Valentine’s Day; Christian Singles & Sex Drives after Molestation

[Trigger warning]

Romance. The word practically dances out of your mouth, when you say it, like a sweet lover’s invitation. The definition of it makes hearts skip beats. Heads spin. Reason and common sense all but disappear in the wind, when it strikes. And it does. Out of the clear blue sky, sometimes, when we least expect it, that little ‘rush’ that makes us crazy about someone, and all we want is to be with them….

So we’ve set aside this day, February 14, as a time to celebrate love and romance. A time to acknowledge our significant other, and show them how much we love and appreciate them. And that’s all good, in and of itself.

But for the singles–whether never married, divorced or widowed–Valentine’s Day is yet another reminder of the segregation they often feel. (For this post I will focus on the unmarried who have been molested.) I think of it more the past few years because I have the honour of sitting with singles each week listening to their hearts, their stories, and their dreams. And the one dream many, if not most, express is the desire for marriage and companionship. Rightfully so. Who wants to be lonely?

As we work together through the pain of past abuses, or current ones, we unravel many beliefs victims hold about themselves, about God, about the opposite gender and about sexuality and marriage. Almost always, if not always, there is guilt about the whole thing of desiring marriage. And, in particular, the desire for intimacy and love. Sexual love.

I’m not of the ‘free for all’ mindset, where you grab a lover for the day, to feel good about yourself. If that’s you, it isn’t my business, but the people I work with are trying to wait until marriage, and that is what I encourage, so I write unapologetically from that perspective. My reasons are not to be a party pooper, but honouring God’s plan as well as personal awareness of damage done emotionally and psychologically with multiple partners. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

In sitting with Christian young adults and working through difficult past stories, or current struggles, at some point I usually ask if they desire marriage–because not all do, believe it or not, but if they do I want to bless that desire and pray with them. Answers range from enthusiastic affirmative responses (though rarely) to a cautious, “Yeah… Is that okay?”

Keep in mind that I spend pretty much 7 days a week talking about sexuality, in one form or another, with a broad range of people. From clients, to bishops or preachers and their wives, to police officers and (more occasionally) medical professionals, to grandmas and grandpas, this is my world. Inevitably in talking through abuses of sex, the topic of healthy sexuality comes up and with it the many forms of sex. (One pastor’s wife asked me, “If you talk about it all the time, don’t you think about it constantly and want to have sex? Because I sure would!” Umm… ask a chocolate maker how much they crave chocolate every time they see it. Without crossing the lines to ‘TMI’, let me just say that when it is part of every day conversation, the only thing that makes me desire it is being with my beloved. So, no, talking about it doesn’t do that.) So when the topic of marriage comes up, the topic of sex is already on the table, and becomes part of the discussion.

When I ask if they desire marriage, some logically process what that would mean and conclude they wouldn’t be happy in marriage; it would be too restricting when there are so many dreams they want to fulfill and the odds being low of a marriage partner wanting to be part of that. For the majority, apart from the few who enthusiastically desire marriage and declare it boldly and without apology, we explore the cautious admission that they long for marriage.

The caution is, admittedly, due to the vulnerability of acknowledging the desire for a relationship that offers companionship, commitment, shared dreams and sexual intimacy. All of those are good, and seem good, except the desire for sexual intimacy. For some reason, in the world of Christianity, we’ve communicated the message that a desire for sexual intimacy is perverse or inappropriate, when the person desiring that intimacy is unmarried. And that’s true even if they don’t want to go there before marriage.

This seems wrong to me. In every way. Sex is a beautiful gift of intimacy between husband and wife, and to desire that intimacy should be blessed, along with a blessing on the desire to wait. We present this immaculate ‘don’t need sex and certainly don’t desire it because I’m not married’ image that is entirely unrealistic. Even Christian singles desire sex. Trust me. You’re not alone, if you are a Christian trying to wait for marriage to experience sexual intimacy, and yet have a powerful sex drive. It’s normal. It’s how God created you. And it’s beautiful and good. When God finished creating mankind, He said, “It is very good”. That includes your sexuality and your desires. We have this infatuated notion that marriage is about sex, and once we have the freedom to enjoy that intimacy without guilt or shame, knowing we are committed to that person and they committed to us, then all will be right in our world and our sexuality will be blessed by God. But it is already blessed, as a single who struggles with it and desires a marriage partner. The key is to master those drives, and bring them under God’s design, and take authority over them, rather than to be driven and mastered by the desires. I explain this to every client who struggles with sexuality.

When sharing these struggles, it is common to hear an exasperated and defeated, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me!” And the first time I say, “Nothing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you. Your desires are blessed by God,” they look stunned. By the time I’ve explained why it is good, most readily accept it as God’s truth–because I pull it straight out of the Bible–while others need time. I also explain how, through abuse and molestation, their sexuality was prematurely awakened and they have had, usually from a very young age, knowledge of sexuality that they shouldn’t have need to know.

When singles have, since childhood, offered sexual services–oral sex, anal sex, masturbation and much more–for teens and adults (often in church), and then suddenly try to shut down that sexuality, often harshly judged by their churches for the struggles, all while the molester is overlooked, there are serious battles to fight through. When the people they ‘serviced’ show up at church happily married and have that intimacy, often never confronted by their crimes, and the victims are left to struggle with the memories and aftermath, things feel pretty dark, pretty fast.

The one gift we can offer these victims–and it’s the least we can do–is affirming their sexuality and desires, and bless what their desires were created for; a committed, God-blessed relationship. In doing this we remove the shame unnecessarily imposed on them by sins committed against them. We bless who they are, as image bearers of our Creator. And thereby we bless God, standing in agreement with Him in saying that His design is very good.

So, today, if you are single, lonely and struggling with the heavy romance focus that is Valentine’s Day, I want to acknowledge and bless you. I bless you as a child of God, with human desires for sexual intimacy, and bless you in your struggle to master that desire. And where your sexuality was prematurely awakened, intensifying those desires and making it difficult, you need to know you are not alone, and it doesn’t make you perverted or ‘sick’. Where you are overtaken and a slave to that sexuality and long for freedom, there is help available; you don’t have to stay entrapped. God sees beyond the struggle and sees you. He sees your humanity, and it draws compassion from Him. (Psalm 103:13-14) He loves you and delights in you, and welcomes you into His presence. You are not ‘less than’, you are not unworthy. Your desires for love and intimacy are God-given, and my prayer is that God will meet your needs and grant you the desires of your heart.


~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger


The Loneliness of Sexual Victimization: Am I the only one?

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The perception that abuse doesn’t happen in Christian or religious circles is a setup for one of the most hopeless and agonizing sufferings; isolation. As if the hopelessness of believing there is no way out, no way through isn’t enough, this loneliness pushes us to the edge of survival and sanity. And, having survived that desire to die–for those of us who do survive–many of us shut down every emotion and live without feeling, without passion and without purpose to avoid ever standing on that cliff again.

God has so much more for us all! He stepped into time and death, to walk with us and enter into our pain and suffering. He cried out on that gruesome cross, “My God, My God! Why have you forsaken Me?” He understood our loneliness; that heart-rending ache that screams silently against our pain, longing to be understood. Or at least not to be left so alone.

Representing God with most incredible grace, love and compassion, one couple stepped into my messy world twenty-six years ago. No one had ever dared to touch the unclean thing done against me. I was the only one who had suffered it, I thought. Our family was the only family so messed up and broken. Of this I was certain.

And then the couple dared to enter in… With time I learned that they had helped others, and that their ‘learning’ had come from walking with their own daughter. Their love, apart from any wisdom they shared–and there was that–along with the understanding and listening ear, gave me hope and carried me through the first two years of the most painful part of my life. And it taught me how to care for others.

It’s quite uncomplicated, really. Step into the darkness of a wounded heart, offer a listening ear without any judgment for the struggle, and encourage the victim. Speak life, if you speak at all. Let them know they are not alone. Keep healthy boundaries, because a lack of them will simply add to the victim’s pain, and set you both up for a hard fall. Don’t try to rescue. Don’t be the hero. Simply care.

I do this in the context of faith, and in that context I turn the hearts of victims to their Heavenly Father in relationship. He loves them. He cares for them. He can handle their struggle. And mostly I do this without words, by trying my best to exemplify it. Sometimes I say it for added impact.

My faith in my Heavenly Father, my trust in His unconditional love, and the wonder that He–the Holy One, God, the Creator of the Universe–would dare to get His hands bloody and feet dirty to heal my suffering… That reality has healed my heart, above all. And for that reason I share it.

Ultimately it is relationship without condemnation that draws victims to the Father’s heart in trust. And that is something we all can offer, if we dare. It is something Jesus calls us to offer, because He called us to walk in His footsteps. And the Jesus kind of unconditional Love always heals the wounded heart.

~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger

Should Canada Merely throw Money at Aboriginals to Ease the Nations’s Conscience?

“Where there is no vision (revelation; outlook, purpose), the people cast off restraint (perish; lose hope and meaning)…”

If I were to sum up in a short sentence what has happened to our First Nations’ people, I would say they have lost hope. We came. We robbed them blind. In essence, we stole their hope and purpose, and left them displaced. We can say what we want about them not helping themselves, but if we don’t first do the right thing and walk with them, share our bread with them, and thus restore their dignity, we are as guilty as our forefathers.


These past few weeks I’ve had numerous conversations with various individuals, regarding the upcoming election, and what should ‘drive’ the vote, of a Christian… if they should vote at all. There are mixed views on that last part, from the most conservative to the most liberal of Christians. To me it seems a responsible thing to do, and doesn’t collide with my faith, so I vote. But I also understand those who don’t, and respect that. It’s a personal decision. At least for now, since the government has not made it mandatory, and the Bible doesn’t say we should not. Of course we’ve declared our opinions loudly on the matter, but with no believable grounds, in my opinion.

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One message I keep hearing at every turn, is to vote for a leader who will fight for the poor, for the homeless, the Aboriginal people and others less fortunate. This message appeals to my compassion, and my desire to fight for  the underdog, which in my case is the roughly 6 million sex abuse victims in our country. (Numbers based on 1 in 4 females, and 1 in 6 males, in a population of roughly 35.5 million, and presuming approximately 50% are male, and the other 50% are female, and accounting only for reported cases.)

In his Maclean article, A Real Nation Would Not Let This Happen, Scott Gilmore exposes some of the deep neglect to Canadian Aboriginal people, stating, “We care more about postal service, child care and tax credits for the suburban middle class than we do Aboriginal issues. What kind of a nation are we?” He goes on to say that the Party Leaders have run across Canada handing out money to ‘you, you and you’ appealing to the middle class for votes. It’s true. They have. And we fall for it, licking up empty promises like starved puppies, as if our lives depend on it, rather than looking out for our Aboriginal brothers and sisters–yes, that is exactly what they are–and fighting for them.

If I don’t think below the surface, this ‘tossing money to the poor’ appeals strongly to my compassion, and, if I’m perfectly honest, it eases my own conscience. But there is a bigger picture to consider, both politically and personally. To find a generous-hearted leader who will throw money where the need is greatest, without any sort of relationship-based help, is a noose around the neck of our country and the recipients. The same principals that apply in running a business or a farm–which really is a business but possibly one of the better examples in this case–apply to running a nation. Responsibly managing finances, while giving generously and purposefully, maximizes the impact and guarantees sustainable growth and giving. A farmer who gives away so much seed that he has nothing or little left to plant, will give less and less every year and eventually lose his business. And the farmer who gives the neighbour eggs every week, out of kindness, rather than giving the neighbour a chicken and teaching him how to care for it, acquires more dependents rather than empowering the neighbour to also be self-sustaining and generous. And if the farmer’s chickens die, there’s nothing left. But if he has taught the neighbour well, then when his chickens get sick and die, guess who just might be able to offer eggs, and probably a new hen, to the farmer? A simple example, but that is responsible giving.

By the same token, a country that is not managed in a fiscally responsible way will eventually be in no position to give, so it makes sense for a leader to invest where he or she sees potential for returns. It isn’t that a nation should not give, but rather it is how the nation gives that will make all the difference.

Because compassion appeals to my heart, Gilmore’s article moves me; it really does. And, while throwing compassion money to Aboriginals, homeless and other destitute and needy may ease the nation’s conscience–and mine as well–it will not and cannot change our country, or have a longterm positive impact on the condition of things. Much less can it make Canada a real nation. Because a ‘real nation’ is about relationship, not dropping money from the sky. A real nation is made up of real people who walk in and do life with the needy, teaching and working alongside them, laughing and crying together, hugging and loving… And to drop money from a distance may be the greatest insult and disservice ever done.

And this brings me to my final question. Whose responsibility is it to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and help those destitute and in need? Is it not scriptural for the people representing Christ to give to the poor and needy? And, more than that, to live among them, with love? Is it not our calling to bring Jesus to the most destitute and, in the eyes of society, the lowliest… even those we deem undeserving? And to bring Jesus is to be practically available and present, fishing with them, and teaching them to fish, so to speak.

What about a relationship-based commitment to helping the Aboriginals, with much patience and without trying to clone ourselves in them, imposing our religious cultural norms on them? What about accepting them where they are at, but not being willing to leave them there in their suffering? What about believing in them, and showing them that they are worth more, that they can choose better way, and we are willing to walk with them on that way?

The inner curses that people have to push past, having been oppressed and abused, are not a small thing. I have not suffered the half of what they have been through, and yet I spent years haunted by the lifelessness of past abuse and oppression; demons that rarely haunt any more, but kept me trapped for years. For them to push beyond such a thing requires unbelievable resilience, of this I am certain. And therefore to bring change requires patience and encouragement, with gentle persistence.

So, yes, Mr. Gilmore, a ‘real nation’ might not let this happen, if each person invested him or herself 100%. But it didn’t happen overnight, and it will not be resolved overnight. It will take hard work on both sides of this equation for change to become real and visible. What are you doing to change this… and what am I doing… besides writing? And what are we doing, collectively, to reach out to the most vulnerable in our nation? What passion can we stir, that we are willing to lead, to make a difference, rather that remaining comfortably critical.

In the past I volunteered at our local Federal prison for several years, teaching classes and interacting with inmates, and during my time there I met many Aboriginals. I loved my time with them, and did research into the history of abuse of these fellow Canadians. That awareness has never for a moment disappeared from my memory. And always when I hear of them, it seems I should be able to do something, yet always I move on with my life. And maybe that’s what we all do; even the government, and that is how even a ‘real nation’ allows this to happen; one individual who looks the other way at a time, or talks and does nothing, or expects the government to do it all, not willing to be ‘that one’ who acts. The reality is that we, the people, need to rise up and invest ourselves and our lives to make a difference, and certainly we can appeal to the government on behalf of the Aboriginal people, but not without relationship. They are worthy of more than that.

My commitment is this: To dream, and brainstorm, pray and contemplate… and then to act on those dreams and prayers at the right time.

I want to be that one, no matter which vulnerable people I am given the opportunity to reach. I want to be the one to make a difference, rather than simply talk….

~ T ~

Note: Between 2 Gods is on sale (Kindle) for only $3.81 right now in USA, and it is on for $4.99 in Canada. Amazon controls pricing–not my publisher–so I have no idea how long it will be on at this price.

© Trudy Metzger