What is it about sexual sin that makes us hesitant to grasp God’s redemption and love?
I often hear from wives still struggling to break free from the shame they feel over their past sexual promiscuity.
Even if they have confessed it and repented. Even if they have a personal relationship with Christ. Even if they are wholeheartedly devoted to their spouse.
Their past sexual promiscuity feels unforgivable to them.
Interestingly, I never hear of people feeling unforgiven for not being generous givers back in the day. Or for lying to their parents in their teen years. Or for being gluttonous with food. Nope, they are not drowning in shame and regret over those things, even though there is plenty of sin wrapped up in those slights against God.
But past sexual promiscuity? That’s a different story. So many people behave as if the sexual experiences when they were single are out of reach of Jesus’ outstretched hands. And their inner dialogue and shame are sabotaging sex in their marriage now.
I know I am painting with a broad brush in my above examples. I don’t know the crevices of someone’s heart. And maybe I’m taking liberty in trying to make a point, but it’s because I am such a strong advocate for healthy sexual intimacy in marriage.
I don’t want husbands and wives missing out on the beautiful gift sex is in marriage because they are still feeling paralyzed by their past sexual choices.
Are you still drowning in shame over your past promiscuity? If so, ask yourself these 3 questions:
1. What does the Bible say?
Dig into God’s love and truth about sin. You will be hard pressed to find anywhere in the Bible where God turns his back on someone confessing and repenting about sexual sin. If anything, we see where God speaks directly on these topics with love and compassion and freedom. He is not stingy with his grace and forgiveness.
His overarching theme? Go and sin no more. He lavishes love and forgiveness. He simply asks that we go forward and sin no more. That we walk in love and grace and forgiveness.
If He is not stingy with forgiving you, then you should follow his lead. Don’t be stingy in forgiving yourself. You’ve got this. You can choose to stop clinging to remnants of your past. You can choose to stop insisting your past sexual activity is evidence you are unworthy of great sex now.
God has done His part. Now you have to do yours and believe it and walk in it.
Walk in truth and let go of the lies of the enemy. That’s a big part of what’s going on in this crazy making, too. You know that, right? It’s a spiritual battle, where Satan wants to cause division—between you and God and between you and your spouse.
Hint. Hint. Satan has ninja skills in the way he fuels shame. Stop giving him so much ammunition.
For more encouragement, consider the beautiful words of Matthew West. This video touches upon the shame of addiction, but close your eyes and listen to Matthew sing. You’ll hear that God is bigger than any shame over any sin:
2. What would you tell a friend in the same position?
Seriously. If one of your friends came to you and said they were still feeling shame and regret about past sexual sin, what would say?
Would you look at your friend and say, “Yeah, I guess you really do have a point there. I think you should keep feeling horrible about sex in your past. I mean, the way you talk about it, it does sound way too big for God to handle. Totally beyond His scope of care.”
Of course not. You wouldn’t do that. I don’t know you, but I know you wouldn’t say that (or imply that) to your friend.
I think you would ask your friend if they have indeed confessed and repented. And once you confirmed they had, you would encourage your friend to walk in grace and forgiveness.
So if you would encourage your friend to walk in God’s grace and forgiveness over past sexual promiscuity, shouldn’t you embrace the same truth for yourself? Ponder on that a moment. If your friend is worthy of this sort of affirmation, aren’t you, too?
3. What is your sexual shame costing your marriage?
So let’s talk about sex in your marriage.
If you are still paralyzed by shame over your past sexual promiscuity, you may be sabotaging sex in the one place where God rejoices over it—your marriage bed! That’s too much of a price to pay. It just is. Passionate and pleasurable sexual oneness with your spouse deserves your full attention and heart.
It’s time to leave your shame behind. It’s time to choose your marriage over whatever you think your shame is giving you, because your marriage is worth your whole self—spiritually, emotionally and yes, sexually.
Draw a line in the sand this day forward. You’re reading this post for a reason, I’m convinced. So draw a line in the sand and don’t let shame over your sexual past rob you of even one more moment of passionate sexual connection with the person you married.
Come on, people. Draw that line. Walk into the freedom of God’s grace and forgiveness.
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