It was one of those "Sarai" kind of ideas...much like her plan to give Hagar to Abram to hurry along the promise of the Lord. Or so she thought.
Instead of a blessing, it became a source of discontentment. A source of wanting more. It was not the answer to prayers, nor was it the provision of the promise.
We needed the money and it was the only way for us to make it. We already had two children--two very young children. They'd never know I did it. I'd quit doing it before they were old enough to remember. And it would be in the past.
Only--it has followed me to the present. And I suspect it will continue to be part of my future. It is something I cannot stay silent about.
You see, I chose to be the harlot. I did not know at that time that I was selling myself.
I did not know at that time that my choice made my husband an accessory to being outside of the will of God. He had full knowledge of what I was doing. And I, like Eve, had handed this "forbidden fruit" to him like it was the best option. The only option, it seemed.
I did it for the money.
And I know the money was my only reason--because had they stopped paying me for my services, I would have stopped providing my services.
While I was doing it...I was not thinking about my husband, my children, or my home AT ALL.
I had to put my heart, soul, mind, and strength into just getting through each day...you know--to bring home the cash. To be good at what I was doing, I had to forget that I had a husband and children at home to love. In order to not be totally overwhelmed with the responsibilities of the job, I had to forget that I had a home to build and manage.
To be clear, I am not talking about actual prostitution. Just so we are clear.
But I did sell my body for cash.
I did put myself in the position of submission to another man other than my husband.
I did let my heart wander from home. And I let my feet follow. Remember, it was my idea.
While the money was big--the discontentment was bigger. All of a sudden, I found myself dreading things like cooking meals for my family, cleaning my home, and caring for my children. It was much easier to just not do them. But, I still had to--even after returning home every evening.
Talk about the perfect fertilizer for a seed of bitterness in my heart.
You may think it harsh for me to call it prostitution, but it is because I know where my heart was at that time that I can call it that. I do not sit on a pedestal of having "always been at home" and say that you should be as well, simply because I am. I speak of that which I know--of that which I lived.
It was my idea to leave my home to seek after more.
"And there a woman met him, with the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart.
She was loud and rebellious, her feet would not stay at home." --Proverbs 7:10-11
It was during that time that I, too, became loud and rebellious. I began to believe the lies that I should be who the surrounding culture says I should be, and do what they say I should do. And that my "rights" were there for the taking.
This passage struck me:
"I will not have mercy on her children, for they are the children of harlotry.
For their mother has played the harlot; she who conceived them has behaved
shamefully. For she said, 'I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and
my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.'" --Hosea 2:4-5
I was that mother playing the harlot. I was going after "lovers" who payed me.
Not believing that the Lord provides for His own.
Not believing that He knows my needs before I even ask Him.
Not believing that He made and continues to grow the food for us to eat.
Not trusting that He will give me all that I need.
I did not say He will give me all that I want. In fact, He will withhold what I ask of Him if my motives are not pure. (James 4:3)
But I did not know Him, and I did not believe Him. And because of my unbelief, I was unwilling to let Jesus be my strength in doing all things.
"...for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to
be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have
learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Whether living with plenty or living in want, Christ is our strength. This verse does NOT mean that Christ is our strength to do what is outside of God's will for us, so that we can have what we want.
He gives us strength in His will and His strength comes in the
form of contentment with what He provides in HIS way.
He strengthens us as we stand against and without the world's
goods and are content with only eternal goods.
He promises us that He cares about our needs,
knows them, and will provide them.
If I was actually working as a prostitute, most would agree that it is wrong for me to do that just to provide money for my family.
As I examine the heart and the choices which took me away from my husband, my children, and my home...I see no difference in the work I did and that of a prostitute.
I did not trust the Lord to provide through my husband's work. I did not gain strength from Him to be content with or without the things of this world. I was just after the paycheck.
During that time, though, the Lord pursued me--Hosea style--starting with my heart. He turned my heart toward home. He also blessed us with our third baby--as a total shock to us! (Well, maybe not TOTAL.)
I am so thankful to the Lord for showing me my own sin of unbelief and my own lack of faith. I am beyond grateful that He showed me His will and His way.
I have never been more at peace--and more content--than I am now...