Category Archives: Sex

Questions, Christians, and 50 Shades of Grey

questions by Stuart MilesI’m not going to see 50 Shades of Grey. I think that, if you’ve read my testimony and followed my blog, you know that for me to see that would be incredibly hypocritical. I did not read the books, and I am not following the hype. But I am on social media, and I know people are excited about it—even many Christians. And I don’t understand that. I have been reading comments on social media from Christians who are going to see the movie, and trying to understand their reasons for doing so. In response, bear with me as I ask some questions to get us thinking—and praying.

Some Christians have claimed that it is a redemptive love story—because Christian Grey comes from a very dark past, and eventually, this young lady saves him from that dark past. I understand redemption, because the best redemptive love story can be found in the Bible—and because I have lived through redemption myself. I was very lost in a world of porn and addiction to sexual promiscuity, so I do somewhat understand that about Christian Grey. But my question is this: does a love story of redemption need to include lewd and graphic sexual content to tell the story? In other words, do you need to see a video of my sexual escapades in order for me to tell my story of redemption? Of course not. If I posted a video of myself having sex with someone as part of my story here, Christians would RIGHTLY be enraged. But some of these same Christians will go into a movie theater and watch lewd sexual situations in this movie because “it is part of the characters’ redemptive love story.” Both situations are pornography. One is more acceptable by Christians. My brothers, this should not be so.

The other aspect to the “redemptive love story” claim is the idea of trying to present darkness as light. I have done this a lot in the past to justify my decision to do something I know is not increasing my Christlikeness. But I am reminded of a few things from God’s Word. First, the devil presents lies as truth and darkness as light. In Genesis 3, that is exactly how he deceived Adam and Eve. Even today, he continues as the great deceiver who packages some aspect of the light (it’s a redemptive love story) around darkness (it’s also full of sexual deviance and mistreatment). He is, of course, the father of lies. And the Bible is very clear that Satan and his servants disguise themselves as angels of light and servants of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:14). So my question is this: have you been fooled into believing that this movie’s darkness is light?

I have also seen many Christians who will see this movie claim, “you can’t judge me,” “don’t judge me,” or “only God can judge me.” Interestingly enough, Matthew 7:1 is American Christianity’s favorite Bible verse to quote. American Christians, in my opinion, don’t believe they should be held accountable for the choices they make. And that is simply not true. To judge is to hand down the verdict as to whether or not you are guilty and I give you a sentence based on your guilt. And it’s true—only God can do that. But when there’s a standard or a law that you obviously don’t live up to, then I can and should point that out and lovingly correct you. Paul even gave us the how-to guide for that in Galatians (6:1, and chapter 2 when he lived it out). In fact, most of Paul’s letters were written to point out blatant sin in the church—but Paul was not God, so should we disregard most of the New Testament? Of course not! As fellow believers, we do indeed have not only the right but the responsibility to lovingly hold each other accountable for our sins, including impurity, lewdness, pornography, and fornication—all things represented in the movie 50 Shades of Grey. And that’s why we need to think before we say, “don’t judge me.” But my question is: would you even need to say “don’t judge me” if you weren’t doing something that you knew was not in line with Scripture?

I can’t tell anyone what choice to make, but I can tell those who claim to be believers what the Bible says. It says to flee sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18), to think on pure things, to be pure as God is pure. We don’t do these things because we are prudes, we do them because we want to please God with our actions and our thoughts. We do them because our example, Jesus Christ, would. God’s will for every believer is simple: Christlikeness (see Genesis through Revelation). So my question is: how does seeing this movie contribute to your Christlikeness? Because that is the question we should be asking ourselves—not just about this movie, but about everything we say and do.

I pray that Christians will begin to stand up for Jesus Christ and the Holy Word, not Christian Grey and Hollywood.

Read more awesome coverage about reasons to skip 50 Shades of Grey here, here, and here, or check out an awesome book about Christian women and our awesome sexuality “Pulling Back the Shades” by Dannah Gresh here.

What’s Missing From Sex: Commitment (Part 2)

This blog series is following my church’s series, “What’s Missing From Sex” as my pastor preaches about a topic the church has mostly avoided. This particular post goes with the second sermon in the series and can be found on my church’s website here. I urge you to listen! The sermon begins about 17:00 minutes into the video.


image courtesy of ponsulak

This is the last blog for my church’s series, “What’s Missing from Sex?” and I have to admit, I’m struggling to write it. Mostly, it’s because my life has changed dramatically over the past few weeks. My uncle—the man who inadvertently introduced me to pornography—had a massive stroke and is unable to care for himself. My family and I have accepted the responsibility of coordinating his care and moving him to live with my family back east. My father—the man who rejected me continuously as a child and adult—has been given 60 days to live and is dying a sad and terrible death. Additionally, I am trying to figure out my feelings about a male friend of mine, which is both confusing and confirming all at the same time. I’m emotionally spent. And to say that I am thinking about commitment recently is an understatement: the word is being redefined in my life on an hourly basis.

I could talk about commitment and the various awesome quotes my pastor threw out about Christians, sex, and commitment, but instead, here are the two things I’m learning about commitment as I’ve struggled through the past few weeks:

Commitment plays a big part in our self-worth. What was it about me that made my father not want to be a part of my life? I don’t know if I ever asked myself this question or considered it as I was growing up. But even so, I lived as if the answer to the question was simply that I wasn’t enough. I conducted my life as a woman who had little self-worth, who asked for zero commitment from anyone before engaging them sexually, who allowed herself to be treated as an object. I was saying to others that I was independent and confident, but my actions showed that I didn’t feel worthy of a commitment from anyone—and that I expected that as well. Thankfully, I know now that this is a lie! I am worthy of that commitment—and so are you. Everyone is. I see it play out through the situation with my uncle: I see the happiness on his face upon being reassured that we are committed to caring for him. He not only feels loved but secure in having others who care for him. Though his situation isn’t ideal, his self-worth can be. It’s that kind of security and self-worth that God wanted us to know when He committed to sending Jesus to save us. He wanted to set us free and ground our identity in Him (1 John 3:1-2).

Commitment is risky. This is my current struggle. I know how difficult it is for me to open up to others. With my male friend, I have felt like he is gently pursuing me, likely somewhat cautious of rejection himself and of my penchant for being a pushy prophet girl who puts up walls and holds him at bay. I struggle with being vulnerable, knowing that rejection has played such a serious role in my past. I’ve been trying to purposely embrace the risk of commitment—to friendship and beyond, if that’s what God wants—in order to truly experience life and love as God intended. I take risks everywhere else—but in relationships, I tend to be a cautious study. We all do. But what a risk God took for us in sending Jesus! The risk is that we would all-out reject him—and in one way or another, we all have rejected Him. But He still did it. Knowing that we would reject Him, He still gave us that choice. The question is, am I willing to take that risk with others? With God? Are you?

The reward of risking honor, intimacy, understanding, and commitment in marriage is a healthy, loving sex life where God defines your worth (and He has said you are worthy!). As I wrap up this series, I want to point out something my pastor said: if God is not the God of your sexuality, then He’s not the God of anything in your life. So I urge you to let God be the God of your sexuality and your sex life—and watch the rewards and blessings pour out on you!

What’s Missing From Sex: Commitment (Part 1)

This blog series is following my church’s series, “What’s Missing From Sex” as my pastor preaches about a topic the church has mostly avoided. This particular post goes with the second sermon in the series and can be found on my church’s website here. I urge you to listen! The sermon begins about 17:00 minutes into the video.


image courtesy of ponsulak /

“I just want to feel pleasure. I just need a release. I don’t need a boyfriend, I just want someone to satisfy me.” These thoughts ran through my head for many years as I sought out the wrong kind of relationships to fill a void in my life—a void that I had actually created myself with a dependence on pornography and a thought life that reflected it. One of my many issues stemming from a pornography addiction at a young age was that I grew up believing that people were objects to be used for my pleasure instead treasures to be valued. Pornography had taught me a number of things, but the most important and deadly lesson it taught was that I didn’t need commitment from people—and that I wasn’t capable of giving it, either.

Thankfully, God has healed me of many of these destructive thought patterns and actions while teaching me the following things about commitment:

Commitment takes more than words. For me, commitment didn’t seem that important when it came to people and relationships. I saw a lot of people giving their word but not keeping it—especially in relationships, and therefore, my own personal view of commitment became skewed. But I was looking in the wrong place for my ideas about commitment: I should have been looking at the cross. After all, that is where true commitment was modeled for me in Jesus Christ: He didn’t just say He came to save, He did. He suffered, bled, and died for me—an act that blessed me with forgiveness. The Bible says that we should treat others as we would want to be treated (Luke 6:31). Don’t you want others to be committed to you? I did—and still do.

Commitment takes time. Commitments aren’t created and kept overnight. A commitment isn’t just one action; it’s a series of actions over time that show loyalty, communion, and grace. It’s one of the reasons that God wants sex to happen within marriage: because sex is so personal, so spiritual, so emotional, it is refined and perfected over the years of a long and healthy marriage. It takes time to build the trust, love, and intimacy—whether in friendship or marriage. And we must be willing to sacrifice the time it takes to form healthy commitments instead of depending on the quick fix that will leave us wounded, broken, and still searching for truth.

Commitment takes everything you have. There’s no commitment in pornography, no commitment in one-night stands, and no commitment in the endless pursuit of sexual satisfaction outside of marriage. And in those things, there’s also nothing required of you to give. When I was hooking up with the still-married man or having “a little fun” in college, I wasn’t required to give anything outside of a physical relationship—even though I did and I came away deeply scarred. True commitment takes more than just words and time—it requires everything of you. This is why God created sex for marriage—because He created it for two people who have committed their entire lives and beings to loving and serving one another (Hebrews 13:4). A loving, healthy marriage takes everything you have and everything you are—and it is where sex is best experienced.

As my pastor noted, per Christian Mingle, 63% of Christian men and women from that website have said they would have sex before marriage. For some time, I was one of those people. But in my heart, I never truly believed that I should, and so I didn’t. It is only by God’s grace that I am still a virgin who is saving myself for marriage, even though I have made many sexual mistakes. In order to change my behavior, though, I had to change my thoughts about commitment—and realize that the God who stood by His commitment to save me wanted to teach me about true commitment—through a real relationship with Him.

If you want to know about true commitment through a relationship with Jesus Christ, please visit my Contact Me page! I would love to talk to you about the healing and saving power of Jesus Christ!

What’s Missing From Sex: Understanding (Part 2)

This blog series is following my church’s series, “What’s Missing From Sex” as my pastor preaches about a topic the church has mostly avoided. This particular post goes with the second sermon in the series and can be found on my church’s website here. I urge you to listen! The sermon begins about 18:00 minutes into the video.


image courtesy of ponsulak /

I had been sitting in the car with him for about 10 minutes. I was in the driver’s seat, and God had put me there for a reason: He knew I couldn’t get in a good right hook or jab from the position I was in. And literally, that’s all I could think about at the moment—punching this jerk that was telling me about this new woman he was dating, which was funny, because he hadn’t yet broken up with me—AND he was still married! In a quiet moment between yelling, I realized something I had been too blind to see: this man never understood me or my intentions. He did not understand my love for Jesus, he did not understand how I wanted to be treated, and he did not understand my heart (all things that were my fault). Additionally, I also realized that I did not understand him or what he had really wanted from me—I had only understood what I wanted to know. We lacked understanding at its most basic level.

One of the biggest things that’s missing from sex these days is understanding. Not just understanding about what sex is and Who created it, but understanding your spouse and the marriage that you’ve entered. I certainly did not understand my ex above, and he did not understand me—which meant everything physical between us amounted to nothing except heartbreak and emptiness. However, to restore sex to what God intended, we must realize these three things:

  • Understanding in sex requires communication. One of the top three things married couples fight about is sex. It’s usually about every part of sex: from the frequency to the likes or dislikes. That’s why married couples must communicate with each other both inside the bedroom and outside. How can you understand someone if you’re not communicating with them? Of course, this is quite simple in some ways, quite complex in others. It means listening to your spouse and really hearing what they say—that can seem easy. But it also means understanding when your spouse feels “in the mood” and understanding when they don’t. It is why sex outside of the marriage bed—e.g., one night stands, empty relationships with no commitment, even pornography—often leaves us scarred.
  • Understanding in sex requires compassion. Again, your marriage outside of the bedroom will affect what happens inside the bedroom. Like communication, if you aren’t showing compassion outside of the bedroom walls, you likely won’t feel those same things within them. How do you respond to your spouse? How do you talk about your spouse to your friends, your children, your coworkers? How do you show your spouse you love him/her? How you treat your spouse, whether in private or in public, has an emotional impact on your sex life. When you unite yourself with someone physically through sex, you should show grace, mercy, and love in the most intimate of circumstances.
  • Understanding in sex requires communion. I’m not talking about the bread and wine that you might get if you attend church. I’m talking about the unity that comes with marriage. The Bible says that when a man leaves his parents, he and his wife are joined together and become one (Ephesians 5:31, Genesis 2:24). This oneness is not just a physical oneness, but it is a spiritual and emotional oneness as well. It means that you stop living just for yourself, you stop thinking just for your own needs, and you begin to seek understanding about the spouse to whom you have been joined.

Sex can’t be used as a thermostat to control your marriage, as my pastor noted, and it can’t be used as a scheme to get what you want in your marriage. Instead, sex should complement your marriage and be one of many gauges to track the health of your marriage. And one of the easiest ways to do that is to begin practicing understanding—not just of sex as God intended, but understanding of your spouse and marriage through communication, compassion, and communion.

What’s Missing From Sex: Understanding (Part 1)

This blog series is following my church’s series, “What’s Missing From Sex” as my pastor preaches about a topic the church has mostly avoided. This particular post goes with the second sermon in the series and can be found on my church’s website here. I urge you to listen! The sermon begins about 18:00 minutes into the video.


image courtesy of ponsulak /

I was having an e-mail conversation with an ex, and he was telling me about his sister’s recent heartbreak. His sister had dated a man who, after a year-long relationship, broke her heart by confessing that for the last eight months, he had also been seeing someone else and was now going to marry this other woman. My ex’s sister was devastated. “I keep trying to console her,” my ex said, “but she hasn’t experienced heartbreak like this before. It’s like losing her first pet.” I nearly choked on my water. Like losing her first pet? I thought to myself. No…it’s nothing like that. Pets don’t have human reasoning capabilities and make decisions to intentionally hurt you. She loved this man and believed that he loved her in return—but it turns out he didn’t. As I tried to explain this to him, I realized something very profound about this man who I had (stupidly) previously chosen to get involved with: he did not understand.

You may be thinking, “what is there to understand about sex? It’s a simple deed, done in different ways. I can figure it out.” However, we must move beyond simply the act of sex and into what sex is as God intended. And in a series titled, “What’s Missing from Sex,” we have to discuss our understanding about the one thing that is tied to sex, even if we haven’t always included it in sex: love. In order to truly get the most pleasure from sex, we must first have true understanding about sex and love together in the context that God intended for them (marriage). Here are a couple of things we need to understand about love:

We must understand what godly love is. My ex didn’t understand what godly love is, so he couldn’t comprehend why his sister was suffering such heartbreak. Jesus said that true, great love was characterized by “laying one’s life down for a friend” (John 15:13). Jesus spoke this prophetically, knowing that He was going to lay down His life for us. But He also told us to love others as He had loved us (John 13:34). So really, He was saying that true, godly love is selfless. Godly love thinks of the other person before thinking of yourself. It is so easy to think that a relationship is all about you: your needs, your desires, your wishes being fulfilled. However, Jesus tells us something completely different about love: that it is not a feeling or an emotion, but an action: a selfless action that is completely against our fleshly nature in every way (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Love is a commitment to the other person’s well-being regardless of the impact on you.

We must understand that godly love and sex walk hand in hand. While it is possible to have sex without love, sex was never meant to be experienced without godly love. 1 Corinthians 6:16-17 (The Message) says, “There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.”  Experiencing sex without godly love is like taking exams without attending classes or reading the materials: disaster is imminent. God created marriage as a safe haven to explore our sexuality while experiencing Godly love. When you have sex without godly love, you are removing essential parts from sex and reducing it to less than God intended. They were created to be together, within the safety of marriage.

We have all made mistakes in these areas, but we are so lucky to have a God that loves us! He didn’t just lay down his life for us, His death and resurrection paid the penalty for our mistakes, giving us a clean slate if we will only accept it. You can begin to understand what true love is by getting to know God: for love is from God and God IS love (1 John 4:7-8). Know God, know love—and that is the first step to bringing understanding back into sex.

What’s Missing From Sex: Intimacy (Part 2)

This blog series is following my church’s series, “What’s Missing From Sex” as my pastor preaches about a topic the church has mostly avoided. This particular post goes with the second sermon in the series and can be found on my church’s website here. I urge you to listen! The sermon begins about 16:00 minutes into the video.


image courtesy of ponsulak /

He really didn’t know anything about me. Not because we hadn’t spent time together, but because I had not really shared anything with him. We had met and become friends through an Internet chat room about hockey. And while he was nice enough, he did not understand my struggles, and he did not know about my past. Mostly, even though he claimed to, he didn’t share any kind of spiritual connection with me—he was a non-practicing Catholic, and I was a Protestant youth pastor. He didn’t understand my desire for a personal relationship with Jesus, but I wanted so badly to be loved, I ignored our lack of true intimacy and believed that if I just gave in a bit sexually, the intimacy would come. He was my first boyfriend as an adult, and I just wanted to make it work.

Intimacy has been defined as “in to me I see.” When I think about that definition and about the men with whom I’ve been sexually intimate, I realize there was always something missing. Our culture has done a great job of valuing the physical act of sex, but not given much to valuing intimacy itself. We know about everyone’s sex tapes, but very little beyond that. It is almost like we are scared of being intimate with each other, afraid of being seen and known. As my pastor noted, this type of intimacy that we long to experience—being fully known and loved for who we are, faults and all—cannot be separated from sex. And here are two things my past has taught me about the intertwining of sex and intimacy:

Physical nakedness is not complete without spiritual or emotional nakedness. Have you ever noticed that when you leave a sexual relationship, you don’t necessarily leave with physical pain but instead have emotional pain? That’s because sex cannot be separated from intimacy. We cannot give or get sex in order to give or get intimacy. I have tried to do this many times: with my first boyfriend as mentioned above; with another non-Christian man when I was out of community with other believers; with a couple of hook-ups in college. In each case, I thought that I could get the intimacy I desired by giving of myself sexually. Every time, the result was brokenness, because intimacy is not just physical, and sex is more than just an act. This lie that “sex is just a physical act” pervades our culture. But let me assure you: when you connect your physical body to someone else in the act of sex, you are connecting to them emotionally and spiritually whether you realize it or not. Sexual activity with another person creates a soul tie with them, a physical, emotional, and spiritual tie that God created for a special circumstance.

Complete intimacy—spiritual, physical, and emotional—happens in only two places. The first place and best place for you to find total intimacy is with Jesus Christ. Being seen and known by the One who created you is one of the most precious gifts you can get. And not only did God create you to be in complete intimacy with Him, He also created the one place where you could find total intimacy—including sex—with another human: within a godly marriage. The intimacy between a man and a woman joined together in marriage under God was meant for this total and complete union of the body, soul, and spirit. How do I know this? God calls the church “His bride”—He uses that imagery many times in Scripture (Isaiah 54:5, 2 Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:25, etc.) because He wants to be as close to us as a bride and groom are to each other. He wants that complete spiritual, physical, and emotional intimacy that is reserved for marriage to be prevalent in His relationship with each of us.

Are you looking for total intimacy? Look no further than Jesus Christ. He not only can see you the way you want to be seen, but He can teach you how to find deep connections with others while reserving total intimacy—especially sexual intimacy—for your godly marriage.

What’s Missing From Sex: Intimacy (Part One)

This blog series is following my church’s series, “What’s Missing From Sex” as my pastor preaches about a topic the church has mostly avoided. This particular post goes with the second sermon in the series and can be found on my church’s website here. I urge you to listen! The sermon begins about 16:00 minutes into the video.


image courtesy of ponsulak /

“I want a normal life.” I uttered these words to God and then a friend earlier this week. It’s hard to wrap my mind around that word “normal,” because, as I cried to my friend just a few days ago, I know that I’m not normal. I’ve never felt normal—and it’s not just my past addiction that drives that feelings. I don’t fall in love like a normal person, I don’t think or act like a normal person, I don’t have a life that resembles anything “normal.” But that doesn’t mean I don’t crave being “normal”—whatever that means. However, after talking to my friend about it, I realized that it’s not that I crave being “normal.” What I really crave is intimacy. What I really want is for someone to really see me and understand me. What I really want is to be known.

When I think of ungodly relationships I’ve been in and the mistakes I’ve made in the area of sex, I realize that the fact that I’m so different has caused me to crave intimacy in a strong way. And I believed culture’s lie that the easiest way to get intimacy was through sex. But with that view, we get a lot of physical nakedness, but not much spiritual and emotional nakedness—which is really what I am craving (and most others too). I want to be real and authentic, mistakes and all, and to be loved for being those things.

As I’ve reflected on this over the past few days, here are a few things God revealed to me about intimacy:

  • God created us to be intimate with him and with others. My friend told me that being fully known by God should be enough for me. However, that’s not entirely true nor is it Biblical. God created us to be relational beings; if He had just wanted us to depend solely on Him, then He never would have said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). He saw that the animals were paired up, and, not finding a suitable helper for man among them, He created one for Him—woman. So not only were women not created to be alone, but women were created out of man, as a helper specifically for man. God wants us to be intimate with Him, YES—more than anything! But God also wants us to experience intimate relationships with other human beings, both male and female.
  • It takes trust to build intimacy. Though we should put our full and total trust only in the Lord, we have to take chances and trust people as well. This is difficult in a world that seems plastic and fake. I think sometimes it is easier for me to put all my “stuff” out on the Internet to see than it is to confess it to friends. And for many, it is easier to be physically naked with someone through sex than it is to be emotionally and spiritually naked with them by confiding in them. But we have to change that thought process. God is showing me daily that the more I trust Him with my heart (Proverbs 3:5), the easier it is to trust people who will disappoint or hurt me—and vice versa.
  • It takes time to build intimacy. Intimacy isn’t formed overnight. Too often, we enter into relationships with others and expect intimacy before we have actually taken the time to develop it. I believe this is one of the reasons why it is so important to be friends with someone before you date or marry them. When you spend time with others outside of the bedroom, you get to know their feelings, their dreams, their visions, their fears. It is in sharing these things that intimacy is cultivated. True, godly friendships encourage intimacy, and true, godly intimacy occurs over time…time spent with others and time spent with God.

As my pastor pointed out, you cannot have sex without intimacy (which we will discuss later this week). But you can grow in the area of intimacy without having sex. It begins with a willingness to trust and spend quality time with others—and God.

How can you practice being spiritually and emotionally intimate in godly ways this week?

What’s Missing From Sex: Honor (Part 2)

This blog series is following my church’s series, “What’s Missing From Sex” as my pastor preaches about a topic the church has mostly avoided. This particular post goes with the first sermon in the series and can be found on my church’s website here. I urge you to listen! The sermon begins about 16:00 minutes into the video.


image courtesy of ponsulak /

I was years removed from my addiction to pornography, but there was still something missing. When I began to search for community outside of the church, I found it in a man who in the midst of separating from his wife but looking for some “companionship” in the meantime. What he really meant was that he wanted sexual satisfaction without any kind of true relationship. Because of the deep longing inside my heart to be in community and to be known, I answered that desire for him. I allowed him to use me, even though I knew that was exactly what he was doing—and I was doing it to him as well. We both said we had a “healthy agreement,” because we thought our needs were getting met, but deep in my heart, I knew that everything about our “agreement” was unhealthy and ungodly. We were not honoring each other.

Honor and sex don’t seem to exist together in a world where pornography, rape, and sex trafficking are so prominent. After all, when women and men are treated like commodities and objects instead of God’s children, it is difficult to see any pieces of integrity among the mess. However, even honor in sex can be redeemed by God if we follow these two steps:

We must first value ourselves. “Treat others the way you want to be treated” (Matthew 7:12). It’s something have all heard, probably passed on to us in our childhood. However, many of us forgot that once we graduated from childhood. If this saying applied to my actions and attitude in the “agreement,” then what I wanted was to be treated like an object, used and thrown away when I was no longer worthy. However, I knew better. When I returned to my Christian community, I remembered the following things:

  • I was bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6).
  • I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139).
  • I am one of God’s chosen, holy and beloved (Colossians 3).
  • I am saved, not because of what I’ve done, but because of His mercy (Titus 3).
  • The hairs of my head are all numbered, and I am more valuable than the sparrows (Luke 12).
  • God will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 12).
  • I’ve been raised with Christ and am seated at the right hand of God (Colossians 1).

Once I was back in Christian community, I realized how much God values me—AND you. And if God has said He values us in these ways (and more!), then we can and should believe what He says. Because when we begin to believe what God says, we can value ourselves and honor God with our bodies.

Once we value ourselves, we can begin to honor others. Honoring others in sex is important because, as my pastor noted, sex—as God created it—is “others-focused.” We live in a “me first” culture, though, and sex has not escaped this attitude. My friend was focused on HIS needs when he approached me; I, too, was thinking about my own selfish desires. However, honoring others in sex is not simply putting your spouse’s sexual needs before your own—it is honoring your spouse even outside the act of sex. It is not treating others like an object to be used for our satisfaction. It is declaring what God has said about us (above) is also true of our spouse or significant other. It is setting appropriate, God-honoring boundaries in dating relationships. It is developing a deep sense of trust in relationships. It is not objectifying those who have made sexual mistakes by calling them “dirty, used, or unclean.” It is offering forgiveness, grace, and love to our spouses and significant others when they make mistakes. It is not withholding love or sex when we are hurt. Honoring others means valuing others as much as or more than we value ourselves. And when we do this, we honor God through our sex lives.

Knowing your identity in Christ—your value and worth as shown in Scripture—is the key to honoring others in your sex life. You are more than an object; you are God’s beloved and chosen, and He has plans to prosper you and not to harm you (Jeremiah 29:11). Know your own worth so that you can begin to value and honor others as God’s children.

What is one thing you can choose to believe that God says about you today?

What’s Missing From Sex: Honor (Part 1)

This blog series is following my church’s series, “What’s Missing From Sex” as my pastor preaches about a topic the church has mostly avoided. This particular post goes with the first sermon in the series and can be found on my church’s website here. I urge you to listen! The sermon begins about 16:00 minutes into the video.


image courtesy of ponsulak /

While I’m wary of even letting guys that I’m attracted to touch me today, that wasn’t always the case. While the words have always been familiar to me, but I haven’t always lived to “honor God with my body.” More importantly, what I realized is that I tried to “honor God” by being mostly obedient to His Word, bending the rules to meet my desires. I would do everything sexually but have intercourse with a man and believe my actions still brought glory to God, because I wasn’t actually having sex before marriage (the command). I was watching pornography and playing out fantasies in my mind, but I was still “pure.” It sounds foolish, right? But that’s the attitude I had until my 30s because I wasn’t exactly sure how to honor God with my body.

Honoring God is a phrase that can sound churchy and religious, and in the midst of struggling with our desires, we can forget what it really means. So here are three easy ways to practice honoring God with our body through sex:

  1. Believe God. God first gets honor in our lives when we choose to believe Him. We don’t just believe in Him, we believe Him: the things that He says in His Word about sex and love. We must choose to believe that, as my pastor pointed out, the first five words of the Bible are true: “In the beginning God created.” And because God created us and God created sex, as the Creator, we can believe that His ideas and commands about sex are perfect. Do you believe God when He says sex should be reserved for marriage? Do you believe God when He says that He knows and cares about your desires and will meet them? Believing God and His Word is the first step to honoring Him.
  2. Trust God. Belief is important, but the Bible says that even the demons believe in God, and they shudder (James 2:16). That means we must not only believe what God says, but we must place our trust in Him and His perfect plan for our lives. When I engaged in sexual activity outside of marriage, it was because I didn’t trust God to provide for my wants. I trusted other things: my desires, what the world was saying, and what the church wasn’t saying. Putting my trust in those things led to a pornography addiction and several broken hearts. But when I decided to trust God, I began to see that His perfect way was meant to shield me from that pain and misery. Psalm 23:3 says, “He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.” When we believe and trust Him, God guides us in the right way and He is honored in the process.
  3. Obey God. It’s not enough just to believe and trust; we have to do what God commands. Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commands” (John 14:15). We honor God when we obey His commands to save sex for its intended place: marriage. We honor God when we do not let our eyes look at explicit sexual materials (Psalm 101:3). We honor God when we allow our thoughts to stay on what is pure, noble, and true (Philippians 4:8). Nothing brings more honor to God than our obedience, coupled with belief and trust, in the area of sex.

First Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” Honoring God with your body doesn’t just mean your physical body not engaging in sexual relations; it means your eyes, your ears, your mouth, your mind—every part must be guarded in godly ways to bring honor to your Creator. In our sex-saturated culture, it’s not easy, but the first step is simply to believe Him. Will you?

Are you ready to honor God in the area of sex? What are some ways you can start?