To understand the abuse of something, we must first understand its intended purpose. The first step in preventing sexual abuse is proper education. While this is not ‘fool proof’, it does serve as somewhat of a protection. As parents it is our responsibility to teach our children healthy sexuality, and healthy sexual self-image.
This is first and foremost rooted in a healthy view of God. If I trust God, I trust His purposes. If I trust His purposes, I respect His original intent and recognize that any deviation from that plan is ultimately destructive in my life. God didn’t create us and then, as an after-thought, slap on a list of ‘do’s and don’ts’ so that He could sit back and be entertained by our struggle. Sometimes we treat Him as though that is how it is.
In the Garden of Eden, God made Adam. Adam was not incomplete as a man. He was whole, in the image of God, nothing lacking. Except human companionship. God could have left him there like that, but God saw that it was not good for mankind to do life alone.
Why? What harm could it or would it have done?
Adam was made in the image of God, but on his own he could not fully reflect God. More than anything else, God is relational, loving and giving, always working for the good of His children, always giving life to others. Without human companionship, Adam would have had no choice but to be introverted, having no one to invest in relationally. And Adam could not have reflected God as Creator and life-giver. To create life requires two humans and One God, again establishing God’s design for relationship and His interest in His Creation.
Just as God breathed life into Adam and Eve, He placed in them the ability to procreate, and have children, just as we are God’s children. This made them parents and, again, they reflected God. To this day we reflect God, or our beliefs about Him. not only in the procreation experience of intimacy and childbirth, but also in the way that we parent.
I have, on occasion, heard teachings that only Adam was created in God’s image, and Eve, as his helper, was merely pulled out of Adam. Almost as an afterthought. But the creation process was not a random series of experiments by God, in a ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-His-pants’ style project. Every step, every move in God’s plan had a purpose, communicating specific messages so that we would understand who He is. To reach in Adam’s chest, and create Eve out of Adam’s rib, was a deliberate act of God, creating a strong bond between them, and it made her no less created in His image. Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
Individually we reflect God, and, in a marriage union, as one man and one woman, we reflect God together. Our sexual identity is deeply personal, and intended to be protected, guarded and saved for marriage. In marriage, our sexuality is still deeply personal, but shared vulnerably with our spouse, as a symbol of complete acceptance and unselfish love. It is a level of intimacy that, in an ideal world, is shared only between one husband and one wife. (God knows we don’t have a perfect world. Virginity, celibacy, and monogamy are a rare thing, even in the church.)
Repeatedly the Bible says that a man and a woman are to leave their families and become ‘one flesh’. (Genesis 2:24; Mark 10:8; Matthew 19:6; Ephesians 5:31) It was God’s original intent that we bond sexually with only one person, that we become ‘one flesh’ and nurture that relationship in selfless sacrifice, as a reflection of His faithfulness, His unconditional love for us, and His full acceptance of us.
When we mess with God’s purpose, and pervert the natural (and obvious) plan for us, especially in the area of our sexuality, we mess with our core identity. As image bearers of our Creator God, we misrepresent Him, we defile ourselves, and pay a high price, spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and physically.
This is especially true when this innocence is forcibly taken from us through childhood sexual abuse, exposure to pornography against our will, rape or any other form of sexual violence. There is pain even with wrong personal choices, but it cannot compare to the trauma that goes with these violations.
If there was not such incredible power for good, especially spiritual power, in our sexual identity, then it would not and, indeed, could not have the power for evil and destruction that it has. It would be a neutral experience. Only something with powerful potential for good, has the potential for dynamic evil. Spiritually, one potential cannot exist without the other. The greater the potential for good, the greater the potential for evil. That is part of the curse of the knowledge of good and evil.
Stop and ask yourself this question, “What has caused more damage in our world than sexual perversion?” And, if your answer is ‘murder’, I would add this question, “How often is murder linked to sexual sin?” It is not uncommon for an ex-lover, or a ‘would be’ lover, to commit murder. Granted, many other things can trigger it, but there is a sexual connection in over 90% of male-offender murders. (See Statistics Here) This alone should convince us that there is deeper and more spiritual power in our sexuality, than a physical act. If it has the power to unleash this kind of demonic power, then it has to be spiritual.
Even when murder is not connected to anything sexual, many victims would echo that death seems less traumatic than the thought of being violated to the extreme. These most horrific of sexual violations, no human being should need to live with.
Within the context of marriage between a husband and wife, sexuality is blessed by God, and is a form of worship. When God created man and woman, He said, “It is very good…. Be fruitful and multiply.” When we function within God’s plan, we stand in agreement with Him in saying, “What You created is very good. We honour You as our Creator.” When we honour God, we worship Him, and when we worship Him, we are made whole.
It is little wonder that the church of Jesus Christ is a broken, wounded Body, limping through life, with little of substance to offer the world. If we cannot fight for this most basic area of our God-given identity, by fighting for innocent children who are brutally violated by professing Christians, then we have lost sight of God. If we don’t honour God, in the area of our core identity—in reflecting His image—the consequence is, as described in Romans 1, that God will turn people over to unnatural desires….
Jesus would not stand by and accept our self-preserving shrugs and excuses, as we pretend ‘it doesn’t happen in our church’. He would clean house.
We as the Body of Christ have failed God. We have looked to religion. We have protected image. We have sacrificed our children for our pride. We have played God. And society is a direct reflection of that sin. Romans 1 is in full play and we are not innocent.
May God forgive us, if we will only repent.
2 Chronicles 7:14
New King James Version (NKJV)
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
© Trudy Metzger 2012
Return to 1st post in Sexual Abuse Series
“Only something with powerful potential for good has the potential for dynamic evil.” This is the truth and it is exactly what perpetrators don’t understand or care about. And it is why sex abuse has such terrible consequence. Keep writing, Trudy, this is healing stuff 🙂 blessings.
Thank you Rosene. Yes, it is why sexual abuse has such terrible consequences. And why we need to continue to fight for truth and pursue healing! God will redeem, if we let Him!