The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Sex is complicated, whether we want to admit it or not. It heightens any relationship, sometimes for the worse and sometimes for the better. It’s complicated because when two people come together physically it creates a bond between them. In theory, that is a beautiful picture: A man and woman, waiting to have sex until marriage and then coming together to become one flesh. It would surely create a strong and beautiful marriage. In reality, that isn’t always true of many people’s story. Sometimes people give into their sexual desires before they are committed in marriage. And sometimes, the option of waiting until marriage is taken from them.
When I was a little girl, my parents divorced. They were loving, hard working parents. In spite of the divorce, they wanted nothing more than for me to feel loved and valued. As is natural when growing up, many of my family members would babysit me when my mom had to work. The family… the ones we trust the most to protect our little ones. And yet, a darker problem began to grow. I had an older male cousin who was a teenager at the time. As he began to explore his own sexual desires, he took that out on the closest person that he could keep quiet. Me. It took place between the ages of 4 and 5 years and it created an instant feeling of shame and confusion. I will spare you the devastating details. But I will say- that form of physical interaction can best be described as ugly. The saddest part is that the nature and design of humanity, Gods creation, still stands true to his word. It created a physical bond between us, one that I carried in shame for my entire life. I had been marked by the pain that was inflicted on me as a little girl. I do not believe that it was God’s will that I experience that pain. I do not believe that God created this design of bonding so that we would feel shame and pain. He created it so that we would know the true beauty and meaning of sex. The wholeness and closeness that intimacy brings in true love. But…. Since we’ve been given free will, we’ve been given the opportunity to distort what God meant for good, into our evil.
I kept quiet about what happened to me when I was little. The shame that I felt was so overpowering. The thought that not only had I been molested but I’d also been a victim of incest. It was the worst thing I could imagine uttering. So I carried around this bond with my cousin, like a monkey on my back, like a ball and chain. It began to take a toll on my relationships. I could not understand that sex was an act of love. To me, sex was a punishment. And when I started to feel lack, when I started to feel pain, I would punish myself. I have had more empty sexual encounters than I can even recall. Mostly because they came along with a haze of drugs and alcohol. It was a way of feeding a part of my heart that told me I wasn’t worth loving. Many years of therapy later, I discovered that by acting out in that way - I was reliving the moment of abuse over and over again, as a way of trying to gain control. How sad is that? This monkey on my back, that I couldn’t shake – took me into decades of torturing myself to try to find some resolution. And along the way…. I bonded myself to all of the men in those encounters, perpetuating my problem. Decades of sex that made me feel bad about myself and bad about sex. I was in need of a deeper healing.
I believe that every girl hits a threshold at some time, a breaking point, a moment of decision. We can only give away ourselves as much as we allow. In my search for healing, I found Jesus. He made me a new creation and gave me a new heart. Not the heart that was missing so many pieces. A whole clean heart. And he began a work of healing me. I began a very imperfect journey of trying to find God’s will for my life, including what it meant to wait until marriage for sex.
Why would someone with a past like mine need to wait until marriage you ask? Because when we are forgiven by God, we get a fresh start. I wanted to know the blessing of God in my marriage. It’s never too late to start living your life for God and he will bless you for it.
5 years ago I met a man that was very charming, very handsome and full of joy. The first time we really hung out, we had a serious make out that night. Hello. We were not ready for the journey of dating. So for 5 years, we became friends. We learned to like each other. We dated other people in between. We made mistakes. We learned from them. We found healing. We grew in our relationships with Jesus. We learned how to be leaders. We learned how to be accountable. We learned…. A lot. About ourselves and about each other. And God saw our journeys and he brought us back together. We had a wedding that was so special. Special for our parents because they’d been waiting our whole lives for us to find the right match. But special for us because we knew the work that went into getting us to that place. I never thought anyone would love me the way that Nick loves me. It is a damn good marriage. And I wish that the story ended there.
Even in the best, most well waited for marriage, sex can be imperfect. He is everything I could have ever imagined. He is the best partner I could ever want. Mostly because, he is patient. Even in the covering of marriage, I still have trouble knowing that sex is an act of love. It takes time for me to open up to him because I know he isn’t a source of punishment. He is the one my heart loves. It is both complicated and wonderful. And with every day that passes we get better. I know that God is for me because he blessed me with Nick. He is a man that isn’t threatened by my issues. In fact, the more he supports me, the easier it becomes.
Dear Reader, I pray that your story isn’t my story. But if it is, please hear me…. Sex is meant to be good. There is a design for it. And the pain of your past doesn’t have to dictate your future. With God on your side, there is always time to start fresh.