Have you ever been scared of your own sin? I’m talking “heart skips a beat, shame fills your head, despair in your stomach” kind of scared. A sinful thought that appears to come out of no man’s land enters your mind, breaks your weak heart, and off you go into a spiral of doubt.
“I’m a Christian, how could I even think of something like that?!”
“What if I’m not saved?”
“What if I do that?!”
I can’t tell you how many times this has been my life story. Pain has gripped my heart when I’ve been confronted with the evil of which I’m capable. And there I sit, wallowing in the guilt of one single thought that wasn’t even pondered. Most of the time, it isn’t even something I’ve ever wanted. But the fact that it came into my mind consumes me from morning until night. A constant nagging in my ear…”I’m disgusting!”
Can we all just take a moment and raise our hands and say, “I think wicked thoughts.” If you didn’t hypothetically raise your hand, I think you might be lying to yourself.…
I haven’t shied away from sharing my failures before Christ saved me and even after. Not in a spirit of boasting but rather in humility, recognizing where I came from. If you’ve been around me for long, you probably know I was held captive to lust and sexual immorality for many years. By God’s grace many of my struggles with sexual sin ended quickly once he placed a new heart in my chest. But there was one besetting sin which seemed so very impossible to conquer.
Even as a brand new Christian, I caught on to the fact that this wasn’t something you talk about. At least, that’s the impression I got.
I felt hopeless.
I felt disgusting.
I felt alone.
For many months, I believed the only reason I struggled was because of my promiscuous past. As I journeyed in the faith and began speaking with other women about the issue of lust, I realized I was mistaken.…
There are men other than my Husband who know me deeply. They know about my childhood, my struggles and dreams. I wish I could say I’m talking about my Dad and another Father figure but unfortunately, that isn’t the case. They were my previous boyfriends.
As a teen, I was on a long search to be known. I craved it like Chipotle or ice cream. I needed to be known, to be understood. So, I was pretty much an open book begging to be read by any boy who showed interest. Oh please, let me tell you about all the ways I have been hurt in my life! It made me feel close to them–even if we weren’t physically close.
The problem is, my ex-boyfriends were never meant to have those pieces of my mind. I was never meant to be deeply known by those men. I should have reserved those deeper hurts and fears for my Husband alone (Lucky him!).…
This isn’t the case for everyone. Many couples have fallen into sin, repented and are happily married. But we knew that wouldn’t be the case for us. Like most Christians, we wanted so badly to honor God with our dating and engagement stage. My Husband came from a Christian home and had remained physically pure the entire 27 years of his life before we married. I, on the other hand, had done the exact opposite until the Lord captured my heart when I was 21.
Even coming from such contrasting backgrounds, we both were so very aware of the destruction premarital sex reaps. He, from God’s word and, I, from experience. To be clear, I am speaking of all types of sex, not just the main event. (Can’t believe I just wrote that. Awkward…)
What he said to me nearly knocked the wind out of my chest. I felt used, confused and rejected. The weight of shame crushed my heart and all feeling of worth left my body in an instant.
For the last year, I had given my all to this man: body, soul and mind. And by doing so I gave him parts of me that were not his to keep. And those five little words were all he needed to say to cause my greatest fear to become reality. “It’s just lust, not love.”
He doesn’t love me. He’s never loved me. I laid there as tears trickled down my face, allowing the rejection to set deeply into my heart. I had no one to blame but myself. I was a new Christian with bad habits, tangled in the web of a toxic relationship. And the consequences were at hand: Pain, loads and loads of pain.…
There’s a lie, still weaving its way through Christian circles. It’s the thought that purity is merely refusing to participate in certain sinful activities. It started when, in hopes to strike fear into adolescents, we began setting up various rules regarding what makes us pure. People became identified as such when they abstained from sex until marriage. If they wore a purity ring and didn’t ride in cars with boys, surely they were on the right path!
But because we missed the foundation of what being pure actually looks like and why we should strive for it, many Christians were remaining faithful to a point, but coming as close to the line as possible.
A Heart Issue
Now, I’m not saying we should toss out all the boundaries and rally in a free for all. But this issue is much broader than whether or not a person has “saved themselves for marriage.” Purity is a deeper concept.…