Written by Michelle, (my daughter whom I am so proud of and love unconditionally.)
“When my mom asked me to pray about writing something about sexting I was immediately put off by the idea because writing about sexting is like a big billboard saying “I’ve sexted.” But the thought of even helping one girl or even guy struggling with this issue amongst others brought me peace that my mistakes can be a cautionary tale and maybe bring some understanding or encouragement to that person or even parent.
I’d like for y’all to know that I am not only speaking about sexting, but sex itself, maybe even inappropriate flirtation, or secretive relationships behind your parents back. Anything and everything that you shouldn’t be doing but are doing basically in the realm of relationships and with dating too this can be applicable.
For those who don’t know, sexting is sending sexually explicit messages or photographs through text message or other type of messaging generally. And it is illegal to be in possession of what would be considered child pornography or distributing it. And I tell you this not to threaten you or to scare you but to tell you the reality of the situation! It is bigger than your general temporary gratification!
Since the age of about 13 roughly I found myself caught up with this overwhelming experience of guy girl relationships. How that immediately changes from “eww boys” to “ooh boys” I’ll never understand but it’s a heathy normal part of encountering adolescence. But how to navigate this time with Godly perspective and not worldly perspective can be tough. I still don’t have all the answers to this but what I do have is years of failures to share in hopes of years of success on yall’s part.
In classes I take at school I’m pretty much drilled on how adolescents lack the prefrontal cortex maturity to be able to for example: form judgement, control impulses, and emotions. What is developed? Ironically enough the part of your brain fixated on pleasure and reward is what’s fairly more well developed than the remote control needed to make decisions about the hard stuff adolescents may be facing. Adolescence is a transitional period where a person starts to encounter issues such as self-identity and independence. Tough choices regarding sexuality become a constant from yourself, from your peers, from media, and from those of the opposite sex!
It gets really real, really fast!
—Caution….Lessons learned the hard way
Take it from someone who knows. Who has been there done that. I can tell you there is a bottom and it is painful.
I think parents often think that sexting is a sign of poor self esteem or a cry for attention. But for me at least it wasn’t a cry for attention, I wasn’t desperate for the attention, I WAS attention! I believe often times parents lean to blaming the male too, but I know in my case, I was the one always in control. It made me feel powerful, sexy, and enjoyed. Parents also love to think that their child would never be doing this it must be somebody else’s fault. And sometimes parents, yes, your child is aware of what he or she is doing and the fact that they did it anyways is the part that hurts the most. What I would say is love them. Just love them anyways and hold them accountable because sexual sin is a struggle a real struggle and the enemy has perfected the take down of God’s children using sexual sin. The real struggle with sexual sin is that its internal…
20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
My parents thought of some pretty clever and original punishments for my behavior and sadly they didn’t work. I regret it now. Not listening. But I think I knew at a certain point all they could really do is pray for me to come out of it, and praise God I did. But I write this In hopes of deterring y’all guys from even entering or continuing down the road y’all might be headed down. I know it is a real struggle and being grounded for a couple weeks won’t change that. It’s deeper, and needs to be addressed deeper.
It’s so easy to become desensitized to the world and what is wrong and what is right. It’s so easy to justify what you are doing. In my case I thought….
“It’s not sex, so it’s not wrong.”
“I’m not doing anyone any harm”
“it’s not that big of deal”
“it’s just a photo.”
“But it’s fun.”
Or my fav
“But we like each other.”
But it is sex! It may not be actual intercourse but it’s called sexting for a reason, and it is a gateway to physical sex. Once you put words to the thoughts, putting actions to the words doesn’t fall too far behind and is much easier!
But it is wrong. It is harming not only you but the other individual or individuals. And yes it may be fun but only for a season. And yes you may like each other but I can promise you, you will like others too. If you are sharing nudes or sexting with this person you claim to like, you probably will with the next, and the next, and the next, and that number of people you have shared yourself with, will grow, and grow, and grow, and you will have very little of yourself to give to your future spouse that many others haven’t already had or seen. And that is a sobering thought!
Through years of sexting and inappropriate relationships with guys whether they were just friends or boyfriends or whatever they were to me, I disappointed my parents multiple times, and still I continued because I didn’t think it was that big of deal. I didn’t understand the amount of destruction I was doing to myself. The level of hurt or sin I was sowing. The struggle I was struggling with may have been identified by my parents, but it wasn’t by myself. And it wasn’t for a while. It begins with well it’s just texting. I won’t go further. Well it’s just a photo. I won’t go further. Then it’s well it’s just making out. I won’t go further and the lines and boundaries you physically created in your head begin to look a lot less definite and a lot more foggy. And the further and the further you go, before you know it, all the boundaries you set have been crossed. I lost friendships, created a reputation for myself that was not cute, hurt a lot of people, and for myself, I know I felt so ashamed, I knew it was wrong, I cried a lot, I prayed a lot, I didn’t like who I was, but I continued anyways because I had already come this far.
I put myself and friends before God. I swear I was rebellious just for the sake of being rebellious! And I literally had entered a time of my life where I didn’t know a relationship with the opposite sex that didn’t involve inappropriateness.
So then in my life I had reached the lowest of my lows. I was “happy” though, and having fun, and engaging in sexual relationships with guys and just living it up. But it wasn’t that at all. On the outside I was tough and cool and fun and appeared to love who I was. But on the inside I was depressed and scared and lonely and so far from a relationship with God, I remember having moments where I just wanted to talk to him but felt that I couldn’t cause I was so dirty. That’s how I felt….dirty. Worthless. And I had let sex become who I was rather than having sexual intimacy being something I displayed with marriage.
Needless to say I got pregnant at 19. And although Olivia is my greatest blessing, that moment was my bottom. And it hurt. Not that I wasn’t excited or didn’t think I was capable of being a good mom. I was pregnant, and I was keeping the baby, and I loved her from day one. That wasn’t the issue. But sex had hurt me. Something I had put so high above all things had finally got me so far as to my bottom. That’s how I felt. I was left pregnant with Olivia by her father, someone I trusted with myself and the responsibility of sex, and wow that hurt!
After many nights of deliberating that though, I realized he was not the one to blame about the “sex that had hurt me part”, but I was. Because I had reached a point in my life where sex was not held at the level that it should have been. I had tainted that. And I had allowed myself to be had by all that had me and could have easily gotten pregnant with anyone before him, but didn’t. The common denominator was me however. And reaching that point of realization was heart breaking. I knew I needed to change. For myself and for my daughter. I knew that if I wanted to make sure she didn’t repeat my mistakes I would need to recognize the true struggle that sexual sin was for myself.
I urge anyone reading this that is struggling with sexting. I know to you it may just seem like just a text message or just a photo but it is a gateway! And it can lead to so much more. And you are not alone in this. For me it did. And I’m telling you it does not define you! You are more. God is bigger. And restoration is coming!
God’s design for sex was one man and one women within a marriage to experience intimacy and pleasure and love and oneness that is not understood or appreciated without that key ingredient…. Marriage!
All those warnings about taking all of your previous relationships into the next one is true. I’m sure you’ve been told you’re virginity is a gift. It really is yall!!
You are not lame if you are a Virgin or choosing to remain a virgin until marriage. You are so cool and so wise and so right! Everything within me wishes I could take all of that back and give myself to one man.
Here’s another sobering thought for you. Now I’m in a serious relationship and let me tell you if he were to ask me how many men I’d been with I couldn’t tell him because I don’t know the answer, and that is so embarrassing and so destructive. Thank God for his grace and Him blessing me UNDESERVEDLY, by the man that He chose for me. He loves me anyways and accepts me anyways. And that is a direct representation of the Love that God has for me. And that’s the love that he shows to me. And that’s the way it should be! And now that I’ve come full circle I just really wish I could have done some things, most things, differently.
I’m not saying God can’t take where you are at now and turn it around because He can, and He will, but it takes work on your part too. Sexual sin is a struggle that follows you. It makes it harder for you to remain faithful to your partner, makes it harder to turn your eyes from things you shouldn’t focus your eyes on, makes things look a little more grey sometimes, and struggling with sexual sin makes choosing your friends and people you surround yourself with that much more important!!!
Disclaimer: I know this is long and whoever is still reading, props! I must be doing something right!
—-Friends/ and influences!
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Choosing your friends wisely is SO important!
I had a friend for a few years. She walked through with me those very dark times and supported me and loved me anyways. I secretly looked up to her and her preserving of her purity and always told myself “well if she can do it, I can do it.”
When I learned she had fallen short of my pedestal image of her, I was so hurt. I immediately thought my influence on her was the reason for her choices and I was broken.
Although I’ve been told many times people make their own choice and I do believe that is true, That scripture proverbs 27:17 really sticks out to me! We as friends truly do have a heavy impact on our friends. And as Christians we are to be conducting ourselves in purity and goodness and not causing our brothers and sisters to fall or stumble by our influence. I to this day believe that the atmosphere I created for her, where my inappropriate sexual activities were a norm, caused a desensitivity towards that behavior.
🔹Don’t be that friend!
Fast forward some time in a conversation where I was trying to share some accountability, she reminded me of the times she stuck by me while I was engaged in my sexual sin filled life and never said anything… and immediately one thought came to mind..
“I wish you had said something.”
🔹Be that friend!
Say something! Hold your friends accountable! Not in judgement, but in gentleness.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Positive friendships that help you along the ups and downs of your walk with Christ and your journey through everyday stuff are so important!! Having a prayer partner, someone to hold you accountable, and someone to encourage you in the good and bad times makes a hell of a difference!
Choose people who are choosing to live as you are choosing to live. Choose people who are just as urgently seeking the Lord as you are. Who are not afraid to redirect you with gentleness when you might be straying. If we can’t do that for each other without assuming it’s judgement, then we as believers have bigger issues!
—The End… Yes I’m finally ending this
What I’d like to leave you with is this.
-You reap what you sow.
In Galatians 6:7, His Word states, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”
If you are currently involved in ungodly habits or have been such as in this topic struggling with any type or any level of sexual sin, we can’t sow disobedience to God and expect to reap His blessing. What we sow, we reap. We will reap the harvest of our lives.
-Find a mentor
….or someone you can relate to. Whether it’s a parent or pastor or whoever it is. (Yes parents sadly, sometimes it is easier for your kids to open up to someone other than you, and if its a positive relationship, encourage it.) Talking it out can be so vital!
-Talk to your parents!
If they are concerned about your relationships and whether or not you are or not sexting, it is not because they are lame, it’s because they love you! And God gave them the responsibility and the job of taking care of you and directing you with Godly pursuit while on this Earth and this is a job they take seriously and their love for you is beyond what you can imagine! They may be disappointed right now but that fades and their concern for you will remain and having communication and transparency about your life and your relationships changes everything!!
God has a plan and purpose for your life! And even though you may be caught up in muck and mess or just getting out of it He has not counted you out! In fact what you have gone through He can use to help others who may be walking in the same shoes you are. And what the devil meant for harm God can use for good. I’m sure you’ve heard that before. And it’s so good! His blood covers all in sin, there’s no sin too big for His blood to wash away. Don’t let shame hold you back. Where there is shame,
He provides grace!”
We are sharing our family testimony with our subscribers today with permission from my daughter. She is a brave girl. We love her beyond words could ever describe or explain. She chose to share her story because she hopes to help many teens as a vessel of God to bring healing to those struggling. I am so proud of my baby girl.
Parent of an honored daughter, –Ann Marie Godines MS LPC