Devotions

When It’s Hard to Share Intimate Struggles

April 29, 2020
“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 (NLT)
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Katie looked nervous. Almost scared. I wondered what was going through her mind.

She walked a little closer and then hesitated. She looked as though she’d changed her mind and was going to turn around. Before she had a chance to leave, I made eye contact with her and gave her a warm and reassuring smile. This was all it took to let her know I cared.

With her eyes now filled with tears and mascara running down her face, I pulled her into a great big hug. The two of us stood there for several minutes as she sobbed. Whatever was going on inside her mind had obviously been kept under lock and key for quite some time.

The moment of truth had finally come for Katie.

Over the next hour, Katie shared her story of struggle and shame. Years and years of pain were finally coming to the surface. For the first time ever, she confessed her multi-year battle with porn. As soon as Katie brought this secret into the light, she felt as though a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders. This was no longer her battle to fight alone. She now had reinforcements.

Katie and I spent some amazing time together that day. We prayed, cried and created a serious battle plan that would help her walk in grace, forgiveness and victory from that moment forward. After Katie wiped the final tears from her eyes, I looked at her and gently asked why she had waited so many years to share about her battle with porn. Her answer was simple — and yet deeply saddening.

She said, “I always felt like lust was a guy problem, not a girl problem. I assumed I was the only girl who struggled with porn, so I kept it a deep, dark secret. It wasn’t until I heard you share about your secret struggles that I finally felt free to share about my sexual struggles. Today was the first time I realized I wasn’t the only girl who struggled with lust.”

Over the years, I’ve heard from hundreds of women like Katie who’ve bravely reached out for help. I often ask why they kept silent.

Their response is almost always the same: “I felt like I was the only woman who struggled. There was no way I was going to share about my struggles when I felt like nobody else could relate.”

Each one of these women concluded they were the only one — the only female in the world who struggled with lust. Instead of opening up and sharing about their issues, many of them felt they must walk the journey alone. How could they possibly open up and share, if nobody else could relate?

We live in a day and age when shallow relationships abound. Dating relationships, marriages, friendships and even family relationships often stay on a surface level.

Despite how many of us crave to know and be known on a deeper level, we can find it extremely difficult to actually attain that level of intimacy. We want to go deeper, but we’re often afraid or unsure of exactly how to make it happen.

Yet, we’ve also had to deal with real struggles in this area of life. What are we to do?

Galatians Chapter 6 reminds us of the importance of encouraging one another when we’re struggling with sin: “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:1-2, NLT).

Changing the narrative about how so many of us struggle, particularly with lust, will be hugely helpful for Christ-centered women. With more people talking about this as a human problem (not just a guy problem), my hope is that more women will be honest about their struggles. As sexually broken women, we’re all in this together. We’re all in need of help, encouragement and hope. Let’s rise to the challenge to be there for one another.

Lord, thank You for designing me for intimacy, and thanks for allowing us all to be honest about the issues we’re facing. We genuinely want victory through the power of Christ. Help us share each other’s burdens as we fight this battle together. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY

Colossians 3:12-13a, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES

Looking for encouragement with everyday struggles in this area of your life? To learn more about God’s incredible design for sexual intimacy, grab a copy of Kristen Clark’s book, co-authored with her sister Bethany Beal, Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart: Discovering the Beauty and Freedom of God-Defined Sexuality.

God’s design for true love is so beautiful but can easily be forgotten in our lives. To be encouraged in your daily walk, download this FREE beautiful set of 8 handcrafted verse cards create by GirlDefined Ministries.

CONNECT

Connect with Kristen Clark at www.GirlDefined.com and on all social media platforms, @GirlDefined.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart by Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal. To celebrate this book, Baker Publishing will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, May 4, 2020.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND

How does it make you feel to know that God created you to have an intimate relationship with Him?

In what ways do you need to draw closer to God to find your soul’s satisfaction in Him alone?

Kristen Clark is passionate about biblical womanhood and loves spreading God’s truth through one-on-one discipleship, writing, speaking, blogging and YouTube videos. She loves competitive sports, especially basketball, and is always up for adventures in the great outdoors. When she’s not writing or speaking, you can find her spending time with her husband and family, or hanging out at a local coffee shop.

© 2020 by Kristen Clark. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Baker Publishing Group for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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