Sex and the Bible: Part 2
- Thursday, February 20, 2003
"Abstain from…sexual immorality..."
(Acts 15:29). "Flee from sexual immorality..."(1 Cor. 6:18).
"We should not commit sexual immorality..." (1 Cor. 10:8).
"But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality..." (Eph. 5:3).
"It is God's will that you... should avoid sexual immorality” (1 Thess. 4:3).
These verses do not leave much room for interpretation, do they? God's precept is clear. Still, no matter how clear the Scripture is on God's precepts regarding sexuality - no matter how convincing the argument that sexual immorality is inconsistent with God's character and His will - sadly, many people will not respond by changing their sexual behavior. Most in today's culture care less about the right and wrong of their actions than they do about fulfilling their craving for love and attention. In part one of this article, we talked about the relevancy of God's Word to our daily lives in today's culture. God's commands are not given to destroy our lives or rob us of joy. They are given in our best interest - to protect us from harm and provide us with God's best. Moral behavior is not only right, but also provides for our deepest longings and protects from our deepest fears. Biblical choices do not only correspond to God's character; they also correspond favorably to modern reality and provide the surest path to pleasure and fulfillment. Let's look at how God's commands to stay sexually pure show his intention to protect his children and provide for their good:
Protect from Guilt. Because God defines right and wrong, when we transgress his standards, we will invariably suffer guilt. I have received countless letters from young men and women who have described these deep feelings of guilt following their sexual encounters.
Provide for Spiritual Reward. The sexual relationship between a husband and wife is not only pleasurable, it is sacred. "The body is not meant for sexual immorality," the Bible says, "but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body" (1 Cor. 6:13, NIV). Sexual purity and faithfulness are pleasing to God and rewarding to the marriage partners.
Protect From Unplanned Pregnancies. About one million teenage girls in America become pregnant each year. Ninety-five percent of those pregnancies are unintended, and almost one-third end in abortions. Whether the girls have abortions or carry their babies to term, they often face overwhelming difficulties including physical or emotional problems and dropping out of school.
Provide a Healthy Atmosphere for Child-Rearing. Obedience to God's precept based on His love, purity, and faithfulness can create an atmosphere of love and security that can leave a lifelong positive imprint on a child spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, and even physically. Protect from STDs. More than 65 million people in the United States are currently living with an incurable sexually transmitted disease. Not one of those incidents has occurred between two mutually faithful partners who entered the relationship sexually.
Provide for Peace of Mind. Following God's standards of love, purity, and faithfulness before marriage and in marriage allows you to have complete peace of mind - free of disease, free of the "ghosts" of past partners, and free of "emotional baggage" as a result of past immoral relationships. Protect from Sexual Insecurity. God created the sexual experience to give us the most unforgettable, vivid, and often-recalled memories we will ever have. As a result, sexual immorality can produce haunting effects. Because it is not exclusive, sexual immorality creates insecurity and jealousy, and hinders sexual freedom and self-expression.
Provide for Trust. Sexual purity before marriage contributes to an atmosphere of trust within the marriage. That trust provides peace of mind for both partners when they are apart; each knows that the other is worthy of trust because in the time before marriage, they proved their character, maturity, and self-control.
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