Welcome to the third installment of my 4-part blog series entitled, “4 Lies Single Women Believe About Sex.” Each post is written so that you can jump in at any point, but feel free to go back and read the first and second posts as well.
In a father’s absence, he leaves behind some unanswered questions about your worth and what it looks like to be loved by a man. Questions like “Am I beautiful? Am I lovable?” burrow a hole in your heart, and you start searching for some tangible validation to fill the ever-expanding void. Is having sex proof that you’re significant? Today we’ll tackle the third lie single women believe about sex: “Having sex means I’m desirable and worthwhile.”
Lie #3 | Having sex means I’m desirable and worthwhile.
Growing up one of my favorite cartoons was Cartoon Network’s Courage the Cowardly Dog, a gritty comedy about a puny, pink dog named Courage and his owners, Eustace and Muriel. Each episode Courage defended his beloved Muriel from everything from aliens to an evil door-to-door salesman. During the stickiest situations, Courage would break the fourth-wall by staring at the audience and saying: “The things I do for love.”
Courage and I used to share that one endearing –but harmful– quality in common: the tendency to please and place yourself at the expense of others for love. For Courage that looked like putting up with Muriel’s potentially dangerous whims and placing himself in the line of fire to rescue her, but for me…that looked like trying to embody the essence of the “perfect girlfriend” with sandwiches made “just like mom’s” and pre-maritial sex.
When your value feels like a question mark and you’re immersed in relationships with people that assign your worth based on what you do for them, sex becomes a viable gauge for self-affirmation.
For the longest time, I just wanted to know that I was loved, but I wasn’t sure how to go about knowing that. After losing my virginity that uncertainty became even more unbearable, and sex was just a temporary way to keep my doubts at bay. Tangible proof that I am loved and desired doesn’t get any better than lips you can kiss and arms that hold you, right? Wrong.
What “Unreal Sour Cream” can teach us about Sex & Love
So often, we confuse passionate, sexual enthusiasm with love, but we can’t fool our hearts. Let me demonstrate my point with “Unreal Sour Cream.” Before we dive into Bible study on Wednesday nights, my church family shares a meal together. Every Mexican night someone has the audacity to bring a small tub of “Unreal Sour Cream.” As its name implies, it’s not real sour cream. It’s sour cream product. (I’m totally bitter about this fake sour cream, y’all. LOL.) Fake food tends to tear my stomach up, because my stomach was made for real food. Fake, man-made substitutions lack the nutritional value my body needs and give me gas, which my husband Gerald doesn’t appreciate.
Your boyfriend’s desire to have sex with you speaks no more volumes about your existence than the price tag on your clothing or the figures in your salary. The truth is: You already possess incredible worth and dignity because you were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). No chocolates, candle-lit dinners, rose petals, or seduction necessary.
If you’re still unconvinced that you are loved, if you’re still looking for proof that you mean something to someone, look no further than the cross of Christ. God didn’t evidence His love by exploiting your brokenness, or simply talking about His feelings. “God demonstrates His own love toward [you], in that while [you] were yet [a sinner], Christ died for [you] (Romans 5:8, NASB).” While you were still jacked up, rebellious, and knee-deep in your rachery, God sent Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) to purchase forgiveness for your sin and bridge the chasm sins like adultery, fornication, and homosexuality create between you and God. All you have to do to receive that is: ask God to forgive your sins and place your trust in Jesus Christ’s work on the cross.
If you’ve made Christ your Savior but you’ve been caught up in sexual sin, remember: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (John 1:1, NASB).” We don’t confess flippantly to avoid the consequences of our sin, but out of a sincere desire to honor God with our sexuality.
Interrupted by Love
Months after a serious breakup, I was walking home alone one afternoon. Inwardly I was mourning my ex, when God suddenly interrupted my train of thought.
“Nia, why are you so broken up over this guy that doesn’t love you?”
“Nia, don’t you understand that I infinitely love and care for you? I love you with a jealous love. I will never leave you. If you will choose to trust me, I will give you the desires of your heart. You won’t have to wonder if I love you. Will you do that?”
That was my “aha” moment. Before I knew it, that sexual relationship had become a functional-tub-of-Unreal-Sour-Cream in my life, a fake man-made substitute for the real thing: God’s love. God graciously opened my eyes to realize that sex wasn’t the proof that I was loved and valued, Christ had already proven that on the cross. That day I made two commitments within my heart: 1) that I would rely on God’s love to satisfy me; and 2) that I would demonstrate my faith by practicing abstinence until marriage.
I wish I could tell you that the season that followed was a breeze, but I’d be lying. Learning to unlearn the lie that “Having sex means I’m desirable and worthwhile.” is easier said than done. I battled with sexual purity on an almost daily basis, but God was faithful to help me endure it. Read about how He practically accomplished that in this article.
As time passed and I matured in my faith, I began to understand that as my knowledge of the character of God grew, so did my understanding of God’s love for me.
I hope today’s blog post helped you understand why having sex doesn’t mean that you’re desirable and worthwhile. You don’t have to “do.” You just have to “be.” God already loves and infinitely values you, but we also have to remember that we have a responsibility to respond to that love. Sin will separate you from God, but you can choose to respond to His love by repenting and trusting in Jesus. We’re not perfect. There’ll be times we miss the mark, but God is willing and ready to forgive us and empower us to live in holiness.
How will you respond to God’s love?
Find out more about responding to God’s love right here.
I used to think that sex proved I was loved. Now I know Christ proved that at the cross.
What are some practical ways that you remind yourself that Christ proved His love for you at the cross? Continue the conversation by leaving a comment below.