The benefits of purging 'sexual toxicity'
The XXXChurch is all about freeing people from sexual addiction, especially pornography, and those who make up the ministry team are not afraid to share their story.
XXXChurch team member Shellie R Warren deserves a round of applause for writing in her blog this week so candidly about her own struggles with sexual desires and how she came to experience true freedom and fulfilment when she learned not to compromise.
Her blog was prompted by turning 40 this week and reflecting on what she has learned over the last decade. Several big things happened that have shaped who she is today: she decided to let go of having a boyfriend and become abstinent, and she joined the XXXChurch team.
But if asked how she would really define the last decade, she has a bold answer: "An unwavering and definite purge.
"I have purged so much sexual toxicity, and fear, and unforgivingness, and low-self esteem, and the confusion between what it means to have a spiritual connection with someone vs. a powerful sexual craving for them," says Shellie, author of "Pure Heart: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Integrity".
"I have purged chasing what doesn't want to be caught by me and slowing down so that what is meant for me can truly catch up."
And even more honestly, she goes on to say she also managed to purge pornography and masturbation from her life.
That's a pretty hard thing to share but she has a reason for doing so. She points to 1 Timothy 4:14 to 16 and Paul's instruction to Timothy not to neglect the gift given to him and in so doing, save himself and those who hear him.
Reflecting on the last few years, her personal testimony is seeing "how much more stable and secure and trusting of God" she has become "as the direct result of leaving sexual compromise behind".
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And Shellie is sure she's not the only one who benefitted from this massive gear shift in her life. She says she experienced a "domino effect" in her choice for purity onto the lives of others, including people she's encountered through XXXChurch.
"Sometimes we don't realise that when God calls us to be healthy and whole, it's not just for our sake. It's also because he knows that there are people who need our testimony so that they can do the same," she shares.
She had plenty of sympathy for anyone reading the blog who is "super struggling" with sexual sin and temptation but encouraged them to persevere in abstinence because there is true freedom in it.
"Abstinence is not easy. Abstinence is not fun. Sometimes, it has me downright in tears. But tears cleanse. Tears purify. Tears help you to see things more clearly. Much more clearly," she says.
Her concluding thoughts are two-fold: one, to know that God has "so much more" for people than what the wrong kind of sexual gratification can give them, and secondly, they need to do their bit and get tough with their sexual desires.
"Whatever kind of 'pleasure' your sexual-drug-of-choice might be, it doesn't come close to the freedom that comes in knowing that you're better (so much better) than a one-night stand or a porn flick or having sex by yourself with yourself," she says.
"Whatever is holding you from all of that, please - let it go. Purge it."