There is a war raging over sex. It’s hard not to notice the uproar occurring in the media today as women across the globe speak up and say, “Enough is enough!” Whether it is the sexual abuse of children, the horrific sex trafficking industry, or the myriads of unwanted sexual encounters reported, fractured souls are crying out for justice and healing. (This, of course, is not just a women’s issue, far too many men know that predators attack both genders.)
What I find intriguing as I watch the news and read the testimonies of victims is that we all intuitively know that sex is sacred. Sacred? Yes, you read that right, sex is sacred. What our culture wants to diminish as something cheap and common, the once voiceless victims are rising up and saying, “No! My body is a sacred space and these violations must cease!”
We don’t need to be told that the exploitation of children is an abomination to humanity. We also know that human beings should not be sold as goods to satisfy someone’s perversion. We also know that rape is a violation of personhood and when we cry out for justice we are claiming an ethic that we all hold. Anyone with a sound mind believes that when a marriage is torn apart by adultery, that a wrong was committed and a universal standard breached.
But why do we know deep in our souls that these acts are wrong? Why, in an age that screams, “you do you,” can we all collectively stand and say, “no …there is a line and it was crossed!” The reason is that God’s holy law concerning sex is written upon our hearts.
If you bristle at the word “law,” please keep reading. Laws are actually really good. They are boundaries which say, path A is good and healthy and path B is unhealthy and destructive. Effectively laws are meant to state right and wrong behavior. We all want laws that protect us from drunk drivers, home invaders, and identity theft. As human beings, the Bible says that God’s law is written on our hearts, we intuitively know what is right and wrong. Sure, with sin and darkness in the world, that truth is suppressed and the universal standard of right and wrong is broken, but that doesn’t mean we are ignorant of it.
One does not need to read a Bible to know the sexual actions I described above are violations of personhood. The sacredness of sex is written into the fabric of our beings, and when infringed, we instinctively know that a severe boundary has been crossed.
As women are speaking up across the globe, I can lift my voice and say, “#me too.” (In order to protect others, I want to clarify that my abuse was not by a family member.) I write these words as one who can identify with the shame, pain, and trauma that victims of sexual abuse endured. Even as a young, innocent child, before I had any actual knowledge of “the birds and the bees,” I knew the actions done to me were wrong and I was damaged by them. Although I didn’t know to call it abuse at the time, I hid the information because of shame and fear.
I also write this as a woman who once believed the lie that sex could be exchanged for love. As a result of this deception, I suffered from deep depression and chronic insecurity. Jesus rescued me from a lifestyle of sexual brokenness and has restored me body, mind, soul, and spirit.
Therefore, it literally astounds me when people say, “Sex is no big deal.” Or, when the world tries to shove their debased philosophies down our throats by alleging that sex is “just physical” and shouldn’t be seen as any different than playing tennis. No one in the history of the world has ever experienced soul damage and life-long trauma from a tennis match.
While our culture promotes a sex without strings philosophy, it has been noted in numerous clinical studies that there is a direct correlation between multiple sexual partners and an increase in anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and addictions. A Rutgers University study found: “A relationship exists between mental health and number of sexual partners. As the number of lifetime sexual partners increases, the prevalence of sadness, suicide ideation, making a suicide plan, and attempting suicide also increases.” I would just love it if the Today show or Good Morning America or any other news outlet would actually report these findings.
One must stop and ask “why”? Why are women literally being destroyed body, soul, and spirit if, indeed, “sex is no big deal.” While we may be told by movies, media, and television that sex is just a physical act, our souls knows this is a lie. The consequential damages done as a result of sex outside of God’s design leaves us broken and battered.
Sex is not just a physical activity; it is sacred. And I’m sick of hearing media and the world speak two vastly different ethics. On the one hand, the media endorses pornography, laughs at adultery, and mocks sexual purity. Then, on the other hand, this same media cries out at the injustice done to victims. I find this hypocrisy a little much. You can’t claim it is no big deal in one arena and then condemn it in the other.
I recently spoke at a women’s conference and had the honor of meeting another sexual abuse survivor. She shared a heartbreaking testimony of how she was groomed by a trusted “father figure” who turned out to be a predator. She described how this childhood encounter was suppressed from her memory, yet surfaced later in her marriage in the form of severe intimacy issues with her husband. What I found most profound was her statement: “I had PTSD from the childhood abuse.” I ask you, if sex is “no big deal” as the culture we live in proclaims, then how in the world does one suffer PTSD from it?
So what’s my point?
The God of the Bible, revealed in His Son Jesus Christ, is the author and creator of sex. He designed it as a beautiful gift to create oneness between the husband and wife in a covenant of marriage. Yes, sex was intended for pleasure and to produce children and is a sacred gift. Sex is not wrong, the abuse of it is wrong.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Genesis 2:24-25
God is the Creator and when sex is treated as He intended, there is absolutely no shame. Yet we live in a fallen world in which our enemy specializes in taking what God intended as something good and glorious and twisting it into something dark and destructive. Jesus said our enemy came to “steal, kill, and destroy” and he has been using sex as a weapon of destruction for centuries. The evil mastermind by the temptations and perversions that caused the harm inflicted upon countless victims was Satan.
Here is the truth I want to proclaim across the globe! Jesus is a great Redeemer! He can take what Satan has used to harm us, and He can heal us, free us, and restore us to what God intended us to be.
Satan doesn’t win. Jesus wins.
I want to speak directly to those who have experienced any type of abuse. Whether that was rape, molestation, slavery, or pornography. I want to tell you that you are not what has been done to you. I also want to speak to the woman dealing with brokenness due to sex outside of God’s design. You are loved by God.
You are not shameful.
You are not usable.
You are a child of God, whom He loves and longs to set free.
Your brokenness is not beyond the power of God.
I also want to speak to any abusers who may stumble across this post. Repent. This word means to turn from your sin and trust Jesus for forgiveness. Jesus will welcome you home and help you walk in a new life.
He died for you.
He is able to change you.
He is able to remove your guilt and shame.
He is able to restore you, too.
Your sin is not beyond the grace of God.
Dear friend, I know from experience that Jesus is able to heal, restore, and redeem all that the enemy has done to bring hurt or shame in our lives. I urge you to take your brokenness to Jesus and see how He can make it something beautiful.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
Marian Jordan Ellis
Recommended Resource: Sex and the Single Christian Girl