Be thankful for David Bradley. He has saved you a lot of frustration. Back in the 1980’s, as a computer tech for IBM, he designed the shortcut which has prevented cursing around the globe: Control+Alt+Delete. Is there a similar fix when we make mistakes sexually?
In ancient times when your computer locked up, you had to restart the thing. For those of us old enough to remember, it took a seeming eternity for the thing to boot up as it ran through its lengthy ritual of memory tests. This was especially aggravating for the first programmers as they discovered glitch after glitch and found themselves restarting their computers multiple times each day.
But we are now the beneficiaries of this simple shortcut. If you make a mistake and run into a problem, simply hold down those three keys in the right order and, yippee, you’re back in business!
And yet it is not quite so simple with sexual mistakes. Many of us have tried to “run programs” in the wrong sequence or in ways for which we simply weren’t designed. And there are quite a few who, through no fault of their own, were abused and taken advantage of. There is no instant rebooting for us. No easy sequence of keys give us a fresh start. Why is that?
As the only living beings who bear God’s image, sexual intimacy has deep significance. We are not just mammals making babies with random partners. And there’s no such thing as “casual sex”. As one sexual addict remarked, “When you go to bed with someone, you wake up the next morning with feelings.”
God’s design is far more than a means of reproduction. Sexuality mirrors his image and foreshadows his relationship with his people.
One of the key tenets of my book speaks to this:
Our genitals are the closest outward connection to the deepest part of our being.
When someone touches our genitals, whether or not it is with our permission, that person is reaching for our heart. This is why sexual abuse is the ultimate in personal violation. And when it comes to sexual addiction, one eventually discovers the diluting of their personhood as they give themselves away piece by piece.
So is there no quick remedy?
Of course there is forgiveness for the things we’ve done. And in the hands of a gifted prayer minister, one can find the removal of shame. But a ctrl+alt+del fix for the inner trauma?
Rebooting by God’s grace is possible, but it usually is a slow and steady process. Some find healing quickly, but most have to walk it out for a season.
If you have found your sexual past haunting you in the present and complicating your marriage, there is hope. Seek out someone gifted in bringing healing to sexual issues. There are ways of praying with someone to position them in God’s healing presence so that pain is replaced with peace, and dysfunctional patterns are replaced with wholeness.
And if you have a desire to help others with their rebooting process, stay tuned. I will be offering training seminars this year beginning Saturday, May 20th. More details will follow.