This has to do with sex! Yup, you heard me!! But the heart of the matter really comes from Christ and knowing the truth about who we are in Him. So in that sense, I guess this is a normal post for me. What I was thinking about, was all the bad 'christian' advice I have been given over the years on this subject. I don't even know if those who gave it meant well, I think they thought they meant well, but all they did was turn sex into a law within marriage. I have to say this is extremely damaging, in many ways. Anyway, one of the things that was called to my mind was the counsel a pastor gave me concerning my future marriage. Okay here's where it gets kind of personal, and I apologize in advance for the sheer openness of this part. My husband and I came into marriage having had sex prior to marriage. We also struggled to stay 'pure' before we were married. (I know a lot of you are saying who doesn't have that struggle, right!) Well, let's just say that where I went to church if you struggled and confessed, you were setting yourself up for some serious condemnation!! So, my pastor essentially told me something like this, " since you did not remain pure, you will bring struggle to this area of your marriage." Those were not the exact words, but the heart of his counsel. And what did that wonderful counsel do for me? It made me feel very condemned in this area, it made me begin to resent my husband for not 'leading' me well while dating. It made me think we were both so selfish and it made me view sex in a skewed way. In other words a lot of turmoil for nothing.
The way I see it, is God is not counting my sins against me. He is not angry with me, nor does He have any punishment for my sins. He also turns all things into good for those who love Him. And He restores the years and makes all things new! So, are my odds at having a good sex life in my marriage reduced because I made poor choices! NO, NO and NO!! What He should have told me was the wonderful truth of who I am in God's eyes and how wonderful the Gospel really is!! That is the only power to turn broken areas of our lives into beautifully restored areas!
I am honestly angry that there is so much crappy advice out there and so much of it brings condemnation which only defeats people further! I had to bring this up for another reason too, because I think there is teaching out there that is really harmful for married couples. It's the teaching that comes straight from the Bible, but gets turned into a law. The scripture about "do not deprive one another." Now that is simply put, plain old good advice, I won't deny it. However, it's not good advice to just dish out when there are other areas in a marriage that are problematic and need to first be resolved. I think sex is a fruit of a good marriage, not a right or demand within marriage. Nor is it a quick fix to marital problems. I think at times people need to reknew their minds and get rid of lots of negativity surrounding this area. The enemy will stop at nothing to keep God's people from enjoying this most precious gift. He wants to skew it so far from the beautiful picture that it is and from the power it has to bring together a couple in a profound way.
I would like to ask Christian counselors and pastors across the world to consider what I am about to share in regards to truly helping couples with sexual struggles, of any form. Trust the Christ in others!!!
While I was at the conference in Hong Kong, Josh Mills shared a story about a friend sharing with him a vision God gave him and something he felt they should do. So Josh said "Okay, let's do it." He proceeded to say, "Isn't it good for us to trust our brothers and sisters in Christ and trust the Christ in them." I also think Fini brought it up at one point as well as Rob, and not to mention it's something my dear friend Jamie repeatedly shares. We can trust this Divine Life we have been given, (that's quoting my friend Chris Welch). When is the church going to stop distrusting themselves and each other and instead start trusting the Holy Spirit!! I must say when we see our brothers and sisters in this light we have hope for the breakthrough, do we not. Because the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth, will he not!!
So, I bring this up because it's something I am processing, and an area that I am seeing God is planning to bring full restoration in my life. He wants to see us reign in Life! Whether it takes days, weeks, months or years, there is always hope for every area of our life to improve in Christ. To bloom, and flourish!
For those of you who may be reading this and are single, well I know this post can benefit you too. I wish I had a better understanding of many things prior to being married, however some things you can only learn by experience. But nonetheless, this can be a beautiful thing in your future to look forward to. If you have already lost your virginity or have made mistakes or have wrong views on sex, you can live in freedom in Christ in this area. Don't feel guilty or condemned for your mistakes. A friend of mine told me, when she'd find her husband struggling with pornography, she would tell him, "don't be condemned." That is a gift! Jesus never condemned broken sinnners, he always gave them the gift of no condemnation. So I say to anyone who has some area of brokenness sexually, Do not for one second feel one bit of shame or guilt. You are perfect in Him! You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! He is doing a new thing in you even today!!
I won't even try to give advice to fix anyone's problems, because the Holy Spirit is a way better counselor. All I can say is you can be free in any area of struggle in life. I don't know what that will look like practically walked out, but I do know this, when you let the Holy Spirit work in your heart, he will bring about the good fruit that you will soon bear!! I promise!!
Grace and peace to all who read here today!!