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).
God 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.