12 Feb SEX – It’s What’s NOT Happening – Part 3
So here we are at #3. WHAT in the world is a CHILD SEX SLAVE who was tortured and raped talking about SEX for? BECAUSE the world needs to know what a difference JESUS can make. How Jesus can take broken, evil, sin and make it NEW and beautiful and fun and kind and good and PLEASURABLE.
#3 Sexual Sin and Abuse
One doesn’t have to look for long to understand the scope of sexual sin and abuse in this world. It’s everywhere.
This is not a “NEW” problem. Sexual sin and abuse has been around since the bite of the apple and sin entered the world at our own hands. We wanted to call the shots. We wanted what we wanted and that was all that mattered. And it’s been that way, ever since.
Sexual sin and abuse is not a MAN’S game. Women rape children, are addicted to pornography, have affairs and have multiple sex partners with zero commitment and don’t care as long as their needs are met.
So let’s just get this straight right from the get go.
Sexual sin and abuse is EVERYBODY’S issue.
Why do I say that? Because even if you haven’t been sexually abused, or hurt by someone, or looked at pornography or raped someone or cheated on someone, YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS.
The statistics are sobering. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men have been sexually abused. When left untreated, the ripple effects can be devastating to a marriage. The broken emotional links to a person who has been abused can cause hidden anger, self-hatred and isolation.
If you’ve been hurt sexually by another human being you MUST deal with that.
I can’t stress to you enough how important it is to get help for sexual abuse. There are multiple layers of emotions that come from a betrayal in this manner.
A relationship with Jesus is the first step. Jesus completely forgives and restores brokenness and fills us up with real love. He has everything that we need and everything we didn’t even know we needed. He can change our hearts and our minds in such a way that we live differently. Our only hope is Jesus.
The 2nd step is to get professional help from a counselor or a licensed therapist. Obviously because of my story, I hear from many people who have past sexual abuse in their lives. I hear the pain of those that have committed sexual sin and are living with the consequences of their choices every day.
It’s the person who has the courage to deal with their crud that makes it through the pain and hurt from the past so that they can move on to a wonderful future, full of love and trust and hopefully a healthy sexual relationship with their spouse.
Communication is EVERYTHING.
This is one of the most difficult things for someone who has been betrayed by sexual abuse. Most of the time we’ve been told by the abuser to “Keep the secret” and “Don’t tell.”
For those that have been involved in sexual sin, there’s a TON of guilt and shame associated with those choices. There can be feelings of never being good enough, unworthiness, distrust, fear, bitterness, and never giving your entire heart to another human being ever again. To open up about any of this pain is like taking a knife and gutting yourself.
Will my spouse judge me? Will they stop loving me? Will they ever forgive me?
A spouse who is open, kind, loyal, forgiving and does not judge is critical in a relationship where there has been sexual abuse and sexual sin.
If you are married to someone that you believe has been sexually hurt in their life, or has hurt YOU deeply by their sexual sin, my encouragement to you is…
DON’T GIVE UP on THEM. They NEED you!!
They love you desperately and they don’t want to lose you. They’re afraid that THAT is exactly what’s going to happen! It’s THAT fear that has them in chains.
So what can you do?
A. First thing you can do RIGHT NOW is to PRAY and ask Jesus to give you wisdom and compassion with truth.
B. COMMUNICATE the truth in love to your spouse about how you’re feeling. It’s okay to feel betrayed and hurt. It’s okay to feel angry. Talk about how you feel. Use your words. It’s NOT okay for you to withhold your feelings from your spouse, just like it’s not okay for them to be withholding anything from you. So, BE HONEST. Communicate.
C. Then, SHUT UP and LISTEN. Listen to what they tell you. Really listen. No blame. No judgement. No excuses. Just listen. Close your mouth while they talk. DO NOT TRY TO FIX THIS!
You can’t fix this. Let me say this again. YOU can’t fix this. Only Jesus can. As hard as it is, please don’t try. It’s a heart issue and that has to be healed by Jesus and also potentially by a professional therapist or other counseling resource. LISTEN. HEAR.
D. And finally LOVE.
We throw that word around carelessly, don’t we? Loving someone is the hardest thing we will EVER do.
Why do you love your spouse? Do you remember? Maybe you need to remind yourself of the 3 main reasons that you fell in love with your spouse. In the hard times, it’s easy to forget why we love our spouse. But if we can focus on 3 things, that can sometimes turn our hearts around.
Love that spouse that God has given you for ALL that they are. Not the things that you enjoy but ALL the things that they are. You have crud, too. So love ALL of them. Choose love even when you don’t feel like it. And watch what God will do.
So here we are. Crud dealing time.
There is no magic pill or anecdote that makes sex spectacular. There are different seasons in marriage where sex is difficult and not the greatest priority. Some of us are in marriages where the sex doesn’t feel good and it’s not fulfilling. Some of us feel ugly and embarrassed to be that naked with another human being. Some of us have been sexually abused or raped. And some of us have been betrayed by our spouse and we don’t trust them with our heart anymore. All of that is hard and needs to be dealt with. BUT…that never excuses a complete absence of sex.
This is what a marriage vow before God means…It is our commitment to do whatever it takes to keep our “ENTIRE” marriage God honoring.
This is personal.
It’s between you, your spouse and God.
If you’re a woman and you hate sex, would you be brave enough to ask yourself “Why?” Has someone hurt you? Did they abuse you or betray you? Have you done something sexually that the bible would call sin and you can’t forgive yourself? Have you lied? Have you been unfaithful? Have you withheld the truth from your spouse about how it feels or push them away because of how YOU feel about yourself? Your body?
If you’re a man and you have something sexually that holds you back, (health issues, pornography, addiction, work-a-holism, depression, abuse, poor body image, maybe you’ve been betrayed and hurt by a cheating spouse, or you don’t know what to do sexually that is pleasing to your spouse), would you be brave enough to admit that there is an issue? And…ASK for help? I know, I just lost you, didn’t I?
If we could all come before our creator and ask Him to help us understand the “why” then maybe we could deal with that crud once and for all and get free of what holds us back.
Our spouse is part of us. “The two shall become one flesh.” So withholding ANYTHING from our spouse is not okay. Communication is the key. If you have struggles in your life, and you don’t share that with your spouse, you have deliberately withheld yourself from the one you claim to love. You are living a lie in the relationship by not being truthful with all things.
And let’s talk about Forgiveness.
FORGIVENESS is a beautiful gift to GIVE and to RECEIVE. None of us are perfect. And with Jesus, it’s never too late to do better. By His grace, we can give forgiveness to our spouse and release them from the debt that we feel they owe us. We can also receive that forgiveness from a spouse and begin again in grace and truth, letting go of the past, walking in truth from this day forward and communicating our hearts to one another in love.
Have you withheld your forgiveness? Some of you are TICKED. You’re so angry that it’s rotting you from the inside out. Sometimes it’s easier to hold on to that anger. That way you think you can guarantee that you’ll NEVER be hurt again. But that’s a lie. You can always get hurt. That’s the reality of life. I get how it feels to be hurt so bad that you WISH you could die instead of having to feel it. I get it. I do. Someone you loved and trusted broke your heart and destroyed your trust. Someone who should’ve known better DIDN’T do better.
That inability to forgive is KILLING YOU. It’s choking out your soul. You can’t live and refuse to forgive. It’s a poison. It altars who you are and allows you to willingly choose to sin against someone.
Forgiveness doesn’t depend on whether the person deserves it or not or whether they’ve asked you to forgive them.
It doesn’t mean that what that person did is OKAY and there are no longer any consequences.
But when you refuse to forgive the bible says THAT is SIN. So now by you choosing to withhold your forgiveness, you’re NO better then the one who sinned against you. It’s all sin. We all sin. NONE of us deserves forgiveness.
Do you think that I don’t know how HARD this is to do? Sin caused Jesus to LAY DOWN HIS LIFE in order to FORGIVE. YES, it’s HARD.
I’ve learned that forgiveness means that you look at the hurt that the person caused you. You REALLY look at it. See it. Feel it. DEAL with it. And then you release THEM from the debt that YOU think they OWE you.
We must go to our spouse and tell the truth and then ask them to forgive us.
I understand how difficult this is for you to do. You are giving yourself COMPLETELY to someone that could possibly hurt you. Maybe they have hurt you. Jesus completely understands this.
He gave EVERYTHING and He got hurt.
Sit on that one a moment. He gave everything and He got hurt but He did it anyway.
God can heal and restore any broken thing. He WILL forgive us.
God demands our best. Right? How can we do our best in our marriages if we have secrets, anything that holds us back from being ALL that God wants us to be? A holy God won’t settle. A holy God demands truth.
He created sex for man AND woman. It’s a beautiful, wonderful gift from God for married couples. So anything less then a healthy loving sexual existence between a married couple is UNACCEPTABLE.
And because of this treasured gift, we must pursue the truth of WHY we are avoiding sex. Anything else is a lie. You can’t believe the parts of the bible that you pick and choose. It’s either all true or all false.
Is your spouse not worth your best? Is God?
So what do I want for you? For me? For all of us? It’s this.
And the man and his wife were BOTH NAKED and were NOT ashamed.”