AMH series // Time for the Sex Talk
Across My Heart’s mission is to equip young women to live out holistic purity and passionately pursue God with their whole lives. We realize there is a lot more to purity than solely saving sex for marriage, so at Across My Heart we define purity as passionately pursuing the heart of God.
Since our series this month has been “the sex talk,” I want to address the elephant in the room.
Although our mission includes encouraging girls to save sex for their marriages, we realize that there are young (and older) women in the church who did not wait until marriage to have sex.
This blog is for you.
If you’re scared, I beg you to keep reading.
An apology to the hurting
I want to start with an apology. I want to apologize to the girl who willingly had sex before marriage and immediately regretted it. I want to apologize to the girl who has sex often and doesn’t look back. To the girl who got pregnant as a teenager. To the girl who told everyone she lost her virginity, and the girl who hasn’t told a soul. I want to apologize to any of the women out there who have done any of these things or something similar and have felt shamed out of the church.
If the church reacted or treated you in any way that was not out of love, I apologize to you. I apologize for any hurt that has been caused because of the way people reacted. I apologize for the church that did not welcome you in with love. I apologize if your view of the love that God has for you has been skewed by the church. I apologize if you have related the Father’s love to anything you have done or could ever do, because His love can’t be earned and is available for everyone.
Guilt, shame, and Jesus
Can we take a moment to appreciate that Jesus came for the sinners, not the perfect people? If we had to make up a church of only people who haven’t sinned, we wouldn’t even be able to go to church on Sunday mornings.
Let me be clear: the church is a group of sinful people. We can’t pretend that isn’t true. As Christians we strive to follow the rules God has set for us because we realize He has created them out of love. None of us are perfect at following them, but we strive to live holy lives. When we mess up, how we respond is crucial; some are hardened and feel nothing (that’s a problem by the way), some feel guilt, and others feel shame. There is a difference between guilt and shame. Guilt points us back to the guidelines God has given us because He loves us. Shame is an evil feeling that is not from God.
Jesus came to love. To forgive. To encourage. To welcome with open arms. If the church did anything but that to you, my heart breaks for you. Please know I feel deep sadness when I hear stories of women shamed out of the church because of their actions.
A history of messy women
Let’s travel through Matthew 1. You don’t have to know how to pronounce these names, I don’t either, but I want you to realize the significance of their stories.
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,
Abihud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Elihud,
Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
I want to carefully explore four names in this passage – the names of the women. I will spare you a long detailed context, but you should be aware that in this time period women were not revered in any way. In fact, they were looked down upon. The women did what is historically stereotypical of women. They prepared the food, cleaned the house, fetched the water, bore and cared for children, etc. Women were not viewed as equal in value to men. Using the names of women in the genealogy of Jesus was a gutsy move. It could mar His credibility, but Jesus didn’t care. He wanted to make a statement.
Not only were these women… well… women, they were viewed as completely worthless and dirty because of what they had done. The women mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy had scandalous backstories. Tamar disguised herself as a harlot and became pregnant by her father-in-law. Rahab was also a harlot. Ruth was viewed as worthless because she was widowed. The wife of Uriah, Bathsheba, bathed in front of David and then became pregnant by him while her husband was away at war.
God makes us perfect
The pastor at my church created a beautiful sermon out of this genealogy. God uses sinful people. Trust me, if He didn’t, I wouldn’t be writing this blog. I am not perfect because I am a nice person. I am not perfect because I am a virgin. I am not perfect because of anything I have done or have yet to do. I am perfect in Christ because of the sacrifice Jesus made for me. He took the blame and died to take away the pain of my sins. It is His sacrifice that covers my sins so that I can be perfect in God’s eyes.
“For by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” – Hebrews 10:14
If any of the women I have mentioned resemble a situation you have gone through, I pray for the healing of your heart. I pray that you would step into the church again. That you would take the risk, despite painful past experiences, and find believers who don’t judge you for your past actions but accept you with your present need – to be loved and accepted as a sinner and to be pushed and encouraged in the way of life that God calls us to live.
God loves you. God wants to use you and your story. For what? You’ll have to ask Him.
Curious to learn more about our sexuality and why God calls it holy? We’ll be covering objectification, temptation, and God’s holistic design for purity. Follow the blog or join us on facebook and instagram for the month long conversation.