Question

Hey,

I have been a born again Christian for almost nine years now. I have seen a lot of ups and downs in this journey, but my biggest struggle has always been sexual sin. For a long time I didn't understand why but God revealed to me that as a kid I was sexually abused for almost 10 years. God has healed the wound completely at this point, but even then I still had trouble with sexual sins. They were my biggest weakness. For a long time I fought this weakness with all the strength God provided.

About a year ago I started drinking and partying after being influenced by my friends. Needless to say I did things I shouldn't have. This is hard for me to say, but I have had flings and I am not very proud of it. Slowly my willingness to sin increased. From a kiss that shouldn't have happened it went to a place where I did almost everything but have penetrative sex.

I knew it was wrong, and I tried to move closer to God, so I could draw from His strength, but I always faltered and went back to my old ways. I stopped feeling guilty about doing these things. I stopped going to church and talking to people from the church. I stopped praying. I stopped doing anything that would lead me back to God.

I got a lot of attention from men and it all got to my head, but even with all of the flirting and messing around, I prided myself in being a virgin because no matter what happened I never let things get that far. But in my mind the idea of having sex was getting stronger, and my reasons to stay pure were getting weaker. I started fantasizing about having sex. And then I did end up having sex.

The fact that I lost something I was so proud of hit me very hard. What made it worse is that the guy I did sleep with started ignoring me right after the deed was done -- talk about feeling like a prostitute! This happened very recently and the wound is still fresh.

I have started reading the Bible, praying and studying about God's forgiveness. I believe I have been forgiven, even though I don't feel like it. But it hurts so very much. I have been having nightmares about it. I feel sick to the core that I did something like this. My desire for any kind of sexual or worldly pleasure has died, but I am afraid it's just because of the shock of it all.

I don't want to disappoint God anymore and want to rededicate my life to Him like I had before. I miss that passion I had for him. I lived in the fear of the Lord, but it all went down hill. I noticed how the devil played with me, and how he so cunningly led me to this point.

To be honest, I don't know what I am asking of you. All I know is that I need guidance and counseling. Even though I know God loves me and has forgiven me, the pain is too much to bear. The devil keeps putting ideas of self harm into my head. I am fighting against it because I do not want to disappoint or hurt God more than what I already have.

I feel like I have lost my value as a princess and daughter of God. I know that's not true, but all these jumbled up emotions are driving me crazy. Please help me. I'm not feeling like I am made In His image.


Answer

I have some hard things to say. I'm not doing so to ruin your day. Your note indicates you are looking at the situation incorrectly. The only way to get you on track is to first show you where you are off track.

It is true that people who were sexually abused as a child often have difficulty with sex later in life. But you state that you do not remember this happening to you. Instead, you stated that God revealed it to you later that you were sexually abused for 10 years. The problem I have with this statement is that God said that prophecy ended 2,000 years ago (I Corinthians 13:8-10). Combined with this fact is that so-called repressed memories has been proven to be false. If you had been sexually abused for ten years, you would have remembered it directly.

Then you say that God completely healed you of this abuse, but turn around and say that you continue to have problems with sexual sins. It can't be both, so which one is it?

Next you state that you fought sexual sin with the strength God provided, but continued the story about your fall into sin. The implication you leave is that God wasn't strong enough to keep you out of sin. I'm sure it wasn't your intention, but I would like you to see how the problems you ran into started before you realized.

It is also a mistake to think that your sins somehow injures God. "If you sin, what do you accomplish against Him? Or, if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to Him? If you are righteous, what do you give Him? Or what does He receive from your hand? Your wickedness affects a man such as you, And your righteousness a son of man" (Job 35:6-8). How you live your life impacts you, not God. God would spare you the grief your sins cause yourself, but your sins don't change God in any way. Your value to God is not found in your righteousness or your former virginity.

Notice also that your grief is due to your personal pride being wounded. You took pride in being a virgin. Now that this is no longer true, you are upset. Pride is not a good motivation for decisions. I fear that your current desire to live righteously may not last as a result.

What you have told me is that you follow your emotions. Often times what you feel is more "real" to you than reality. You've made choices based on your immediate feelings and not any knowledge of what God said. You did not use the reasoning that God gave you to see where the sins you were lusting after were heading.

As an example, the reason you had sex with this guy was because you wanted sex. "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life" (Galatians 6:7-8). You got what you wanted. There was no relationship. There was no companionship or love. There was only sensual lust. Therefore, it isn't at all surprising that the guy left after it was all over. He satisfied his lust. Likely he won't be back until he wants sex again and can't find some other willing partner. To him it is a thing to be done to relieve his cravings. Caring about who he has sex with would only tie him down.

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7). What is missing is a true fear of God's wrath toward sin. It is more than just sorrow over losing your virginity. It is realizing that your drinking, your lust, your lewdness, and your fornication are all sending you down a path of destruction (Romans 13:13-14). It ought to a sobering realization. "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28). Then you are in the proper frame of mind to start learning what God wants you to do.

Decisions will no longer be based on what you feel at the moment, but based on the wise teachings of God. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones" (Proverbs 3:5-8).

Along with this, you put your trust in God and not your feelings. You become a Christian the way God teaches (see: How to Become a Christian). When you obey His commands, then you know your state (I John 2:3-6). What you feel doesn't matter. It is what you know and trust.