ANOTHER UPDATE: Previously I posted something on here I wrote for another website (see original post here), but after some pushback, some guidance, and some prayer, I decided to remove the text of that post here on this blog. Instead, I'm posting here what is written in A Christ-Centered Wedding on this topic:
Unfortunately, many Christians do experience shame from the church because of previous sexual experiences. Maybe you grew up hearing the analogy that your sexual identity is wrapped up in the image of a rose. The more people you give your rose to, the more petals it loses. It is passed around from person to person, becoming more withered with each relationship. Then when it is time to give it to your husband, it looks dirty and undesirable. Who would want a rose like that? Pastor Matt Chandler once preached a sermon in which he told a story of hearing this illustration and wanting to shout out, “Jesus! Jesus wants the rose!”
Yes, Jesus wants the rose! And not only does He take your rose, he gives you His rose. The sinless life you could not live, He lived for you. When you trust in His finished work in your place on the cross, you are given His perfect record before God. There is no longer shame and condemnation, but only love. So no matter your past, on your wedding night you can give your spouse Christ’s rose and rejoice together at the grace you have been shown.