Recent surveys reveal approximately 80 percent of unmarried evangelicals have had sex. It's never been harder to grow up as a woman with our innocence intact. As a counselor invited into the inner sanctum of women's lives, I see firsthand the effect these earlier sexual connections with men have on women. Women are paying a tremendous price for promiscuity—in broken hearts, in lost time, in a confused sense of our own value.
Though many Christian women have a sexual past that intrudes on their present, God doesn't want us to just shove our past in a closet and lock it up, but to experience the cleansing restoration that only he can give to this aspect of our life.
Getting Back Your Heart
No matter how casually our culture treats sex, physical intimacy is an investment of one's self, which is why the Scriptures so often connect body and soul. In marriage, that intimacy is meant to literally bond two people together for a lifetime as they weather life's stresses together. A sexual connection outside marriage creates what is often called "a soul tie" with another—meaning that two individuals are knit together in emotional and spiritual ways, which affect them long after the encounter.
When a relationship is over, women are prone to turn the loss back on themselves, usually in the form of painful introspection: What's wrong with me? What did I do wrong? The greater the sexual investment, the worse a woman usually feels about herself. Often, she is also flooded with feelings of jealousy or betrayal—messy emotions that our culture insists she is not supposed to have.1