Purity, Sex, Love and Everything in Between
Purity matters to me because I traded mine before I knew how precious it was. Sex has always been a very taboo topic in church conversions. Sex is this evil, horrible, wretched thing we never talk about until we get married then it changes into this awesome, amazing thing that you now get to experience within the construct of marriage. The only time I heard my youth minister talk about sex growing up is when he confronted a kid in my youth group. He confronted him wanting to guide the young man back on the righteous path and pulled him aside to tell him “don’t you know how awful sex is outside of marriage”. The kid responded “well you must be doing it wrong then”.
I have found that the advisory attacks us the most by corrupting, twisting, and bending the things God has created to be wonderful for us and turning those things into rebellion against God. One of the first commands God gave his Creation is to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). Somehow, however along the way this command becomes twisted and corrupted in Sin to be something that causes us so much pain and suffering.
I was in the Army for eight years and during my first duty station assignment in Korea I found out my then high school sweetheart and girlfriend got married while I was on an overseas tour and didn’t tell me. I would wait up late every weekend to call her and talk because of the time difference and she never told me. I had to find out from a friend. That started me down an angry path that culminated in several combat tours and then to a place where I was so dead inside that I wanted to have sex if only to feel something.
I didn’t find out just how this would come to scare my spirit and soul. So, I would like to just go over how this one act was a storm that caused me so much agony. However, partly why I write this is just to affirm that the God I love is one of forgiveness and love. If you are someone who has strayed from the path God does love you and wants you back in his court. As a young man I often thought the commandments God gave us was because he didn’t want us to do anything fun, but now I realize that it is more to prevent us from great pain and hurt.
Because of my choices my walk with God, church family, and relationships are vastly more difficult. The devil uses this to whisper lies and to make me feel shame. The devil tells me that no woman will ever love me once she finds out what I have done. He tells me that if any one in my church family knows what I have done than they will throw me out of their community. God is perfect, God forgives, but the path to forgiving ourselves is a long and difficult one.
So now I hold this shame with me that has taken a long time to heal from. Perhaps you feel this same shame with a sin you have found yourself in and are unable to talk to anyone about for fear of how they will see you so it just sits in your soul, festers, and grows to a bigger and bigger obstacle to heal from. I have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It is easy to get into this mindset of ranking sin of bigger and smaller to justify your sins with “well I may do this but at least I don’t do that”. Sometimes in order to heal and get past shame you need to talk about shame because once it isn’t hidden in the dark the light can reach and heal it.
I hear a lot of things from women for the grounds they justify having sex and I just want to talk openly about of few of the struggles you may be facing. “Well if I don’t have sex with him then he will just find someone who does and he is such a great guy I don’t want to loose him”. I realize that you put so much time, energy, and thought into your relationships. It is truly an investment perhaps over years for you and since you have so much invested you don’t want to loose it. Unfortunately, women trade sex for love, and men trade love for sex. From a man, and one that tries to live a life of discipleship, if he cares about you then he cares about you enough to wait. Another one I hear a lot “well we are engaged, or, well we are almost engaged so what does it really matter”. Marriage is so difficult as it is having your relationship being one. Living in sin isn’t the way to go. If you're not following the commandments you can’t expect the blessings. It is easy to let your passions outstrip your commitments.
Finally, I just want to say if you look around and you find yourself someplace you never thought you would be, and living in sin, God does want you to come back to him. There is forgiveness and healing. There is redemption. If you have failed today, tomorrow is a new day to recommit yourself.
We cannot change the past no matter how much we wish to but we can make another choice today. Another lie the enemy likes to tell is “you are in so deep you can never get out so you may as well not even try”. Nothing is too big for God, the Creator of every living thing. You are precious and perhaps falling into the spiral of sex and love outside of marriage has destroyed your self worth and now you believe the lie that you’re not worth anything. You may try and use sex as a reaffirmation of your value as a person, and it isn’t found in that. Your worth is found in God, taking the best from your mother and father and creating you as a unique perfect creation. God loves you unconditionally and wants to prevent you from experiencing suffering and brokenness.
I often find myself looking into the mirror in the mornings and telling myself “Today is a new day, a day for a chance of success, love, and greatness. Today is your day to know God’s love and to share it with those around you.”
Written by Nicholas Livingston
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