Day 12: Freedom from Lust, for True Desire (From a Woman's Perspective)
I grew up in church, hearing sermons about God’s intentions for man and woman, the preciousness of purity and why we shouldn’t 'give ourselves over to lust.' I internalized the idea that waiting to give myself in marriage meant God would bless it. If I’m honest, I thrive knowing order and limits, and so those boundaries felt securing and envisioning for me.
But what does a young girl do when other people destroy those good boundaries? Sexual violation started early for me, with my father and then later with men who would use and then abandon me. I lost a sense that God’s boundaries could protect me. Instead, I began to build walls to defend me from unsafe advances.
But behind the walls, I was desperate for love. I craved to be seen as 'worthy of the wait'—to experience whole-enough male love. However, those cravings clashed with my gaping wounds and skewed my perspective of touch. Attention from a decent male would tap into the hole in my heart and I strived for affirmation. Cyclically, I would get into relationships and request that we 'wait for marriage' before having sex. But time and again I gave into these men, my own hunger for love slowly poisoning me as I used sex for my own ends. The cliché, 'guys give love to get sex, and girls give sex to get love,' battled against God’s best for me. Sex was my means for holding onto connection, however false.
I began to believe that I was 'damaged goods'—incapable of repair. I questioned the value of my body and doubted the prospect of a good man welcoming my ‘gift.’ I was broken and needed Jesus. I reclaimed my desire to be pure but still wondered: Could God ever restore to me His 'best'?
My journey to heal began in an unexpected way! It started with a man, Devon, who began to pursue me in the purest way that I had ever experienced. God used him to specifically restore my divided, doubtful heart. He asked me to be his and I stood firm on 'no sex before marriage, or else we are over.' We remained abstinent until we married two years later. Our 'yes' to learning God’s will for holy desire has launched me forward with fresh eyes and a reclaimed life in the body I inherited.
God is blessing our marriage through a commitment to give our best to each other. I respect Devon; it gives peace to me as we learn the freedom to accept each other without shame. His tender care empowers me to be more of the person God designed me to be. In our bodies, I now experience some of the delight for which God designed us: the joy of imaging Him as male and female. ‘Jesus, rouse the gift we are. Help us to attend to the treasure you summon from the trash. Free us from our constant faultfinding and free us for vestiges of paradise in our memories and in our lives today. We refuse the liar who tries to rewrite Eden out of our histories. Unite us to the home of our original dignity.’
‘Jesus, have mercy on us as Your Church. We have abused weaker members, including children, and protected ourselves. We have violated the most vulnerable. In Your mercy, free us to superabound with justice. Grant us Kingdom discernment and courage to reform ourselves. May our repentance grant us Kingdom authority to strengthen the weak, discipline violators, and restore the violated.’