“You’re shameless, you’ll do anything – especially on a dare!” My friend called me out, telling me that I had no boundaries, and everyone around me knew it. “You’re right!” I told her, proud of it.
Looking back years later, I thought about all that I’d done during my years of promiscuity, porn, and masturbation usage to escape pain and problems in my life. I held nothing back and even bragged to others about things I’d done.
I was shameless but in all the wrong ways.
Then, when I met Jesus as my personal Savior at 24 years old, He changed my relationship with sex. He taught me (and I slowly learned) that He took away all my shame, for everything I had ever done, was doing or thinking about doing, and even the things I would do in the future.
For many years, I covered up all I’d done because I became ashamed of myself. But then I discovered something as I dug deeper into God’s word.
I was shameless, in all the right ways!
I remember when my sin found me out, as I was lying in a hospital bed. “We had to take both your fallopian tubes. Instead of being as thin as spaghetti strings, they’re as large as sausages.”
Weeping, I was speechless from the doctor’s post-surgery words. The Chlamydia I’d contracted during my days of promiscuity had ravaged my body, which is why I hadn’t been able to get pregnant with my husband who was a virgin until our wedding night. Talk about shame.
Wanting relief, I stumbled upon the words of a righteous woman, who was praising God for getting pregnant, after years of barrenness. This was a shameful issue for a woman during Biblical times in their culture.
Even though I was in the 21 st century, I felt it too. Elizabeth’s words about God are recorded in Luke 1:25 which says this:
“The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days, he has been kind to me. He
has taken away my shame among the people.”
After giving birth to two children through infertility treatments, I felt a tremendous weight lifted off of me. My two kids have been a physical reminder of God’s grace wrapped up in little packages.
Like Elizabeth, God took my shame too!
Having an intact family for the years my husband survived past his cancer diagnosis brought new challenges, as did the years since his passing. I had to learn how to cope with my single status without seeking sexual pleasure to ease the ache of losing my husband.
New partners who have come and gone in my dating life have confessed their own struggles with pornography, something that’s so familiar as I watched my late father and late husband struggle too.
But rather than blaming myself because I’m choosing to enter pure dating relationships, I see shame in a whole new light. Keeping my clothes on doesn’t make me shame myself, most days.
I think reading Carl Thomas’ amazing book When Shame Gets Real, made me recognize that everyone who struggles with sexual addiction experiences shame, but sometimes it comes in their own way. We just need to talk about the shame and the issues behind it – to overcome it.
Shame doesn’t have the final say. God does!
Really, it comes down to Hebrews 12:2 which says this:
“Let us keep looking to Jesus. He is the one who started this journey of faith. And he is
the one who completes the journey of faith. He paid no attention to the shame of the cross. He
suffered there because of the joy he was looking forward to. Then he sat down at the right hand
of the throne of God.”
If Jesus paid no attention to the shame of the cross, when He hung there naked, bleeding and bruised, dying for my sins and the sins of the world – then that is the attitude I must adopt about my shame about my sexual addiction, as well.
Shame is silenced because we talk about it with safe people, get it out in the open, and don’t give into the lie that it has any power.
I’ve turned my former days of shamelessness about sexual escapades into a bold willingness to tell people who are willing to listen about what Jesus has done for me. I’m shameless about sharing about how Jesus took my former sexual shackles and has set me free!
This has been an imperfect journey, taking detours here and there. But as always, it’s the word of God, wise ministries like xxxchurch, and accountability from my tribe of people who understand my struggles and are willing to walk with me through it, that has allowed me to stay sexually sober.
Even with all my starts and stops, I haven’t returned to a life of promiscuity in 22 years. I can only continue on the path towards sexual sobriety in ways I never could have dreamed about because of the people who hold me accountable to a God filled with grace and love
for me, even when I stumble in my current areas of weakness.
Shame says I should hide and shut down, isolate and stay within my interior world. God’s grace says to share shame, sexual slips, and any struggles with safe people.
Don’t let shame trick you into thinking that you’re hopeless, lost, or the only one that struggles with porn, masturbation, affairs or any other sexual addiction. You aren’t alone!
Whether you are a man, woman, teen, or church leader and struggle with talking about these topics, this September we invite you to join us for a candid and fresh conversation on matters many avoid out of discomfort. Shameless is an interactive online experience that will challenge and inspire you, leaving you better prepared to handle these sensitive discussions with your friends, churches, spouses, and kids.
For more information about this event or to register yourself and/or your group visit www.shamelessevent.com.
We’re here for you and will walk the journey, without shame into a place of grace and grit – for a greater tomorrow. God’s on your side and has a pathway to your sexual success!
Join us today – I dare you!!!