“There was a time when men were kind, when their voices were soft, and their words inviting. There was a time when love was blind, and the world was a song; and the song was exciting. There was a time; then it all went wrong.
I dreamed a dream in time gone by; when hope was high and life worth living. I dreamed that love would never die; I dreamed that God would be forgiving. Then I was young and unafraid and dreams were made and used and wasted. There was no ransom to be paid, no song unsung, no wine un-tasted. But the tigers come at night, with their voices soft as thunder as they tear your hope apart, as they turn your dream to shame.
He slept a summer by my side. He filled my days with endless wonder. He took my childhood in his stride, but he was gone when autumn came. And still I dream he’ll come to me; that we will live the years together.
But there are dreams that cannot be; and there are storms we cannot weather. I had a dream my life would be, so different from this hell I’m living; so different now from what it seemed. Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.” Sorrowful tears drip down her face as Fantine sings her song of brokenness, her life an empty tomb.
Les Miserables is a novel written by Victor Hugo in 1862. The novel has been preformed countless times on Broadway, theatres, and movie screens. Fantine’s song of despair as been sung by beautiful voices piercing our hearts as her life, once vibrant and promising, now embodies prostitution and death. Her dream died, snuffed out by rejection and abandonment. Many women have been in dire situations were their only means of survival has been prostitution, including Biblical women.
A passage in the Bible opens the portal to an ancient time. We are transported back; back to an ageless Biblical era where carpenters build beautiful structures and erect monuments of the most supreme. Camels, donkeys, and chariots are the mode of transportation and prospectors line the streets with silks and garments from far away places. Dusty, dirty paths line the railways of well-traveled cities and Inns dot the landscape providing lodging for tired travelers as ourselves. Families live in one room, two level dwellings, with living quarters separated from and raised above the animal stalls, where Jewish extended families live together.
As we meander through Galilee, our travels escort us to a dinner feast. A feast of the most respectable kind; the noble theologians of the day and Pharisees were gathered together for dinner. Our eyes can see the arranged table and pillows, prearranged domestics ready to serve, and the colorful display of fare. The well-constructed abode, with its beautiful open-aired courtyard, housed the guests with delectable foods quenching the most palatable of appetites.
Open doors allowed the towns people a front row seat to the lavishly decorated affair. Peasants, middle class, and lower class could peer into the ornamented table and pillows on the dusty floor. Servants bustled back and forth, washing dirt and dust from traveler’s feet; a refreshing and relaxing accommodation to the invited guest. Simon, the host, greeted all with a hand on the guest’s shoulder and offered a kiss of peace. Yes, the banquet was the talk of the town.
As the guests took their places to recline on the low-lying couches, eating with right hand and enjoying the well-placed delicacies, an obvious blemish was overtaking the evening. All eyes became well aware of the filthy, dusty feet protruding from the table. Unclean and muddy, one began to eat in grimy, strained conversation. One had not been greeted respectfully, one had not been given a kiss hello, and one had not been refreshed and accommodated to the lively event. Only one was rejected. Only one was callously treated with contempt and scorn. Jesus of Nazareth reclined at the table as an eye sore for all to see. Dirty, dusty, and the subject of disdain, Jesus uttered no word. He did not need to; His physical presence spoke volumes.
Her heart ached as she saw Him. His feet, His appearance, the purposeful placement at the table for all to see, and the callous actions of those who thought themselves above the Law was almost too much for her to bare. Her hand braced her body against the wall, as if support for her being. She peered through the open doors again watching with utter sadness for Jesus. They had treated her the same. They had mocked and rejected her just as they were doing to Him.
Her breath quickened and her heart raced as the tears fell from her eyes, down her cheeks on to her dirty body. How dare they do this to Him! Her mind screamed as she squeezed the small jar of perfume in her hand. Love is what seethed from her spirit. A love for a Man of God whom she had heard preaching as no other or teacher of the Law had. Jesus of Nazareth seemed to speak directly to her and she was drawn to His precious heart. How dare they treat Him like this!
It was His presence alone that seemed to pull her as if a rope lassoed her waist, tugging her closer to Him. “…..and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began wetting His feet with her tears, and wiped them with her hair of her head, and [respectfully] kissed His feet [as an act of signifying both affection and submission] and anointed them with the perfume” (Luke 7:38).
She had no towel, no cloth, and no tunic to wipe her tears or His feet. So the prostitute used the only thing she could thing of to wipe and clean His feet, her hair. Unloosening the tangled mass, her long hair wiped clean our Savior’s dusty, dirty feet. As Mary of Bethany, the sinful woman’s act of complete devotion permeated the room with a sweet smell of adoration, as does the prayer of a believer, a devoted spirit to God who gives a sacrificial offering and prayer to the Lord. The words “sweet and soothing aroma” as a sacrifice to God is mentioned forty-one times in the Amplified Bible. The Sinful Woman gave her best, all she had. Her heart. And our Lord was quick to come to her defense,
“Now when [Simon] the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this Man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching Him, that she is a [notorious] sinner [an outcast, devoted to sin].’
Jesus, answering, said to the Pharisee, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ And he replied, ‘Teacher, say it.’ ‘A certain moneylender had two debtors: one owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they had no means of repaying [the debts], he freely forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?’
Simon answered, ‘The one, I take it, for whom he forgave more.’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have decided correctly.’ Then turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I came into your house [but you failed to extend to me the usual courtesies shown to a guest]; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair [demonstrating her love]. You gave me no [welcoming] kiss, but from the moment I came in, she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not [even] anoint my head with [ordinary] oil, but she has anointed my feet with [costly and rare] perfume. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.’Then He said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’
Those who were reclining at the table with Him began saying among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’ Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith [in me] has saved you; go in peace [free from the distress experienced because of sin]’ ” (Luke 7:39-50). Absolutely beautiful. God used a broken, dirty, used, and hopeless spirit, to anoint His Son, then set her free! He is precious and her story is presented in His Word for every woman to read. “The Lord is near the heartbroken and He saves those who are crushed in spirit (contrite in heart, truly sorry for their sin)” (Psalm 34:18). “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and commissioned me to bring good news to the humble and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted, to proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives and freedom to prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1). Yes, the sinful woman was captive to sexual immorality, repetitive, loveless, cheap sex, and lusts.
Our society expresses it, condones it, and even encourages sexual promiscuity. It profligately showcases sexual images everywhere. Television, movies, books, games, billboards, magazines, radio, pamphlets, schools, universities, and corporate America, sexual immorality has impeded lies within our culture. Our hearts need to be guarded continuously.
If you want to have a conversation about an open door policy on darkness, sexual immorality is the perfect example. Because Webster’s Dictionary does not define sexual immorality together, the individual words need to be divided. Sexual is defined as relating, or associated with sex or the sexes such as sexual differentiation or sexual conflict. Immoral is defined as conflicting with generally or traditionally held moral principles. As you can see, sexual immorality is differing from Biblical based values.
Our Lord, in His ingenuity, designed male and female. With not one human being alike, ever, God fitted perfectly His creation where the two become one flesh. A couple, multiplying and filling the earth, worshipped and submitted before the Maker of Heaven and Earth. An unashamed, unadulterated, and pure sexual bond between husband and wife, the Lord ordained sex within the confines of marriage. What has happened?
As many, I was exposed to sexual immorality at a young age. I watched explicit television and viewed magazines unfit for young eyes to see. I was inquisitive. I was naïve. I was opening a door that would take over twelve years for God to shut. Deceptive darkness. Using my own testimony, I do not need to point you to anyone, but me. Sexual immorality can destroy your thoughts, your heart, and your spirit.
After exposing myself to pornography and magazines, I had an extremely low self-image of myself. I thought I could never compare to these beautiful, exotic women. I dated and used men to make myself feel a lie. As many, I believed because it makes my body feel good, it must be good. Wrong! I learned, just because your body responds to scantily clothed bodies, male or female, you are called to master it. I have seen both sides of the coin. I have chosen to follow the Head, my King and Savior; not the tail, the bottom of the barrel and seated desires.
When I returned to the church after years of living a worldly life, I was stunned when I compared my thoughts to Christ’s Words. The Bible is FULL of verses pertaining to sexual immorality and the effects of perverseness. Today, many women have experienced rape for wearing seductive clothing advertised by lucrative companies encouraging worldly attractiveness. Women have been coerced into sexual atrocities because pornography promotes a distorted, dark, and gross form of sexual expression. Women have allowed themselves to be sexual exploited for fame, money, and pleasure. We are truly deceived.
I call them Good Samaritans. You know the ones. The ones who promote sexual expression from birth, the ones who offer birth control and contraceptives to young girls, pushing sexual exploration at the naïve youths, and the ones who will use and abuse for promoting their own agendas. Where are these “Good Samaritans” when the sexual taping takes place? Where are the “Good Samaritans” when pregnancy halts your future plans? Where are the “Good Samaritans” when your doctor tells you a sexual transmitted disease is the diagnosis? Where are the “Good Samaritans” when the young commit suicide because they have been told they are gender fluid and can explore with whomever and whatever? Where are the “Good Samaritans” when the family is left to pick up the pieces, pay for the birth, help with the prescribed drugs, and psychological treatment when bullied? Our society is deceived.
Deceived is a ‘nice’ word addressing our downward spiraling world. Where is the line drawn in the sand for ‘to far?’ Once the sexual immoral door is open, the evil drawn to this open door is never satisfied. It has an insatiable appetite. It prowls around like a roar lion looking for someone to devour. Because many have turned a deaf ear, looked the other way, or placated another’s sexual fantasies and desires, children are molested, individual’s are encouraged to express themselves sexual with everyone accepting them, dressing rooms and bathrooms have been used to tape and degrade women at the expense of a fraction of the population. Yes, we are descending into darkness and depravity. The ones hurt the most are the innocent, youth, naïve, and vulnerable. I ask again, where is the line drawn as to how far we are willing to go with sexual immorality?
How do we master these dark sexual immoralities and cheap, lustful acts of pleasure when everyone seems to be doing it? Woman, you will have to seek God more than you seek your own pleasure. The desire for Truth will have to be more compelling than the few minutes of gratification. You will have to want Jesus more than your own desires. You are worth more than sexual expression. You are more valuable to God than your sexual preference. Do NOT define yourself and label yourself other than a child of God, a daughter of the Most High!
Our culture loves labels. I do not introduce myself to people with my sexual preference (heterosexual) or label myself by sexual desire. Why our culture encourages women to do this, I do not know. I desire to be known by my fruit: integrity, honesty, family, serving, giving, encouraging, loving, joyful, etc. I encourage women to live a life worthy of Christ, not worthy of their sex. Demanding people recognize your sexual fluidity is absurd. I do not demand people recognize my heterosexuality. I believe this goes deep within an individual’s mental, self-identity of who they are, the desire for attention, and lack of self-control. We are commanded to master our sinful nature and rise higher than the culture around us.
As each chapter will mention, the process for healing your heart after exposure to sexual immorality will take time. The graphic images, with distorted and dark sex, are engrafted into the minds of those who watch. Most can remember the first sexual image they ever saw. How powerful is this drug, that from the first to the last, we constantly need a hit or image to satisfy desires? Yes, your sexual appetite, if addicted to pornography or degraded acts is like a drug. You are called to master it.
Prayer by prayer, day by day, the process gets easier just like any struggle you are determined to over-come. But, you will have to admit there is a problem. In prayer, repent of every sexual experience you can think of outside of marriage. Repent of every pornographic movie you remember watching and throw every sexual, trite, and ridiculous shred of sexual immorality out of your life. Set parameters on your computer, guard your heart with diligence, and seek a prayer partner who will pray with you encouraging you to fight that good fight of faith. God will always open the door to invite individuals into your life who will encourage and uplift your spiritual maturity. The challenging part is when the desire springs to life. You feed what you want to grow. If you want your sin to take root and thrive over your life, then feed the desire. If you want God to take root and thrive in your life, then open the door for His Word into your spirit.
It can happen anywhere, at anytime. When the desire or sexual thoughts flood into your mind, pause and pray. Claim a “sound mind,” rebuke all these thoughts immediately, and repeat a Scripture until you feel peace. You may go five more minutes and a second thought inter your mind. Continue the prayers and seek God first thing in the morning so you are well equipped for the day ahead. Sexual images are everywhere! Billboards, signs, magazines, and social media entrap mental images we do not want to embed and recall during struggles. Tommy as trained himself and our boys to turn their heads if exposed to half dressed women. Everywhere from sporting events, church, school, social gatherings, and the beach, Tommy has taught the boys to guard their hearts with diligence.
Jesus of Nazareth never turned the sinful woman away. He never told her to stop touching Him; He never told her to back away. He allowed her to feel her guilt, her conviction, her sin, and her sorrow. Christ accepted her love and forgave her of her sin. He set her free from a life held in bondage, captive to sin, a prisoner to darkness. He wanted her to know she was more than her sexual desire. Jesus would address her sin, sexual immorality, but because her heart desired Truth, He forgave her. She was more to Him, than all those around Him. She was more to Jesus than a woman, a prostitute, and a sinful person. The people defined her and rejected her, but Jesus loved her for her heart and saw the woman for whom she truly was.