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Conversations the Church Forgot

The world is obsessed with sex. Images of enticement take center stage on television, at the movies, on the internet, and on magazine covers at almost every checkout line. With such repeated temptation staring us in the face daily, why doesn’t the church speak about sex more often? Mo Isom decided to tackle these questions head on in her new book.

At the tender age of 9, Mo was getting into her father’s truck when a poker card containing pornographic images fell out. Embarrassed, she tried to act like she didn’t see it. But, it took only seconds for that image to burn its way into her memory. Shame and intrigue plagued her thoughts. Mo shares, “There was more stashed in the back of my dad’s truck and as much as I was shocked, confused, and hurt that he would be looking at anyone else naked beside my mommy, I couldn’t get the images out of my head. Before long my curiosity and confusion led me to search for whatever else I could find when nobody was looking.” This led to a decade long porn addiction.  Her parents attended church regularly, but her father’s hidden secret would have lifelong consequences for her. Even though her mother talked to her openly about sex and God’s plan of abstinence until marriage, the lack of timely conversation or education about purity of heart and body left Mo struggling to understand it all. She believes that it’s not enough for the church or parents to tell singles not to have sex before marriage, but that there is so much more that needs to be included in the conversation.  We need to discuss how to practically deal with feelings of lust and guilt and how to flee temptation by guarding our hearts and eyes before it leads to acting out. Mo explains, “In truth, my struggles with sexual desensitization weren’t simply born out of my first glimpse at a graphic scene. They were born out of an unguarded heart, unguarded eyes, and unspoken conversations that nobody thought to have with me.”

After struggling with sexual sin for years, Mo learned to completely surrender to God and let Him fight her battles. She decided to go on a spiritual fast when it came to relationships. For over a year, Mo did not date anyone and remained pure to God. After she had fully kept her promise with God, she met Jeremiah and they tried to stay pure but failed. Devastated and defeated, she and Jeremiah knew that they both loved the Lord but that living in sexual sin was not acceptable. They had a choice to make: flee or marry. “We tried in our own might to keep our relationship God-honoring. But we just failed. Time and time again.” They both needed space to get right with God. Mo left on a missions trip to serve others and spend time with God. During that trip, she felt confirmation that she was to marry Jeremiah and learned later that he felt the same. “We were marrying because we loved one another and were the best of friends, yes. But more so than that, we were marrying because we loved God more. And we didn’t want to live in burning sexual temptation and sin and disobedience any longer.” Knowing that the wedding vows were not a cure-all for the sexual repercussion of their past, they both knew that they still had work to do. Whether we wait until marriage to have sex or fall into sin before marriage, Mo believes we should confront unrealistic “sexpectations.”

Once, Mo was reading a blog from a Christian girl who decided to wait until marriage to have sex. This girl believed that having sex for the first time would blow her mind. Sadly, she found herself very disappointed. She wrote that she regretted her decision to abstain until marriage. The post went viral. Mo believes it is time to talk openly about so many false “sexpectations.” She explains, “My heart just broke… I sat back and realized how massively the church, as a whole, had failed to communicate the deeper truths of sex and the wonder of the wait.” Sex is not designed solely for pleasure but unity—the two becoming one. There is so much misinformation out there. Believing that sex is always going to be erotic can cause disappointment. On the other hand, believing that having sex before marriage really won’t hurt anything is also a lie. For those who have succumbed to sexual sin, it is important to know that you are not defined by your past. You’re not damaged goods. God can take what the enemy meant for bad and turn it into good. Jesus makes all things new!

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info




Author; latest: Sex, Jesus and the Conversations the Church Forgot (Baker Books, 2018)

Former LSU soccer player-Honored with National player of the week

Appeared on ESPN Top 10 plays

Featured in Sports Illustrated

First female to tryout for an SEC Division I men’s football team

Been on shows like Ellen, CBS, ESPN, The 700 Club

Married with two kids



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