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Posted by on Jul 30, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

Modest was Never Hottest

“Modest is hottest!” Thanks to youth pastors all across America and now Matthew West, this expression is likely familiar to your ears. But as author Alan Noble sarcastically points out, the statement is nonsensical.

If modest were actually hottest then youth pastors and fathers with record deals would be encouraging their students and children to dress immodestly, so as to avoid being a “stumbling block.” I say “students” and “children,” but we all know that the burden of modesty largely, if not entirely, falls on the appropriately covered shoulders of young ladies and women.

There’s a reason why the Norwegian women’s beach handball team is being fined for wearing shorts as opposed to bikini bottoms despite the men’s team being permitted to wear tank tops that cover the midriff and shorts that extend far closer to the knee.

Those in the church and in our broader culture know that modest is not hottest.

Now, that’s not to say there aren’t individuals and even large swaths of people who respect and appreciate modesty in wise and healthy ways. As our culture continues to dehumanize and sexualize the human body, and especially the female figure, there is wisdom in modesty.

Take Billie Ellish for example. Rising to fame at the age of 14, alongside her musical talent she became known for wearing loose-fitting clothes.

She has done several interviews explaining that this was a conscious decision to avoid having her body sexualized by the masses. A wise choice. But we see even in her decision that though it is wise, she does not pretend to believe that “modest is hottest.”

In an interview with Elle, Billie said, “What if I want to make a video where I want to look desirable? I know it would be a huge thing. I know people will say, ‘I’ve lost all respect for her.’” Did you catch that? “…where I want to look desirable.”

It is only possible to be desired by throwing modesty to the curb.

This is, unfortunately, the message our young men and women receive. At best, they are taught the wisdom of minimizing the chances that their body is sexualized. But as Ellish points out, if you want to be considered desirable you’ll have to let go of that at some point.

The dehumanization of other people’s bodies isn’t going away anytime soon. From the ubiquity of hardcore pornography to the use of partially and strategically clad bodies to sell anything from spray deodorant to chewing gum, it’s clear that sexualization is here to stay.

And as is far too often the case, whatever is flooding the American culture is seeping into the American Church.

Christians are great at taking something the world is doing and changing it ever so slightly to make it “Christian.” We do this with our clothing, but we also do this with our beliefs and philosophies.

We did this in the purity movement and what author Katelyn Beaty calls “the sexual prosperity gospel.” The world tells us that sex is consensual play between two adults that brings physical gratification and value to our lives. Christians took that definition and added “in marriage” and promised a generation of youth group goers that God would bring sexual prosperity to those who waited until marriage.

This seeping of American sexualization into the American Church has happened in more subtle ways as well.

We probably all have anecdotal stories on how our churches value the physically attractive. We make sure they get the stage time, the leading vocals, and are around when we shoot our promo videos.

Take a look around at the latest batch of young “celebrity” pastors. Because they are almost all men and the male body isn’t sexualized in the same way, we don’t see them preaching in speedos (and all God’s people said, “Amen!”).

But clearly, there is some level of “sexy” or “attractive” that they are supposed to attain. That ranges from physical fitness and bicep size to wearing the latest trends and having manicured facial hair. 

In perhaps an ironic twist, it may be these preachers in sneakers, not the young ladies and women they pastor, who are rejecting biblical modesty.

Paul instructs Timothy to tell the women in Ephesus “to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God” (1 Timothy 2:9-10 ESV).

Somehow we’ve taken this and paired it with Paul’s unrelated word to Rome on creating stumbling blocks and weaponized it to tell women that they can’t wear a two-piece bathing suit, have spaghetti straps, or kneel when they pray because their back may be exposed causing a young man to lust after her.

And we’ve done this completely ignoring that Paul’s address on modesty is not primarily, if at all, about the physical form. Instead, Paul is discouraging displays of wealth.

At best many Christian leaders have ignored addressing important issues of sex, sexuality, and the pervasive sexualization in our culture. At worst our Christian leaders have passed the buck and burdened our women with shouldering all the responsibility of avoiding sexual sin.

Just as ignoring a physical ailment can lead to the problem worsening and new problems arising, the mishandling of sexual modesty has given rise to the abuse of modesty as Paul addressed it in 1 Timothy. Modest is not hottest.

This is clear in how our world objectifies the human body and it’s clear by how our most influential pastors adorn themselves on the stage.

But “hottest” was never supposed to be our goal, faithfulness was.

Instead of pithy, though nonsensical, sayings or slight adaptations to the world’s narratives on sex and sexuality, it’s time for Christian parents and church leaders to lead. It’s time we engage God’s word and what it says about our bodies and how we dress them up.

AND as always – If you have questions about any of the things we cover here, be sure to check out Office Hours and submit your question so we can answer it in an upcoming session.

 

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Posted by on Jul 29, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

Carrying the Weight of a Sexualized Culture

“And so seated next to my father in the train compartment, I suddenly asked, “Father, what is sex sin?”

He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case off the floor and set it on the floor.

“Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?” he said.

I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.

“It’s too heavy,” I said.

“Yes,” he said, “and it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger, you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.”

~ Corrie ten Boom

The Hiding Place: The True Triumphant Story of Corrie ten Boom

 

In her memoir, Corrie ten Boom shares an experience of asking her father about sex after something she had heard at school.  Her father, intentional in his response, taught Corrie that it was not something to be hidden, but it wasn’t the time for her to have that knowledge.  

As Ms. ten Boom continued, she shares that the experience left her feeling “wonderfully at peace.” To know that her dad would carry the weight of things too heavy for her, that he was to be trusted to care for her in that way, brought comfort to her young soul.

Over a hundred years later, and parents are still trying to carry the weight of sexual content that our kids are not yet able to handle.  However, with such a sexually saturated culture, where children’s entertainment is subtly (and sometimes blatantly) filled with “sexiness,” it can feel overwhelmingly heavy! 

Sometimes it feels like it would be easier to bury our heads in the sand, eliminate all technology, and isolate our kids from any outside influence. 

Easier, yes, but not in accordance with Jesus’ commands.  He teaches: “I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.”  (John 17:15, NLT)

So, how can I protect my kids from the evil one and carry that heaviness until they are ready, when the world has, with scientific precision, figured out how to sell sex and sexiness?  When it feels like smut is flying, full force, in every direction, how can I teach them that sex is actually a very good gift from God?

We move with intention, just as Corrie’s father had done.

First things first, we must be intentional about what we allow into our homes. I hate to break it to you, but “do as I say, not as I do,” is a parenting strategy that is doomed to fail. It doesn’t work with language. It doesn’t work with eating habits. 

It certainly doesn’t work with our approach to sexuality. If we desire to raise families that prioritize holiness, we must set the example in how we use our time and in what media we consume.  

Next, we must be intentional with our interactions with our kids. 

Our time is limited, so we must make the most of brief interactions in daily life. It is important that we recognize (and openly speak of) the sinful perversion of God’s good gifts. 

When an ad comes on tv that is using sex to sell that new perfume or car, changing the channel to protect young minds and eyes is a great first step but don’t stop there. Draw attention to the purpose behind your action. This can open communication and remind our families that there is beauty (not shame) within God’s plans.  

Next time you find yourself in this situation, try something like this: “God made the human body beautiful, but His good plan is that it’s a special gift He wants us to share only with the person we marry.” You may find a shift in the culture of your home as you draw focus back to God’s good plans. 

Finally, we must be intentional to follow through on our word. 

If we promise that we will carry the weight until our kids are ready, we must actually be willing to hand over the knowledge as they grow. In doing so, we will build a relationship of trust that will allow our kids to feel “wonderfully at peace” as we hold onto the weight of the world on their behalf.  

Don’t worry: this handing over of the reins is not a one-and-done process! (None of the conversations around sex are!) It should be a series of conversations in which we slowly allow our kids to carry what they are ready for, as they are ready. This is our part of the deal when it comes to encouraging a relationship of trust and honesty.

The sexual saturation of our society isn’t going away. And we can’t depend on our churches or schools to teach our children a firm Biblical perspective of sex. (Most churches won’t broach the subject enough to be an authority on it!

It must be an intentional effort on our part as parents to protect our children from the heaviness of a sexually dominated world. We must lead by example. We must speak openly. We must allow them to grow in knowledge as they mature.  

As we move with intention, we will be carrying the weight of the sexualized culture and working toward Jesus’ commands to protect our children from the evil one. It’s a challenge, but the rewards are great! 

If you have questions on how to talk to your children about sex or any other topic that we present here, be sure to check out Office Hours and submit your question so we can answer it in an upcoming session.

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Posted by on Jul 26, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

Four Strategies for Dealing with Sex and Sexualization

This entire month we’ve been talking about the reality that we live in a very sexualized culture. This is a fact of life whether we are dealing with the workplace, the media, the gym, the mall, and even the church.

And as I’ve said before, this is not something that should come as a complete surprise to anyone. Again, we are sexual beings so as we interact with each other and the world around us, our sexuality is going to be something that’s a part of everyday life.

But, the problem for most of us is not the presence of sex or sexuality, but the over saturation and exploitation of it. 

So then what’s a person to do? How do we deal with this reality in a way that’s healthy and helpful?

As we’ve been pointing out, many of our “strategies” (especially in the church world) for handling this stuff fall on the side of fight, flight and ignore rather than engage. But, these tactics usually prove to be less than helpful, and more often than not lead to shame inducing results.

Here’s the thing…

As a parent and former porn addict myself, I understand the tension we all face trying to live in a sex saturated society. But aversion and suppression are not the answers even though they seem like the safest options.

Here are some simple strategies and/or considerations I would recommend you try employing as you navigate your way through life and all the sexual messaging you will undoubtedly encounter.

  1. Acknowledge and accept without resigning

By now it should be clear, the sexualization of our culture is not going away. We can piss, moan, and stomp our feet about it, but none of that changes the reality of our situation. The truth is all our complaining and combativeness just sends the signal that we are hopelessly out of touch and further emboldens those who want to write off our commentary as the rantings of a crazy person. 

However, accepting reality and resigning to it are two different things.

When we accept reality but then do what we can to remediate the challenges we encounter through drawing wise boundaries, promoting thoughtful engagement, and advancing meaningful conversation, we grow as individuals and lessen the negative impact of our sexualized culture.

But when we resign ourselves to it and just throw up our hands in disgust as we wave the white flag we pave the way for more of the same. At the end of the day, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” is a sucker’s mindset.

  1. Don’t condemn or condone.

Again, when it comes to the topic of sex and sexuality many people (especially in the church) think and dialogue in very extreme terms.

Often it’s either…

I don’t agree with you, so I’m going to condemn you into seeing things my way. 

Or… 

Hey, it’s all good. No need to talk this through. You do you, and I’ll applaud you for it.

When talking to my kids I am always very clear on the fact that they shouldn’t condemn or criticize their friend’s choices, even though they may be extremely poor. But, I also tell them that they don’t need to affirm those choices either. Rather, look for opportunities to ask questions and engage in conversations that will get their friends thinking.

The message you want to send is…

  1. I love you.
  2. I support you.
  3. That doesn’t mean I agree with you.
  4. And I’m letting you know this because I love you 🙂

When it comes to topics like sexuality you’ll get a lot farther building bridges instead of burning them. But that doesn’t mean you have to move across the bridge and set up camp.

  1. Talk, talk, and talk some more.

Yea, I’m not going to stop beating in this drum any time soon. The best thing we can do when it comes to sex, porn, masturbation, and sexual exploitation is welcome thoughtful conversations concerning these matters.

This applies to your church, your small groups, your workplace, your accountability relationships, and your kids.

Ignoring questions revolving around sex and sexuality never helps anyone. 

When a parent asks me what’s the best thing they can do to “protect” their kids from porn I tell them all the same thing… Talk to ‘em. 

Don’t shy away from tough topics because when you do, you send the message that you’re not a safe person to have these conversations with. And so your kids (or whoever) will talk about this stuff elsewhere, usually online.

The truth is almost every guy I’ve ever helped with porn and sex addiction all have one thing in common; there parents never talked to them about sex. 

Coincidence? I think not.

Let’s stop making the same mistake folks.

  1. Recognize that sex is awesome but needs to be handled responsibly.

Over the years so much damage has been done to people because of sexual suppression. 

Somehow many people (again, especially those from a faith background) have grown up believing that sex is kind of a taboo topic and even though it’s ok for marriage, it’s almost shameful to pursue sexual pleasure.

Hear me on this. 

Sex is pleasurable, and it’s pleasurable for a reason – that’s no accident.

But sex was created to enhance and increase marital intimacy, it’s not just something that lives in a vacuum and simply happens to work “better” in a married relationship.

We need to stop treating sex and sexuality like they are dirty words. They aren’t. But when these topics are explored and pursued in an unhealthy way they can create massive problems and even trauma.

It is possible to acknowledge the pleasure and beauty of sex without exploiting or suppressing it.

Case in point…

When I first talked to my son about masturbation I flat out told him that an orgasm feels amazing. I didn’t try to minimize that fact even a little bit. But I also explained how our brains bond with stuff that gives us pleasure and so when we masturbate at a young age for pleasure we create unhealthy patterns and neural pathways that can lead to life destroying addictions down the road.

Someday he might masturbate.
Maybe he won’t?
Chances are he will though. 

And when he does, at least I know he has all the information to make an informed choice, and he knows his Dad is a safe place to go when he may end up making the “wrong” one.

Again, the world we live in is the world we live in. 

And so we can keep pretending and hoping that things will somehow magically get “better,” or we can engage these realities thoughtfully, critically, and lovingly accepting the challenges that come along with that, making the way for increased personal growth. 

The choice is yours.

AND as always – If you have questions about any of the things I covered here, be sure to check out Office Hours and submit your question so we can answer it in an upcoming session.

 

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Posted by on Jul 22, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

The Church and A Sexualized Culture: Who Influences Who?

She turned away and my eyes refused to leave her pants

They weren’t the type of legwear she slipped into in the morning, but the kind that were painted on with a thin lacquer that accentuated her calves and the gentle swells of her thighs. Nothing was left to the imagination as she paced and turned.

I could tell that each of the guys I was sitting with was thinking the same thing: Those pants are wonderful. Then, as a follow-up, I thought: Is it weird that one of our pastors is wearing them?

We were sitting in the young adult service at the hippest church in Denver, receiving a sermon from this female pastor wearing jeans so tight they made yoga pants look like parachutes. It made me wonder about the entire modesty conversation within the church, but at a much higher level.

I wondered about the influence our sex-saturated culture has had on the church in general. 

Here’s a brief (and overly simplified) history lesson to help us understand. The church was born in Jerusalem in the middle of the first century.

From there, it essentially traveled in all four directions—to the east, Christianity took on a lot of forms of eastern culture. It became mystical and drenched in experiential theology. Even today, the Eastern Orthodox church is less concerned with doctrine than they are with the living Presence of Christ. Their services are disorienting and beautiful.

The Word went south, first to Ethiopia, which claims to be the oldest Christian church in the world, saying the Eunuch in Acts 8 planted it himself upon returning home. The African church takes on a lot of spiritual elements and is consistently more supernatural than ours in the west. 

The Northern Orthodox church reflects many of Russia’s traditions, and most of us are familiar with the church in the west, which is reflective of our culture which is focused on philosophy, science, and logic.

The point is, wherever the church goes, it becomes indigenous to the culture in which it exists. 

The struggle, then, is to step outside of our own culture enough to get a more accurate picture of how our culture influences our view of our church. We in America have a highly sexualized culture.

I wonder how many Christians from around the world would have come to that young adult church service and been utterly repulsed by the pastor’s outfit. For many Christians worldwide, it wouldn’t even be a conversation—it would simply be wrong, along the same lines of lying and stealing (For men too, of course. We are just as guilty of getting a pre-sermon pump at the gym or wearing too tight of shirts…or pants).

Because of desensitization in the American culture, we may not even notice how sexualized the church has become. 

I’ve also noticed how Christians are obsessed with talking about sex. Growing up, I always heard the phrase, “Why is no one talking about sex and relationships in the church?” I don’t know what churches they’re going to, because that’s basically all I hear about in church. 

Men need to grow in purity; women need to do x,y, and z…and so on. 

I feel like every other sermon series is about dating, porn, sex, or marriage. 

Could it possibly be that the American church allowed her interests to be formed by the surrounding culture, rather than being the shaping force in our culture? After all, that was the case up until about the time of the Enlightenment.

Nearly all of the most famous pieces of art were created for or by the church. Handel’s Messiah elevated the praises of God to otherworldly choruses, while Michelangelo’s Pieta conveyed through marble the despair of Mary holding her executed Son. 

Since the 1700s though, with the rise of humanism and the Scientific Revolution, the roles have reversed and the Church has become follower more than leader. Culture talks about sex, so we hold a conference in response.

Instead, let’s think about two monks standing on the sidewalk in New York City:

A hooker walks by them in skimpy shorts and a bra. One monk jerks his vision away from her and looks the other way. A moment later he looks at his friend, who is still staring at the woman, and rebukes him.

“Brother! Why are you looking at something so unclean!?”

He sees a tear in his friend’s eye as he continues staring at the prostitute. 

Which monk was purer? Perhaps both responded appropriately, but the monk with the more Godly vision was the one who could look at the woman, see through the sexy attire, and see a little, wounded girl instead. He could see someone hurting, looking for love, and in need of grace.

The church typically falls into two camps: embrace the cultural flow and adapt (attractive pastors in skinny jeans jumping around in fog machines), or plug our ears and avert our eyes. We can bury our heads in the sand and effectively bury our witness to the world.

As long as we dwell in either of these camps, we are playing by the rules of the world. We are conceding that they have the arena and we’ll play within their bounds. 

What if we could look at the Sports Illustrated cover and see a woman made in the image of God, rather than a sexy object…or a BAD person? This would be a truly revolutionary approach to the sexual conversation—humanizing people.

The world, for all its talk of sexual liberation, still treats that model more like a sexual object than a person. And if we simply bounce our vision away from her, we do too.

So there must be a third option.

What if we learned how to baptize our vision, treating all humans with dignity, not being distracted by the big, flashy, sexy labels slapped all over our culture? 

What if, instead of ‘bouncing our eyes,’ we were able to instead ‘baptize our eyes’? What if we could be like Jesus, who did spend ample time with prostitutes, but never saw them as sex objects, but humans?

This, in my opinion, is one of the most revolutionary aspects of Jesus’ teaching: not that certain people are bad and others are good, but that we are all broken and in need of love and acceptance. 

I believe the church can take after its leader, who re-humanized those who had their humanity stripped from them. Whether it was a demon-possessed man slicing his skin in the tombs or a woman caught in the act of adultery, Jesus seems to take great pleasure in seeing them as they are—as bearers of the imago Dei—and restoring their dignity to them. 

Let’s baptize our vision and attempt to see humanity as God does: not as overly-sexual, nor as asexual, but as fellow struggling, tempted, wounded humans who matter a whole lot to God. This is a truly revolutionary approach to sex that the church can pioneer, if only we try. 

As we’ve mentioned before, we want to hear from you about these difficult topics. If you have questions about any of the things we covered here, be sure to check out Office Hours and submit your question so we can answer it in an upcoming session.

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Posted by on Jul 19, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

Sacred Sexualization

Every day we all wake up to a world and culture that seems obsessed with sex. That should come as no surprise to any of us.

Flip through your TV channels, scroll through your social media feeds, or read an online article on a popular news site and it will only takes few minutes (or less) to be presented with a visual reminder that our society eats up sex and sexualized content.

And as we said last week, there’s no getting away from this reality.

Consequently, we need to stop spending so much effort on fighting and running from this stuff and, instead, focus on learning how to live effectively among it.

Yet, there should be some safe spaces in our lives where we can enjoy a small reprieve from the sexual onslaught.

For instance…

Or at least you’d think?

But in today’s modern church culture, while the forms of sexualization may be less obvious, they still are very much present.

I can tell you first hand that I’ve often walked into churches where many young women are wearing pencil skirts tighter and shorter than you’d ever think reasonable, and tops that are so snug and low cut that they leave nothing much to the imagination. 

Then you have the pastors who stand up front and talk about their “smoking hot wife” as part of their sermon introduction or a punchline to a joke. Because, apparently, bragging about your wife’s high IQ isn’t anywhere near as attention grabbing or entertaining. 🤔

Oh, and then there are those Christian “leaders” out there who tell women that they should always be available for sex to their husbands, that failure to do so is a “sin,” and to be ok with serving as methadone (i.e. a replacement) for their husband’s porn addiction.  

And let’s not forget the male singers and guest speakers who get up on stage and wear pants so tight that you know about as much as what they have going on down below as their spouses. I know, a little crass but highly accurate. (I’ve unfortunately seen this a few times myself – hard to get those images out of your brain!

And listen, I’m no prude.

  • I don’t think that clothes need to be baggy to be acceptable.
  • I’m not part of the modesty police.
  • I don’t think that the way one dresses ever excuses any resulting objectification that may occur.
  • And if you think your wife is “hot,” good for you. I hope so.

Admittedly, I can’t get on board with the tight penis pants tho…seriously guys – no one wants to see that. 🤮

But regardless, the fact remains that sexualization occurs even in our churches, and honestly, we shouldn’t be surprised. Again, we are to some extent sexual beings and so dressing in ways that draw attention to that fact is to some extent expected.

However, when we are finally willing to concede this, we then need to be more vocal about the matters of sex and sexuality in general.

We can’t preach purity and integrity without acknowledging that there are those among us (a large percentage incidentally) who struggle in these areas and need help and support.

Likewise, we desperately need to start talking about sex and sexuality in healthy ways and incorporating these conversations into the fabric of our church communities rather than running from them.

It’s kind of insane when you think about it, that one of the hardest places to find healthy and honest talk surrounding sex is in our churches. 

Maybe this is why so many Christians carry around so much sexual baggage, shame, and a distorted view of sexuality overall? 

Why is this? After all…

  • God created sex.
  • Sex is beautiful and enjoyable.
  • Sex is meant to build intimacy and connection.

And when kept within the confines of healthy and holy relationships…

Sex is highly spiritual and should be celebrated.

But yet we see very little of this happening. 

Because while sex is spiritual, it’s also scary to talk about. And until we get over this irrational fear of sex and sexuality – many will continue to struggle in their ignorance and brokenness.

The reality is this…

If you want to see less sexualization and objectification in our culture, then it’s on you (and the church) to lead the way in healthy dialogue about sex and sexuality. Let’s stop being last to the party on these conversations, but rather serve as a safe place to have them openly and honestly, so we can all move forward together.

BTW – we at XXXchurch understand these topics are difficult and messy. If you have questions about any of the things we covered here, be sure to check out Office Hours and submit your question so we can answer it in an upcoming session.

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Posted by on Jul 15, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

The Fallout of Broken Sexuality

I am the daughter of a porn addict.

My father thought his secret life only affected him, but hearing and seeing porn, going to strip clubs and other places for his voyeurism, and using me as bait to seduce women – affected me from a very young age. It also trained my brother to sexually abuse me for years.

The fallout from my father’s lifestyle of harmful sexualization nearly destroyed me.

We were a broken family limping along trying to make it look normal. We took family vacations, had nice things, were well educated and musically talented while my parents remained married.

Our home, however, was an emotional vacuum devoid of true, genuine connection, kindness, and warmth. My depressed mother yelled a lot and took most of her frustrations out on me.

My father was emotionally detached from everyone outside of anger. My brother used his emotions solely for the purpose of seduction.

It was difficult to grow up in such a home.

No one received comfort when in pain. There was no protection and no boundaries to allow people to say no. Pleasure in any form was the god of habit who ruled the appetites of everyone within those walls.

The biggest rule of thumb was to keep all the secrets under wraps so no one outside our family knew the truth.

Even though I lived under that roof for 21 years, I saw evidence there was a different way to live when I met some Christian friends.

They seemed at peace with each other. There was grace and forgiveness for mistakes. They were not hiding and their connection was unmistakable.

I wanted what they had.

The stark contrast of what I had in my home to this newfound safety and peace is what brought me to believe in Jesus as my Savior.

For the past 21 years since my conversion to truth, I have trusted Christ to show me a different way of living. Although Jesus instantly helped me walk away from my promiscuity with others more than two decades ago, it took an additional 15 years to become able to walk away from my masturbation and fantasy.

But now I live out a Redeemed Sexuality.

My thought life is still a work in progress, but God’s grace says that He is with me no matter what.

They say that people die as they lived. And that was true for my father. My mother passed away after she remained faithful to him for almost 50 years. Yet, he continued to seduce women, some of them many decades younger than him.

But when the chaos of his choices caught up with him in the nursing home, they asked him to leave. I confronted him about it and as he continued to talk about pornography, girls, and strippers to me, I said to him:

“Dad, you need to stop sleeping with these women or the people in charge are going to make you leave.”
I can’t,” he said.
He was 74 years old.

We got him in his new nursing home and he only lived an additional 10 days.  He had no access to all the women he had spent the past two years grooming to do his sexual bidding.

I prayed for my father’s conversion for two decades. He never changed, nor did he want to. And he asked me specifically never to talk to him about it, either. I dutifully respected his wishes.

But God had changed me.

And I desperately wanted to show him a different way to live. When the path of life through Jesus’ forgiveness changed me, I wanted to tell him that he had access to:

A path that didn’t require constant time and energy on pornography.
A kinder way to relate to people of the opposite sex as people, not objects.
A deep, loving connection to make heart to heart conversations possible.
A true commitment to a spouse that was fulfilling and close.
A fantastic relationship with the God and Creator of the Universe, His Son & the Holy Spirit

I forgave my father.

I pursued him and never gave up the hope that he would someday love me, choose to connect with me in a healthy way and make time so we could have a true father-daughter relationship.

That day never came. And I grieved and wept deeply when I saw his body in the funeral home.

Those words were never spoken to my father because he never wanted to hear them. But maybe those words were never meant for my father to hear.

Because maybe, just maybe….

….those words are meant for you.

 

 

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