This will be perhaps one of the most difficult posts I will write on this blog. For anyone who knows me, they know this subject matter is not one I have ever been comfortable discussing. I have been impressed for weeks, perhaps months, to write about this. But I have been running. Hiding. Making feeble attempts lately to write about other subjects–rough drafts that no one has read that I will probably scrap because they were not written in the power of God. I have prayed that my words will be led of the Spirit, and not of my own procuring. But for the past few weeks, in my attempts to avoid certain subjects, I have been oppressed and just generally not productive. Like Jonah running from God and ending up in the belly of a fish. God doesn’t bless what he doesn’t initiate. So here goes.
There are forms of sexual abuse that occur in marriage. There, I said it. No one wants to talk about that. And perhaps theologians will beg to differ. Oh believe me, I know the Bible verse about our bodies not being our own, and that they belong to our spouse. Yep, I know that one REALLY well. Unfortunately, it was twisted to impose guilt and pressure. And if it wasn’t scripture, there were plenty of other psychological games that pressured me. Guilt was a big one. He played on my sympathy for his plight. He played on the fact that he was “so spiritual,” and his pressures were so great in the ministry, he had greater “needs.” After all, he said, he had sacrificed and given up so much and waited a long time for me. So he “deserved” me. I was an object–a neat little box tied up with a bow. A token of God’s appreciation for his sacrifice and hardships. So whatever the man bade me, I complied–with no thought for my own feelings of being exploited.
The fact is, when I married after just turning 18 years old, I was extremely naïve, and I guess you would say “innocent.” Some things were not even on my radar. I needed to grow up. I get that. I get exploration. I get spicing things up. But when exploration, takes on a form of sexual favors rendered through pressure, intimidation, knowledge of consequences, etc. (I think I may vomit about now), it ceases to be exploration and becomes twisted and sick. This is so hard. I can’t believe I’m writing these things. But I will press on to make my point.
Pornography is a huge enemy of the sanctity of sex in marriage in general, but especially in Christian marriage. We all know that. I believe it creates a stronghold of the enemy, and that demonic influence creeps in, and the true realities of godly sexual joys are skewed. And in my former marriage, it was a never-ending battle with evil, and with sick fantasy.
So to compete, I became a porn queen in essence, trying to be what those women were. But there was no competing with that. Because it’s a lie from Hell. It’s a distorted, twisted, sick notion of sexuality that does not exist in the real world. And attempts to be that will ever be enough. So that’s what I felt. Not enough.
In my mind, I was too fat, too skinny, too fair, too wrinkled, not busty enough, my stomach pooched, I had spider veins on my legs, my hair wasn’t right, my dress wasn’t right, my nails weren’t right, my make-up wasn’t right, and the list goes on. Imperfection can never compete with a jaded view of perfection. So it creates an unattainable standard, and you drive yourself mad trying to reach it. You lose the sense of the “normal” beauty of sex, and you are constantly attempting to push the limits. Things become bizarre and twisted and unnatural. Beauty is traded for a lie. And it never satisfies, because you just can’t do enough to please. And the price you pay gets higher and higher. It’s horrible. It’s dark. And it’s ugly. Proverbs says a beautiful woman who shows no discretion is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout. Let that one sink in. Ladies, you want to look like that? That’s what you are aspiring for. Changes the picture a bit, doesn’t it?
There were those days when things were normal, and things were right. But then there were those days, where I had to “perform.” I will spare you the details. I will spare me recalling the details. But I will say this. During those times, I was coerced; I was manipulated; I was pressured; I suffered consequences for not complying; I was negotiated with; I was browbeat with scripture; I was brainwashed. The mind and the heart are such funny things. Almost inexplicable. Guard them. Guard them with all your might. It’s incredible what can be done when you are in robot mode. I don’t wish it on anyone.
And the first moment you give in, the first moment you lower your standards and submit to this ludicrous insanity, you are changed forever. And you find it was all just a pit. Just a trap. Quicksand. A swirling cesspool of lies. And I am screaming to anyone who will listen, “DON’T DO IT!” Don’t fall for it. Get away. Get out! There is no consequence for which is worth trading in your moral compass and compromising your beautiful spirit. The book of Proverbs says you are worth more. You are worth more than rubies. And never, ever let anyone tell you or treat you differently. A ruby is not going to be found in the pig sty. It’s not going to be found in the dark places on the screen, on the internet, in the strip clubs. It’s going to be found in the woman of noble character and pure heart. Be a ruby in the midst of the filth. You are lovely, sweet friend.
So where is the diamond in all of this? Where is the light in the darkness, or the hope in despair? Here it is: Jesus is a chain-breaker. He sets prisoners free. He demolishes strongholds. He pronounces royalty on the peasant. He seats us with Him in the Heavenly realms–far above all demonic power or dominion. He holds treasure in store for you, both in this life and for eternity. And he lavishes upon us the riches of His grace. Psalms 103 says God “redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with loving-kindness and compassion. Wear that crown with honor. Redemption from the pit–that’s where the hope lies. That’s where the light is. That is the diamond.
And I am a ruby.