Sexual sins have lasting emotional and physical consequences. It’s normal to feel a sense of sadness or to feel guilty if you’ve made choices about sex that are contrary to your faith. You may be struggling after:
- Having sex with a partner, even though you wanted to wait until marriage
- Pornography use
- Relapse into addictive sexual behaviors
These things are tough to tackle. But let me encourage you: you can overcome sexual sins and God’s forgiveness is always there to help you through it.
Why Do I Feel Like God Won’t Forgive Me?
Unfortunately, sexual sins have become so tied up in feelings of shame that it’s easy to feel hopeless when we struggle with sexual sins.
Shame also takes a toll on your self-worth. When I feel ashamed, my focus shifts to an unhealthy tearing down of my self-esteem. And when I’m in that place, it’s hard to forgive myself and to believe that God will forgive me.
But what’s the truth? The truth is that God forgives over and over again. In the book of Isaiah, God says this to us: “I am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
He knows we are human and that we make mistakes. But he also loves us and wants us to be free from the burden of our sins.
And don’t forget: God created you in His image and likeness. You are worthy of respect and love – and this truth is far greater and more powerful than any mistakes you’ve made.
How Do I Experience God’s Forgiveness?
God’s forgiveness is powerful, but it is part of a relationship. He won’t give it to us unless we seek it and ask for it. This means:
Being honest about where we went wrong
Asking God to forgive us
Accepting that forgiveness with gratitude
Making what efforts we can to continue turning toward God and away from choices that make us feel shame and pain
I find it helpful to take my sins to God in prayer, and to talk with someone I trust in my faith community. When my struggles are especially tough, it helps me to ask others to pray for me as I work to overcome them.
How Do I Start Healing?
It can feel difficult to know where to start when it comes to healing after sexual sins. But you can start right now.
Think about your choices when it comes to sex and be honest about the emotional, physical, and spiritual consequences you’ve experienced.
Think of how different your life will be when you experience freedom and forgiveness, and commit to doing what you can to get to that place of healing and change.
Tell people who care about you that you need support, prayer, and patience along the way. If you’re in a relationship, make those needs clear to your partner, too.
Talk to a HopeCoach at TheHopeLine if you’re not sure how or when to have a conversation with someone in your life or your faith community about sexual sins. Our mentorship is confidential and judgment-free. Our focus is on helping you find healing, love, and forgiveness from God and from yourself. We are here for you anytime.
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Photo Credit: Becca Tapert