As I thought about this next blog post, I debated on skipping over this topic and simply moving into the next “big event” that happened in my life, but I really felt compelled to stop and talk about promiscuity. I think that our society today shies away from talking about this because we are taught that women who have sex outside of marriage are either sluts (pardon my language) or so liberal that it’s “natural” – as society would like to have us believe. I think it’s something different entirely.
My Path to Promiscuity:
I never thought of myself as a promiscuous young woman. Promiscuous is defined as having “many” sexual partners. “Many” can be subject to interpretation. I was never a person who had multiple partners at a time, but now looking back, I would define myself as promiscuous. I had sex outside of marriage. I had sex outside of marriage with more than one person – and from my blog posts, you can probably tell that it was more than two people.
I never planned to be “that girl”, but then again who does? I think it’s important though to reflect back on how I got to the point of having multiple partners in my past. And I think that now especially because it shows a pattern of behavior that opened doors in my life that led me down this path.
You’ve already learned that I had a live-in boyfriend at 17 years old and that we lived as if we were married when we weren’t. You’ve also already learned that I had a couple of situations where I was forced to do some things I didn’t want to do and that I felt like I was backed into a corner with no way out other than compliance. What you haven’t learned is that throughout this time and in the years following I would have a few boyfriends that I would be sexually intimate with as well.
These relationships never started out sexual and in a few of them I was persuaded by my boyfriend to have sex. After a short and ineffective fight or resistance I would always give in and do it. From there, it didn’t make any sense to me to resist. I had already given it up, so why not just give him what he wanted? And eventually I would start to enjoy the intimacy and act willingly despite the guilt.
Anytime these relationships would end, I would typically be devastated in one way or another. If he ended the relationship, I would be hurt by his rejection – especially because we had been so close physically, which creates an emotional dependency. If I ended the relationship, I would be upset because I hurt him in some way. I never liked being the person who had to break up with someone, so if I had to end it, I usually felt sick to my stomach for a while.
There were even a few “one time” experiences where I would just be so tired of telling the guy “no” and pushing back that I would give in. I felt like I was already someone who was damaged and dirty that it just didn’t matter anymore. It wasn’t like I could go back to being a virgin, so why bother? These experiences would typically leave me feeling awful and horrible about myself.
There was something deep inside me that would tell me that what I was doing was wrong and that I shouldn’t be doing the things that I was doing. I believe this was the Holy Spirit trying to get my attention to turn me away from the sexual activity that I was engaged in. There was also the part of me that really liked the attention I received from guys and that made me want to keep flirting, dating and spending time with them. I always felt like I was in conflict with myself.
I would make the decision to spend time with guys – alone. I would make decisions to make out with guys, setting little to no boundaries. When I was pushed on the issue of sex, I didn’t put up a strong fight – I made the decision to give in more easily than I should have. I made the decision not to talk to anyone about all of this. And I made the decision to continue doing it, even though it made me feel awful about myself.
I felt like I had little to no self-worth. Who would want me after this type of behavior? I certainly seemed to be “dating” material, but I didn’t feel like I was “marriage” material. I felt like my only value came when some guy noticed and liked me. All of these decisions and feelings about myself led to the next partner or the next situation where I would fight a little less and a little less, eventually just giving in.
So why am I sharing all of this? I’m sharing this because my story isn’t that different from many others. I’m sharing this so that you can understand that I made a series of decisions that led me down this path. And that this path left me feeling pretty low.
I am living out some of the consequences of my early adulthood decisions and beliefs about sex. I have a wonderful husband who loves me dearly and supports me in everything I do. He makes me laugh and brings excitement to my life every day. But one of the things we have struggled with in our marriage is sex (and yes, he agreed to let me mention this). I was not faithful to him as my future husband while I was in my young womanhood. And he’ll admit that he wasn’t faithful to me either as his future wife. We didn’t honor the design that God has for sex in marriage. Although I can’t tangibly tie our struggles back to our promiscuity before marriage, I do believe there is a correlation. In addition to that, my promiscuity before marriage led me to think certain things about sex (largely as a result of what I saw in movies and on TV), which has also affected how I treated sex in marriage.
I got a little preachy in my last post imploring single women to be careful, to watch out for themselves, not to put themselves in dangerous situations and to set boundaries for dating activities – all to ensure physical safety. I want to echo the same things today for a different reason. Today I implore you to do these things for your own emotional and spiritual safety – so that your decisions don’t lead you down the path to promiscuity, resulting in feelings of worthlessness, helplessness and dirtiness.
I’ll share again that God has a beautiful plan for our relationships with men and that they are designed to be with the one man that you marry. The physical relationship that He (God) gives us with our husbands is a gift that is to be treasured, cherished and saved for him (husband). If you honor this gift, it can prove to be one of the best experiences of your life. Jesus tells us that the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate. (Mark 10: 8-9)
The good news is that there is always hope in Jesus Christ! He brings us healing and restoration from all of our past hurts and can make us whole again. Through sincere repentance and prayer, our Heavenly Father forgives our sins and will cleanse us, restoring us to the purity He sees us in. He can make all things new, including a soul that once felt damaged, dirty and worthless. Hallelujah!
Remember the adulterous woman that was brought before Jesus and the crowd He was teaching at the Temple? She was caught in the act and Pharisees brought her to Jesus saying, “The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” Jesus replied, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” How incredibly amazing and brilliant is that!? Jesus didn’t condemn her. He forgave her and solder to “Go and sin no more.” (John 8: 1-11)
Like I mentioned before, I wanted to expose this topic because I really felt compelled to share how one open door can lead the way to the next and the next, leaving us in a state that can be unrecognizable. That’s what happened to me as a result of the decisions I made. And that’s exactly how I found myself with the biggest shock of my life…
What I learned:
- The decisions I make pave the path for the road I will travel. One solitary decision can set the stage for a series of life-changing decisions – good or bad.
- Sex is a beautiful gift from God, given in the confines of marriage.
- Sex outside of God’s gift left me feeling damaged, dirty and worthless.
- Consequences from living outside of God’s plan have followed me into my marriage, creating some unnecessary hardships.
- God’s love, forgiveness and restoration can make me whole again. Thank God!
- Is this your story, too? What decisions led you down this path?
- What consequences have followed you as a result of your decisions?
- If this is not your story, what decisions kept you off of this path?
- How do you intend to keep yourself away from promiscuity?
- If your story has not yet begun, what decisions will you make that will create your path? What path do you want for your life?
- How is God involved in your decision making? Do you need to invite Him in?
If you would like prayer or would like to discuss any of this further, please post a comment or contact me privately. I would love to talk more about this!