Sexual brokenness can be defined as any sexual activity or sexual experience that does not honor God. The topic of sexual abuse began to dominate public discussion after celebrities disclosed the abuses they had suffered in silence. The #MeToo movement gained popularity as victims of sexual abuse found their voices. We live in a sexually broken culture that is reaping the harvest of the sexual revolution.
Sexual brokenness is nothing new. The Old Testament contains examples of sexual violence, rape, adultery, and every other kind of sexual sin (Ezekiel 33:26; 2 Samuel 13:1–20; Hosea 4:1–2). The Bible also offers the promise of healing for those who experience sexual brokenness.
Sexual brokenness is due to humanity’s rejection of God’s authority. When a culture removes God as its final authority and replaces Him with situational ethics and personal freedoms, chaos results. Sexual expression is often the first target when Satan attacks a person or a nation. Those who refuse biblical values and demand the right to do with their bodies whatever lust dictates reap a host of societal ills: AIDS, fatherless children, rape, homosexuality, perversions, pedophilia, unwed births, abortion, child molestation, and more.
Sexual brokenness can be confronted on two levels: national and personal. Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” A nation’s sexual brokenness can be reversed if the people in that nation will return to God (Zechariah 1:3). When godly laws are reinstated, punishments are enforced for sexual crimes, and leaders model integrity and morality, a nation regains its collective sanity. Sexual brokenness begins to heal as respect, honor, and purity become social norms. The children born into such a world can grow up whole and happy without the scars their parents and grandparents carried.
Individuals who realize their lives are sexually broken can also seek healing in the Lord. Psalm 23:3 says of the Lord our Shepherd: “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” God is the Restorer of broken people. To restore means to make as though new, and there are several ways that God makes sexually broken people new:
1. He renews our minds through His Word (Romans 12:1–2). He replaces old thought patterns with His truth. Lies that once kept us in bondage are now recognized as lies and rejected (2 Corinthians 10:5). Destructive thinking that led to depression, addiction, or promiscuity can be replaced with godly thoughts and self-worth as biblical truth takes root and grows.
2. He heals our attitudes about our bodies. A body that once brought shame becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit when we surrender our lives to Him (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). We learn to value our bodies, and we realize we were created for God’s purpose and pleasure (Colossians 1:16), not as a toy for someone else.
3. He restores relationships. Whereas in our sexual brokenness we may have defiled many relationships, we now learn how to treat others with all purity (1 Timothy 5:1–2). We make amends for any part we may have had in creating or sustaining the brokenness, asking forgiveness when appropriate and forgiving all who sinned against us (Matthew 18:21–35).
4. Once restored, we set healthy boundaries for our own sexuality. We recognize that sex is a good gift from a loving Creator and, when used wrongly, only wounds our souls. We obey the command to “flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18). We recommit ourselves to purity in body and soul and set wise boundaries in order not to “make provision for the flesh and its lusts” (Romans 13:14).
Part of healing from sexual brokenness is to allow God’s Word, not our culture, to define sexual immorality. If we are to be followers of Christ, we look only to Him for direction (Hebrews 12:2). It matters not what culture thinks, what celebrities do, or what our neighbors approve. It only matters what God says, and it is His approval we seek if we want to remain sexually healed.
We must all accept the fact that we are broken in many ways. This world breaks us. Evil breaks us. Heartache, pain, betrayal, and abuse can break us. Scars linger long after healing has occurred, and remnants of our old selves may still battle for attention. Those who are same-sex attracted may always battle that desire. Rape victims may always flinch when touched a certain way. Child abuse survivors and victims of sex trafficking and other sex crimes may carry the scars and the social judgments for the rest of their earthly lives. But inner healing can take place anyway. Learning to find complete fulfillment in a vital relationship with Jesus provides the strength to overcome sexual brokenness.
We are “more than conquerors through Him who loves us” (Romans 8:37). Speaking of the newly rebuilt temple, God says, “The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house. . . . And in this place I will grant peace” (Haggai 2:9). When our bodies are dedicated to the Lord as His temple, we can claim this promise for ourselves. We can conquer sexual brokenness when the Lord of heaven’s armies is on our side (Isaiah 41:10; Jeremiah 1:19).