Abstinence and Brokenness

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,  Luke 4:18

A Christian woman should guard her chastity well and prize it.   But chastity goes beyond virginity.  It means abstinence now, which may or may not include what’s happened in the past.    The National Center for Victims of Crimes indicates that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys have suffered from child sexual abuse.  That means nearly 20% of adult women are not virgins through no fault of their own.

Refraining from pre-marital sex is essential for Christians to preserve chastity.  A woman found not to be a virgin at marriage could have been stoned under the Law (Deut. 22:13-21).  Healing is not always easy for those who have been sexually abused, as it has been shown that childhood sexual abuse can make one promiscuous.  It’s probable that after experiencing sexual abuse that they had sex outside of marriage because they felt they were no longer valued by society or by marriageable men.

Marriage is God’s design for sex, and the Apostle Paul said that in order to prevent fornication, that is illicit sex (porneia), one should marry.   Not being able to contain oneself from fornication will cause one to burn (1 Corinthians 7:9; see 1 Corinthians 6:9 & Jude 1:7) and that it is better to marry than to allow that to happen.

However, there is hope for those who are broken.

The Church that Jesus founded must show that there is hope for those who are broken and bruised and give them liberty.  It must show compassion, it must show that they are valuable to God, that they are valued as humans and can achieve victory and freedom through the Spirit.

God promises that if we walk in the Spirit, there is no condemnation to those who are broken (Romans 8:1).  The important thing for a Christian woman who has been abused and is no longer virginal is to be full of the Spirit and to practice abstinence.

Women who suffer from sexual abuse should discuss with their husbands any fears they might have about intimacy as well, and hope that they have an understanding husband who could help them work through any issues.

One good resource is the book by Lynda Allison Doty, Help Me Heal.  Doty is a licensed counselor and has written several books and articles about psychological concerns.

Pamela Parizo © 2017

 

 

6 Comments

  1. Looking at rape victims in the Bible, there is one that primarily stands out: Tamar, the daughter of David, who was raped by her half-brother Amnon. Following the rape, she went to live in her brother Absalom’s house. I believe in reviewing the scriptures that the reason for this is that, under the law, a rapist was required to marry the rape victim. I know that we would find this repugnant today, and I’m sure even in those times it was not easy. But rape may have carried a different connotation then–it is obvious that Hamor’s son Shechem loved Dinah, and Amnon lusted after Tamar. Amnon, also under the law, would’ve been prevented from marrying his half-sister, and it’s possible they did not want it to be common knowledge that this had happened There was no violence associated with the rapes as we would have in these times. Also, if men were required to marry a woman they took, it might make them think twice about doing so. I think the law was trying to be compassionate toward the victim in providing her a husband.

    It’s commendable that there are men in these times that are willing to marry a woman who has suffered from child sexual abuse. The Christian Church, while valuing chastity and virginity, should also emphasize that the victim has value in Jesus Christ and that her continued abstinence/chastity should commend her for marriage.

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  2. @pamelaparizo

    You said and I quote ” The Apostle Paul said that fornication will cause one to burn”……….end quote

    Paul never said that at all, quite the contrary, he said that it is BETTER to get your sexual needs met in marriage than to burn with un met sexual frustration…go on read that verse again

    You have made a huge error in thinking that FORNICATION= pre marital sex….you couldn’t prove that from the bible if your life depended on it

    Do you know what the terms “marriage”, and fornication mean?
    I’m trying to be gentle with you sister, but time and time again as I read your material, I find that your knowledge of the bible is not sufficient to teach on these important doctrines

    Perhaps this is why women were NOT allowed to teach?…..just a thought

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  3. The subject of 1 Corinthians 7 is marrying in lieu of fornication. In order that one does not fornicate, one should marry and have their own husband or wife. Being married is to prevent indulging in forbidden sex. He says it is better if they can remain unmarried, but if they cannot contain themselves, they should marry. Unmet sexual needs result in illicit sex, not just pre-marital sex, but the whole range of porneia.

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  4. Thank you for your comment. I went back in and clarified the passage. Pre-marital sex was forbidden by the Torah, and a woman found not to be a virgin by her husband could be stoned. A lot of it depended on whether the woman was thought to be a willing participant to pre-marital sex. For example, if she was raped, the rapist could be forced to marry her. Fornication, which covers a wide-spectrum of illicit sex, is cause to end up in the lake of fire. Bear in mind that there were no chapters and verses originally, and 1 Corinthians 7 continues the subject of 1 Corinthians 6. In order to prevent fornication, one should marry, and married couples should regularly have sex in order not to be tempted to incontinency, i.e. not being able to control one’s sexual urges and indulge in illicit sexual acts. If one cannot contain one’s sexual urges, one should marry in order to have an outlet for that.

    Women who have suffered from sexual abuse are often stigmatized because they are seen as damaged goods, particularly if they have given themselves over to promiscuity. However, Jesus offers hope and healing for women (and men) who are no longer virginal through no fault of their own, or because of sin. If we walk in the Spirit of Christ there is no longer any condemnation for what has gone before, if we continue in chastity after coming to Christ.

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