Genesis 3:6: And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
The truth is this struggle with sexual purity started long before our time in a garden with two loving human beings. Regardless of whose side you take – to blame Eve for being deceived, or to blame Adam for realizing what happened and plunging in too – the fact remains that these two individuals had ONE commandment to keep and failed. The Pandora’s Box story must have been based on this event because truly this was the start of all of mankind’s misery and the reason we all struggle with sexual purity.
The Bible identifies three ways the world works – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-16). Eve succumbed to all three at once but she did leave us some valuable lessons.
Lust in a general sense is any intense, untamed or disobedient human desire. So in terms of sexual desires, we can look at lust as a legitimate human desire hijacked by sinfulness. Although Adam and Eve gained the knowledge of good and evil, they forever lost control over their world and their flesh because in the day they disobeyed and ate of that fruit, their spirit severed every connection to God!
In the flesh we today face the same battles. Yet, there’s another side to the story now, because long before our time the struggle was ended, and the battles were won, when Jesus Christ died for us and rose again! To top it off, He’s so reasonable that He’s given just ONE commandment to keep when we partake in His death, burial and resurrection – to love the Lord our God with all our heart. We can then consider that maybe our biggest problem with sin and sexual purity as humans is found in the word “ALL”. It’s time to do some searching again – do you love the Lord with ALL your heart as the Lord commands?
Sexual impurity, whichever form it takes, starts with a failure to set your heart to love the Lord with your all. Today is another day of confession. Consider where you have failed Him in the past and tell Jesus about your current failures. Don’t worry about how to solve this problem today – all you need today is repentance.
Heavenly Father, you know all of my heart and there is nothing hid from your sight. Today, I bare it all before you so that you can cleanse me and do your will in me. Help me to love you with all my heart.
I find the words of this song by Trotter Larry very encouraging during this season. Wounds were not meant to last forever, even though the season may last longer than you have expected it to; there is a season for healing.
On this journey we call life, there is a point where we may have encountered some experiences that we never imagined possible. Experiences that left us wounded deep within the heart. Precious ones, you are not alone; I’m in that boat. With that said, here’s my story about the process of my first time feeling the pain of a heartbreak.
Considering my past, I’ve been exposed to intimate relationships from a tender age. I grew up in a broken and sheltered home. My parents really care for me and they trained me up in the right way as a parent should; But I never experienced expressing my emotions without being judged, so I seek attention from the opposite sex, pouring out my heart to them. I never knew what it was like to be single or how it feels until now. Throughout my journey, I’ve entered relationships and never understood what love is and the purpose of intimate relationships. I entered relationships with the wrong motives. I just needed the pleasure and a sense to feel complete. As a result to my lack of knowledge, and understanding; I was cheated on, abused physically and mostly verbally and I returned the same treatment to some of those individuals, except the cheating aspect (lol). But that never stopped me from pursuing because I believe that I am worthy of being loved and that there is someone out there for me.
After I accepted the Lord Jesus as my savior, I entered a relationship. With this relationship, it was my first time sincerely seeking the Lord as it pertains to marriage. My prayer to the Lord was “Lord if he is not in your will for me, please do not allow me to be in love with someone else’s husband. If he is not in your will, please expel all the feelings I have for him because I don’t want to go contrary to your will and end up doing my will.” After a while, I genuinely find myself loving this individual. The love I experienced being poured out of me to this individual that I never encountered with anyone before. I then found out that this love could not be of myself, because I never knew what love was and I of myself is incapable of loving someone without being conditional, but with this person, this love is unconditionally, I could see all the flaws and all and still be able to love this individual and this love flowed over to me loving and embracing others. It was something I was constantly prayerful about because I wanted to please the Lord in all areas of my life.
He expressed interest, and I did myself. We had plans of getting married and would serve the Lord together. Then it came to the breaking point where I was of no more interest to him. All the plans, all the promises and experiences got me burning with sorrow, left me angry at God for allowing or causing this. Being depressed and confused for months. My heart was broken into fragments for the first time! Broken to the point, where I never wanted to see the light of day anymore. I never wanted to have anything to do with the Lord because I believed he was unfair to me. I returned to seeking pleasures from pornography, that I knew was wrong but I never cared, then the Lord intervened and allowed my stomach to be upset of watching pornography. I then repented, but I was still depressed. I would sleep, expecting not to see another day; preparing myself for death, but the Lord never saw it fit to take me. I was tormented during the nights had to shower late just to fall asleep or watch something that would make me laugh.
My pillows and sheets were my best friend because they held all of my tears. I felt like I was on a thin line of sanity and insanity, wondering what was happening to me. I started seeing myself as a doormat for men, because I felt used and abused emotionally and mentally. I felt like God was using this to repay me of all the evil I did within the past. I felt so far off; I was even excited for the wearing of masks because I never wanted to be questioned, I just wanted to be hidden. I became silent and lost in conversations that I once found interesting. I just wanted to pass on because I never thought there was anything good for me anymore, I wanted to forget about everything and I only saw that possible only if I died. I thought God was just playing with my feelings and he doesn’t care, but here’s what I am learning and being reminded of within this season as I am on the road of recovery, thanking God that I am still alive and well.
Lessons I am learning in this Season.
Never lower your standard for the opposite sex. Be virtuous. Maintain your purity.
God has your best interest at heart. You are more of a value to him than the sparrows.
Guard your heart.
Never trade God for any relationship, always ensure he’s first.
Empower yourself in all areas of your life.
Do not get involved in an intimate relationship if you know within yourself that you are not ready for marriage, that only puts fuel to the fire and you might get burn.
Understand your worth, your value and walk in integrity knowing who you are and to whom you belong.
Be accountable, always. There must be someone you can trust. Community helps.
Not everyone will get married early, late or any at all. Know your purpose and what God calls you for.
Get involved in church, in your community. Find something that suits you. Don’t be lazy.
Don’t get married because you feel lonely.Ensure that your motives are right.
Ensure that you have an understanding of self first and what a Godly marriage requires because marriage is a ministry, it’s not about you but to give God glory.
Be healed first. Don’t start a relationship being broken by your past relationship/s, you will just bring a burden into the marriage. Hurt people, hurt people.
Enjoy yourself, laugh, have fun with sober friends that have your best interest at heart.
You are only made complete in God. He satisfies you.
Singleness makes you unique, separate and whole. It’s not a curse. Take advantage of that season.
If the relationship never works out, maybe it wasn’t God’s will or maybe it’s not the time yet.
Be patient with yourself. Take time to heal and learn from your past mistakes so you can be able to be better than you were moving forward.
Your past doesn’t determine your future. Get up and start anew. It’s never too late to start again.
Forgive. Don’t allow what has happened to you to make you bitter, so you miss the promises of God. What God has in store for you is much better than the things we lost. There is hope, the best is yet to come.
Here are some scriptures I am delighting in, and you can do the same.
Psalms 147:3- “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Isaiah 61:3 – “ To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
Jeremiah 29:11- “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
2Corithians 4:8&9- “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”
Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
Proverbs 4:3 “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
Hi Gems, I hope you are well. If you would like to ask questions from this writer or any other Precious Thoughts family member, don’t be afraid to send them to email@example.com. What would you like us to share on next? Remember, you are precious.
CELEBRATING INDIVIDUALITY, UNDERSTANDING OUR IDENTITY – WHO ARE YOU?
“When did these feelings start?” Sarah asked. She knew emotions are never solitary, they are always attached to a thought that may be triggered by an experience.
Rachel considered this and then said, “When I came back to school last semester.”
“The semester after your grandmother passed away.” Sarah confirmed. Rachel nodded and rubbed the circle of the watch again.
“You never really said much about her death, I assumed you weren’t that close to her.” Sarah remarked.
Rachel laughed painfully, “Far from it, her passing tore me apart, it still does. It was just too painful to talk about it.”
Sarah, after studying her friend’s expression finally she said, “Tell me about her.”
Rachel started, “She gave the best hugs, those ones that swallowed you up and made you feel safe.” Now staring off in the distance at some yellow wild flowers, she continued, “She brought sunshine everywhere she went. Baking, oh yes, she loved it. She’d always bring banana bread for me on Sundays. She’d always check up on me too,” with this, Sarah saw the sadness return to her friend’s tired face. Rachel started stroking the gold watch again.
Sarah said, “She sounds wonderful. What’s the story with that watch?”
Rachel looked down and slightly shook in nervousness while she slid it off, “Grandma gave it to me.”
She pointed to the engravement on the back and Sarah read the words, “I am loved.”
Sarah looked up and into her friend’s eyes, “Do you believe that?”
“Sometimes,” Rachel admitted.
“Why just sometimes? Don’t you think your family loves you?” Sarah asked.
“Sometimes,” was all she managed to say.
Sarah then asked how things were when she was smaller at home.
Rachel started, “Dad was MIA from the pregnancy, I’ve never met him. My mother started working three months after I was born, taking every overtime she could to provide for Grandma and I. When I got older things remained the same. It almost became a way for her to cope, I guess. She was always so tired, whenever she was home, by the time I started about my day, she fell asleep. Grandma was there but some things I wanted to hear and feel from my mother, you know?
“I understand. Did she ever say anything about your father?” Sarah asked.
“Never, this one time I practically begged, and she said it’s best I not know about him. She said I didn’t need him, and I should just focus on school. Surprisingly, even grandma was silent on the matter. She always has a flash of hurt on her face and then changed the subject,” Rachel responded.
So, when grandma died, with her you lost your sense of belonging and the feeling of being …loved? Sarah asked hesitantly.
Rachel looked down instantly, she thought it was silly of her to feel that way, but she did. Deep down she has been really feeling alone.
“Yes,” she said barely audible.
“How about God?” Sarah asked.
“What about him?” Rachel responded.
“Do you believe He loves you? Sarah answered.
“Sometimes.” Rachel admitted.
Why would Rachel feel this way about God’s love for her? Could it be that her earthly father abandoned her, so she has a hard time accepting that her heavenly father wants to stay? Children form their worldview by age thirteen. You see, when little Rachel saw that her father was absent and her mother was present but emotionally unavailable, it sent a message to her saying, ‘You are not wanted, you are not important and probably no one thinks you are.’Subsequently, she believed it but is that the truth?
Psalm 139:13-18 shares how carefully and thoughtfully Jesus formed us from the womb. Would someone take the time to create something so detailed and after his/her birth just abandoned them? I think not. We might look like our parents, but we are made in HIS image (Gen. 1:26). Do you know what that means? We are identified with Him, He becomes the source of our identity. Ultimately, what He says and thinks about us has the precedence and He says, “You are loved.”
Healing from Parental Hurt
Rejection, hurt and shame are feelings that we all deal with it. It damages us even more when we experience it from the persons who are supposed to love us the most, especially so early. Healing from this is not a walk in the park, the consolation is however, Jesus heals! Here are six (6) tips on pursuing wholeness:
Acknowledge that You are Hurt
Before you can heal you must acknowledge the wounds. Acknowledge how deeply it hurt, don’t shy away from how overwhelming the pain is. Don’t rush this part either, ask God to uncover them too. It is okay to feel pain, we are emotional creatures and we are made that way for a reason. Your emotions are not your enemy. They are indicators that there is something beneath the surface that needs a little attention whether in the mind or heart.
Be Vulnerable with God
Prayer is much more than making requests or a religious duty. God calls us to relationship. His desire more than anything else is to have communion with you. He wants you to involve him in every area of your life, past, present and future. Tell Him how you have hurt, share your frustration, anger and evil desires if any. My personal testimony is the moments that I have received real deliverance, clarity and comfort has always been in prayer. Be real with Him. Ask him to help you to forgive them. This article from Desiring God may assist you in the process too. Ask Him for help. I can assure you He will. ‘Did er’ a saint find this friend forsake him? Or sinner find that He would not take them? No, not one!’
Find out what the Word says
Faith and hope come by hearing the word of God. What does the bible say about parental hurt? How does God declare himself to be our father? I have linked a few scriptures here. You can share others with me too! Repeat them, remind yourself with flashcards, wallpapers, written text on bathroom mirrors and set email reminders! This principle can be seen in scripture where God told them to put commandments on doorposts and foreheads (Deut. 6:8-9). It might seem silly at first but reminding yourself of the Word fights the lies of the enemy. Strongholds are only torn down intentionally and with much consistent force.
Tell a Friend
Sometimes things get to heavy for us to carry alone and we need help. This person might be your pastor, another leader, youth president or another brother or sister, just ensure these people are sober and not immature. We should share our burdens with each other (Galatians 6:2) that is why we have a community of believers, a family. There is so much power that lies in our tongue. Confession brings healing (James 5:16). I shared a post last year that addressed this in more detail click here to read. They can help you pray, keep you accountable and support you. We need each other.
Confront the Parent/ Parents
Confront doesn’t mean disrespect. The purpose is to bring about restoration of the relationship not just a venting opportunity. Be warned that they might not be repentant and acknowledging this fact is important as a negative response may trigger the emotions you were healing from. Nevertheless, this may lead to closure. I suggest you consider this prayerfully. If you do decide to confront them, find a relaxing environment, bring food, yes! Nothing makes a person feels more at ease than a full stomach. If you are not able to meet with them as highly recommended, give them a call when they are most available. Ease into the topic, don’t avoid it either but state your claims assertively and timely. State that your desire would be to have a better relationship and you would like to discuss how you both can work on improving the relationship. You can look at this too from Desiring God on the matter. This might be insufficient depending on your situation, please reach out to me if you need any further advice. I am here for you.
Fix Your Focus
Always focusing on pain never leads to healing. We are encouraged to deal with them healthily and then let them go. Paul encourages us to forget those things that are behind and reach forth for your new life in Christ. Set your affections on things above i.e. Set your affections on Him. This life is temporary. He is eternal. Will you continue to give them control over your desires, thoughts and actions? Don’t view life through tear stained eyes instead with eyes of hope and love. We can also rest in knowing that we have been adopted in a new family. Pray for a mother/father figure. Paul was Timothy’s father in the gospel.
Your situation may not be as drastic as Rachel, maybe they were just not there for you to talk deeply with, maybe they laughed at a physical or emotional attribute. It is ok if it hurts you. You have a right to your feelings. Do not ignore your emotions rather deal with them as they come. This leads us to our next focus, does traumatic experiences affect how we view ourselves? Will Rachel find out the truth about her father and confront her mother, will she experience healing? We will find out over the next set of posts in this series called Engraved! Below is a sermon from Ravi Zacharias on us bearing the Image of God also the depth and importance of our individuality. Until, next time, remember you are precious.
Wishing, hoping, fixating, those were the emotions I was experiencing when faced with a serious decision. What if I submit? What if I deny? What will the future look like of I choose either? Is this Your will? What are Your plans? The questions went on and on but deep down, looking back, I didn’t really want the answer. My heart was set. My mind was fixed. My will was determined, yet I desired the ‘will of God’. I was reluctant to pray about the issue because I really didn’t want to hear no and if I did, I knew I couldn’t change God’s mind and that would greatly disappoint me. By grace and the help of a spiritual friend, I was encouraged to pray for His will. When the answer came back as no, I felt a peace I didn’t imagine would be present. All those nights up thinking was now gone to waste, all the justifying and forcing to see a silver lining was all done in vain. Yet, my heart was content because it was surrendered. In that moment I truly desired to know the will of God and He spoke.
An unsurrendered heart cannot truly pray for prayer is a work of the heart. The nature of prayer is that it operates like a mirror. It shows where our eyes truly are and most times it is not on God. The purpose of prayer is not to seduce God into fulfilling our desires by throwing your history of serving Him in His face but it is aligning ours to His. The model prayer states, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We sometimes want to do what we wish and then ask God to just work with it because we already made up our minds. That is the opposite of what God desires for us, He wants us to come to Him first then He will tell us what to do so our efforts won’t be wasted.
Our Will isn’t Important
Our will is not important, neither our desires. They are all together vanity!
Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 (KJV) 1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
Romans 7:18 (KJV) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:
Precious one, anything of value, of substance comes from God. All good desires come from God.
1 John 2:17, KJV And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
That is why we allow him to lead, he almost arrogantly says in Jeremiah 29:11,
11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
We are just gloves in which He places His hands. We were created for His purpose.
How many times have you desired a thing more than the will of God? Do you pray out of duty or because you genuinely want to follow God? Do you wait to get an answer or you feel satisfied to say, “At least I told Him before I did anything, He can stop me if He wishes.”
The Right Way to Pray
For me, I have often opted to not follow a particular pattern. What this means for me is that I just say it how I feel it. If I am straying, sinning or staying, I state exactly how I feel. I learned from early that God sees so much that He even sees the things in me I am unaware of. If I don’t want to yield,I tell Him, if I desire to sin, I tell Him. If I am wrestling with anything I tell Him. Why, because the only way I will get help is if I am open to Him. For example, when you visit a doctor, he diagnoses based on what you tell Him. On the contrary, God already has the diagnoses, we are the ones who are unaware of the specific sickness. Hear me out some more, all sins have a root issue. If I am rebellious to the word, it means I am struggling with idols, something else have my allegiance. But all we observe is our anger when we hear truth or our stubbornness to obey it. God, our doctor, very well knows our problem is really idolatry. Thus, the purpose of us saying is to understand what sickness we are troubled with so we are receptive to whatever treatment He prescribes. So, step 1, Be open, vulnerable, naked, uncovered. Let Him show you your ways, let Him search you.
Proverbs 28:13New Living Translation (NLT)
13 People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.
Merriam Webster’s Dictionary
Prayer is communication with God. I am a bit unorthodox when it comes on to prayer, I believe when I am communicating with him one on one, I don’t have to actually say the words all the time. There are days when I can’t find the words to say, there are just so many things going on that my heart becomes overwhelmed. In those moments when my mouth fails me, my spirit and mind never. They connect with God and He sees just what I am saying and He comforts me.
If He doesn’t talk back, ever, we are not communicating. Too often we underestimate the fact that God wants to talk to us! He doesn’t need a mountain with clouds, fire and thunder to talk to His people anymore, but deep within your spirit, through His written or spoken word He shouts or whisper. I find that I often hear the voice of God when I actually listen for it, not that I can force God to speak either (there are times when He is intentionally silent). The key is to listen at all times, we don’t know when He will. Before, during and after prayer, you can take pauses to hear what He has to say.
Samuel, the oracle of God told Saul that obedience was better than sacrifice. This is the same God that struck a man dead for touching the ark of the covenant because it wasn’t his duty. This was also the same God who made sure that what was expected of the priest when sacrificing was outlined clearly so they wouldn’t drop dead in his presence so the consequences of the people’s sin would be transferred to the animals. If the very God that made all these laws rather you not do them but obey, I think we should consider it an honor to do just that. Uncovering our selves and then listening to God only to disregard what He wishes is an absolute waste of time- no wonder we just don’t start the process any at all.
Why should we obey God?
Romans 2:6-8New Living Translation (NLT)
6 He will judge everyone according to what they have done.7 He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers.8 But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.
Other than the obvious implications of disobedience, there is such peace, joy and contentment in obedience.
James 1:25New Living Translation (NLT)
25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
Precious one, let us change our view of prayer and start delighting in it. It is our connection to the God who loves us and by the way has unlimited power! Take time to make prayer into a habit until it becomes your lifestyle. Our song this week is from Jessica King titled, “Keep Me In Your Will” until next time, remember to pray.