Grace Over Shame

Author: Emily Acker — Host: Andrew StevensPosted on: August 23, 2021

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Grace Over Shame

Jada sat on the bathroom floor, sweating and scared, staring at the timer on her phone. She didn’t know how she would explain this after she got the results. “How did we let things go so far? she thought. “What happened to following God’s plan for sex and marriage? What will Zach say?” The timer went off, and she reached up to grab the plastic stick from the counter. She had tried so hard not to look at it while waiting. Holding her breath, she examined the results. “Wait a minute ” She frowned, picking up the packaging the stick had come in. “That means All this stress ” Jada drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Even if I’m not pregnant, what Zach and I did was still wrong.” She hugged her knees and dropped her head down, choking back tears of shame and relief. Her mom knocked on the door, and Jada opened it without thinking. She fell into the arms of her mother—the one who had been there for her when her dad abandoned them and who had comforted her each night she had cried for him. Jada clung to her mom, ignoring the fact that she was going to see the test and know about all she’d done. “It’s okay. You’re okay.” Her mom rubbed her back. “Oh, sweetheart, we’ll figure this out. We’ll make a home for this baby.” “No I’m not ” Jada tried to explain things, but her tears kept her from speaking. “We’ll figure this out,” Mom said. “God has shown grace to me many times, and He will show grace to you and Zach and your little one.” Jada squeezed her eyes shut. “Grace?” she thought. “I don’t deserve grace.” After a few minutes, Jada pulled back from her mom. “It was negative.” “Oh.” Mom’s brows lifted. “But it could have been positive, Mom,” Jada said quietly. “I am so sorry.” She stroked Jada’s hair and said, “Negative or positive, God’s grace is enough.” “You’re not mad?” Jada asked. “You told me about God’s design for sex and marriage, and I didn’t ” “God’s grace, Jada,” Mom said tenderly. “We all need His forgiveness. When we come to God, He is so willing to forgive, to restore what’s been lost and heal what’s been broken. What Jesus has done is enough to forgive all your sins, including this one. You’re still His. He loves you, and He doesn’t leave you, no matter what.” Grace. After all the shame. All the guilt. Could God really forgive me? Held there in her mom’s arms, Jada sensed God’s invitation to come and be held by Him. Grace sounded like just what she needed. • Emily Acker • Have you ever done something that caused you to feel a deep sense of shame? Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, we see that God’s grace runs deeper than our shame. If we’ve put our trust in Jesus, we are perfect in God’s eyes, all of our sin washed away (you can read more about this on our “Know Jesus” page). How could this truth free you to follow Jesus with love and joy? • God created sex to be the act of marriage—the total, permanent union of one man and one woman. And that union points to the union of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:25-33). How does the gospel affect the way you view sex and marriage? • If you’ve sinned sexually in any way and want to start over in following God’s good plan for sex and marriage, there is so much hope. Once you’ve put your trust in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, you’ve been washed clean of every sin, and the Holy Spirit is in you, equipping and empowering you to run away from every sexual sin—including lust (1 Corinthians 6:18; 10:13). If you are part of an unmarried couple wanting to step back from sex and empower each other to pursue gospel-centered sexuality, who are trusted Christians who could support and guide you, such as pastors, counselors, parents, or other mentors? If you struggle with lust or any other sexual sin, who are trusted Christians you can talk to? • No matter what the circumstances are, a baby is always someone to celebrate, a wonderful new person who God has carefully created in His image (Psalm 127:3). God’s timing is perfect, and He will provide for all our needs when we seek Him (Matthew 6:25-34). If you think you might be pregnant (or if you know someone who might be), you can talk to someone confidentially at OptionLine (chat: or call: 1-800-712- 4357). They will listen with compassion and help you think through your options, and they can connect you with resources near you, such as pregnancy testing, medical assistance, and parenting support. My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:1-2 (NIV)


Read Verses:

Galatians 6:1-2; Ephesians 2:1-10; 5:25b-27; 1 Corinthians 6:11-20