Hope for the sexually broken:
By the time we’ve reached our mid-twenties, two things have
become very apparent: Sex is far more powerful than we imagined, and each of us
are sexually broken in one way or another.
Sexual brokenness affects every person born under the weight of a fallen
nature and a damaged culture. Whether you experimented as a teenager or went
crazy in college, whether you were sexually abused as a child or wrestle with same-
sex desires you can’t seem to shake, whether you’re addicted to porn or having
sex with your girlfriend, the reality is either because of sin or suffering, sexual
brokenness affects every single one of us. No, marriage won’t change that. No,
counseling won’t change that. And no, morality won’t change that. However, the
Gospel reminds us of a Healer who knows how to meet our deepest needs, fill them
with Himself, and heal every part of our broken soul.
In John 8, we see how Christ responds to sexual brokenness, and I think it’s
one of the most encouraging stories for those of us aware of our need. We’ve all
heard the story before. One morning, Jesus went to the temple and began teaching.
Soon after, the scribes and Pharisees brought “…a woman who had been caught in
adultery…” threw her down at the feet of Jesus and reminded Jesus (ironically, who
actually wrote the Law, see John 1:1), that the Law of Moses commanded them to
stone such women. Now, here is where the Gospel is seen so richly. After Christ
put the men in their place asking them to throw stones if they were without sin, his
words to the woman caught in sin are some of the most comforting to those of us
who have spent years living under the weight of our own brokenness.
Christ looks at her and says: “Woman, where are they? Has no one
condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn
you; go and from now on sin no more.” Wait. Did you see it? Can you feel the ground
shift beneath her feet? Can you see the faces in the crowd? This woman, who had
likely spent her life trying to earn acceptance and love in the arms of lovers was
suddenly given the thing her soul ached for the most: to be fully known, and fully
loved. The people in her life didn’t fully love her, and those whose love she tried to
earn she never let fully know her, but here, here was a Man who knew her darkest
secrets and loved her completely. Jesus didn’t give her a command, a rule, a moral
to go do before she earned acceptance. No, he accepted her fully, then she was told
to go and sin no more.
Do you see the beauty of the pattern? True change, wholeness and healing
from sexual brokenness comes from realizing you are accepted in Christ, just they
way you are. Not because of what you did, but because “God, being rich in mercy,
because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our
trespasses (as was the woman) made us alive together with Christ.” (Eph. 2:4-5) It is
“for by grace you have been saved through faith…it is the gift of God.” (Eph. 2:8-9),
not your own doing. Love and acceptance is the soil where true change and healing
What if we viewed the world in two sexual categories: broken and restored?
This is what I’d learned from all my years of trying to free myself from my
own sin and brokenness: God’s acceptance of me is the power that frees me from sin,
not what I attain apart from my sin. God looked at me, called me his son, and just as
he said to the woman, he said to me: “There is therefore now no
condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 8:1). When I grasped the
reality that the adulterous woman grasped, the sun broke through, and I finally saw
It is only the power of the love, pleasure and acceptance of our
Creator that will free us from our sin and heal us from our brokenness. When we
pursue sexual activity outside of God’s design, it screams of a soul desperate and
aching for acceptance and value that can only be found in Christ. Why? Why can’t
you have sex any way your flesh pleases or your soul aches? Why, when your
desires feel so intense for pleasure or value can you not satisfy them anytime you
desire? Because, as God reminded Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I
knew you…” (Jer. 1:5), as Job says “you clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me
together with bones and sinews.” (Job 10:11), as David praises God saying: “For he
knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” (Ps. 103:14). People of God,
remember: He designed you, he knows your frame, he breathed breath in your lungs
and put blood in your veins. He crafted your soul to know and worship him. He
designed sex to be a wondrous, glorious, mind-blowing gift, and he designed it for
your good and His glory (Rom. 8). He knows what will satisfy you, and anything
outside of his design will only bring damage.
The whole of the Christian life is growing into the reality of what Christ has
declared you to be. You are his workmanship (Eph. 2:10), and you were designed to
be satisfied by Him, and him alone.