What is brokenness?
What is relational brokenness?
Ephesians 4:31-32 — Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
1 Peter 3:8-9 — Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
Colossians 3:12-14 — Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Relational brokenness is often a sinful reaction to or an unhealthy outcome of wounding from others. Wounding comes through behaviors that do not align with these and other Biblical standards.
What is sexual brokenness?
What specific behaviors come from brokenness?
- promiscuity — seeking value and validation through giving of oneself sexually
- sexual addiction, including addiction to pornography
- emotional dependency — feeling one’s very life is dependent on preserving a relationship with another (other than God)
- rejecting one’s biological gender and trying to become the other
- manipulation of another, especially a spouse, child or sibling, through withholding affection, attention or, in the case of a spouse, sexual relations
- same sex attraction and homosexual behavior
- battery and emotional, verbal or sexual abuse
- control and conquest of another, especially sexual conquest
- selfishness — “the world revolves around me and my needs”
- anger and rage, especially toward relational partners
- emotional aloofness or isolation toward a spouse
- divorce for reasons other than infidelity
Why do we care about brokenness?
God calls us to love one another – genuinely, sacrificially and with holiness.
He wants the best for every one of His children. Thus, He calls us to turn from behaviors that diminish our lives and separate us from Him and from others.
The Apostle Paul says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
He also writes, “. . .do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Could it be any clearer?
Paul doesn’t mince words: if we continue the behaviors we’re stuck in, we will not have a place in God’s eternal kingdom. The behaviors that flow from relational and sexual brokenness can forever separate us from God!
We care about sexual and relational brokenness, because brokenness has us stuck. . .stuck in patterns of poor choices and sinful behaviors that steal our peace and our joy, and ultimately, separate us from the God who created us and loves us.
Do we focus solely on sexual sin?
However, there is no question that the Bible pays particular attention to sexual behavior and its unique spiritual implications. In fact, Scripture speaks of sexual immorality, specifically, 43 times through the Old and New Testaments.
The Bible reveals that God blessed mankind with a special gift in our sexuality.
In no human context other than sexual relations do men and women experience the wonder of “oneness”, a spiritual and relational connection that reflects the unity between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus reiterated and endorsed God’s intention in the creation of gender, saying to his followers and to us, “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Mark 10:6-9)
Paul points out 1 Corinthians that sexual immorality is uniquely self-destructive: “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, who you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18-19)
Clearly, God established boundaries for sexual relations, and our care and discipleship of men and women must reflect those boundaries.
The clear Biblical standards notwithstanding, it is essential to recognize that our ministry does not focus specifically or exclusively on sexual sin.
Our call is to minister in that space where brokenness, coming from fallen and hurtful horizontal relationships, produces patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving that sabotage and jeopardize the vertical relationship with God, our Maker.
We walk alongside the broken as they pursue healing with God, and in their journey toward healing, realize true freedom.
What does “freedom” look like?
The hurts and wounding we have experienced and the lies we have been told about ourselves — these lose their power over us as we move toward freedom in Christ.
With and through Jesus, we have the power to break the enslavement of brokenness.
Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:31-32, 34-36)
Paul said, “. . .creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:21)
Peter wrote, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16)
Freedom is a state of being promised by Jesus to those who abide in Him. It is a condition we were all created to realize and embrace.
How do we become free from brokenness?
“. . .in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
Healing and freedom comes from Jesus. As we learn to give Him access to our unhealthy and sinful thoughts, our painful memories and our personal immaturities, we hear from Him, and we begin to absorb and embrace the Truth of who God made us to be.
Those truths that we must hear and embrace are all found in Scripture. They include the following:
- that we are loved by God and have always been loved by God, just as we are (Romans 5:8);
- that God created us with love and intentionality — He made each of us on purpose (Jeremiah 29:11);
- that God created us with a specific will and intention for who He intended us to be (Jeremiah 1:5);
- that we have value to God, despite what we’ve been through and despite the past choices we’ve made (Psalm 139);
- that who we are in the eyes of God is the only identity that matters (Isaiah 49:15-16);
- that by accepting Christ, we become a new creation, leaving behind the identity of the past (2 Corinthians 5:17); and
- that God made us with gender and His assignment of maleness or femaleness was part of his specific and intentional design for each one of us (Genesis 1:27).
What role does Redeemed Seasons play?
- To offer care and discipleship to Christian men and women who are seeking freedom from sexual and relational brokenness through group settings, courses and content that help them
- understand the nature and implications of their own brokenness,
- examine how their brokenness influences and affects their choices and behaviors,
- hear Scriptural truths about who God is and who He made them to be,
- learn to avail themselves of the healing power of confession and the Cross of Christ,
- deepen their relationship with Jesus,
- enhance their awareness of the Holy Spirit in them and His power in their lives, and
- learn to develop and embrace health relationships with healthy boundaries;
- To equip pastors and church leaders to minister lovingly and compassionately to men and women who struggle with relational and sexual brokenness by teaching and coaching those leaders about
- the mechanisms and implications of relational wounding and brokenness,
- the special sensitivities needed to care for the relationally broken,
- the boundaries required to safely care for and support the relationally broken,
- Scriptural foundations of truth regarding grace, relationships and sexuality, and
- Services and resources to which the relationally broken can be referred for support in their healing journey.