I couldn’t stand the feel of him
Even the smell of him
Both would linger on my skin
So I would shower after every encounter and crawl back inside myself to emotionally recover…
From my husband.
Unbeknownst to me, our marriage contract was the catalyst for me unconsciously turning JT into the scapegoat for all of the dark and perverted experiences of sex/intimacy I was exposed to in my childhood, and chose to expose myself to as an adult before my marriage.
On his unwitting shoulders I let fall the weight of my unhealed pain, my open and bleeding wounds. Every ignorant youthful misstep by him became Everest in my mind as I slowly unsaddled the heavy bags of my past onto him.
I grew up in a harsh neighborhood, drugs, violence and poverty the norm. Children locked out of their homes, running the streets all day, hungry, fed only on the broken words and actions of those around them. It was in this environment and by 6,7 and 8 year olds that I discovered what “sex” was.
Sex was about taking, using, coping, feeding the carnal. Used for paying rent, buying food, buying diapers, used as a rite of passage for becoming “grown.” Used to gain status, to forget, if only for a moment, to multiply and therefore gain a bigger check from the government because they didn’t know how to get out or chose not to. Used to drown innocence, to control, manipulate and claim.
On the opposite side of the coin, my sweet, Christian parents taught my siblings and I that sex was God’s design and only for after marriage when it would be “perfect.” It was not a taboo subject to them but not a comfortable one, and certainly taboo in the church at the time I was coming up and still can be today (more on that later).
You didn’t give in to desire or lust and you kept your sexual self locked away for the fateful and beautiful night of your wedding when you would magically turn into a Hollywood style sex goddess and make beautiful love all night. Suddenly something so taboo and dark, in my experience, becomes a godly thing of beauty, intimacy, love and joy.
On an almost daily basis I was sexually solicited. By kids I ran the streets with, practicing the words they heard the adults in their lives saying, by teenagers who had started putting actions to words they had long spoken, by adults so lost and broken they would call to me at 9 years old. I got inured to their “kss kss, hey baby girl” calls, but my heart and soul heard every one. I grew a hard shell over those soft parts of me and didn’t know or understand that they were being constantly cracked and broken, and growing a mentality that would keep my true self locked away and cause me to respond later in life with the same spirit that oppressed me then.
I was sexually abused by a female neighbor. Interestingly, I didn’t blame the female for the abuse, I blamed the men around me and in my life for not creating and preserving a safe place for me. I was already learning a distrust of men because of what I daily saw and heard but the abuse that happened in my own home, my “safe” place, sealed it. In my mind, even my Dad didn’t protect me. Neither did the men in my neighborhood, but they exposed me to lasciviousness, perversion, selfishness.
My wrong response in my young heart was that men were not safe and untrustworthy, that given the opportunity they would take without permission, use without care and control me.
By the time I reached 18 and ran away to college, I had become convinced that my Father God could not be trusted, that He wasn’t good either, because of what I had endured, and I told him I was taking my life into my own hands. Even with my mistrust of them, my broken heart wanted affirmation and approval from men so I gained it by giving myself bit by bit to them.
I knew how sex “worked.” It got you what you wanted, it was stock and trade and I traded my heart and body for popularity and a false sense of worth/value. I also used it to feel powerful. Because of the abuse against me, I would use my body and what I could do as a tool to gain a false sense of power over men. I would purposely give them no doubt that I would say yes and then I would shut it down and walk away before they were able to gain anything from it. I never let anyone bring me to orgasm because that was too vulnerable and giving them too much power. Everything I had learned about sex in my hood I put into practice, walking in the same spirit of debauchery, brokenness and selfishness that had hurt me.
I had just given my life back to the Lord when I met JT. I had grown weary with my management of my life because the fruit it produced was rancid, rotten. I had become what I hated, cold, vicious, vindictive. My body and mind felt sick because I was living so far outside of the order God had designed. JT was charismatic and driven and I refused to like him. I had fallen so in love with Jesus I didn’t want to have anything to do with men. But things don’t always work the way we want or plan, thankfully, and JT and I were married the September of 2000.
He didn’t know a lot of my past, he didn’t know about the abuse or how much of myself I had given away. He didn’t know the depth and breadth of my “badlands” and that Dad would use him to reveal my hurts and later heal them. He didn’t know that on our wedding day while walking down the isle, I was so mad at him, the only thing running through my mind was “run away, run away, run away.” Run away from someone who has already and will hurt you again, run away from intimacy, whatever that is, run away from being in someone’s “power,” run away from this man who will turn out to be like so many others.
And so, our first year of marriage… and he thought I just didn’t like sex. I didn’t know true sex, true intimacy. All of a sudden I can’t “use” it. I didn’t orgasm for eight months because I couldn’t be vulnerable, free enough, I didn’t want him to have that “power” over me. Now I am supposed to receive it, I am supposed to see the desire of God for his church in it. I am supposed to understand that the pleasure in sex is a glimpse from the Father of the pleasure we will experience in heaven. I am supposed to give and be completely open, vulnerable, naked in front of the person that, because of his sex, represented so much fear, pain and scarring. I couldn’t do it, any of it, I didn’t know how. All of those places beautifully and caringly designed by my Daddy God, had been twisted, broken, obliterated. I had no psychological or emotional reference for what God-ordained sex looked or felt like.
So for years, I did it as a wifely duty for my husband and if I wanted pleasure, would allow myself to fall into my carnal mind and take it. I didn’t know how to give and receive openly, lovingly.
People often ask me what the big deal about sex before marriage is, or fooling around before marriage is. When I was living for myself and giving myself away, I never felt guilt or conviction and that was an even greater excuse, in my mind, to keep acting the way I was. What I didn’t realize is some consequences come later and that my loved ones could suffer them as well, like JT had.
Not just because I had dealt with abuse but because I was acting outside of the order Dad had created my heart, mind and body to act.
Any time we act outside of Dad’s loving boundaries, we bear rancid, rotten fruit by contaminating our psyche, searing our hearts and consciences, blocking our spirits from truth. Intimacy, joy, love, vulnerability in the bedroom come from an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father. He wrote the sex blueprints, read Song of Solomon. He designed our bodies to heat up with certain types of touch and kissing. The orgasm was His design and the million ways to get there, in a loving, committed marriage relationship.
In my relationship with JT, I had to decide to allow the Holy Spirit to come in and rewire my brain, restore and heal my heart and change the habits of my body. I had fed mistrust, pain and perversion for so long by my own actions. Sometimes we believe that God is withholding from us, exactly what Satan convinced Eve to believe, we think He wants to withhold the pleasures and delights of sex from us and that his marriage boundary is too “rigid.” If we think that then our minds have been successfully poisoned by the enemy, whether by experiences, choices or false teaching. We forget how sacred covenant is to our Father, how serious he is about us and takes us. How much of a Dad he is in wanting to protect and guard our hearts.
Commitment is part of receiving the delights he created in fullness.
The discipline of commitment becomes less appealing when you’re getting the full benefits outside of it, but then we are feeding our flesh, our carnality and responding in the same spirit that the enemy comes with. Commitment is the price/cost that love chooses to pay to gain its fullness.
I recoiled from JT, kept my heart hidden from him that first year and subsequent years because I didn’t trust him with me or my body. Wether or not you know or perceive it, physical intimacy outside of marriage comes with ramifications. I assumed my recoiling from JT was purely based on my past abuse experience but through time and understanding know that it also had to do with how protective of me he was physically before we were married.
A woman wants to know that her mind and heart will be protected by her mate, but also that her body will. Will you protect my body at a cost to your physical pleasure? Will you choose Dad’s order with me because I am worth it and you know it? Will you seek to gain understanding of Dad’s will and uphold it as an example to me and a blessing over me? JT and I may not have gone “all the way” before we were married but we definitely went too far physically, me because that’s what I knew and him too only being a baby Christian. I have realized my mistrusting and doubt ridden responses to him at times have been because I fear I’m not protected. “What consequences” I used to ask.
I had to learn that JT was not my enemy or the dumping ground for the wounds and pain of my youth. He was and is Dad’s answer for the healing and restoring of my heart to its rightful order. When I am living in the Father’s created order for me, it produces true intimacy, joy, love, vulnerability and I can give and receive out of that place of freedom. Freedom from the side effects of my experiences the enemy wanted to keep me bound to. Dad sets boundaries so we can enjoy each other and Him in fullness, nothing withheld. We cheat ourselves out of that when we step outside of his provision like Adam and Eve did. They had to leave the garden, not because of an angry, tyrannical God, but because God knew that if they stayed and ate from the Tree of Life, they would be doomed to live forever in their sin, revealed by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Hear me sweet friends, if Adam and Eve had eaten again from the Tree of Life after receiving the knowledge of sin, they would have lived for eternity bound to it. He had them leave to rescue them from the full consequences of their choice, so he could eventually save them from sin and death through Jesus’ work on the cross. His was a gift of love and reconciliation to them and us.
As I have allowed the Father to heal and restore my mind and heart, I have gained fullness of joy in the bedroom. I still have times where I get triggered by something and want to resort to old habits of hiding myself from JT, from seeing him as my abusers, but the Father’s heart is always to “renew a right spirit in us.”
He designed sex, so He knows how it works best and has given us the manual. He doesn’t want to withhold any part of it from us and if, like me, it has been twisted and perverted in your life, He wants to heal and restore it. Maybe you have stepped out of his order for sex and intimacy and wonder why things in your life aren’t progressing or moving forward. We put barriers up between us and Dad when we step outside of his design. He doesn’t desire those barriers, we put them there. I did by responding in my life with the same spirit that wounded me, but when I released it to the Lord and allowed him to take those places, he healed, mended and renewed them.
The best sex I have ever had has been with JT and when we have invited the Holy Spirit into the bedroom with us.
Does that sound weird to you?
Isn’t it sad if it does?
Why? Because its his idea! Its His creation and design!
Wouldn’t you want Steve Jobs to show you how to navigate your first iPhone?!? It’s the same with God and sex and when he is a part of it, I feel safe, protected and free to give and receive openly…let me say, this is also after I have been through healing and counseling for my wounds. It takes so much less time, anguish and struggle when we invite qualified people into our mess to help us unravel it and give us tools to tear down the old and build up the new.
As I continue in my healing process, more of Dad’s blessings are revealed and released to me, mainly because I’m not believing lies anymore and have chosen truth. Dad is my protector, he was my first Dad and his heart was always for my good. Some people’s choices concerning me were not his for my life. He did not let me down, they did. He never left me, forgot me, abandoned me. He was always waiting for me to allow Him to pull me up from my grave of fear, bitterness, anger, hurt and abuse. His heart has always been to heal and restore his order to my mind, body and heart. Not so I would do what he says, but so that I could receive the riches of his love in full.
That my friend, is what I am praying for you.
That the enemy could no longer keep you locked in his lies and false perceptions, but you would be transformed by Dad’s renewing of your mind. This is Dad’s heart and desire for us so that we will be free to receive every good thing He has purposed and planned for us and spoke over us while he was knitting us together in our mother’s wombs.
Receive the fullness of His love and healing sweet friends.
And enjoy your own Godly Sex Story.
*Read more here: The ULTIMATE Guide To First Time Christian Sex.
A lot of good-healthy-christian books on sex out there. I recommend you start with this one: Intended for Pleasure: Sex Technique and Sexual Fulfilment in Christian Marriage
Plus, I highly encourage you to read the book: Living From The Heart Jesus Gave You by E. James Wilder.