Broken Vow: Lesson of Sex and Grace | Notes of an Imperfect Christian

This is a short story about sexual purity and grace loosely based on a true account. Names have been changed.

“When I learned about what she did, my world broke down into pieces. But it also opened my eyes to my own foolishness and the religious arrogance brought about by perfectionism.”

UPDATED: converted into pure English so I can create a Filipino version.


“Tell me you are just joking.” I said in a trembling voice as I gripped the steering wheel. The cold air inside my Elantra can not contain the burning anger I feel inside.

“I wish I’m just joking. I wish it were all just a joke. But… but it’s not.” Her voice started to crack. She could hardly look at me as tears well up her eyes.

I looked out of the window to avoid seeing her tears. I can not bear to see her face. I can’t believe that the face I likened to an angel, so pure and innocent could have committed that kind of horrible sin.

“Since when?” My voice started to crack too. But I tried to sound firm.

“H-he just forced me…”

“SINCE WHEN?!!” I accidentally hit the car horn as I repeated the question. I don’t want to hear her explanations and lame excuses. The horn’s noise echoed through the almost empty basement parking of Robinson’s Galleria, breaking the hollow silence of that summer evening.

“F-four months ago.”

“How many times did you commit it? Twice…thrice?” This time I was raising my voice.

Silence.

“ I… I lost count.” She said between sobs.

I can’t believe what I just heard from her.

No matter how I tried, it just won’t sink in. I don’t know how I would react.

Will I feel angry? Should I?

Do I have the right?

Maybe I do, we somewhat, made a promise. And she broke it.

I feel betrayed, I feel disappointed. I feel pain.

But I also feel sad for her. I can feel her pain… and guilt.

“He just forced you? You did it more than once, now you’re telling me HE JUST FORCED YOU? I wasn’t born yesterday!” I finally reached the end of my self-control.

“Bernadette, we made a promise. We promised to keep ourselves sexually-pure until marriage. It was not just a vow between us, but also with God. But you, you betrayed that vow, and our friendship.”

I know I was condemning her. I know I was hurting my friend, a friend who I loved more than I would love my sister.

But that time, I really intended to condemn her. I really wanted her to feel the pain. Of how disappointed I was. All that I can think of was how I feel about it. I can’t even tell why I’m reacting that way, yeah, maybe I was over-reacting.

That was the last time I talked to her. I felt like she doesn’t even deserve the friendship, the respect and the love.

The bitterness grew. That incident made me bitter. It affected me terribly, even my prayer life. I felt my prayers are no longer reaching the gates of heaven, that He won’t listen to me anymore. So I blame her even more.

Until one day I can’t take it anymore, I poured my heart to God.

“God, I’m frustrated. I can’t believe she’d fall for it. She’s a leader, she should have known what’s right or wrong.”

Tell me, does being a church leader make you immune to falling into temptation? When you became a youth leader, did you become immune to temptation or sin?

“No… But she’s a leader.” I defended.

And she’s human, just like you.

But Lord, she committed a grave sin against you. I believe this is holy anger.

I appreciate the concern, but it is I who was offended, not You. It’s between Me and her, not you. Her sins are my issues, not yours to be concerned about.

Sorry Lord, but I still feel bad. She’s a Christian!

That’s the problem with most Christians. Especially those in position within big Church organizations. Subconsciously, you create a caste system. You think highly of your leaders — somewhat elevated to a pedestal, compared to the “commoners” . That Church leaders are in the spiritually-elite class. So you often strive to go up the “spiritual hierarchy”. In your prideful heart, unknown to you, you sometimes take pride in being “made holy”, and therefore are more deserving than others. As if it was something you earned by your obedience. And when some of you fall from that elevated pedestal, back into the mire from where I rescued you, you despise and disown them. A penalty for soiling the “Christian reputation”.

You would even say, “These Christians never really encountered God, for if they did they wouldn’t have fallen”.  DON’T YOU REALIZE THAT I ALLOW THESE THINGS TO REMIND MY PEOPLE, that apart from Me, you can NOT do anything good in my sight? Not even obedience.

Besides, I dont think that’s the only reason. Do you really want me to bring to light what’s in your heart?

Silence.

How come she can sin as she wants?

(I felt in my heart that He smiled. My chest felt lighter).

There you go. You are irritated because you feel cheated. You feel cheated, as if sinning is something so enticing, but you are not allowed to do. Then you discovered some of your brethrens have committed a sin against Me. You feel its not fair, am I right?

I guess so. But why is it, that based on your reactions today, You sound like it’s OK for you that they sin? I was expecting You’d be angry and punish them for their sins.

My Child, I always hated sin, I always am angry at the sins men commit. But my love for my people, is far too great. And sometimes, I allow men to fall into their sins so they will have a firsthand experience of my grace and mercy.

“It’s unfair. I have always tried to keep your laws, now they sinned and you are treating it LIGHTLY?”

Did I say I’m treating her sin lightly? Well, you can also do so as you wish. I have given you free will. It is your choice if you want to commit those sins that you so wanted to do.

“What? You are giving me the go signal to sin?”

I did not say I am approving it. You know I hate sin. What I’m saying is if you feel like sinning is something that is being denied of you, as if it was your right and that you are being deprived of that right, then by all means go and do what is pleasing in your eyes. But remember that you will be held accountable for all you would do.

That’s exactly my point,I’m afraid to sin against you because I fear the consequences.

If you will remain in that kind of mindset, that you will try not to sin because you fear the consequences, but have it been without consequences you would live in promiscuity, then you will always find yourself in a struggle between your flesh and My Spirit living inside of you.

Be Holy for I am holy. Strive to be holy, not just because you FEAR Me, but because you LOVE Me. Unless you have a loving relationship with me, and unless that relationship with me continues to grow each day, then you will never escape the vicious cycle of sinning-repentance. That is because that cycle is being driven with fear, not love.

Silence…

“Ok. You won.” I sighed. Was there ever a time I won an argument with Him?

“Last question, will you punish her?”

If I do or if I don’t, what is that to you? I deal with my children individually and uniquely. Carry your own cross and follow me.

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17 thoughts on “Broken Vow: Lesson of Sex and Grace | Notes of an Imperfect Christian

  1. Hangga’t andito nga talaga tayo sa broken world eh hindi tayo immune sa sin. kahit ang church leaders eh wala ring kawala.

    I also feel that way sometimes.. or most of the times.. or whenever may nalalaman akong isang leader na bigla nalang eh “nagkaganon.” In a way, nagiging aral din yun sa iba pa.. kaso minsan (eto narealize ko talaga), we will always learn things the HARD way. the HARDER way pa nga minsan.

    the last conversation reminded me of Jesus and Peter’s conversation about John– “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” (John 21:22)

    • true. even leaders are capable of sinning. hindi sila exempted. Siguro kaya karamihan sa ating mga believers ay nasa-shock at nai-scandalized kapag may leaders na nainvolve s mga scandals, is bcause in our minds we put them on a pedestal above us, as if they are already in a glorified state. little do we know na its a case of “hero worship” na pala. so when they stumble and fall, kasama tayo.

      • i was thinking about that “hero worship” parang yan ang sinabi nya sakin before when i was disapointed with them…
        but then, i realized that I’ve been to both sides of the coin and it all ends up to God’s Grace…who we are to question God’s ways?

      • oonga po eh.. kala natin kapag leader na eh imposible na magkamali. once na naging leader pa naman, lahat ng mata nasa kanya.. na-experience ko rin yan dati sa isang external ministry.. tumingin kasi ako dun sa leader kaya nung bumagsak sya, na-stumble ako. medyo nadiscourage din ako sa ministry na yun. but. . ang Lord ay may paraan sa lahat ng bagay at pangyayari. He can make negatives into positives, for His glory alone..

  2. waa napaluha naman ako dito T_T the love of GOD is really TRUE and UNCONDITIONALLY :(( so PURE!! what a nice blog kua :)) love it.. ❤

  3. Pingback: I miss you (A Father’s letter to His prodigal child) « Notes of an Imperfect Christian

  4. I agree with you WS.
    Why won’t we think highly of our leaders? They have this facade that they are a holy man. Tahimik, hindi magaslaw, hindi basta-basta nangangausap at baka bumaba ang level nya sa kausap nya. Yung isa nga na copycat ni benny hinn may pa-epeks pa na hindi raw masyado nangingibo dahil lagi raw syang naka tune-in sa mensahe mula sa langit. Oh Com’mon! Even the Lord would find a solitary place to “tune-in” to God. It’s all part of the show. Watch Jonas Nightingale and you’ll laugh so hard til it hurts. We are part of the show. Have you heard our pastors talk about their CURRENT or ONGOING battles? Never! They would only share those that they have triumphed over years and years ago.
    Generally hypocrites ang religious leaders ng mga pinoy. Dahil ang gusto ng pinoy yung leader na papadrino sa kanila palapit sa Diyos. Jan ako lumaki. Salamat sa mga mananakop mula sa espanya. Bawal daw uminom, pero kung tumira ng red wine ala sige todo. Whoever the leader may be, he has the same battle as any Christian has. Our minds are sinful and our hearts deceitful. God will change us little by little but we’ll only be done with the battle in His presence.

    • Agree rin po ako sa inyo Reverend Bishop Pastor Bubuli, but I’d prefer using the word “some of our leaders”. Totoong maraming kagaya ng nabanggit mo, madami rin akong kilalang ganyan, hahaha. First-hand experience po at sa sarili kong Church. nakakangilo hindi po ba? Agree rin po ako dito: Even the Lord would find a solitary place to “tune-in” to God. oo nga naman.
      Pero alam nyo po, meron rin po akong kilalang pastors na transparent. Sa totoo lang, lumakas ang faith ko dahil sa transparency nila. Kaya sana po wag natin lalahatin. naniniwala po akong mas marami pa ring pastor na busilak ang kalooban at patuloy na naglilingkod ng tapat. Alam ko isa kayo sa mga iyon. Gusto ko po ang gut-level honesty at transparency ninyo, I seldom hear Christian leaders talk in this “language”, ang cool ha!

      • Thanks bro. I like your honesty and your RESILIENCE.
        I’m not a pastor. It’s just sarcasm. Heck, Im not even a leader.

        I used to be one. But since I had my small family, I lied low. I realized how I have not made much of my time – my youth in particular. I never missed a sunday service as far as i can remember. May mid-week, prayer mtg, overnight prayer mtg, at kung anu-ano pa. maituturing mo akong deboto. And my leaders have been very coercive at times manipulative in letting me give up my family and my studies “FOR THE SAKE OF GOD”. Everyone was doing it. And so I did not mind prioritizing the so-called God’s work above EVERYTHING.

        From being a scholar on my first year, I went flanking until my last sem. I don’t point any fingers, it’s all my fault. I know what’s right but believed in their lie. Maybe because that is the more comfortable choice. Would you rather lock yourself up in your study or be on stage lifting up God’s cause and rallying the troops?!? Not a hard choice for me. “Do your part and let God worry about your worries”, is what they always tell me when I have to ask permission that I’ll be missing some key events due to my coming exams or school projects. Time and again, I have tested their principle to be UNTRUE. Yet, I told myself I need more faith. Maybe it’s because my faith is lacking. My youth group’s code is: God first, family second, studies third, and ministry on the fourth. But in reality, ministry SHOULD ALWAYS come first. Because the ministry is of God’s.

        I take responsibility on all my actions. But how I wish to have met somebody who have taught me how God can use me more if I have maximized everything I have, yes, including my youth. Just like what my pastor’s kids did. They never joined the ministry but focused on their studies. My pastor is always encouraging us youths that we can do the same: be top on our class. I guess I could if only I can devote my time to it. After finishing their studies, what happened? Everyone (except one, haha) of his childen went straight UP, in the “ministry ladder”, if such thing exists. And those who served and sacrificed a lot were bypassed. No, I was not eligible for a position. I’m better at obeying than leading. But my friends were.

        I just hope some students can read this post and do their best on their studies as they prepare for God’s calling. Billy Graham has one regret on the dawning season of his life. He said, he wish he had studied more and preached less. Young people, please don’t let your leaders dictate what your future should be. Prepare for your future and glorify God in it. Did I say, stay in school? Help the ministry but know when you need to say NO.

        • hahaha, I like every single word you said! Thanks for affirming na hindi ako nagkamali ng desisyon. I was a youth leader too, and heck I’ve always heard the “Make God your priorities”. Sooo true. hahaha. But I chose my studies, I knew “GOD” is never equated to “Church ministry” alone.

          Sabi pa nga sa akin ng pastor ko, Absalom-spirit daw ako. Di marunong sumunod sa instructions nya. Sakit nun ah. But, yes it’s a different story after all. Post ko yun minsan.

          You’ve said well Pastor Bubuli. Nothing more to add.

          Hey readers, listen to this man! He speaks from experience. hahahaha.

  5. Back on the topic…
    I had a privilege on hearing DA Carson (http://thegospelcoalition.org/index.php?/resources/name-index/a/da_carson) once. My oh my! I was excited to see the MAN OF GOD face to face and hear him speak God’s Word, as it will be coming straight from God! This man has devoted his life in the scholarly study of the scriptures so I might get “lucky” to get some new revelations from God.

    Understand that I am coming from the “hero worship” WE Filipinos readily offer our religious leaders.

    To my surprise and dismay, he did not gave new revelations, nor a “word from the Lord”, nor a prophetic plagiarism (when so-called prophets “re-prophecy” what was spoken before by Jeremiah, Isaiah, etc. I think I should call it propheSOTTO from now on). Instead, he shared how David sinned against God and God alone and how he himself is sinning everyday, and every moment from a slight impure thought, to uncalled word, to a selfish motive, to his unrelenting pride. WHAT! You are a sinner, still?!? How come? Then a thought came. And I think God impressed in my heart: you are not alone in your struggles. You will be perfect only til you meet me. Everyone sins. To different degrees and frequency. Even your “holy men”.

    That’s why the righteous Job would offer sacrifices for everyday sins AND for those he did not know.
    Di ba nga kadalasan, hindi alam ng mayabang na sobrang mahangin sya, o ng may BO na nakakasulasok ang amoy nya. Yes we will be changed from glory to glory, but our battle with ourself never ends until our Ultimate Reward draws us to Himself. Literally.

    • I think it shouldn’t even be a question bro. When we talk of virginity, we often mean having sex for the first time.
      And the Bible is crystal clear about enjoying sex within the boundaries of marriage. No matter what pop culture says, no matter what this fallen society says, no matter what your hormones are screaming to you every 30 seconds that you are awake.

      Easier said than done, I know. But you know what is right.

    • What WS said.
      If fornication is a big deal to God, it should be to us.

      I wonder if the pastor referred in OP requires “doctor-approved virgin” certificates for the wanna-be brides before he approves their application. isn’t it double standard since there’s no way in knowing for the groom?

      • I got update from friends na this is common daw sa mga Churches in the rural/provincial areas. Even the so-called independent Churches or kahit sa mga may umbrella organztion. Hmmm, I guess culture and tradition still has a say even in our Churches

  6. as usuall pina iyak mo na nmn ako dito pamangkin..i heard this story already from you, pero iba ang dating nung binasa ko at that am dealing with the mostly likely situation.(a member of the family who commit a grievous mistakes)..I know with what they’ve done they will suffer the consequence, and submitting it to God on how God will dealt with them, am certain that its in a hard way!.what makes me felt bad is the reputation around, with what the people will say, the family who were affected with the scandalous situation (You know how our family are) you are now facing the how’s and why’s of all the people around me and it seems a torture draw to me…

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