It is a moment where he enjoys all that I am. This points to a larger truth about my relationship with God, who relates to me like no one else, counts the hairs on my head and listens to my prayers as if I'm the only one who exists, and enjoys me in the light of His beloved Son. Sex, along with everything else God created, is only meant to point us to the joy and purpose we have in Him.
3. Sex before marriage destroyed my view of God.
The most heinous of outcomes was my subsequent attitude toward God. Because of my adultery (toward God, not my husband) I thought God would throw me away. I thought everything bad that happened to me, even my pregnancy, was a punishment for my impurity. I thought God had forsaken me. I thought God wouldn't forgive me. So I didn't pray. I didn't seek Him. I didn't want Him. Here lies the ugliness of sin.
Sin hurts God because it hurts our relationship with Him. He created us for Himself. He created us so that we can glorify and enjoy Him FOREVER! How can you enjoy a person who you believe hates you? How can you long for a person who you believe is out to hurt you? You can't. I couldn't. I exchanged the truth of God for a lie. I believed Satan over and over again when he told me God didn't love me because I had hurt Him in the deepest way imaginable. But God doesn't operate like that. He removes our sin as far from us as the east is from the west and remembers it no more. My sexual sin was nailed to the cross. God is holy and his Holiness crushed the Son so it could caress me. That is the truth of who God is.
Ya'll, I'm not here to condemn anyone. I have no right to. I am only here to explain to you that our sin has real consequences that we can't escape. Instead of making the same mistakes over and over again, we have to trust God. We have to accept that He knows what's best for us. Some of us may be in this space where we feel like giving up. I don't care if you got your shirt halfway off. If you are reading this, I pray that the Spirit pricks your heart enough for you to remember who you are, remember who you want to be, and remember who God is. This moment of satisfaction, whether purely physical or more, is not worth the agonizing hardship that can follow. I am not a safe sex advocate because sex outside of God's design is not safe. The emotional damage alone is enough to make one mad. We can experience freedom and grace...