Youthful passions, lusts & indiscretions
Love, relationships, marriage and all things related take up so much of our hearts, thoughts and lives. Especially for women, because we were created to love and be loved. Through my personal friendships and all the young women I've had the pleasure of speaking with and mentoring, the most popular topic of discussion is boys and love.
I've wrote about my personal thoughts and experience with love, but today, I'd like to share another view point - of a lovely young woman who made a mistake once upon a time, but found redemption and hope in an entirely different relationship.
We serve a God of second-chances and forgiveness, don't you ever forget that. Whatever you're going through, whatever you've done in the past - when you kneel in forgiveness before Him, you will be transformed and given a brand new life.
Thank you, Shannon for sharing your testimony. You are a beautiful soul. I hope this testimony inspires many other young women to fervently protect their hearts and bodies, because you're worthy of it.
If your church is anything like the churches I attend on a regular basis, sex is a much-avoided topic. I wish that my generation would change that, and I'm hopeful that if some of us speak up, the rest will follow.
I grew up believing sex should be reserved for marriage-but I don't really know where that came from. Since then, I've had a couple of experiences that have taught me a lot. Bear in mind- these relationships I had when I wasn't a Christian, when I didn't know God. I want to share with you my testimony-and why I think reserving sex for marriage is always a good idea.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God. - 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
Before you read any farther, check out this blog written by a guy that outlines some very powerful reasons not to have premarital sex, and it's fantastic- I think everyone should read this before they start thinking about being sexually active.
As a woman, I get really attached to someone I have sex with. That's the way we were made. Our purpose on Earth is to "be a helper" to man. We have to be his partner, and we are intricately made to have the qualities that he doesn't. One of these things is to be sensitive and nurturing.
That being said, I have talked to many guys who say they think sex is intimate and they have "feelings" when they love the woman they're with-when they respect her and care for her in every way possible. However, more often than not, sex outside of marriage isn't this way.
Back to the attachment. When my first sexually active relationship ended, I was totally broken. I didn't know what to do or how to live. Here's this man that I was with in the most intimate way possible, and all of a sudden he wasn't there any more. No friendship even remained.
The second break-up was worse-that was with a man I was planning on being with for the rest of my life. He broke up with me out of the blue and I found out very soon after the break up, he was already having sex with other people.
How do you think that made me feel? Used. Disrespected. Unimportant. And confused. There we were, all "in love," I was his girl and he was my man, and now he's doing that most intimate act with girls he doesn't care about at all. What makes me different? Based on the way he treated me, and then he acted like our long-term relationship meant nothing special to him, I think it's safe to say that he didn't view me any differently at all.
Chasing sex (and relationships) leaves you empty in the end. All you're doing is trying to fill a void that only Jesus can fill. And sex doesn't equal love. In both of my long-term relationship experiences, the men I was with didn't respect me, and they certainly didn't love me.
Love is patient and kind- Paul tells us this in his first letter to the Corinthians. What is patient about not waiting to have sex? Love isn't selfish. But if you're having sex outside of marriage, chances are, you're being selfish.
I can't tell you it's easy to give up the lifestyle that American culture promotes. I don't think about guys all the time like some of my peers, because all I see are men who aren't living up to the standards that, as a daughter in Christ, I demand.
I don't have a boyfriend, and society seems to think that I should have one to make me "complete." However, I have found that since I gave that up for a relationship with Jesus, I'm more complete than I've ever been. Like Paul says in Colossians, I died (to sin) and my life is now hidden in Christ.
For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. -Colossians 3:3
I turned away from a lifestyle that left me hurt and broken. The same lifestyle that leaves so many people hurt and broken. And it's not just sex. Anything that you focus on all the time, anything that controls your life, can draw you away from Jesus if that something you're living for isn't Him.
I turned to Christ to heal my hurt, and He's done so much more than that. Since I've started living for Jesus, talking to Him, modeling His love to those who need it, so much has happened. I've seen prayers answered in a matter of minutes-I've seen other prayers answered over the course of time.
I see beauty now in everything- people and tragedies included. I know that for me, I had to be broken-hearted before I turned my stubborn heart over to Him. So when I see others broken just like I was, I see abundant opportunities to encourage others.
No matter what you're going through in life, remember our God is a god of second chances, and He can make you a brand-new person. It's never too late to turn to Christ, the only one who can truly satisfy you in life, if only you let Him.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shannon Mitchell is currently a senior at Iowa State University,where she loves to learn about soil. She'll graduate in December and is excited to see where God will lead her afterwards. She loves animals, especially her family's mules and donkeys. For now, she enjoys visiting her parents' farm nearly every weekend, where her own personal mule/beloved best friend, Razzle, currently resides (but she has big plans to have Razzle in her own front yard in the near future). She also enjoys playing with Goofy, a sweet Jack Russell terrior/mix who was abandoned in the countryside by her owners and "adopted" the Mitchells as her family just a couple days later; now she runs the place. Shannon came to know Christ in May 2013, and it changed her life in every aspect-for the better. She hopes to be able to pursue her dreams of ministry, where her heart truly lies, and has already started by sharing her continuing testimony on her own blog, loveslongears.wordpress.com .