In the midst of the guilt, shame and pain of sexual sins, painful thoughts fill my mind, “I can’t believe I sinned… again. Does God hate me for my addictions? Will I ever find freedom?”
If you are struggling with sexual sin today, I’ve been in your shoes. I’ve spent a lot of time talking about finding freedom from sexual sin and the importance of fighting for purity on the blog, but I haven’t spent enough time talking about grace.
To help you better understand grace, here are a few definitions.
Grace is the beauty of following Christ.
Grace is unmerited favor.
Grace is God loving us when we don’t deserve it.
Grace is God’s riches at Christ’s expense.
Grace is the divine means by which God makes Himself everything we need.
When we mess up, God gives us grace. When we feel shameful and defeated, God gives us grace. When we hide from Him, God gives us grace.
Just like Adam and Eve who hid behind fig leaves after they sinned, we run, hide, and build our own fig leaves. What fig leaves are you hiding behind? (more…)
In four months I can freely have sex with my husband whenever we want, but for now, we can’t. We’re engaged and waiting. Deciding to honor God in purity, my fiancé and I are refraining from experiencing sexual intimacy. This isn’t easy. In fact, waiting is hard.
We’ve messed up and have pushed the boundaries further than we’ve wanted to, but we still have yet to have sex. And each time we realize we are pushing the line, we re-evaluate. We re-check our physical boundaries. We re-ask each other this question:
Why are we fighting for purity?
If we don’t know why we are fighting, we will stop fighting. If we don’t see the value of purity, we will never guard it. (What does the Bible say about purity?) Beth Moore explains this perfectly in her new study, Entrusted, “We won’t effectively guard what we don’t highly esteem.”
Do you have high esteem for purity? Do you want to live a life marked by obedience to God? (more…)
Five years ago I thought I would never heal from the rape I experienced my freshman year of college. My nights were filled with tears and my days were filled with doubts. Why did this happen? Does God allow rape? (Check out the answer to this question on Bible.com.)
With countless unanswered questions and tears in my eyes, I surrendered my life to Jesus. I still doubted that he could heal me, but I believed I needed a Savior. On my own, I would never find healing. My heart was a wreck and I needed Jesus to give me a new one.
Maybe you, just like me, often wonder, is healing even possible? How do I find healing? Could Jesus really heal me from the pain of sexual abuse? Let me share one important truth with you… (more…)
Have you ever wondered if God allows rape?
As a victim of rape, I thought the rape was my fault. I did not fully understand that I was experiencing the result of sin until years later. No matter the reason for the rape, it still wounded me deeply. Because of my hurt and pain, I often wondered why God would allow His children to suffer.
During the months following my abuse, God felt closer than ever before. He never moved. When I cried out in agony, He was by my side. When I prayed with tears streaming down my cheeks, He was there. When I begged Him to take away the pain, He held my hand.
He was there.
Right beside me, holding my hand, and helping me find healing. He was there and He knew this would happen…
Click to read my whole guest post on Bible.org.
Do you believe that your story is powerful?
Maybe you were saved at a young age and you fear your story isn’t as powerful as others. Or maybe just like me, you struggle believing that God could use your broken past for his good. I want to share with you that no matter your story, it’s powerful.
My story began in college when Christ softened my heart through a horrible experience. God had been pursuing me all my life, but it wasn’t until college that I finally realized my need for a Savior.
During my freshman year of college, on day three, I was date raped. I became depressed, I lived in shame, and I hated my life. But God pursued me. God used rape to bring me to my knees and allow me to see my need for a Savior. That year I was beginning to experience a love that I had never felt. My freshman year of college I became a follower of Christ, but it would take years for me to start sharing my story with other women.
At the end of this post, I will share with you one example of how God used my story in a powerful way. For now, I want to dive into a passage that talks about how our stories are powerful. (more…)
Feeling sad and lonely during the Christmas season is real. December is a month that can bring immense joy or immense pain. For those struggling with these feelings of pain, this letter from my friend Sam Eaton is for you. During this Christmas season, know that you are loved by your Father in Heaven. For those experiencing joy this Christmas, this letter is for you. During this Christmas season, take moments out of your day to love on those hurting. I love Sam’s suggestion to sit down with a hurting person over a hot cup of coffee and listen to their story.
During the Christmas season, when people are struggling, let’s point them to the one who can heal their souls. The one who came to this earth as a tiny helpless baby so that we could know God personally. Only Jesus can take away pain. Introducing others to Jesus is the best gift we can give people this Christmas.
Enjoy this guest post from Sam!
In high school I was a religious hypocrite, yet I had no idea how I was damaging the gospel. I grew up going to church, but the gospel I heard was you have to be a good and perfect Christian to get to heaven.
This was an impossible goal to reach. As hard as I tried, I could never be sinless. And so I lived in this cycle of addiction. I lived in bondage. I would try to be perfect, fail and turn back to sin.
The cycle went on and on.
Living in bondage was exhausting.
I was a religious Pharisee. I told people that I was a Christian and that I felt called to be a pastor, my church even let me preach on youth Sundays, yet I didn’t even know God. One day on the way to school, I was walking up from the parking lot with my boyfriend and he looked at me and said, “You’re a bad Christian.”
I had no idea what it meant to be a Christian. My church added to the gospel and because of this, I believed I needed to earn my salvation.
Maybe you, just like me, sometimes still think you have to be a good perfect Christian woman. Maybe you’ve lost sight of God’s grace. These desires actually make us slaves. We become slaves to our sin and lose our freedom. Why is it that we allow ourselves to be burdened again by slavery instead of living in the freedom that Christ has freely given?
You are I are living our lives like the Christians in Galatians.
In Galatians 5:1 Paul says “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (more…)
Desiring to feel loved and beautiful, I downloaded Tinder and uploaded my cutest selfie. Sick of being single and waiting on God’s perfect timing, I wanted to take things into my own hands. I wanted control over my dating life.
Impatient and not trusting God, I began the quest for a man. Swiping right if I found him attractive and left if he was too creepy, I was making every decision based on looks. During this season in college, I was a believer and truly loved God, but I lacked intimacy with Him.
Instead of growing in intimacy with God, I wanted instant intimacy.
I believed that instant intimacy was only found in the love of a man, so in that moment, when he swiped right too and we were a match, I felt desired. This feeling didn’t last. Instead of believing what God says is true about me, I believed I was unloved and ugly. Yet, I kept on swiping and searching for intimacy.
Have you ever sought out intimacy, yet remained unsatisfied? (more…)
“You’ll never find a man to marry who isn’t a virgin!” said a friend to me, Joy, many years ago. I remember thinking, “Why should I wait if he’s not going to wait?” Well ladies, there are men who will be virgins on their wedding night. There are men who value God’s Word and desire to live out purity in singleness and marriage. Sam Eaton is one of those men.
Check out his guest post: Saving Sex for Marriage | From a Guy’s Perspective
Love, Joy (more…)
It’s easy to be angry at the people we sin sexually with. It is easy to blame them. We might think, ‘they pushed me further than I would have gone.’ This might be true, but we still are at fault. Our sexual sins hurt God, hurt ourselves, and they hurt others. We must come to God in prayer asking Him for forgiveness. (more…)