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