Okay, insert backstory about growing up in an environment where anything sexual was viewed as shameful. Sex before marriage was like THE WORST SIN you could possibly commit. This was the time of purity rings and commitments to God, and making sure that any amount of sexuality was squashed (or at least was attempted to be) by any young “Christians.”
I was sexually abused and ended up a wee bit promiscuous, even with my “Christian” boyfriends. And turning anything sexual into just a thing I did to (in my mind) keeping a guy with me. I never truly enjoyed it. When I lost my virginity at fifteen, I really didn’t want to. I did it to get back at my parents (although obviously I hid it from them…because fifteen-year-old logic). Any feelings of sexuality were shameful to me, but I had this whole sexual thing tied up into the attention that I desperately sought from guys. I say guys because they really weren’t boys, but surely also weren’t men. In college, I was raped. But it took me awhile to see it that way. I truly held the belief that even though I said NO (very clearly btw), in reality I deserved it, because I had “been sexy” or turned him on so I had to follow through. But I just did it so he would want me…so any of them would want me. I wanted so desperately to be wanted.
What I really wanted was to be cherished. But I didn’t know that. And I certainly didn’t see how the Lord could cherish me. That didn’t seem real enough, besides the fact that I had already given away all the “pieces of my heart” or my “petals” and my rose was stomped on and ugly anyway. That’s all I was and all I had to give to my future husband. All I was = shame filled and used up girl. By the time I was in my twenties, I was still using sex as my way to try to keep guys with me (I was so afraid of being “alone” aka not in a relationship). At this point, though, I hated every moment of it, so I would just use alcohol to numb my shame. Get Bekah drunk and sex was on the menu. Not that they had to get me drunk, I was getting myself drunk every night anyway. Numbing all the guilt and shame that followed me for what feels like my whole life. This doesn’t even get into the 2,587,259,845 other things that shaped who I am and my spirituality now, but ya know, I have a long ways to go in writing these things down.
So then, one day, someone married me. I was twelve weeks pregnant when we got married, so ya know, there’s that. Before we got married we had a crazy good sex life. And I kind of really mean that. Besides the fact that it was not within the covenant of marriage, I was with a man who wanted me, but also CHERISHED me. (Pretty much why I married him!) But sex still equaled shame. It didn’t hurt as much emotionally with him, but it still kept me far away from acknowledging the Holy Spirit that was still pursuing me through all of my crap.
So, there we were, on our wedding night. That’s THE night, right? When it’s like all about the sexy times? Guess what we didn’t do? Have sex. Barring the fact that I was pregnant and NOT one of those horny pregnant women, I literally didn’t know what to do with sex now. My whole life sex had been shameful, sinful, and well, icky in some way. Now I’m staring at my husband not knowing how in the world to be intimate with him in any kind of holy way. I didn’t have to use sex to make him stay with me, or want me, or cherish me. He did that already. He married me!
I could never integrate sexuality into spirituality. There was nearly no sex in our lives for a long time. I didn’t know how to have sex anymore. I couldn’t drink (pregnant), and I was just lost. How can I enjoy my husband without feeling shame? I wanted so desperately to go back to the Lord. To repent, to follow Him, to find a church. I was about to have a child I was completely unprepared for. I knew that there was no way I was making it through motherhood without Him. But I couldn’t do that AND still have sex EVEN with my husband. They seemed so mutually exclusive. But I HAD to sleep with him, right? He’s my husband and I HAVE to please him. That’s what they told us in youth group. Don’t even make out with him ’til you’re married, but then, voila, be ready to please the heck out of him. So let’s just say sex was a huge problem for us.
So fast forward to now, when I am fired up about the Lord, about the Spirit and His freedom and my salvation and intimacy with the Lord! Matt and I had worked through some of my shame/sex issues and so many other things, but there was still this disconnect in my head and heart. Could I really get it on with my husband on Saturday and show up to church on Sunday without feeling like, ew, can I worship God today? Didn’t I just do something shameful last night?
Today it hit me like a ton of bricks. Well, maybe it was like bricks were being piled on me over the last few weeks, but I didn’t notice them until today. Y’all, I’ve been told that God made us sexual beings, and that we are allowed to enjoy sex, but that did not become a reality to me until a few weeks ago. I’m serious. We aren’t getting into details, but I FINALLY saw the beauty of being intimate with my husband and it not just pausing my intimacy with God, but being a part of it! SAY WHAT?! Sitting there and giving my husband those eyes, y’all know what I’m talking about! Don’t say you don’t! But sitting there at church doing that, and feeling joy and gratitude for the Lord that my husband and I are enjoying each other, JUST AS He intended us to! (Not AT church, calm down).
This opens up a whole new level in not just my relationship with my husband, but also with my King! The husband of the bride, His church! It truly is a revelation that has knocked my socks off, that I am so grateful for, and that I want to encourage you to think about. (IF you’re married! Clearly my story is a huge example of why sex outside of marriage is NOT the best idea! But hey, I’m also not going to throw any condemnation your way because that is not what I do.) And if your sex life with your husband is struggling, PRAY ABOUT IT! Ask God to grow your intimacy. YOU make a change in the pursuit of that intimacy. If you need some counseling or some prayer to work out your issues like I did, make that a priority! A marriage without intimacy in all areas is sure to break down. This is just one. A big one to most men, let’s be real. You can enjoy sex with your spouse AND worship God at the same time. It’s what I always dreamed about and hoped for, but I thought it was impossible for me. And it was, but NOTHING is impossible with God.
You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain.
Song of Solomon 4:12
Oh, how beautiful you are! How pleasing, my love, how full of delight.
Song of Solomon 7:6
His mouth is sweetness itself; he is desirable in every way. Such, O women of Jerusalem, is my lover, my friend.
Song of Solomon 5:16