I’m on a journey with God along a road that is not well traveled. While I’ve found other organizations with a mission similar to TrueNorth’s, I often feel like a pioneer plotting a path for current and future generations of Christians. I pray that through our work you’ll better understand and live out your sacred, God-given sexuality and lead your kids to do the same.
Many of you know that my calling began through witnessing extreme brokenness in the women I served while working in anti-trafficking in Atlanta. I realized that Christians, in general, knew very little about sexuality and that teaching on it was rare, limited, and mostly ineffective. I saw an opportunity to impact not just sex trafficking but the future of the Church and families as well.
Along this journey, God has opened my eyes to incredible truths through scripture and through science. I’ve learned that sexuality is quite integral to the human experience. In fact, I would say there is no other aspect of a person’s humanity that integrates the mind, body, heart, emotions, soul, and spirit like his or her sexuality. It’s an incredibly important aspect of being human.
This realization of the centrality and significance of sexuality was not intuitive to me. It has come through years of growing in my understanding of how God designed the human body and how the brain responds to sexual encounters. I’ve also been greatly influenced by the work of Dr. Juli Slattery and others who teach that sexuality is a sacred aspect of our humanity, reflecting God’s covenantal love.
Sexual encounters are quite significant and can leave indelible marks on our brains and our emotions, affecting us deeply and often for a lifetime. Sexual experiences and encounters change us.
Jonathan Daugherty of Be Broken Ministries describes his first encounter with porn as a child and sensing something waking up inside of him. Friends have shared with me how abuse early in their lives set them up for great confusion, shame, and promiscuity later on. Others experience shame or hatred toward their bodies because of lies the enemy tells them through comparison. Many men and women have shared with me their dark struggle with porn addiction and their deep desire to walk free of it.
Sexual experiences bond us emotionally with the object of the experience. Bonding can occur with images, with unwanted sexual touch, and with healthy sexual encounters as well. Many sexual experiences can lead us to shame and secrecy. Our sexuality is a very significant, God-ordained aspect of our humanity. Jesus who was “in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15) understands.
In John 4, Jesus encountered a woman with a sexually promiscuous past, and He gently but firmly confronted her on it. Jesus cut right to her sexual brokenness, not to judge her, but to set her free from the emotional bondage she was experiencing. He understood how her sexual sin and longing for true intimacy was connected with her spiritual need for the living water only He could provide. He knew that a man would never satisfy her deepest longings. He knew her current relationship would never fulfill her. He knew that only He could set her free to “worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” He understood the significance of her sexuality and the opportunity it represented for growth in her life.
I believe we can grow in our understanding of and appreciation for the centrality and integral nature of our sexuality. In fact, I believe that God desires this for us. This begins with a prayerful acknowledgment of any ways in which we’ve allowed the world and our personal experiences to inform our understanding of our sexuality. Growth continues as we open ourselves up to truth God brings to dismantle any lies or misinformation we adopted along the way.
Your sexuality was naturally shaped by various influences and experiences throughout your childhood and that shaping continues even today.
Were you wounded by someone’s sexual sin against you? Let God renew your thought patterns away from bitterness or shame into restoration and wholeness. Did you internalize shame over sexuality either through the silence in your home or through messaging that was not God-honoring? Shame is not from God but can be a tool of the enemy to keep you in bondage and darkness. God can redeem that. Are you struggling with sexual sin, or is sexual intimacy in marriage not pleasurable or God-honoring? Seek the Lord’s wisdom and grace to lead you toward hope, healing, and restoration.
Sexuality is certainly one of the most significant aspects of our humanity, and therefore it can be used by God to lead us to significant growth and change. As we begin to live more authentically and bring our sexual struggles and stories into the light, we find God, the designer of our sexuality, waiting there to lovingly guide us.
Next week I will share an exercise that can help you, in a safe and compassionate way, begin to process and understand the shaping of your own sexuality. In the meantime, ask God to prepare your heart for this leg of your journey and give you the courage you need.
Are you willing to consider the significance of your own sexuality and the potential for growth as you learn to appreciate its centrality and significance in your life? Will you ask God to give you the faith you need to step out and into the better future He has for you?
If you’re a mom or a dad, this could be one of the most pivotal seasons in your parenting, because your child’s sexuality is an incredibly central and significant aspect of his or her human experience too. Don’t miss this opportunity to lead your little ones into a more complete understanding of the sacredness and centrality of sexuality. Perhaps you’ll be learning right alongside them. Remember, you’re on a journey with God and you can trust Him.
Would you like to know more about the sacredness of sexuality and how to find hope for related struggles? Check out our other blog posts or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Would you like to host our Allies talk for parents in your church or school? Let’s talk about that.
Let us know how we can encourage or equip you! Share topics you’re curious about and know that we are praying for you!
Founder and CEO, TrueNorth Freedom Project, Atlanta, GA.
Want to help us bring the good news of sexuality to a hurting and broken world? Find ways to give here. TrueNorth is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Donations are tax-deductible and our EIN is 46-5767272.
Photo by Jonathan Borba