Finding Freedom from the Shame of Sexual Abuse

“…I am the LORD, your healer.”

Exodus 15:26

Justin and Lindsey Holcomb of Mars Hill Church have recently written a book which is greatly needed within the church today–Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault. I’m looking forward to reading this book and learning more about how to minister to women who’ve experienced the trauma of sexual abuse. 

In a series of articles posted last week on the Resurgence blog, Justin and Lindsey addressed several issues related to sexual assault. If you or someone you know has faced the horror of sexual abuse, I’d encourage you to look to these articles for biblical wisdom and hope in dealing with this uniquely painful form of suffering.

In the final article in the series, the authors explain how the gospel of Jesus Christ provides healing for 6 Devastating Effects of Sexual Assault–denial, identity, shame, guilt, anger, and despair. Here’s an excerpt: 

Sexual assault is shameful and burdens you with feelings of nakedness, rejection, and dirtiness. Shame is a painfully confusing experience—it makes you acutely aware of inadequacy, shortcoming, and failure.

Jesus reveals God’s love for his people by covering their nakedness, identifying with those who are rejected, cleansing their defilement, and conquering their enemy who shames them. God extends his compassion and his mighty, rescuing arm to take away your shame. Jesus both experienced shame and took your shame on himself. Jesus, of all people, did not deserve to be shamed. Yet he took on your shame, so it no longer defines you nor has power over you.

Because of the cross, we can be fully exposed, because God no longer identifies us by what we have done or by what has been done to us. In Jesus, you are made completely new.

Photo: Marinka van Holten