Let’s talk about “IT”
We talk about “IT” a lot. At churches and in books… We learn through scripture that sex in a marriage is great and that it's created by God; that people who have waited to have sex until that union of marriage are going to be deeply blessed.
But what does that mean for the people that have had sex outside of marriage? Are we totally screwed? I’ll admit, I've had sex outside of marriage. There was a time in my life where I thought men were my saviors; that I could use sex to cover my wounds and bondage.
Most of my life, I thought that Jesus was just the guy in the Bible who made cool things happen, but I didn’t really believe it. For a long time in my walk with Jesus, I thought that my marriage and my physical relationship with my future husband wasn't going be as good as those who waited (kudos to you if you have waited). I would hear sermon after sermon and read chapter after chapter in books talking about how blessed virgins would be in their marriages. But what about us that love Jesus but still screwed up? What about us who’ve slept with a girlfriend or boyfriend or hooked up with that guy at the party? What about us? Just because we've had sex in the past, does that mean we’re not going to have a blessed marriage?
By all means, I do believe that God will bless those who have been faithful, with a healthy, fruitful sex life. It is in the Bible, and it should be followed. But what about us who’ve come to know Jesus in our teens, twenties, or later, those of us that met our Savior after this sin, this deed, was already done?
It is so hard to look your partner in the eye and tell them what you’ve done, but I spent so long living in fear of how God was going to affect my marriage because I had sex outside of its confines. Is He going to punish those of us who’ve already done the deed?
God doesn’t hold a vendetta against His children. He doesn’t say, “Oh sorry Lauren, you’ve had sex with so and so, therefore your marriage won’t be blessed.”
The bible tells of a story in the book of John about a woman who is caught in adultery:
“At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
This is God’s grace in a perfect example. Even if we have been caught in a lustful act or made a mistake with that guy or girl, God will not allow shame or condemnation to cover your life.
Early in my relationship with Jesus, I vowed to Him that the next man I was to sleep with would be my husband. Does this mean that I won’t ever have to tell my future hubs about my past? Nope. Does it mean there won’t be possible repercussions from my actions? Sure doesn’t. But what it does mean is that I have spoken to God about this, I’ve prayed about it immensely, and felt like it is something that doesn’t get talked about enough.
Sex was never meant to draw you away from God, but sadly, when Adam and Eve fell into temptation in the Garden, everything became vulnerable to sin, sex included. Sex is so easily manipulated by our world; it always has been. It hasn’t changed, it’s just easier to gain access to it now thanks to the always modifying resources. And now that sex is so much easier to obtain, there are more repercussions that come with it. Porn and sex addictions, emotional and physical hurt, and false expectations all center around this new time we’re living in with “sexual exploration”. There are serious emotional and spiritual repercussions possible when you have sex outside of the confines of a Godly marriage. I felt like damaged goods for a long time; like I would never measure up to other Christians around me that I deemed “more Godly”. Therefore, I felt that I would never measure up and be good enough for our Father and eventually my future spouse. Sex made my wounds deeper and my bondage tighter. Not the act itself, but the sin of taking that risk apart from marriage and all the shame and brokenness that came with it.
Conference after conference, sermon after sermon, I felt like my future husband and I’s sex life and marriage was going to be screwed because of my past actions. And that is just simply not right.
Friends, even if you’ve had sex outside of marriage, do not fear, for God will use that. That doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences for your actions, but He will never hold that against you. If I had to go back and do it all again, I would in a heartbeat. But it’s a platform I get to now use to minister to young women in talking about self-worth and the power that comes from being in love with yourself; the emotional consequences of sex and sexual relationships outside of marriage. God has used my sin and made it into something greater than I could have ever imagined.
He makes all things new.