The Squeezings of my Brain Grapes.
Secret Weapons For Your Fight Against Lust – Volume 3!!!

Ok, my friends.  It’s time for another SECRET WEAPON as we figure out how to stand our ground against lust.

Before we get started, here’s what I want you to know: all of us here in Chicago believe in you.  We love you.  We stand with you.  And we know that, day by day, bit by bit, you can walk forward on this thing.

That’s right, I’m talking to *you*.

Ok.  Let’s DO THIS.  It’s time for SECRET WEAPON NUMBER 3!

Finding A New 10 Minute Mood Changer”

The average time spent on a porn website is not even 9 minutes.  (Technically, it’s 8:56.)  Now, forgive me for being a little blunt, but this isn’t a huge surprise.  Those of us who have struggled with porn (that being everyone, everywhere on earth) know how this thing works.  Step 1 is ‘find something on a porn site that gets you all hot and bothered’.  Step 2 is ‘have an orgasm.’  And Step 3 is ‘huh, my interest in this porn website has just dramatically decreased!’

Now, if you talk to people about why they look at porn, what you’ll find out is that many – and sometimes most – of the reasons have little or nothing to do with sex.  Folks look at porn because they’re stressed out, because they’re bored, because they’re lonely…and they want something to make them feel better.  That makes sense.  And, of course, as you probably know, orgasms influence your brain chemistry, so, in a literal sense, the process is making you feel better.

With that in mind, let’s do a thought-experiment.  Pretend with me that you’d never heard of porn.  And I tell you, there’s a thing that, in about 10 minutes, will help you to feel better, whether you’re bored or stressed or lonely or tired.

If you’re like me, you’d say, “That sounds great!  Tell me more!”  And that would be the right response – who doesn’t want to have something they can do in 10 minutes to help them feel better?

The good news is this: porn is not the only thing that can help you feel better in 10 minutes.

Here’s just a quick list of things you can do in 10 minutes that will pretty much always help you to mentally relax and feel better:

  • Get up, walk out the door, and grab a cup of coffee
  • Put on some music real loud and bust out your best dance moves
  • Get out your guitar and sing some of your favorite worship tunes
  • Put on your shoes and go for a quick run
  • Write an email to a friend and tell them how much you appreciate them 

Any of these things can be done in about 10 minutes, and you’ll feel better at the end of all of them.  Whether you’re lonely, bored, stressed – this stuff will help.  Sure, none of these things is a cure for stress or loneliness, but that’s not the point.

The point is that we all need 10-Minute-Mood-Changers in our lives.  (Porn just happens to not be a good one.)  We all need little things we can do to help us relax and get out of a funky headspace. And I bet that you can build on this list.  I bet you can come up with even better 10-Minute-Mood-Changers, and ones that would work really well for you and your situation.

Here’s a bonus secret weapon.  Keep a list, on your phone, of your favorite mood changers.  And when you start to feel lonely or tired or whatever – something that’s gonna try and tempt you to turn to lust – open up that list.  Cause you know these are all things that will help.  Then, pick one, and go do it.

At the end of that ten minutes, I bet you two things.  First, you’ll feel better – you won’t be as tired or stressed or bored as you were 10 minutes ago.  And, second, because you’re feeling better, your desire to look at something lustful has gone down quite a little bit.

You can do it.  You can find things that will help you change your mood in 10 minutes, and that will help you stand firm against lust.

We love you.  Keep your head up.

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Go Now, And Leave Your Life Of Sin

We’re all supposed to believe that God forgives us.  And, sure, intellectually, we do.  But, for a lot of us, that just isn’t how we feel.

Truth is, we don’t feel forgiven.  We don’t feel “free”.  No, for a lot of us, we feel dirty, used-up, and out of second chances.  We might know that isn’t true, but that knowledge doesn’t change the feeling.

If you feel that way, this is for you.

There’s an amazing moment in the Bible where Jesus comes face-to-face with a woman caught in the act of sinning.  And, I’m talking about big old embarrassing sexual sin, the kind you hope nobody ever finds out about.

Jesus says two things to this woman. First, he says, “I do not condemn you.”  Second, he says, “Go now and leave your life of sin.”  (You can read the whole story in John chapter 8.)

Now, the first one - I don’t condemn you - that sounds about right.  I mean, Jesus is supposed to forgive people, so, that makes sense.

But let’s look at that second one.  "Go now and leave your life of sin."

If you asked most people what it means to leave a “life of sin”, they’d say, “Simple!  Stop doing bad stuff!”  But I’m not sure that’s exactly it.

See, sin, at its core, is about selfishness.  It’s a focus on me, and what I think might satisfy me at any given moment, regardless of anybody else.  By contrast, a life driven by God’s Spirit is a life focused on God, what God wants, and what God is doing.  (For more on this, check out the book of Galatians, and especially chapter 5.)

So, then, if our hearts and thoughts are consumed with beating up on ourselves for past sins, and trying to grit our teeth and whip ourselves to resist present temptations, sin is still the thing at the center of our lives.  We’re focused on our jacked-up mess, and what the heck is wrong with us, and how terrible we are.

Here’s what the Bible says about that:

"Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored." (Romans 8:8, MSG)

Whoa.  That does not sound good.  Ok.  So, what do we do instead?

We recognize that leaving a life of sin is about, well, leaving a life of sin.  It’s about putting something else at the center of our thoughts and energies.  It’s about having a life driven by something other than the draw and repulsion of sin.

If you want to leave your life of sin, I’ve got two suggestions for you.

First, don’t wait around for your emotions to agree with what God is telling you. He says you stand forgiven, and you do.  Waiting for 100% buy-in from your feelings…that’s a very long wait.

Second, take the focus off of yourself, and put it onto loving other people. 

It sounds funny to say it out loud, but, people who are hurting, people who are going through a rough time, they don’t care what you’ve done in your past.  The lonely kid in class who cuts himself?  If you’re willing to talk to him and be a friend, he’s not going to double check the last time you looked at porn before accepting your company.  The homeless guy at the soup kitchen who hasn’t eaten in three days?  He couldn’t care less if you went too far physically with your last boyfriend.  It just doesn’t matter.

And when you start to focus on loving other people, instead of obsessing over your sins, you’ll begin to realize, for yourself, that the sins don’t matter in the way you thought they did.  Sure, they were wrong.  Yes, we want to work on not doing them.  But they don’t define you.  They don’t tell you who you are.  And they don’t tell you what your life is about.

Beloved, leave your life of sin.  Leave your life of guilt and shame and introspection and obsession.  Jesus has a real life he wants to give you – a life following Him, a life serving others – and, I promise, it’s absolutely amazing.

Hey everybody!

So, my friends over at The Good Women Project re-printed a blog post I wrote about the question, “What’s the point of waiting til marriage if you’ve already had sex?”  

If you would, take a second to stop by their site, click “like”, and leave a nice comment.  I’d really appreciate it!

Jed

goodwomenproject:

QUESTION: What is the point of waiting to have sex with my boyfriend until we get married, if I’ve already had sex before? I know it’s the right thing, but I’ve already messed things up, so does it really matter?

JED BREWER: I totally appreciate your question. And it makes sense. And I’m glad you asked.


When God says to save sex for marriage, it’s not because he has a bizarre fixation on people being virgins on their wedding night. No, he says it because sex forges an emotional bond between the two people involved.Sex forges that bond because that’s what it’s designed to do. When that bond is forged between two people who have made a commitment to be with each other, no matter what (which is what a marriage is), then everything works great. The emotional bond matches the relational bond. But when that bond is forged between two people who aren’t quite sure and they’ll see how it goes, well, people get hurt
.

What is the point of waiting til marriage for sex if you’ve already had sex in the past?

elleinwonderland asked you:
What is the point of waiting til marriage for sex if you’ve already had sex in the past? I’m trying to do things ‘right’ in my current relationship having done a lot of things I regret in the past - but every time one of my friends asks me this question I hear this little voice in my head saying ‘yeah, that’s a good point.’ Not a voice I want to give into - but how can I explain this, both to myself and to non-Christians in a way that doesn’t look preachy? X

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey Elly,

Sis, I totally appreciate your question.  And it makes sense.  And I’m glad you asked.

When God says to save sex for marriage, it’s not because he has a bizarre fixation on people being virgins on their wedding night.  No, he says it because sex forges an emotional bond between the two people involved.  Sex forges that bond because that’s what it’s designed to do.  When that bond is forged between two people who have made a commitment to be with each other, no matter what (which is what a marriage is), then everything works great.  The emotional bond matches the relational bond.  But when that bond is forged between two people who aren’t quite sure and they’ll see how it goes, well, people get hurt.

Whenever God says, “don’t”, what he’s saying is “don’t hurt yourself.”  People can drone on about the idea of casual sex all they want, but as you and I both know, it doesn’t work.  At it’s best, casual sex is hype – the thing you keep telling yourself will be amazing, and keeps being really not that.  And at its worst, it really, really breaks our hearts.

God doesn’t want to see you get your heart broken.  That’s why.  Your heart is really important to him, and he wants you to guard it carefully (Proverbs 4:23).

And, let’s keep it real for a second: there isn’t an orgasm worthy of heartache.  And the fact that you’ve had sex in the past and got hurt doesn’t make it a good idea to do again today, any more than the fact that I’ve had one broken toe implies that I wouldn’t be bothered by a second.  Sex is not a separate category of sin where once you’ve done it, all bets are off.  I deal with drug dealers as a part of my day job, and no one is trying to tell them that since they’ve sold crack before, it doesn’t matter if they do it again.

But I’d like to add one more thing for you to look at.  And that is this: if you want a really amazing, Godly relationship, then don’t waste your time worrying about how wrong it can be and still work.  Start asking how right and good and amazing it can be.  There will come a day (when you’re married) when God will say, “It’s time for sexy time to commence and never cease.”  Between now and then, while there are some things God is saying “no” to, there’s a host of things he’s saying “yes” to – like encouraging each other, building each other up, serving Jesus together – and I’d encourage you to take a hold of those things with both hands.

I Went Too Far Sexually. Do I Have To Stop Wearing My Purity Ring?

Anonymous asked:
I’ve had a purity ring on for a few years now, but a week ago I broke the rules of staying pure until marriage (I am still a virgin though). Not really rules, but I guess it’s more of a promise with God. Does that mean I have to take the ring off? I feel ashamed and guilty. I know God would forgive me though, is this the devil tempting me to feel this way? What should I do?

Jed Brewer replied:

Darling, I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way.  Shame and guilt are terrible things.

In moments like this, it’s easy to feel so let down, and disappointed in ourselves, and to feel like God must be disappointed, too.  I’ve felt that way.  But the truth is: he’s not.  God isn’t disappointed because he knew what he was getting into when he chose you.  He knew you’d struggle and stumble and mess up, and he loved you and chose you anyway.  In fact, Psalm 139:16 says that God saw every single day of your life before you’d lived any of them. 

So, if God isn’t disappointed in you, if God knew you were a sinner and chose you and loved you anyway, what does that suggest?  I think it suggests that the guilt and shame, no matter how spiritual they feel, aren’t coming from God.

If we turn to the Bible, we find out that’s 100% true.  Check this out:

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1, NIV)  See, guilt is a status.  It’s an attempt to tell you where you stand.  And what God is saying is that, no matter what, your status is safe in Jesus.  You’re on good terms with God, always, because of what Jesus did on the cross.

And that shame?  Shame is an attack on your identity.  It’s telling you that you’re just a nasty little worm.  And, dang, darling, God does NOT agree with that.  God says that you’re his *child* (1 John 3:1).  God says that you’re a precious treasure (Matthew 13:44).  Make no mistake, God is crazy about you.

Now, then, I don’t know who told you that you needed to make some sort of promise or deal or arrangement with God where you pledge to be “sexually pure”, but I have the sneaking suspicion that they didn’t bother to consult God on whether or not it was a good idea.  (Read Luke 11:46 to see how Jesus felt about people making up “extra stuff” for us to do to keep God happy.  (Preview: He was really, really not a fan.))

The truth is that we’re all sinners.  All of us.  Every single one.  (Including in our sexuality.)  Jesus said that if you lusted it was as sinful as committing adultery, and if you show me a person who’s never lusted, I’ll show you a person who’s struggling with lying.

So where do we go from here?  Wear that purity ring.  Wear it proudly.  But don’t wear it because your good behavior makes you pure.  It doesn’t.  Wear it because Jesus’ death on the cross makes you pure.  Wear it because God loved you so much that he paid every price and bore every burden so that he could lift you out of the mess of your life and save you and give you a new life in him and a purity and holiness that comes from him.  Wear it, and, whenever you see it on your finger, let it remind you that God took your mistakes and shortcomings and washed them away and made you pure as the driven snow (Isaiah 1:18).  Because that’s exactly what He has done. 

Is Sex Really Spiritual?

yousoothemysoul asked you:
I have a question about sex/marriage/God. Is sex REALLY spiritual? I mean yes God created it and I’ve never been married or experienced it before but c’mon…I just don’t understand where God comes in when you’re havin’ a great time with your beloved. How the heck could it possibly be spiritual when all you are doing is thinking about your spouse? There is not way you’d have time to be thinking “wow God, this is so holy”. I just really doubt that. Is this too personal to be asked?

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey sis,

This is a great question.  And it’s a question that’s much, much bigger than sex.  I think we need to ask: what makes anything spiritual?

When the Bible talks about something being “spiritual” or “of the spirit”, it’s often in contrast to something related to our “sinful nature” or “the flesh.”  Here’s an example of that:

“The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”  (Galatians 6:8, NIV)

This verse, I think, actually gives a good hint in answering the question of “what makes something spiritual.”  And the hint is to look at who we’re trying to please.

See, because you and I exist in the context of a physical body, everything we do is physical, at least at some level.  When somebody leads worship, their muscles are working hard to keep strumming that guitar.  And that’s a physical thing.  When somebody ladles soup at the soup kitchen, again, it’s a physical action.  When somebody hugs their child, physical.  Even when you pray, the neurons in your brain are firing like all get out, which, it turns out, is a physical phenomenon.

But what makes any of those actions spiritual – in the Biblical sense – is the goal of the act.  That’s what Jesus said:

“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them… When you give to the needy, do not announce it …to be honored by men. When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:1-4, NIV)

This is a crazy idea!  We could do something “good” as a part of trying to hook ourselves up, and God wouldn’t like it one little bit! 

By contrast, check out this verse:

“Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness” (Psalm 141:5)

Here, David is saying that, if he starts to be living in a way he shouldn’t, if he starts to wander away from the Lord, he wants the Godly people he knows to kick his butt.  So, again, something that would normally be a no-no – assault is illegal most places – is absolutely Godly and spiritual if it’s at the right time and for the right reasons.

Ok, so, we could be generous for the wrong reasons, and it wouldn’t be spiritual.  And we could throw down for the right reasons, and it would.  So what does that tell us about sex?

It tells us that sex can be – and is – spiritual when it’s a part of serving the Lord with our lives.  And that’s exactly what the Bible says:

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.” (Romans 12:1, MSG)

So, then: Sex as a one-night-stand because we’re feeling horny?  Not spiritual.  Sex as a part of cultivating and maintaining intimacy with your spouse and giving each other a great stress reliever while you deal with the challenges of following Jesus in the midst of tough circumstances?  Extremely spiritual.

And that leads to a bonus point.  Spiritual things – in the true sense of things that are done as an offering to God – very often do not feel spiritual at all.  Tonight, I hung out with a friend in a rough neighborhood, and, at the restaurant we were at, I was subjected to the most disgusting bathroom in the history of mankind.  Believe me, it did not feel spiritual.  But I was in that place as an offering to a God that was willing to start life-on-earth in a filthy stable.  And nothing could be more spiritual than that.

Why Is Sex Before Marriage Wrong?

Anonymous asked:
I know that I’m not supposed to have sex before marraige, but I’m not sure I really understand why. The boy I’m with is christian too, and we try and follow the bible in other ways but with sex- I’m the only one to question it and often say no. His argument is always ‘we’re going to get married anyway so it cant be a problem’. I don’t know how this stands biblically. Can you help me? Thanks Jed, love your blog

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey Anon,

Thanks for the kind words – I’m really glad you dig the blog.

Before we go any further, you deserve an apology.  See, you wouldn’t need to ask this question if people who called themselves Christians hadn’t made a total mess of marriage.  If the folks who came before you had lived up to God’s idea of marriage, you’d be able to readily see that sex in a Godly marriage is beautiful and comfortable and passionate and satisfying in ways that it cannot be outside of one.

But I know folks haven’t modeled that for you, and, so, you’re made to wonder what the point in waiting is.  And that isn’t fair to you, and, for what it’s worth, I’m sorry.

As it turns out, there’s a huge difference between sex as it is commonly practiced in our culture, and sex as God intended it.    In our culture, sex is just bodies.  It’s just two bodies coming together and doing what bodies do.  And, really, outside of the health implications, how is that different from a friend giving you a backrub?  I mean, both sex and backrubs involve your body and giving and receiving pleasure.  And, I suppose if your friend has the flu, you could get sick from the backrub, too.

But here’s what’s missing from that equation: trust, vulnerability, and intimacy.

See, in God’s idea of marriage and sexuality, sex is about far, far more than the body.  Sex is the ultimate human answer to the question, “Here I am – do you really want me?”

I bet that, when you were little, you knew somebody who had a crush on somebody else, and they wrote a note that said, “I like you. Do you like me?  Check one: [ ]yes [ ] no.”  Well, see, we, as humans, don’t ever truly grow out of that.  Romantic relationships are, at their core, the process of revealing more and more of yourself to your beloved and daring to ask, “Do you still want me?”

This process of ever-growing trust, vulnerability, acceptance, and resultant intimacy reaches its peak with sex.  You are, in a literal sense, presenting yourself naked before your spouse, and posing the question, “Here I am completely unguarded.  Will you accept me?”

Well, see, in the context of a Godly marriage, you can pose that question with complete confidence, because you know that the answer will always be, “Heck yes!”

In a Godly marriage, you know that your partner accepts you mind, body, and spirit, and has promised to do whatever is necessary so that that will always be true.  They have promised, “You can trust me, no matter what.”  And that trust gives you the freedom to be utterly vulnerable.  And when we’re vulnerable and accepted, that leads to real intimacy.  And real intimacy that leads to sex (instead of vice versa) is basically the most awesome thing ever.  It is also – I promise – the best sex you can have.

Outside of a Godly marriage – which, unfortunately includes a lot of real-life marriages – you don’t have that promise of unwavering trustworthiness.  You have how I feel about you today, and maybe how I feel about you tomorrow.  And that’s it. 

Well, see, true trust can’t exist in that context.  And without trust, we can’t have real vulnerability.  And without vulnerability, we can’t have real intimacy.  And without real intimacy, all we’ve got is bodies being bodies.

But the problem, Anon, is that, despite what our culture says, our brains can’t accept that sex is just bodies being bodies.  Our brains are convinced that sex goes with intimacy, so, when we have sex, our brains decide that there’s intimacy there, whether there really is or not.  And then things don’t work out - which no one promised they would - and we get really hurt.

So that’s why.  Sex is meant to be both the celebration and the outcome of a lifelong, committed relationship, which is what marriage is.  Sex outside of that is just a pale shadow that, health concerns aside, only sets us up to get our hearts broken.

What’s So Great About Sex, Vol. 4

What’s So Great About Sex? – Vol. 4

Quick Intro:
In this series, we’re taking a look at the way God designed sex to work within marriage, and how awesome it is.  We’re specifically looking at a book in the Bible called “Song of Solomon”, which comes right before Isaiah.  The whole book is about how great sex is within marriage.  In fact, it’s an explicit conversation between a husband and wife.  Seriously – check it out.

Today: Real Excitement!

Trying to play it cool is a torture.  Think about a highlight in your life – maybe it was making the cut for a sports team, or getting an answer right in class, or getting good feedback on a painting you did.  Some part of you, in that moment, is sure that you need to play it cool.  Don’t get too excited.  Just shrug your shoulders and mumble the words, “Whatever”, and that way people will think you’re cool.  We’ve all done that.

Well, see, that’s the way most people approach dating relationships, and especially in regards to sexuality.  You’re supposed to be cool, and play it cool, and not get too excited, and, sure, hey, you know, sex is cool, whatever, if you’re into that.

The problem here is that this playing-it-cool approach takes all of the fun away.  When something awesome happens, allowing yourself to be excited and blown away and overwhelmed is a big part of the experience.  And it’s one God wants for you.  Here’s our passage:

“[The Wife says]

My lover is already on his way to his garden,
   to browse among the flowers, touching the colors and forms.

[The Husband says]

Your beauty is too much for me—I’m in over my head.
   I’m not used to this! I can’t take it in.” (Song of Solomon 6:2-5, various, MSG)

OK, so, when the wife is talking about “his garden”, she’s referring to her body.  So, she’s saying that her husband is coming to, well, explore her body.  Now, note the husband’s response.  He doesn’t say, “Yeah, you know, that’s cool.  Whatever.”  And he doesn’t put on the false bravado of, “Hey, let me show you my moves!”

No, instead, he says, “This is too much.  I’m in over my head.  I can’t even take it all in.”  He’s blown away.

Dude, how awesome, and real, and sweet, and authentic is that?  He’s there with his wife, who is sans clothing, and he’s a kid-in-a-candy-store.  And that’s just right.  He doesn’t need to be smooth.  He doesn’t need to be fashionably disinterested.  He can be honest about the fact that his wife is so beautiful, and alluring, that she reduces him to a simple expression of, “Whoa.  Just…whoa.”

Sex is a beautiful and mysterious thing.  In truth, it should reduce all of us to, “Whoa.”  It is physical, and emotional, and spiritual, all at once.  It is this miraculous moment where love brings two people into a total union and (can) create a wholly new, unique life as the outcome.  To that, I say,  “Whoa.”  And so should you.

But, on a more basic level, when a total hottie (which is how you will see your spouse) stands before you, naked, and says, “I’m all yours; have fun,” the only right response is “Whoa.”  The only fun response is, “Whoa.”  The only Godly response is, “Whoa.”  And anything less is, in fact, an insult to your beloved, as though you’re jaded because everywhere you go, people disrobe and offer themselves to you.  (Hint: they don’t.)

No, that’s no good.  Excitement suits you.

This is what God wants for you.  A sex life that reduces you to “whoa.”  Beauty and seduction and allure that reduces you to “whoa.”  Authenticity where your spouse receives your speechlessness as the highest of praise.  This is what awaits you, and it’s worth waiting for.

Your Future Is So Very, Very Bright

As I look through my dashboard here on Tumblr, I see so many of my friends feeling discouraged and beaten down.  Some of them are hating on themselves for the ways their body looks.  Some are tearing themselves apart because they aren’t in a romantic relationship.  And some are feeling wrecked because they are, and it isn’t working.

Particularly when you’re in your teens and early twenties, there are so many difficult things going on around you, and you don’t have a lot of control over many of them, and you can start to wonder, “Will things ever really be good for me?”

As your big brother, let me answer that: yes.

You - yes, you - have gifts, talents, and abilities the world needs.  There is a destiny for your life.  You may not see it yet, but it’s real.  I promise.  God has set the ball on the tee so that you could come into this world and change it.  If you’ll follow the Lord (and I know you will) this world will never be the same because you were in it.  (Ephesians 2:10)

You - yes, you - have a heart and body both that will be incredibly attractive to the right person at the right time.  Actually, let me rephrase that: In God’s time, in God’s way, there’s a person that will behold you - mind, body, and spirit - and think you hang the moon.  They will be blown away by you, entranced, madly in love, and absolutely determined to have you.  And you will get married.  And you will have sex.  And God won’t want you to stop making sweet love to each other as long as you live.  (1 Corinthians 7:5)

You - again, I’m talking about you here - will have a community of people that love you, believe in you, see what you bring to the table, and value you.  You will belong.  Follow the Lord, and he will take you to that place.  You will have fellowship.  You will have real family.  And you will have a closeness that can’t be found any other way.  (Matthew 12:50)

So don’t give up.  I know you’re going through hard stuff today.  Don’t give up.  Keep taking your struggles to God.  Keep getting strength from Him to face them head-on.  And don’t give up.

Your future is so very, very bright.

I’ve Made Mistakes. Can Sex Ever Be Special For Me?

save-me-and-forgive-me asked you:
Hi, Jed. I loved the blog “What’s So Great About Sex?” and just had to ask your opinion on something. Even after you’ve crossed the line of sex before marriage is it too late for it to be special between you and your future spouse? Or are all the goods just spoiled? Even if you marry a different person.

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey Amanda,

Glad you enjoyed the post!

This is a great question.  And the answer is that sex with your future spouse will be as special as you allow God to make it, regardless of your past screw-ups, or lack thereof.

Let’s talk about the “lack thereof” option for a second.  I know plenty of Christian married couples who “behaved themselves” before they got married, and didn’t cross any boundaries they weren’t supposed to.  And, unfortunately, some of those marriages have terrible, or non-existent, sex lives.  You might ask yourself: how the heck does that work?

Well, see, there are a lot of Christians who have decided that, in order to be safe, we’ll just consider sex bad.  We won’t do it, think about it, talk about it, or anything else.  We just won’t.  And, yeah, that can sometimes keep you from pre-marital sex.  But, when the ring goes on the finger, it all becomes both legal and good, but their attitude hasn’t changed.  In their minds, sex is still dirty.

By contrast, I know plenty of Christian married couples where one or both of the people have had pretty colorful histories in regards to sexuality.  And, shockingly, a number of those married couples have fantastic sex lives.  Again, we should ask: how does that happen?

It turns out that if you go to God and say, “I’ve made a mess of sex in my life, but I don’t want to do that anymore.  God, can you show me what you want sex to look like for me?”, God’s answer to that request is, “Heck yes!” 

The truth is that there is no such thing as “damaged goods”.  There just isn’t.  You can have screwed up in an arena 10,000 times, but the day you go to God and ask for his plan, he’ll still be ready to give it to you.

But, now, for the exceptionally brave, there is something better: redemption.  To redeem something means to bring something good out of it.  And God is in the business of redeeming our sinful pasts.

If you’re willing, Amanda, God can turn your struggles with sexuality into something amazing. 

Here’s a secret that I know about sex the way the world approaches it: it isn’t special.  Ever.  It’s boring.  And routine.  And as-expected.  And disappointing.  And guilty.  And if you’ve gone through rough times with sexuality in your life, then you know all that.

And, see, when God brings you to the place of marriage, and teaches you how to have a sex life that’s focused on serving your spouse, and celebrating the spiritual, emotional, and physical intimacy that God’s given you, you will know not only that your married sex life is extremely special, but you will know what the alternative is.  And that is a great gift.

Don’t just let God forgive your past.  Let him redeem it.  Make up your mind to have the sex life he always wanted for you, and then, you will be in a unique position to talk to young women that are hurting themselves with premarital sex and say, “Let me tell you about something so much better.”