In my life there have been certain focuses and strongholds that have falsely formed my value and self-worth. Therefore, this series is a sort of testimony on each area before and after coming to Christ.
I think of all of the human components that have been a part of my life, this has been the most detrimental, although I didn’t realize it until after coming to Christ and going through a divorce.
I remember at a very young age being exposed to pornography or pornographic images (unintentionally I believe and not by my parents).
I remember pulling up my socks high in the back of the daycare bus at the age of 5 because I wanted to be sexy like the girl in the Legs video by ZZ Top. I remember after seeing a Playboy at a slumber party at the age of 6 wanting to be that girl when I grew up and being upset when the city of Corpus Christi wanted to take down the huge bigger than life stripper cutout that towered above the strip club by the freeway. There are several other memories, but what is sad is that these are just some of earliest ones. I hadn’t even made it out of first grade.
Luckily, I had lovingly strict parents, so although this seed was planted at a young age it really couldn’t blossom into action beyond the occasional late night sneaking around trying to catch a glimpse of something on TV with my hand strategically on the remote (or knob) in case my parents woke up and some other boundaries I should not have crossed.
When I got into college, I was really naive and planning on waiting until marriage. Unfortunately, I put myself in a situation and around the wrong type of person and lost IT. I remember crying afterwards and feeling so devalued and ruined and the guy had the nerve to ask me, “Why are you crying?”
I turned on God that day.
From that point on, it was ok as long as I was in a long term relationship. As a marketing major my motto was, “sex sells.” As the president of my college’s American Marketing Association chapter, I hosted a best chest (shirts on for females) contest as a fundraiser. My dancing at clubs definitely didn’t Glorify God and I would say I finally relinquished that playlist from the not so glory days about 3-4 years ago.
What was going on in my life when I received Jesus Christ:
When I received Christ I was married, but carrying this warped image of sex to the point that a lot of my value was tied into it. I would fall for the lies/tricks that the magazines such as Cosmopolitan promoted to supposedly make me irresistible and make the marriage fool proof. Satan knew this, and knew exactly how to destroy the marriage and my self-worth. But, around the third year of marriage I found Christ. My relationship with Him, put me on a trajectory that continues today in discovering that there is only one foundation that sustains a marriage and my value cannot be based off of being enough or not enough for my spouse.
My life now as a follower of Christ:
After being divorced this year and single, I knew that SEX was going to be one of the litmus tests that would show if I’m really a follower of Christ. At first, realizing this after filing for divorce was a double gulp.
But, being in a relationship with Jesus Christ and being able to see in hindsight the damage premarital sex had on me before and after marriage, I saw the truth about SEX and any form of the “everything but sex” category.
1. Anything outside of marriage or the marriage covenant is a cheapened form of the beauty it is intended to be.
2. Sex before marriage or outside the marriage covenant focuses on the flesh: pleasure, performance, ego, control, and lust. In its proper Godly relationship, it is about communion, oneness, unity, and peace. These things bring a deeper pleasure beyond the flesh, because it was not driven by romance as an exchange of “being in love.”
3. Sex before marriage cheapened me and lowered my self esteem when the relationship ended. Was I not good enough to keep him?
4. Those experiences prior to marriage mentally filter their way in, do not prepare you for marriage, or make you better in the bedroom for your spouse. In fact you compare even when you don’t want to. It’s a sort of rolodex of memories that interferes. This includes pornography.
I’m a sinner saved by grace, but still have to rely on God to keep me protected and pure in this area. Although I have never been addicted to pornography, I know it’s the area that can take me down if I even start to entertain it. I have to guard my eyes from things on the internet and TV. I’ve actually become quite sensitive to things because I’ve gone without TV for over a year. I have had to repent when my finger scrolled back up or slowed down to get a longer glimpse of something that I saw on Facebook that I shouldn’t have. I have also had to unfollow some people due to the images or videos they post that I know can be a stumbling block to me.
Because it does not glorify God in THAT context and in the end is short term, a quick fix, and an empty void in the long term.
It also devalues me and devalues women. It also communicates to men that our purpose is to be looked at, lusted after, and purely for pleasure first.
God created women (and men) in his image. So to be viewed through the lens of lust is a defilement. Instead we should be viewed through the lens of dignity which respects, lifts up, and protects.
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.
To God Be the Glory