Lust, sex, and porn – these are topics that are typically only associated with men. When speaking about sexual sin, we immediately assume most males struggle throughout their lives (estimated 75% of men in the church). But what if I told you that 1 out of 4 women in the church struggle with sex addiction? What if 90% of women responded in a survey to having sexual temptations as frequently as everyday?
Sexual sin is already a topic that is silently condemned in the church as one of the most taboo subjects. Despite being not addressed enough, it has become normalized for men to struggle with lust. The problem of sexual sin has become a “man” problem when in fact, the struggle with lust is gender neutral and not exclusive to men. This leaves the majority of women who deal with sexual sin and temptation feeling further condemned and isolated.
The response to when women fall into sexual sin is much different than when men admit their addiction to sex. It’s almost no surprise if a man confesses his struggle with porn; however, if a woman commits sexual acts, the blame is highlighted on the woman for being scandalous. As shared by Ellen Mary Dykas from Harvest USA, “It’s what I call the ABC mentality: A, men don’t think women have these struggles; B, women aren’t speaking about them; therefore C, churches don’t devote resources and ministries to women in this area.”
In the midst of deep shame, guilt, and unworthiness, there is hope for those who feel tarnished. To all the women who have struggled with sexual sin, you are not alone.You are not an outcast, and there is hope for redemption.
SATAN WILL USE YOUR SHAME
“You’re dirty. Look at what you did – you think God wants to talk to you? You’re impure. You disobeyed God. He’s so disappointed with you. You don’t deserve to be with Him.”
These lies become veiled as truth after one falls into sexual sin. It is in this moment of great shame and guilt that Satan turns us against the One whom we need the most. He will use whatever he can to keep you away from God through whatever means necessary – and if Satan knows that shame works in his favor, he will not stop using it against you.
My own story with sexual sin was not voluntary. I was sexually assaulted when I was 18 by my ex-boyfriend. When I lost my virginity and fell into deeper sexual sin, I felt an unspeakable level of guilt, shame, and dirtiness. 1 Corinthians 3:16 says that we are the “temple of God”; however, I felt violated, tarnished, and impure. I was disgusted with myself. The thing about sexual sin is that you can never undo it – once it was done, I felt like I lost a part of my identity as a child of God. How could God be proud of me as his daughter?
Sexual sin directly impacted my relationship with God, making me feel like I couldn’t have an honest relationship with him. Satan used the same lies repetitively to block me from speaking to God, when in reality, Jesus is the only one who unconditionally loves us. Others might respond to falling into sexual sin by going in the other direction and saying, “I’ve already committed the sin, so there’s no point in fighting against it anymore.” We may react differently to shame, but the root of the lie is the same. Is Satan telling you that your sin is too deep beyond God’s forgiveness? Is he saying to you that your sin is greater than God’s mercy?
FIGHT THE BATTLE AGAINST SIN
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God… For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7
1. Confess to safe sisters
I understand that this is a sensitive and vulnerable subject to share about. However, like other sins, there is significance in confessing your struggle to other believers. One way to find accountability and truth is to confide in a safe, trustworthy sister whom you know will respect your confidentiality and not judge you. Not only will accountability help you fight temptation, but it will also point you to truth when Satan uses lies against you. Confessing to safe sisters acts as both a proactive tool against temptation and a preventative measure to protect you from Satan’s lies. Also, you will be surprised at how many women actually struggle with the same sin when it is given the chance to be talked about.
2. Repent before the gracious Father
God is not surprised by your sin. Jesus knew every single sin you would ever commit before he went on the cross and still chose to die for you. God is pure, holy, and blameless; as much as He cannot bear sin, His mercy is waiting for you. Just like the prodigal son who sinned against his father and returned in shame, we will be met with Christ’s embrace when we repent of our sins. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
For those who don’t feel the need to repent, I pray that you ask God to reveal the unspeakable gravity and depth of what sin entails. Pray that He breaks your heart over the brokenness you do not yet see, that He may save you from it.
3. Believe in Christ’s sacrifice that makes you pure
Romans 8:38 says that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Do you believe this? Christ has paid the price for us to stand holy and blameless before him. It is because Christ’s blood covers our transgressions that we are able to be pure. “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard…” (Colossians 1:21-23)
IF YOU FALL, KEEP GETTING BACK UP
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13
Sexual sin can be an addiction. No matter how many times you repent, you may feel like there’s no point in continuing to try. That’s exactly where Satan wants you to be – for you to believe that sin has won you over. We are not striving for perfection. God does not expect us to be perfect; however, we are called to faithfulness and perseverance.
As someone who has struggled for years with shame, I want you to know that you are not beyond saving. Like any other sin, sexual immorality is toxic and has the potential to horribly damage others. The fight is real. The battle is difficult. But we are not alone – we have His people to walk alongside us, and most importantly, we have our Lord Jesus Christ who has conquered sin and death for all eternity.
Heidi’s blog: heidithinksalot.blogspot.com