All of us are broken sexually. This may be obvious for some readers, but this is true of everyone. Sadly, sin impacts us all, including our sexuality and the other deep aspects of our lives.
We need to embrace this reality rather than fall into the trap of comparing our insides with others’ outsides. Without acknowledgement of our common heritage of sexual brokenness, shame kicks up a gear.
Shame is a key factor for almost all sexual brokenness, but if we think we are alone, even more. Shame says that the core of our person hood is uniquely bad and unredeemable.
Shame is completely contrary to the reality of who we are in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:16, Galatians 2:20).
Even more, shame keeps us stuck in our sexual behaviors. With guilt, we can confess and turn from what we’ve done. With shame, on the other hand, we’re at war with ourselves. In fact, shame is the most consistent driver toward sexual sin, period.
Discovering what’s broken
Discovering what’s broken happens on two levels.
The first is communal: we are all broken. You are not alone. The suffering you are experiencing is being experienced by believers across the world (1 Peter 5:9).
The second level is how we begin to be transformed and healed.
Imagine a doctor who says you need surgery before you have shared a hint of what’s wrong. Shame is like that doctor: it skips the hard and important work of discovery. We need to know the cause to know the cure. And we need to admit something is wrong before we know to ask for help.
Sexual brokenness in general and lust in particular are usually only the tip of the iceberg. There are almost always hidden wounds and sins under the water. Or, to use another picture: if you only cut off the fruit, it will keep growing back. God wants to get after the roots of our brokenness.
Why are we broken?
God did not design us to lack wholeness. His design for people, sex, and everything else was beautiful, good, and majestic.
God made man and woman the crown of his creation, designed humanity to bear His image. He made humankind to rule and reign, to cultivate and subdue. Man and woman were the same in key respects, yet designed to beget life in the ways their bodies compliment each other, all in the context of love.
Man and woman were naked and unashamed. They were sexual and free. They were full of life and safe in God and with each other.
In the greatest moment of irony before or since, those created in God’s image and likeness were convinced that the only way to be like God was to take wisdom into their own hands. When they chose their own way, they entered a state of sin. The roots were corrupted and the fruit was death.
Because of the fall of humanity, our minds, bodies, and souls work against God’s will. Even more, each of these parts often works against our own wills (Romans 7).
It wasn’t always this way.
God designed us to form habits so that we could grow in every way. A baby can learn to stand, walk, and run. But, after the fall, habits could also be cultivated toward increased brokenness. For example, looking at screens can move from an occasional choice, to a regular choice, to an unnoticed habitual choice even when we don’t really want to.
Our personal choices end up forming the collective culture around us. And, in turn, this culture and the people who make it up influence us greatly. Our brains are designed by God to influence the brains of those around us.
Our families of origin are our greatest influences. And, just like our individual habits, after the fall this God-given good can move in the opposite direction.
If you struggle with unwanted sexual behaviors, begin considering these kinds of questions: Who taught you about sex? Where did you first learn about sex? What were the conversations your family had about sex? When were you first exposed to pornography and where did you see it? What was your first sexual experience with another person? Was it something you chose or something that happened to you?
Finally, be aware that we have a real spiritual enemy. And, just as he did with the first man and woman, he means harm to us all.
The devil primarily works through:
But, even more, he seeks to have us wounded, which he then accuses us of, turning into shame, and the cycle continues.
It’s these wounds that we need to be most curious about when it comes to discovering what’s broken.
- When did they happen? Were there key wounds right around the time that specific sexual behaviors began in your life?
- Who around you was a part of them? Did key protectors leave you vulnerable?
- How might the devil have exploited the wound, through accusation, or getting you to make unholy agreements with his interpretation? Did he convince you you couldn’t share with anyone?
Some good news
Discovering what’s broken can be hard and often discouraging work. But Jesus is with you. In every way you’ve become broken, Jesus has entered in. Where you’ve sinned and been sinned against, Jesus’s blood is enough to forgive you and heal you. Nothing you’ve done or had done to you cannot be transformed by the love of God in Jesus.
If you are eager to begin to experience this truth in your life, we have developed a pathway to experience God’s forgiveness, retrain your brain and body to work within God’s will again, and break free from the enemy’s lies.
What’s that way? Engage Your Story.
And if you are ready to dive into this journey head on, we are here to help! Contact Regen to start your first free coaching session now.