Sex is bad, and should be avoided at all costs. Or at least, that’s the message I got growing up. Not from my parents, mind you, but from the church I grew up in.
(Just one of many lies Christian women believe about sex I picked up along the way)
As teenagers, we were expected to keep clear of the boys so we wouldn’t be tempted (or tempt them!), and I still remember the all-girl’s overnighter I went to with my best friend where we wrote love letters to our future husbands, promising we’d save ourselves just for them.
After all, no one wants a girl that’s too “loose.” At least, none of the good Christian guys would anyways. That’s just in poor taste.
It all sounded good in theory.
Yes, Christian women (and men) should be modest (though I’d argue that our definition of and focus of modesty needs quite a bit of work).
And we don’t want to put ourselves in a place where we know we’re going to be tempted or knowingly tempt others.
But just as having guidelines can help us think through issues and make good choices, they can also cause quite a bit of shame and baggage, if not given in the proper context.
For example, what if you…
- Had to endure sexual trauma through no fault of your own?
- Thought what you were doing was “no big deal” or that “everyone else was doing it,” but now you have baggage you didn’t expect?
- Knew and really wanted to do the right thing, but couldn’t seem to get it right, and now you live with the shame of wrong choices?
Growing up in church, the message we got was essentially, “Sex outside of marriage is bad, bad, bad. But when you get married, then it’s okay.”
As if there were some Heavenly switch that God would hit on your wedding night. Almost like a huge “Reset” button in the sky.
“Everything was bad before. But it’s okay. It’s all good now…”
There’s just one problem: Getting married doesn’t automagically erase or change your past. And in some instances, it actually intensifies it. Because some issues you could sweep under the rug and ignore when you were single suddenly aren’t so easy to hide once you’re married…
Rather, that’s when they rear their ugly faces, forcing you to recognize, confront, and deal with them once and for all. And in this post, I hope to help you do just that.
But First: Are Past Hurts Holding You Back from Enjoying Sex Like You Should?
If so, then you may want to check out the Boost Your Libido course by Sheila Wray Gregoire of To Love, Honor and Vacuum.
In it, she shares funny, fantastic advice on how you can overcome constant tiredness, overpacked schedules, hurts and hang-ups, and even hormonal imbalances so you and your husband can finally experience the closeness and intimacy you crave.
I’ve been following Sheila’s website for some time now and I can tell you – she gives really fantastic advice in a way that’s down-to-earth, relatable and really funny. If problems from your past are preventing you from an amazing marriage today — this course will absolutely help!
*This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps cover the many costs of running this site and allows me to help provide for my growing family. Thank you!
What Does the Bible (Really) Say About Sexual Purity?
So, the Bible is pretty clear that sexual immorality is wrong. In fact, the Bible warns us that those who live like this won’t “inherit the kingdom of God” (go to Heaven). That’s pretty serious.
“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” — Galatians 5:19-21
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” — 1 Corinthians 6:18
BUT that’s not the end of the story. While the Bible does paint God as a righteous judge, it also shows God as an incredibly loving and forgiving Father who wants nothing more than to restore us to Himself, take away all of our sin and shame, and give us a life that’s full and abundant!
And that’s not just for “some” people, or “other” people, or for people who aren’t “too far gone.” It’s for everyone. It’s for YOU!
Just check out these verses:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” — 1 John 1:9
“‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'” — Isaiah 1:18
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” — 2 Corinthians 5:17
God is not interested in shaming you or making you pay for what you did. He LOVES you, adores you and cherishes you! The Bible even says that he DELIGHTS over you with singing. God is crazy about you! So crazy that He even sent His only son to die so that you wouldn’t have to.
(And I don’t know about you, but as a mother, I cannot even imagine.)
The Consequences of Sexual Sin — Recognize these?
Unfortunately, however, actions (both ours and others’) do have consequences–and often times way more than we ever realize until it’s too late. Everyone knows you could get pregnant, get an STD or get your heart broken, but no one warns you about all the other consequences you may face, do they?
- Difficulty enjoying sex with your husband now that sex is suddenly “okay”
- Difficulty forming close relationships/bonding with others
- Trust issues
- Commitment issues
- Intense feelings of shame, guilt or regret
- Feeling like you let everyone down
- Feeling “less than,” disqualified or that something is wrong with you
- Having flashbacks to past people, places or situations
- Opening the door to spiritual warfare in your life
- Opening the door to additional sins you never thought you’d be capable of
- Creating soul-ties with another person, which can be extremely difficult to break
- Altering the course of the rest of your life forever
I don’t share these examples to shame you further, of course. Just to help you recognize the full extent of what may be going on in your life. Do any of the above examples sound familiar to you? Could your sexual past have something to do with it?
When we pretend everything is “fine,” we rob ourselves of finding and fixing the problem. So don’t be shy.
Action step: What hurts, hang-ups and strange beliefs or behaviors have you noticed in this area in your life? Could your sexual past (either things you’ve done or things that others have done to you) be a factor? Get a sheet of paper and actually write it out. Pray through it. Wrestle with it. You can always tear up the paper when you’re done, but get it out first.
How to Claim Freedom in Christ
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” –John 10:10
Now that you’ve identified a few ways your sexual past is still affecting you today, it’s time to take care of them once and for all.
This is actually a topic I’ve written about a fair deal on this site, and there are some really good resources out there, so I won’t go over it all in-depth here other than to point you in the right direction.
- If you’re struggling with guilt, shame and regret over mistakes you’ve made in the past: Be sure to check out How to Find Freedom from Past Sin and Shame.
- If you’re struggling to break free from past sins (or the consequences of past sins–either yours or others’) in your life: Be sure to check out You Can Find Freedom from Spiritual Strongholds (Here’s How)
- If you’re struggling to make sense of abuse you’ve experienced at the hands of others: Be sure to check out How to Respond When God Allows Trauma
Also: If your sexual past is causing issues in your marriage today, definitely check out the Boost Your Libido course by Sheila Wray Gregoire of To Love, Honor and Vacuum.
She has a lot of great content in her course to help you uncover what’s really going on in your marriage, how to root out underlying issues, and how to start seeing sex as a GOOD thing so you can actually enjoy your husband and look forward to getting close to him in this way.
Alternately, if you’re still struggling to get out of sexual sin you’re still involved in (rather than struggling with the consequences of it after the fact), you’ll want to check out Grace Goals instead.
Grace Goals is a fantastic resource designed to walk you step-by-step through the process of setting and achieving goals from a biblical perspective.
So if you keep promising yourself that you’re done doing something, or that you’re going to start doing something, and you can’t seem to follow through (been there!), Grace Goals will help.
Additional Books and Resources:
Restoring the Lost Petal by Danielle Tate
The Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson
5 Christian Sex Tips for a Stronger, Healthier Marriage – Equipping Godly Women
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