I just thank God for His grace and mercy that has been over my life from the moment l was in my mother’s womb. Looking back at my upbringing I feel I would have made different choices if only someone had taken the time to teach me and help me understand who I am in Christ. Our true identity can only be found in Christ and His word says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV. You begin your new life the moment you are born again that’s why we are able to look back at our childhoods, not to mourn for what could’ve been but to thank God that his plan and destiny for our life has never changed and never will. That said, even though God has given you a fresh start it’s easy to continue with bad habits from your old life which seem right to you but only serve to rob you of your salvation.
This is not a lecture or me trying to display my moral superiority but I’m coming from a position of failure, I missed the mark, I failed to be who God desired me to be but thank God, His mercy, grace and love redeemed me and restored everything I had lost. My only desire is to tell you what God has been teaching me and hopefully spare you the heartache and misery I had to go through. I have been so hesitant to share this topic but I just felt it in my spirit that I had to share. I pray that through this message you will hear from God and at the end of this, the Holy Spirit will do His work and your lives will never be the same again.
The bible tells us to, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 NIV. At first read, it’s heavy stuff, God definitely has high standards. BUT there is more to what God was saying than just, “Sex is a sin, don’t do it!” We must realise that God’s heart is to love us, protect us, teach us, guide us in the path we should go just as any loving parent would do, GOD IS NOT THE ENEMY!
Contrary to popular belief it’s okay to talk about sex, God created it for a purpose. And it’s important for us to know what God has to say about it. God gave sex as a gift to Adam and Eve, “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:28 NIV. God endorsed sexual relations between a man and a woman. This gift however is only reserved for marriage. In marriage there is a covenant between God, husband and wife and there is a spiritual freedom that they both experience because they are surrounded by the love of God. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” Genesis 2:24-25 NIV. It is the presence of God within the covenant of marriage that creates an environment filled with peace and a sense of security, allowing one to be completely vulnerable and unashamed. Sex outside of this covenant usually breeds feelings of guilt, anxiety, insecurity, degradation and defilement. God does not want that for you. Most women start thinking,
“Does he really love me?
Is he going to leave me for another woman?
Am I damaged goods?
Does he still respect me?”
I can guarantee you that once you are in the marriage God purposed for you, you will NEVER ask yourself these questions or feel any of these negative feelings.
Growing up most Christians are taught that sex is “dirty” and “naughty” so you abstain for a while not because you truly understand the Godly principle of abstinence until marriage, but you do so out of fear of being labeled a whore or fear of being talked about once everyone finds out you are sexually active. And when the day arrives when your resolve fails and you find yourself in a sexual relationship outside marriage, the condemnation and guilt hits you like a tonne of bricks and your default setting is to hide from God just like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. So the devil not only leads you into temptation, he then makes it a point to condemn you when you succumb to that temptation. Abstinence is not a punishment it is an opportunity to establish your relationship with God and cultivate self-control.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 NIV.
When you surrender your life to Christ your life should no longer be about you and how you feel or what you want to do but about what God wants to do with your life. You might think but how can I control my feelings and my raging hormones? Truth is with your own strength you can’t but with the help of the Holy Spirit your flesh man can be under the control of your spirit man, as it should be. Exercising self-control is not easy but the word of God encourages us and assures us that purity and holiness is not as impossible or as unattainable as the world preaches. “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not LET sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” Romans 6:11-12, 14, 18 NIV.
Some of the popular reasons for sex outside of marriage is ” We love each other and we are committed to each other we’re going to get married anyway, it’s my body I can do what I want with it, it’s just sex it’s no big deal,” and so on. “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.” 1 Corinthians 6:12 NIV. So yes, you are free to decide what to do with your body but not everything you decide to do will be of benefit to you. Sexual sin is so personal and so intimate and the bible describes it as a sin against yourself and there’s no escaping its effects or its consequences. God designed women to respond and give of herself fully to a man, in the safety of a marriage, the husband in turn loves and enhances and returns her love in greater fullness. However when you are in sexual sin, without the protection of covenant, yes you feel connected to this person, but God is not present to enhance and multiply this love and an emptiness begins to develop which usually manifests as insecurity and poor self-image and worsens the more sexual partners you have. This emotional wound may lead to promiscuity and self-destructive behaviour, after all “I’m damaged goods”, as some say, “might as well go with it.”
I can be a witness to this, the guilt and condemnation I felt from sexual sin was so overwhelming and I convinced myself that the damage was already done so I might as well keep going but inside I was hurting. I felt I had let God down, failed to be the woman He wanted me to be and righteousness was something I would never attain. I know this may not be true of all women especially when you are in love and the relationship is going well. The love you feel is so overwhelming that it silences your conscience and you convince yourself that you are happy but the only thing that can bring true happiness is making things right between you and God, your creator, your Father, whose known you since you were in your mother’s womb.
Another consequence of sexual sin is ungodly soul ties. “And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob…” Genesis 34:2-3 KJV. A soul tie continues to hold you mentally and emotionally to that person and that relationship. You can only imagine the effect of this if you end up having more than one sexual relationship. By the time you finally meet “Mr Right” your soul is tied to so many people. These invisible connections will not only create a barrier between you and your husband but they expose you to spiritual attacks and demonic communication through that soul tie because in the spirit you are now one flesh. “Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 1 Corinthians 6:16 NIV.
So what I am saying is; I tried doing things my way, the world’s way and I almost destroyed my life. I thank God for His mercy and grace, Jesus Christ restored my purity, He took my place, He became my sin so that I could be the righteousness of God. I began to love myself as Jesus loves me and to see myself through God’s eyes. The bible tells us that “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 NIV. The toughest part was forgiving myself because the enemy tries to use condemnation to stop you from being in deeper relationship with God, but the word says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2 NIV. It’s been a long road for me but God has made me whole and blessed me with a wonderful God fearing husband and now I completely get why sexual intimacy is meant only for marriage.
I didn’t set a good example for my sisters growing up, on how to live your life as God intended. But where I have failed I hope they will succeed. I want to encourage you today as you seek to become a Woman Set Apart that, It doesn’t matter where you are at in your life, whether you’ve had zero, one or several sexual partners. Jesus can give you a fresh start and a renewing of your mind. Get to know the Godly principles concerning your sexuality. Abstinence may not be easy but your husband will be worth waiting for. If you do decide to choose God’s way, expect challenges. The world is pro-sex, your boyfriend might not agree with you or even break up with you or every other guy you meet for a while, will expect sex from you, but don’t lose hope.
God is faithful. His plans for you are irreversible and they are always to prosper you. Ask God for the kind of man you want, I don’t mean tall, dark and handsome but a man who will share in your beliefs and walk with you in Christ. Ask God to give you a vision of the kind of husband that He intended you to have and believe He can give you that husband. God is not a man that he should lie, He promised us that if we ask anything in faith we will receive whatever we ask for. l encourage you to dig into the scriptures and let God teach you and mould you into the woman he destined you to be. God restores. Trust Him.