Set Apart: Overcoming Shame From Sex Before Marriage - by Molly Stevens

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Okay, so you have made the decision to stay pure, and stop having sex before marriage, when suddenly you’re flooded with feelings of guilt and regret about your past decisions. You struggle with feeling like you’re not good enough because of your mistakes, or that you don’t deserve a Godly husband. Or maybe, someone in your life reminds you of your past and makes you feel about 2 foot tall and full of shame. Girl, I have been there...and it is not fun. 

Shame is a terrible feeling and is something that can truly hold you back from moving forward with your life and even prevents you from intimacy with God because it makes you feel unworthy and distant from Him.

But here is the good news, God does not want us to live there.

He calls us a new creation, and tells us that we can let go of our pasts and look to the future (2 Corinthians 5:17). I am here to tell you that no matter how many people we have slept with, or if you had a one night stand in college, you can come to Jesus. Ask Him for forgiveness, repent, and He will forgive you (1 John 1:9). God’s grace is so big and His love is so faithful that He wants to set us free from sin, shame, regret and feelings of unworthiness.

But I know that’s easier said than done.

When I decided that I would stop having sex before marriage and wait for my husband I felt great at first. I felt forgiven and excited for the future, but slowly I began to let shame undermine the amazing grace that God had already given me. About a year after I decided to walk in purity, I dated a guy, and together we had agreed that we would be waiting until marriage. However, he constantly reminded me of my mistakes, how many people I had slept with, and it brought back tons of guilt and regret. I felt so much shame from that relationship I even began to question IF I was forgiven at all. And because of that lingering question of if I was truly forgiven, it created distance between me and God.

Fast forward to when I met my husband, from the very beginning he made it clear that he did not view me as unworthy or unpure. One night while we were having our two hour-long distance phone calls, he told me that, “When I met you, I decided that I didn’t care what you had done in your past, in my eyes you are pure."  He showed me an earthly representation of God’s grace, and how God saw me. His love and forgiveness mirrored what God was saying to me.

Even though my boyfriend (now husband) viewed me as pure and worthy, it was something I truly had to settle within myself. Overcoming shame from your past needs to be something that you and God work through together, and an area that you ultimately let God heal. Bring all of your pain and memories of the past to God, journal about them, pray about them, and then ask God to take them from you. In Psalms 103:12 it says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." That is what God wants to do with your sin and your shame, but you need to let Him. 

Release the shame
Release the guilt
Release the memories
Release the judgement you’ve held towards yourself

Give them to God
And let Him heal your heart.

If you are reading this and are struggling with guilt and shame because of past sexual sins, please know that first of all, you are not alone. I have experienced it, and I have talked to tons of other girls who have as well. Find a friend or a mentor, get connected with a small group at church and find people that you can confide in and who can remind you that you are forgiven. Second, I want you to know (yes, you reading this!) that you are so loved and that God has forgiven you. The Holy Spirit has already begun to work in your heart. Release the shame and guilt, give it to God and just rest in His grace!