Sometimes, after I have given a talk, a question is asked that breaks my heart. That happened after I had spoken to a group of teen girls on the medical, emotional, and relational risks of premature sexual intimacy and sex with multiple partners. I had explained what happens in our brains when we are sexually intimate with another person: the chemicals that are released to bond us to that other person, and how this inborn bonding mechanism is weakened by being sexually intimate with one person after another. Earlier that morning, the girls had heard the biblical teaching on sex — that it is a beautiful gift, intended by God to unite a man and a woman in marriage.
The question was “What if I already have?” It was written on a slip of paper, anonymously, and left in the question box. Was this girl convinced that she had made a dreadful mistake, that she had irrevocably damaged her chances for a happy marriage some day? What did she need to hear in answer to her question?
As I think about this girl (and I think about her often), I remember another girl, in a different part of the world. She told the pastor of the church, after my talk, that one particular statement had moved her to tears. “If I had heard only that one statement,” she said, “it would have been worth coming this evening.”
That statement, from 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, was “The sexually immoral will not inherit the Kingdom of God. And such were you, but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified.” This girl was a street girl who had met Jesus, but she had not heard those wonderful words before.
There are two facts that both these girls needed to know. One is that God forgives and takes way the power of sin over us. The other is that nothing is impossible for God. Yes, sexual sin has consequences, and those consequences can be serious and long lasting. But God walks through them with us, and we can be healed — physically, emotionally, and relationally. This is the hope we have in Jesus.