The sin of incest is sexual intercourse between close family members other than husband and wife, whether involving two adults or an older and a younger family member. It is a crime of perverse sexual behavior.
Molestation is the sexual abuse of a younger, underage person by a family member or any older person. Obvious examples are adult-adolescent or parent-child sexual activity. The legal age of consent is normally considered in determining whether an act is one of molestation.
Biblically, any sexual behavior outside of marriage is sinful behavior.
If You Were Abused
Sexual abuse is a traumatic experience, but it doesn't have to ruin your life. You may feel guilty because you consented to incest or allowed yourself to be molested. Or perhaps you and/or the abuser were Christians when the sin took place. Nevertheless, God will forgive you.
Many who have been willing or unwilling victims of incest or molestation have memories which deny them the freedom to live without hate, bitterness and resentment, fear and/or a desire for revenge. Yet you can be free and even find forgiveness for the abuser in your heart. Jesus and Stephen, at the time of their deaths, were both able to forgive those who executed them. Both looked to heaven and asked God to forgive the sins of those who were guilty. If you are a Christian, you have authority and influence with God concerning remittance of sin or retention of sin (John 20:23). God will listen to your prayer. Just remember that Jesus came to forgive rather than to condemn (John 3:16).
To feel truly free, it is important that you forgive your abuser. Holding on to the resentment and anger will only hurt you and you will not feel totally cleansed. Once you pray for the person and ask God to forgive him or her, the heavy burden within your heart will be lifted away. Although it is often hard to forgive and forget, you can REMEMBER WITH FORGIVENESS.
Finally, God will even release you from the pain of the memories. As you remember the ordeal of the incest or molestation, allow the Holy Spirit, in power and healing, to cleanse your mind and give you God's peace. Begin to praise and thank God who releases you and lifts your burdens (Ephesians 5:20; I Thessalonians 5:17; Psalm 22:3; Romans 8:28). Sacrifice praise to God, your Great Physician (Hebrews 13:15), until you have peace and joy in your heart and liberty in your spirit. When that becomes a reality to you, you will know that you are free and new in the Lord.
If You Are The Abuser
Incest or sexual molestation is a sin from which you need to be set free. You must be truly sorry and sincerely ask God to help you turn away from further temptation. A good start is to be re-born spiritually. You will feel cleansed and free from the desire to follow your old habits and lifestyle. Regardless of this sin or any other (sin is sin, with none greater than the other), call on the Lord to save, forgive and cleanse you and to come into your heart, right now (I John 1:8, 9; Romans 10:13; John 1:12). Then, you can begin your new life with God (II Corinthians 5:17).
If you are a believer, be bold and ask your pastor or a Christian counselor to pray with you and ask God to help you overcome the problem. Ask them to agree with you in prayer that in accordance with God's Word, you may be forgiven and delivered from incest or molestation.
What Scripture Says
"No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the Lord...Everyone who does any of these detestable things -- such persons must be cut off from their people" (Leviticus 18:6, 29).
"If a man sleeps with his father's wife...his daughter-in-law...a woman and her daughter...his sister, the daughter of either his father or his mother...it is a disgrace. They must be cut off before the eyes of their people...he will be held responsible" (Leviticus 20:11, 12, 14, 17).
"For John had said unto Herod, it is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife" (Mark 6:18).
"It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife...hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord" (I Corinthians 5:1, 5).
"Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature" (Romans 13:14).
"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (I Corinthians 10:13).
If You Discovered Abuse
Try to get help for both the abuser and the victim. If you are a close friend or relative, you may also need help. If you are a born-again Christian, pray before you take any action. You may not know all the circumstances surrounding the abuse, and if the abuse has ended, a different type of help may be in order.
Before you do anything, seek the counsel of a minister. Ask for confidentiality if you desire. And act only when you are sure of God's leading. Be sure you understand the consequences of any action you decide to take. Whatever the Lord shows you to do, remember you can and should intercede in prayer for everyone concerned. Remember that it is not vengeance, but help that is needed.
As You Pray
Whether you are the guilty one, the victim, a family member, friend or other, pray for God's forgiveness for all concerned. Pray for the wisdom to know what to do now. Thank and praise God and honor Him as the Problem Solver. Dwelling upon the problem honors Satan and the sin. Boldly, in Jesus' name, rebuke incest and perversion. Renounce the sin and the Satanic influence over everyone involved.
Sandford, John & Paula. The Transformation of the Inner Man. Bridge Publishing, Inc., 1982.
Study these Bible verses on the following topics:
Fornication: Acts 15:20; I Corinthians 5:1; 6:13-18; 7:2; I Thessalonians 4:3
Adultery: Proverbs 2:16-19; 6:20; 7:27; 9:13-18
Perversion: Romans 1:18-32
If you need further help, please call the CBN Prayer Line at 1-804-420-0700. Someone is there to talk with you and pray for you, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
If you need further help, please call 1-804-420-0700. You may also write to CBN, 977 Centerville Turnpike, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23463-0001
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