Shame. It’s that sinking pit inside that makes you to want to run and hide. It says you’re not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, pure enough. You’re too much of this and not enough of that. And there is nothing like the shame of sexual sin that whispers, “No one would want you if they knew.” The residue that sexual sin leaves behind is shame left to grow in a petri dish of dark secrecy.
Shame grows in silent, dark places. In one way or another, lust has gotten the better of us. Know and believe you are not alone—even as a woman. Sexual sin is not just a trap that men fall into. God gave sex and sexuality to both men AND women, so falling into sexual sin means you’re human.
I hope believing you’re not the only one will give you the courage to step into the light with your sin, exposing it in order to defeat it. When we actually confess our sins to one another, we expose not only our sin, but the lies that we’ve been believing about our sin. This is the first step towards redeeming what we’ve lost through our sin.
Though the confessing part feels really hard, the real work starts after the confession. If you are just now stopping your sin, then please get accountability in the form of at least one to two other people and any other form you might need (software that tracks internet sites, breaking up with that boyfriend, canceling a streaming subscription account…). Don’t be afraid to wisely commit to doing drastic things.
THE HAUNTING PAST
Maybe your sin was from long ago. You’ve confessed it and asked for God’s forgiveness, but the shame lingers. Though it seems counterintuitive, lean into that shame and really listen to it for a moment. What is it telling you about yourself? The background music of most shame tapes (especially around sexual sin) is that because of your sin, you are no longer worthy of love and intimacy.
I don’t know exactly what your shame tape says, but I know—without a doubt—it is telling you a lie about who you are and who God is.
God knows your sin. He heard your confession. He has promised to forgive and is gracious to do so. If God has declared you forgiven, who are you to deny that to yourself? When God declares something to be, then it is so. There is no forgiving yourself; there is accepting God’s declaration of your forgiveness. So your choices are:
1. accept God’s declaration about you, or
2. essentially call God a liar.
When put so plainly, the choice seems obvious.
Now that we’ve cleared up how shame often distorts who God is, let’s turn towards how it distorts your identity. As Christians, our identity (beliefs about who we are) is also declared by God. I love Song of Solomon 2:10-11,
“Arise my darling. Come away, my beautiful one, for now the winter is past; the rain has ended and gone away.”
God knows your sin and still, He chooses you—every time.
God chooses to not only love you as you are, but bring you to a place where you are counted as innocent and can live abundantly. Your sin does not make you unworthy of love, intimacy, and connection with a man either. If you have been living in the lie that your sexual sin makes you unworthy of receiving love from God or others, then please sister, step into the light, confess your sin, and live in truth.
You are God’s masterpiece, His beloved daughter. Don’t allow Satan to steal the benefits of Your Father’s forgiveness. Receive God’s love and let it drown out the shame.
Meet the Author!
Phoebe is a therapist at Connect Counseling at Deaconess Pregnancy and Adoption, mom to the very lively Vivi and very chill Charlie, and wife to Jeff. You may spot her out and about at almost any Target in the area with a coconut milk latte in hand. She enjoys nonfiction books, Disney movies, and helping others find peace and healing in the hope of the Gospel.
This blog is meant to further the conversation about mental health and is not intended as medical or professional advice.