I slept with my husband’s brother and had a sexual affair with several other men over the course of my marriage.
Yes, you read that right. Not the introduction that you were looking for right? I know. This is not one of those feel good “let’s sing Kumbaya because we are Christians” articles. This is one of those pieces of writing that I’m sure will make some people very uncomfortable, because at best it will paint a very accurate picture of the devastation that our so called “little compromises” cause. It will only begin to scratch the surface of elaborating on the real struggles that some of us sick and depraved women, yes even Christian women, deal with on a very regular basis. I’m not here to win a popularity contest. As my dear sister Janette encouraged me, this is a Genesis 50:20 moment. The time to be completely transparent so that the Lord may be glorified as sin in one of its most unassuming form is called out and women are pushed to seek God all the more for their complete source of contentment.
This topic and many others like it can no longer be taboo, especially in our churches. I have had countless conversations with single and married women over the past few years who seriously struggle in the area of sexual purity and I find myself still boggled by how we tip-toe on an issue that has plagued the lives of so many women, has caused grave destruction in marriages and families, and yet it remains in the shadows. The purpose of this article, while not exhaustive by any means, is simple. It is to explore the root of how we women get to this point, dispel myths about how changes in our seasons of life prevent such sexual immorality, and lastly it’s written to encourage us to see that we can have total freedom and be women of the utmost integrity living lives of internal and external purity before God.
I didn’t wake up one morning and say, “It’s a great day to cheat on my husband, so let’s go for it!” My committing adultery happened as the result of not dealing with the seed of the sin of discontentment. Scripture tells us in James 1:13-16 that we are led away by our own desires. When our desires (internal) manifest externally by way of our actions we gratify our fleshly appetite, and once we start feeding the flesh we begin to crave after whatever satisfies the hunger.
Discontentment in us women has been a struggle dating back to the very first woman!
In Gen. 3:4-6 scripture shows us that Eve was deceived “but” the root of what caused her to take of the fruit and eat was discontentment. She was not content with her relationship with God. If she was truly satisfied with God, she would’ve remained steadfast in obedience as opposed to succumbing to the serpent’s deceptive antics. Bottom line: She wanted more! Discontentment is subtle but very dangerous. We are warned by Eccl. 6:7-9 that tells us that our flesh will never be satisfied.
Attempting to satisfy our desires is like chasing after the wind.
Discontentment as defined by Dictionary.com is a restless desire or craving for something that one does not have.
Whoa! Restless? As in not at peace. A nagging sense of discontentment, or to paint a more real picture, an itch that was not being scratched is what led me to commit such a grave sin against God and my husband. I was not satisfied with “how” my husband showed me affection and I was easily distracted by the men who did. Isn't that so much like the enemy? I felt entitled to be shown the type of affection that I wanted. Selfish right? So called harmless “flirting” led to the “it’s ok to go to lunch”, which led to the exchange of numbers, more lunches, long hugs at the end of these lunches, to the kiss that felt “oh so right”, and finally the dinner that ended in a hotel room. These men so-called “met” my “emotional” needs and I responded to my needs being met physically in the sexual encounters that I had with them.
For my single sisters let’s dispel the “he will complete me” myth right out of the gate. Courtship, engagement, and marriage will NOT completely satisfy you.
We put such a great expectation on our men and hold them to live up to a standard that God’s Word blatantly said only He can do. Only God, according to Phil. 4:19, can and will supply all of our “need” (in totality) according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. Those needs are not just tangible physical needs, but also our emotional needs. Only He can love us with the purest kind of unconditional love. He knows our innermost being as only our Creator would and He’s more than capable and willing to meet our needs so long as they are in line with His Word.
Do you struggle with self-worth? Don’t flirt and wear immodest clothing to seek the attention and approval of men. Look to the Cross where God showed you your worth when He put His innocent Son in your place to secure your eternity, not to keep a smile on your face. No man can validate you more or show you just how much of a big deal you are like God. And just keep it 100, you don’t want a man who gives you attention because you entice him with your lips and hips. He too will be enticed by the next woman who flaunts it in the same manner.
Struggling with singleness? Be content in this season! The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Tim. 6:6 that “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” Looking upward and being totally immersed in God’s presence by taking advantage of undivided time to devote oneself to growing deeper in the Lord leaves little room to look around and count what’s missing.
All my married ladies, the myth about total contentment in marriage is a little more complex. Our husbands as stated above cannot and will not meet our needs the way that only God can. In Eph. 5:25-30 God gives our husbands specific details on how they ought to love their wives. He doesn’t command them to love us the way we want to be loved. We might want to be loved a specific way for a few years, then our love language evolves into something else some years later and here we go expecting our husbands to change as we change. I dare us to just pray that God would continue to teach our husbands to love us how He designs. That’s it.
There is nothing lacking in God’s love!
If we want our husbands to give us more than what scripture is requiring (which is a high standard in it of itself) the issue is us and not our husband. And even when he misses the mark at times (he will because he’s human), that does not give us the right to go seek it elsewhere! Seeking to be fulfilled mentally, emotionally, and sexually outside of the context of our marriage is sin.
When we lust after that fine brotha that walks past our way, we have committed adultery (Matt. 5:28). When we don’t feel satisfied sexually or we want sex when our husbands aren’t in the mood and we masturbate or watch pornography we are in sin (1 Thes. 4:3-5). Nowhere in Scripture are we told to take “matters” in our own hands and get satisfied. The only area where we should not be content is in the realm of where we are in Christ. We should never be complacent in our walk with the Lord.
The battle for purity like most wars begin in the mind.
James 1:13-16 tells us that it begins there, but it doesn’t stay there. We are more apt to entertain sexual daydreams instead of taking our thoughts captive (2 Cor. 10:5). We give into our flesh and arouse it by compromising. An example of this is masturbating with an “at least I’m not fornicating” response to our conscience when (or if) we feel convicted after the fact. Some of us lived promiscuous lives before (and in my case after) coming to know Christ and we are nonchalant when we crave sex and then have sex as much as we want when we want it. To combat the conviction that comes after fornicating we say “I’m a work in progress, and this isn’t going to just go away overnight.” We milk the sickness instead of being disgusted by it and desire to have nothing to do with it. Sexual sins pull us and keep us further away from God and in the case of fornication it binds us with another person.
Sexual sins show us just how far our conscience is from God.
You don’t fall over into having sex or masturbating. It’s not that “Oops! I just cussed in my mind because someone cut in front of me while driving.” It’s that compromise after compromise after compromise that ends with us giving ourselves completely over to a situation. But don’t fret my dear sisters there is hope!
The cure for our lust and sex addictions is found solely in Jesus Christ and how we surrender it over to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives!
God tells us that “we can be confident that He who begun a good work in us WILL complete it” (Phil. 1:6, added emphasis). That’s not for us to continue in this way and just expect God to do His part. We have a huge responsibility. We are told to: stay armored up (Eph. 6:10-17), renew our minds (Rom. 12:1-2), feed on God’s Word (Ps. 119:11), flee from sexual immorality (1 Cor. 6:18), remain faithful in our marriages (Heb. 13:4), not give place to the enemy (Eph. 4:27), pursue righteousness (2 Tim. 2:22, Gal. 5:16), get and stay accountable with fellow sisters (1 John. 1:9), and ultimately show our love for God by how we live unto Him (John 14:15). Practically we see this at work by making our time with the Lord in prayer and in His Word a priority, establishing and sticking to boundaries, remaining plugged in to a local body of believers that we do life with, seeking outside help (counseling or Sex Addiction groups) if the issue is so compulsive, and being wholeheartedly committed to glorifying God in our lives. I am not advising you to do anything that I haven’t done.
I can’t begin to tell you the devastation that my period of sexual immorality caused my family, our friends, our church family, and the suicide it was to my witness of being a child of God. It was not worth the grenade effect that was the result of my own selfishness. After my period of rebellion I repented, confessed the complete ugliness of my sin to my husband, stepped down from the ministry leadership position I was in, and committed myself to a restoration program via the Life Recovery group at my church. To this day I continue to stick to and create boundaries, I get accountable weekly to my team and husband, but most importantly I relentlessly seek God to be my total source of contentment. I don’t expect my husband to be anything more than the man God has called him to be.
In closing, it is my prayer that you have been encouraged and challenged over the course of this reading. I pray that my experience is not yours. Please learn from my mistakes. If this is your story, know that everything is redeemable and made new in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17)! Nothing will separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:38-39), so don’t let the enemy deceive you into believing otherwise.
You can overcome this!
“The essence of loving life as a follower of Jesus isn’t in trying harder but in enjoying more. I’m not saying you can change without trying. I’m saying that enjoyment empowers effort. Pleasure in God is the power for purity.”-Sam Storms