Tag Archives: sexual abuse

Were You a Victim of Sexual Abuse?

Very little rips my heart like sexual abuse. I’ve long thought sexual abuse was among the most heinous acts perpetrated. It hits a victim with the full force of assault in the most vulnerable of places. It breaks my heart to think that in the next 24 hours, some of our most precious treasure — children — will be sexually abused by adults who should be caring for them.

You know who else’s heart is broken by this evil? God’s.

I genuinely believe He has a tender spot for the youngest of His children and a vengeance brewing for those who mistreat them. He does not want this to happen and will right every wrong in the end.

Yet too many of you were that child. Sex was used against you as a weapon. And left deep wounds.

When you enter marriage, how can you flip the switch to enjoy sexual intimacy as God intended? Between a husband and wife in covenant marriage? With trust and respect?

If only there were a switch. Rather, abuse victims report that it takes intentionality, time, prayer, rewriting scripts in their head, and — almost always — help from others to re-gain the healthy view of sexuality so wrongly stolen from them. Thankfully, they also say that open wounds become closed scars, and healthy sexual intimacy in their marriage overcomes the past. They can truly see and enjoy sex as God intended.

All month long, our marriage memory verses will be aimed at our difficult pasts. I wanted to start with the scenario that pricks my heart the most. Were you a victim of sexual abuse? I am so sorry that happened to you. I wish I could take that memory and the burden away. I am moved to tears by what you went through, yet I believe you are so strong for making it to the other side.

Now I want you to have what God always intended you to have — healthy sexual intimacy in your marriage.

Whatever that past abuse has done to make sex difficult in your marriage, those challenges can be addressed. You can seek mentoring, counseling, and resources that will help you process the pain. You can be honest with your husband about what happened and request his patience and compassion in rewriting the sex script in your head. You can re-learn what it feels like to be touched sexually and see your husband’s hands as protecting and pleasuring, not disrespectful and damaging.

It may be a long road, but step out on that road. Walk in the right direction. Your destination is healing and the health of your marriage.

And know that God is bigger than anything that happened to you. He will walk that road with you and heal your body and your heart.

That’s why I’ve chosen a verse this week that we should all learn, but it feels particularly relevant to victims of sexual abuse:He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).

Marriage Memory Verse 3-5-16God knows what you endured, and He mourned with you. (See Luke 7:13, John 11:35, Psalm 56:8, Psalm 23:4.) He will be there as you pursue healing and wholeness. You can trust Him, and those who represent Him in your life, to help you recover and find the beauty that He intended for you.

You can enjoy sex with your husband in marriage. Don’t let your abuser take that away from you. Let God bless you with healing instead.

Memory Verse Help

Today’s memorization idea is brief and to the point: Highlight or underline the memory verse in your Bible.

Yep, that’s it. But marking up the verse in your Bible sends a message to your brain about its significance. It plants it a little deeper in your mind.

Since I mostly use a Bible app now, I highlight on the screen. I can then access all the scriptures I’ve marked on one screen and scroll through what I deemed worth paying extra attention to and memorizing. But you could do this as well by flipping through your Bible.

However it works for you, emphasize that verse in your Bible.

Sexual Mistreatment Should Have Never Happened to You!

Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there who bear scars in the sexual arena.  I believe this is an area of special pain because it involves the most vulnerable parts of our bodies and our emotions.  I’m thinking of the child molested, the woman raped, the spouse discarded.

But what always strikes me as worst is when those wounds are inflicted by someone who claims to know Christ.  It’s a sad truth that there are plenty of people in the world who have been personally hurt by a “Christian.”

We’ve all heard the stories of misbehaving people of faith — the preacher who had extramarital affairs, the priest who molested children, the church leader who paid for prostitutes, and the like.  Even more prevalent is the spouse who goes to church every Sunday and then views pornography for hours during the week, visits strips clubs, or has online sex chats.  Or a spouse who has been unfaithful while continuing to believe herself on the side of righteousness.  Maybe a spouse has completely wrong ideas about sex, either demanding distasteful acts or withholding entirely from their spouse.

For those of you who have painful memories of sexual mistreatment at the hands of a believer, I want to say:  I’m sorry.  I know that I didn’t cause that hurt, but such behaviors are extremely troubling to Christians trying to live out the high standards to which we’ve been called.  I wish that tomorrow I could snap my fingers (and I know a lot of believers would join me) and make that entire nonsense stop.

Now here’s a question I have for you:  How can you make sure that such mistreatment doesn’t skew your perception of God’s gift of sexuality?  Because I am here to tell you:  Whatever sexual pain you have experienced at the hands of others, whether they claimed to be Christian or not, is not what God has in mind by providing us with sexual intimacy.

The misuse of sex is like taking a bat, beating someone with it, and then saying, “See, this is a baseball bat.”  You would know what a bat is, but you wouldn’t have any idea what it was really intended for. 

How do you move past that bad experience?  How do you recover?  I am not an expert, and many people who endure such pain need professional help from a doctor, counselor, or pastor.  If you believe that you need help, get it.  If you feel you cannot afford these services, some churches offer counseling on a sliding scale or for free.  Ask around.

But from a layperson’s perspective — and assuming that abuse is not extreme or ongoing — I suggest you list the things you now believe about sex.  Be completely honest.   Then ask how much of that opinion has been formed by your negative experiences?  How much has been influenced by your faith or belief system?  How much is based on factual information?

You may need to correct your inner voice and replace negative presumptions about sexuality with God’s ideas.  For instance, “sex is dirty” is simply not true.  It is a blessing in the confines of marriage, and the Bible always speaks of it positively in that context.  Sexual abuse is evil indeed, but that is a perversion of what God gifted to His people.

Coming from the lesser, self-inflicted wounds of my past (see My Personal Testimony), I know that a less-than-perfect history can throw your brain and your heart off completely.  The best way I know to correct mistaken assumptions is to do things right and see how much better that is!  Like taking you out to the baseball diamond, pitching you an easy one right over the plate, and watching you slam a line drive double.  Then you know what a baseball bat is for.  And you might come to enjoy the sport of baseball.

Do not let the bad experiences you’ve had at the hands of another determine your sexual future.  Let God heal your wounds and show you what the gift of sexuality is really about.  He intended it for good.  And it can be.