• Barb Lownsbury

The Dented Fender: Single Parent Edition



Welcome! This is our second Single Parent post, brought to us by Denice Shirley. Denice is a volunteer on the Dented Fender team, and a dynamic woman who has overcome a lot of adversity in life, only to shine brighter for the process. As a rape survivor, Denice has some great insights to share. I hope you find something here that resonates with you. Enjoy! Most people enjoy having sex. God created our bodies to enjoy the process of joining together as one during love making. Sex is one of the greatest parts of His plan for us, so, why would it not be okay to have sex when my body craves to be loved, held, touched, and released?

God is the Master Strategist. Everything He created was crafted for a purpose and a plan for accomplishing His perfect will. Sex is no exception.

Have you ever planned an event, like a birthday party, wedding, or retirement party, for someone special? You knew exactly what was needed to make this event an unforgettable occasion for that special person. You searched for just the right caterer to serve the most delectable food. You booked the best DJ that would play just the right songs and create the perfect atmosphere for the occasion. You sent invites to the people that would make the receipient smile to see them present.

When that day arrives, you make sure everything you planned is perfectly in place. Ah, but the DJ calls 5 minutes before his arrival time and cancels due to an unexpected situation. You are absolutely devastated. This is not how you planned it to be. Now you will have to settle for getting Uncle Bobby to change the CD in the Boom Box. This is exactly what God does not want you to have for in your life. He doesn’t want you to settle for Uncle Bobby with the Boom Box…and that is what we get when we take what God crafted for His good, divine purpose and put it into our own hands.

Sometimes we are not given a choice to have that perfect music for us to dance to from the perfect DJ. Someone may have been that unexpected cancellation and took what should have been a beautiful experience from you. If you have been touched or rapped, as many have (including myself) as a young child, your thoughts about sex and what God intended for good may be distorted. God still has a plan and purpose for you in that, too. He is in the restoration business. He doesn’t leave you to rot in the things that happened to you, or what others took from you, or your choices that may have you feeling stuck, unworthy, and not good enough or attractive. Jesus died so that you may have life and life more abundantly (John 10:10). He will take all of that and turn it around for your good (Romans 8:28).

God wants you to enjoy what He created for good. He created sex to bind a two people together in marriage. It wasn’t just some side thing added for us to play around with for our own pleasure. It is probably one of the greatest gifts that God gave us and, of course, the enemy takes pleasure in our misunderstanding, misuse, and abuse of that gift. That’s his job, to steal (your joy), to kill (your purpose), and to destroy (your future) (John 10:10). When we choose to have sex outside of what God planned, it is like being close to the point of starvation and only being able to smell the aroma of your favorite dish. You can only get a sniff of what God has planned for you. The aroma smells really good, but it only brings pleasure to one of your physical senses. Sex does just the same. You may find pleasure for a moment, but it still leaves you empty inside. You are still craving what God intended and the delicious dish He has prepared for you. This dish is full of peace and leaves your soul satisfied. This dish is fulfilling and never leaves you thirsting for more.

So back to the original question…why is it okay to have sex? That is something you need to answer for yourself. God does not force us to choose His Word, but His Word is a lamp to our feet, and a light to our path (Psalms 119: 105). When we choose to follow the path He has lit for us, we have a clear vision for our future. If your choice is to fulfill your desires in your own way, you choose all that comes along with it. I encourage you to find out your “why this is okay” if that is your choice. I encourage you to seek God’s wisdom.

You may find that your reason for engaging comes from past hurtful situations. For me, it was two-fold. My first why stemmed from my parents divorcing when I was twelve years old. My father was the man that I received my validation from of being a beloved daughter. He gave me the stability of knowing who I was as a little girl, and the confidence to know I was beautiful. When he left our home, all of that left as well. He did not continue the father-daughter relationship, so unknowingly, I began seeking a father’s love from men–any man that would hold me for a night.

I had to dig a little deeper for my second why, because I did not enjoy being in any man’s arms and having sex within the moment, but I did not know why I couldn’t seem to say “no”. I realized it stemmed from being molested by a family member at a very young age. That experience taught me I was created to bring pleasure to a man no matter what, and saying no was not an option. When God opened my eyes to my why, He opened my eyes to being validated and beautiful in Him. He opened my eyes to who he created me to be. Did I still struggle? Absolutely. But he continued to restore me, heal me, and make me beautiful in Christ. It was a process that took me turning completely to Jesus and completely trusting in His Word. He will not give up on doing the same for you. He loves you unconditionally and has a party with the best meal, music, and people prepared just for you. He wants to be that reason “why,” and if you let Him, He will bring you an indescribable peace that only comes from a relationship centered on God.

Barb’s Thoughts: Sex has become a very controversial subject for many Christians. Regardless of where you land, I hope this helps you think through your choices and feel more confident within those choices. Psalm 119:105 & 107 says, “Your word is a lamp for my fee and a light for my path … I have suffered much, O Lord; restore my life again, just as you promised.” Remember, God’s word is meant to free us, to guide us toward a better life experience, and ultimately to a greater reality in heaven. This week, spend some time considering some new ways to let God guide you in this area, and on understanding the “why’s” behind your choices in a deeper way.

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