In our fortnightly column ‘Great Sexpectations’ the Woman Alive panel answer your questions on sex, faith and intimacy. Drop us a confidential email on firstname.lastname@example.org and ask us anything. Here, we tackle; feelings of shame about your sexual history.
Hi Woman Alive
I’ve recently come back to faith. I was at a CofE school and was christened but I didn’t get the whole Christian thing. I’m now 36 and have committed my life to Jesus. I’m so happy with this choice and the way my life is headed, but for the last 20 years or so, I’ve not been living in a very “Christian” way. I wouldn’t say that I “slept around” but I was sexually active with boyfriends and people I was seeing as with most people without faith in the world. Now I just feel a horrific shame. I don’t know how to handle it, can you help?
Thank you for this honest question. I can say with certainty that you’re not the only one who’s felt this way. It takes real honesty to say this stuff out loud, you should feel proud that you’re brave enough to reach out for help.
Let’s start by asking ourselves why Jesus doesn’t want us to have sex outside of marriage. Is it because he’s the fun police? Or because you show your devotion to him by denying yourself good things? Or because virgins have more value in the Kingdom? None of the above. It’s simply because he wants the very best for our physical, emotional and spiritual health – and these can all be affected by sex.
Jesus wants the very best for our physical, emotional and spiritual health – and these can all be affected by sex.
Does Jesus care that you’ve had sex? Yes. But not because he thinks you’re gross or dirty. Just because he wants to make sure that you are: Physically healthy (and you can pop to the clinic for a test if there’s any question mark over your sexual health), emotionally healthy (that you aren’t unduly hurt or upset because of these interactions) and spiritually healthy (that you haven’t created a sexual soul tie that could get in the way of your relationship with him).
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Next, you should know that Jesus makes all things new. In him you are a new creation. If you have repented of your old lifestyle and committed to not having sex going forward, then that’s all Jesus cares about. No one can hold your past over your head and Jesus certainly won’t. He’s excited that you’ve made a positive change – not annoyed at you for what you did when you didn’t know him.
No one can hold your past over your head and Jesus certainly won’t.
God doesn’t shame you, he will convict you to aim for better. So, if you’re feeling ashamed, you can say with safety that that’s not coming from your loving Father, it’s coming from the enemy. Recognise that and take any thought of shame captive and make it obedient to Christ. From what I can read here, there is nothing to be ashamed of, just a gorgeous daughter of the most high growing in her journey with Christ.
Our Great Sexpectations column is written by a number of different contributors who make up the Woman Alive panel. If you have a question for us, email:email@example.com,uk
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