We have become overwhelmed by the so-called sexual revolution. It has been romanticized and glorified out of all proportion. That which began in defiance of biblical principles has become the battle cry of the hedonists: “If it feels right, do it—as long as nobody gets hurt.”
How ironic this maudlin defense of immorality sounds in the light of its devastating legacy to the nation: millions of illegitimate births, shattered personalities, divorce, abortions, and rampant sexual diseases—some of which are incurable.
God expressly forbids irresponsible sexual behavior, in order to spare us the disastrous consequences: “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord. . . . Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:13, 18, NIV).
God condemns immorality, but He offers deliverance. In 1 Corinthians 6:9–11, the apostle Paul says that none of the sexually immoral will inherit the kingdom of God. But, he adds, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed [born again], you were sanctified [cleansed], you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11, NIV). As with any other sin, God has dealt with immorality through the cross.
1. Tell the inquirer you are glad he or she called. Show that you are a caring, concerned person—without being patronizing. Don’t be judgmental.
2. Listen with sensitivity and ask questions only for understanding of the problem. Draw no conclusions nor offer any spiritual solutions until you have a complete perspective.
3. Inquire about the person’s attitudes toward sex. How he or she feels about it will explain his or her sexual behavior. What were the contributing causes of getting involved? Does he or she feel guilty about this involvement and regard it as sin?
4. Ask if you may read portions of God’s Word about premarital or extramarital sex. Emphasize that the Bible is a trustworthy source in regard to moral issues. Read some or all of the following Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 6:13, 15–20; Acts 15:20; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; Exodus 20:14.
5. In the light of Scripture, the caller’s immoral acts are displeasing to God. To please God, he or she must repent of all immorality and renounce it (read 1 Corinthians 6:9–11). God condemns immoral behavior, but loves us and will forgive us if we confess our sin and, by faith, receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Share “Steps to Peace with God,” – Christian Biblical Counsel: STEPS TO PEACE WITH GOD
6. Emphasize the importance of severing any relationships which may have contributed to the immoral behavior: “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33, NIV). The best place to form new friendships is in a Bible-teaching church. Recommend finding one and becoming involved. Being a committed Christian should be the person’s goal. The lack of a vital relationship with Christ is a primary contributing factor to an immoral lifestyle.
7. Suggest seeking a pastor’s encouragement and counseling. He or she may need serious counseling for a period of time to experience freedom from temptation and to begin to walk with the Lord.
8. Pray with the inquirer for a complete refocus of mind and life, to the glory of God. If the inquirer is a Christian, share the section on “Restoration,” – Christian Biblical Counsel: SEEKING FORGIVENESS AND RESTORATION
Encourage reading and studying God’s Word for the purpose of remolding his or her mind and life. As a Christian, he or she should become involved in a Bible-teaching church, where energies can be turned toward serving Christ.
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil. . . . Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:16, 18).
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7).
“But sexual sin is never right: our bodies were not made for that, but for the Lord, and the Lord wants to fill our bodies with himself” (1 Corinthians 6:13, TLB).
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. . . . And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 1:9; 2:1).
The Billy Graham Christian Worker’s Handbook; World Wide Publications, 1984, 1996
See also Adultery; Homosexuality.
1. Looking on a woman lustfully is adulterous.
Matt. 5:27–28. “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
2. Spiritual surgery may be needed to avoid immorality.
Matt. 5:29–30. “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”
3. Put to death sexual immorality.
Col. 3:5–7. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
4. You can overcome sins of sexual immorality.
Prov. 4:23. Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
Prov. 4:24–27. (practical instruction)
5. Sexual sins come from the heart.
Matt. 15:19–20. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”
6. Sexual immorality, including premarital sex (fornication), is described in detail as sin against God and your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit.
1 Cor. 6:12–20.
7. The sexually immoral will not inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Cor. 6:9–10. Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
8. God can cleanse you from the sin of sexual immorality.
1 Cor. 6:11. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
9. You can overcome sexual immorality through the Holy Spirit.
Gal. 5:16–18. I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
10. All immorality is forbidden. Walk as children of light. Be very careful how you live.
11. Jesus can set you free.
12. Purify yourself out of reverence for God.
2 Cor. 7:1. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
13. Christians must no longer use parts of the body for sin; one can and must change.
14. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is a warning for all sexually immoral people.
2 Peter 2:4–10.
Jude 6–7. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
15. God wants all of us to avoid sexual immorality, including premarital sex, and to learn to control our own bodies.
1 Thess. 4:3–6. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.
Balancing Your Passion with Purity
by June Hunt
• He had it all!
• He had the call of God, the anointing of God, the blessing of God, and the power of God … all at his fingertips.
• He had every opportunity to live an exemplary life—to be a hero throughout the annals of history.
• His parents established a positive home environment.
• They were sure he would be a strong leader—indeed, his extraordinary feats made him famous.
• But in spite of great ability and great advantage, his moral failure led to his downfall.
• Throughout history, this infamous man will be remembered for both his immense strength and his immense weakness.
• How different the life of Samson would have been!
• If only he had withstood the test of sexual integrity—if only he had not succumbed to the lure of sexual seduction—a lure that led to his ultimate destruction.
• Yet, instead of obedience, he chose disobedience; instead of self-denial, he chose self-indulgence.
“The rulers of the Philistines went to her [Delilah] and said, ‘See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him.’ ”
Samson was God’s chosen leader to deliver God’s chosen people from the oppression of the Philistines. Before his birth, the angel of the Lord had announced to his parents that their son would be a judge over the Israelites … but warned that he should not cut his hair, for if he did, he would lose his strength. However, instead of living to please his God, Samson lived to please himself. Rather than learning to exercise the discipline of “delayed gratification” (waiting until the right time and the right circumstance to do what is pleasurable), Samson insisted on instant gratification. Even in his early manhood, his mother and father appealed to their son …
“His father and mother replied, ‘Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?’ But Samson said to his father, ‘Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.’ ”
A. What Is Sexual Integrity?
We love our heroes. We need heroes in every generation and in every culture—heroes who possess what they profess … who reflect what they represent … who walk their talk … heroes who survive close scrutiny. True heroes have integrity and are worthy of imitation. We find hope in heroes who are willing to stand alone regardless of stress, who hold to principle no matter the pressure, who will not compromise their convictions. One aspect of the overall integrity of true heroes is their sexual integrity.
• To have sexual integrity is to consistently live your life with the highest moral sexual standards—consistently guarding your mind, will, and emotions from sexual impurity.
“The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.” (Proverbs 10:9)
• The word integrity means whole, undivided, and void of hypocrisy. Those who have integrity complete their commitments. The Old Testament Hebrew word for integrity is tom, from the verb tamam, which means “to be complete, to finish.”
“Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.” (Proverbs 19:1)
• To have sexual integrity is to be the same in the dark as you are in the light—not double-minded with contradictory thoughts, words, and deeds. The person without integrity …
“… is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” (James 1:8)
B. What Is Sexual Enticement?
A true hunter thinks nothing of sitting camouflaged in the bare branches of a tree battling freezing weather through a wintry night, sometimes enticing his prized game with bait or a “call.” He hunts for the love of the sport and sometimes for the trophy on the wall. Whether the sexual hunt is for sport or for seduction, this hunter gives great thought to just the right location and the most effective approach. Just as Samson was Delilah’s trophy, if you’ve ever been the victim of a sexual hunt—the trophy of someone’s sexual conquest—you know the power and pull of sexual enticement.
• Sexual enticement is an erotic temptation, a passionate attraction. By God’s design, sexual desire is normal, natural, and good. Although God designed sex, He does not tempt you with sex.
“When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.” (James 1:13)
• Sexual enticement is an internal temptation that occurs when something or someone is alluring to you. In the New Testament the Greek word deleazo comes from an old hunting and fishing term that means “to lure by a bait” and is translated “to tempt or entice.”
“Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” (James 1:14)
• Sexual enticement is an external temptation that occurs when someone attempts to lure you. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word patah means “to entice, deceive, or persuade.”
“If sinners entice you, do not give in to them.” (Proverbs 1:10)
Question: “Is sexual temptation a sin?”
Answer: No. Temptation is not a sin, but to yield to temptation is a sin. We are all tempted in different areas. The issue is whether we give in to temptation or not. Only one person on earth experienced temptation in every area, yet was without sin—Jesus our Savior.
“We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
Biblical Examples of Sexual Enticement
|• FlirtationRead Matthew chapter 14.
|Salome danced enticingly for Herod.|
|• SeductionRead Genesis chapter 39.
|Potiphar’s wife sought to seduce Joseph.|
|• LustRead Judges chapter 16.
|Samson lusted after Delilah.|
|• AdulteryRead 2 Samuel chapter 11.
|David committed adultery with Bathsheba.|
|• PromiscuityRead John chapter 4.
|The woman at the well lived in sin with a man who was not her husband.|
|• HomosexualityRead Genesis chapter 19.
|Homosexual men lusted after the visitors in Lot’s home.|
|• IncestRead Genesis chapter 19.
|Lot’s two daughters tricked him into getting drunk and had sexual relations with him.|
|• RapeRead 2 Samuel chapter 13.
|Amnon raped his half sister Tamar.|
Question: “Am I obligated to give sexual favors to someone who has spent money on me by buying me jewelry, taking me to dinner, going to the theater, or paying my rent?”
Answer: No, You are worth far more than any gift, favor, or dollar amount. You are made in the image of God, and it is far beneath your dignity to perform any type of sexual favor in return for any type of gift or “investment.” Stop and realize how valuable you are before bartering yourself for anyone or anything. The Bible says,
“The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” (1 Corinthians 6:13)
C. What Is the Difference between Lust and Love?
Remember your first real crush?… The flush of your face, the pounding of your heart, the shortness of breath at your first touch? You were “in love” … or perhaps, more realistically, in love with love. Your heart was filled with excitement at the anticipation of holding hands and receiving a sweet goodnight kiss. Such were the days of innocence—the ways of “puppy love.” But when infatuation turns to feverish passion, innocence can be lost. What you think is love turns out to be lust … an illusion of true intimacy … a counterfeit of the lasting love that sustains a relationship. Too late, you learn there are great differences between lust and love. The Bible tells us …
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”
Differences between Lust and Love
“I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
|• Is noncommittal||• Is committed|
|• Is sudden||• Is gradual|
|• Is selfish||• Is unselfish|
|• Is untrustworthy||• Is trustworthy|
|• Is impatient||• Is patient|
|• Is faithless||• Is faithful|
|• Is uncontrolled desire||• Is controlled desire|
|• Is emotionally shallow||• Is emotionally deep|
|• Is based on fantasy||• Is based on reality|
|• Is full of emotion||• Is full of devotion|
|• Is driven by one’s passion||• Is chosen by one’s will|
|• Focuses on external looks||• Focuses on internal character|
|• Uses faulty reasoning||• Uses solid reasoning|
|• Seeks to get happiness||• Seeks to give happiness|
|• Can’t wait to get||• Can’t wait to give|
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
(1 Corinthians 13:4–8)
D. What Is Sexual Purity?
Have you ever gazed into the clean, clear water of a still, pristine lake? Its unsoiled beauty encourages us to appreciate the purity of God’s initial design. And just as beautiful are two sexually pure lives that come together for physical fulfillment within the marriage relationship. Such purity is attainable … even if, at onetime, it had been lost. Yes, even if you have suffered from a past of sexual impurity, through the power of God that which is impure can once again become spiritually clean.
“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”
• Sexual purity is chastity or freedom from sexually immoral attitudes and actions. We are told …
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)
• Sexual purity doesn’t “just happen.” Because of our bent to sin, we need to take an active role in purifying our hearts, which will in turn purify our attitudes and actions. The Bible says,
“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8)
• The Greek word hagnos means “pure from defilement.” This word is derived from hagios, signifying “holy,” “pure,” and “being set apart.” This is why the Bible says,
“Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” (Ephesians 5:3)
Joseph: A Biblical Example of Sexual Purity
“He [Potiphar] left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he refused. ‘With me in charge,’ he told her, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?’ And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.”
E. What Is God’s Heart on Sexual Intimacy?
You don’t have to go far in the Bible to learn God’s heart on healthy sexual relationships. The first four points of His plan are mentioned in the second chapter of Genesis, and this blueprint, repeated in the New Testament, demonstrates God’s desire for us to get it right!
“ ‘Haven’t you read,’ he [Jesus] replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?”
• The man and the woman will establish a separate family unit from their parents.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother.” (Genesis 2:24)
• The married couple will cleave, unite, bond to each other as the priority relationship.
“… and be united to his wife …” (Genesis 2:24)
• The “one flesh” sexual relationship will begin after the God-ordained marriage between husband and wife.
“… and they will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)
• The sexual and emotional intimacy in marriage will be open and vulnerable with moral purity between husband and wife.
“The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” (Genesis 2:25)
• Marriage partners will not be burdened by the fear or shame of pregnancy out of wedlock.
“God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number.’ ” (Genesis 1:28)
• The intimate relationship will represent the intimate oneness that true believers have with the Lord.
“As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” (Isaiah 62:5)
II. Characteristics of Sexual Integrity Versus Sexual Immorality
Samson—what a tower of strength—a tower reduced to rubble! Rather than living a life of self-sacrifice, he is consumed with self-centeredness. Rather than following God’s instruction about “unclean” food, he consumes the forbidden food (eating honey from the carcass of a lion). Rather than seeking justice for the Lord’s sake, he seeks revenge for his own sake. Rather than finding a godly wife, he focuses on ungodly women. His frequent lust for sexually “forbidden fruit” is not just a simple character flaw in one area of his life, but rather a symptom of a corrupt character affecting all areas of his life. (See Judges 14:8–9; 15:3; 16:1.)
“To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.”
A. What Part Does Self-Control Play in Sexuality?
No comparison has more contrast than that of the exemplary life of Joseph and the carnal life of Samson. Both are divinely chosen deliverers of Israel, but at the same time, moral opposites. Joseph is faithful in his service and practices self-control. Samson merely follows his passions with no self-control. Joseph is remembered for “forgiving his enemy,” whereas Samson is known for “sleeping with the enemy.” Joseph begins his adulthood as a slave and rises to the top, whereas Samson begins at the top and spirals down into slavery … a slave to immorality and a slave to the Philistines. What a stark contrast! Their lives poignantly represent the contrast in this proverb:
“The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.”
A Contrast in Character
|JosephGenesis chapters 37–50
|SamsonJudges chapters 13–16
|• Joseph will not violate God’s commands, though his decision costs him his freedom.“No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9)
|• Samson violates God’s commands and satisfies his sexual lust.“Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman.” (Judges 14:1)
|• Joseph purposely avoids sexually tempting situations.||• Samson purposely avails himself of sexually tempting situations.|
|“Though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.” (Genesis 39:10)||“One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her.” (Judges 16:1)|
|• Joseph flees illicit sex from a conniving woman.||• Samson seeks illicit sex from seductive women.|
|“She caught him by his cloak and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.” (Genesis 39:12)||“Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, ‘See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength.’ ” (Judges 16:4–5)|
|• Joseph focuses on the needs of others.||• Samson focuses on his own desires.|
|“I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.” (Genesis 45:11)||“Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.” (Judges 16:4)|
|• Joseph’s life is preserved because he humbly pursues morality.||• Samson’s life is destroyed because he arrogantly pursues immorality.|
|“God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” (Genesis 45:7)||“Then she called, ‘Samson, the Philistines are upon you!’ He awoke from his sleep and thought, ‘I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.’ But he did not know that the Lord had left him.” (Judges 16:20)|
|• Joseph refuses to seek personal revenge.||• Samson seeks personal revenge.|
|“He kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.” (Genesis 45:15)||“Samson said to them, ‘This time I have a right to get even with the Philistines; I will really harm them.’ ” (Judges 15:3)|
|• Joseph brings honor to his parents.||• Samson brings dishonor to his parents.|
|“Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh directed.” (Genesis 47:11)||“His father and mother replied, ‘Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?’ But Samson said to his father, ‘Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.’ ” (Judges 14:3)|
Both Joseph and Samson were indeed deliverers. Joseph delivered Israel as an extraordinary man of integrity during his life. Samson delivered Israel as an imprisoned blind man by his death. (See Judges 16:21–30.)
B. The Promiscuous Male and Female
We all have heard people say, “I didn’t realize I was getting into a bad relationship. I didn’t see the trouble down the road.” Yet sometimes we choose to be blind to the obvious. We refuse to see the negative because we don’t want to give up the relationship.
Samson was one man who chose his own blindness. On numerous occasions, Delilah had been deceitful, and Samson knew it. But he chose to ignore the obvious and to foolishly disclose to her the secret of his great strength. Ultimately, he chose to be ensnared. In truth, he could agree with the following words of warning because they tragically reflect his own downfall.
“I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.”
|The Promiscuous Man (from Romans Chapter 1)||The Promiscuous Woman (from the Book of Proverbs)|
|• Foolish“Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:22)
|• Foolish“She gives no thought to the way of life.” (Proverbs 5:6)
|• Undisciplined“God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.” (Romans 1:24)
|• Undisciplined“She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home.” (Proverbs 7:11)
|• Lustful“God gave them over to shameful lusts.” (Romans 1:26)
|• Seductive“With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk.” (Proverbs 7:21)
|• Defiant“They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips.” (Romans 1:29)
|• Defiant“She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home.” (Proverbs 7:11)
|• Deceitful“They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips.” (Romans 1:29)
|• Deceitful“Her paths are crooked, but she knows it not.” (Proverbs 5:6)
|• Conniving“They invent ways of doing evil.” (Romans 1:30)
|• Conniving“Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.” (Proverbs 7:10)
|• Bitter“They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful.” (Romans 1:29–30)
|• Bitter“In the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.” (Proverbs 5:4)
|• Boastful“They are … boastful.” (Romans 1:29–30)
|• Boastful“The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge.” (Proverbs 9:13)
|• Faithless“They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.” (Romans 1:31)
|• Unfaithful“[She] has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God.” (Proverbs 2:17)
|• Unashamed“They are … heartless, ruthless.” (Romans 1:31)
|• Unashamed“She eats and wipes her mouth and says, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong.’ ” (Proverbs 30:20)
Question: “My ex-wife was sexually involved with another man. I knew she was promiscuous before we got married, but why would she devalue our marriage?”
Answer: Marriage is not a cure for all problems. The problems that exist in a relationship prior to marriage will also present themselves in the marriage. Now, that the extramarital relationship has ended, you need to attain freedom from the emotional damage you experienced. Choose to forgive your ex-wife. Pray that you will grow in wisdom and that you will learn to discern the character of people before entering into a relationship with them. Unmarried men and women who value the sanctity of marriage keep themselves pure and avoid promiscuity. Marriage does not change a person’s character.
“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.” (Proverbs 14:8)
III. Causes of Vulnerability
What led Samson into a life of moral failure? While he relied on God for his physical strength, he failed to rely on God for his moral strength. Samson assumed that God would continue to give him extraordinary strength … regardless of his disobedience. Clearly, God gave Samson the supernatural strength needed to defeat the Philistines. But Samson never saw his need for strength of character. Because of the womanly wiles of Delilah, he compromised his convictions by telling her the secret of his great strength. In time, Samson’s lack of character cost him not only his liberty, but also his life.
“Then she called, ‘Samson, the Philistines are upon you!’ He awoke from his sleep and thought, ‘I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.’ But he did not know that the Lord had left him. Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison.… Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines!’ Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.”
(Judges 16:20–21, 30)
A. What Are Stated Reasons for “Giving in”?
Many people offer many reasons for “giving in” to the pressure of sex outside of marriage. These reasons—called excuses—are as varied as the people themselves, and yet they are all too common because they have been used since the beginning of time.
Whatever “reason” is presented, the reality is that we—like Samson—want to live according to our own desires, not in obedience to God, who created us as sexual beings with His plan and purpose. He knows far better than we how to satisfy our God-designed, God-given sexual needs.
“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
Twelve Reasons & Responses
1. “He said that if I didn’t have sex, he would find someone else who would.”
Then tell him to find someone else.
— If he is willing to have sex with anyone available, then he has no commitment to you. This is not a person who cares about you.
2. “I didn’t like being teased because I wouldn’t do it.”
If you are teased because you won’t rob a bank, will you then rob a bank?
— A person who teases you because you won’t have sex doesn’t respect your standards and is trying to manipulate you into lowering them.
3. “I thought I could hold on to him if I had sex.”
If that’s the only way to hold on to him, then you really do not want him.
— Don’t allow yourself to be that desperate. You are more valuable than that.
4. “I was curious.”
You can be curious about arsenic, but you don’t have to drink it.
— You can be curious about many things, but the appropriate time for a sexual relationship is within a committed marriage relationship. If you put your trust in God’s timing, your curiosity will give way to contentment.
5. “I was lonely.”
Get a pet! (said tongue-in-cheek)
— A sexual experience is not the cure for loneliness. In fact, you may feel even more isolated after a casual sexual encounter—all alone with guilt and regret.
6. “I was drunk.”
Decide today not to drink anything that weakens your defenses.
— Any drink or drug that impairs your judgment is not safe.
7. “I use condoms.… It’s safe sex.”
Condoms can slip, leak, and break—that’s not safe sex.
— No contraceptive is 100 % effective, and no “protection” can guarantee safety from STDs—except abstinence. Even if you use a condom, you face the possibility of emotional and physical damage from the sexual encounter that can last a lifetime.
8. “I just wanted to feel loved.”
Sex is not love, and love is not sex. Animals have sex with no commitment of love, whereas humans need a relationship based on love.
— A sexual relationship without commitment is not based on love but on lust.
9. “I just wanted to get it over with.”
Next time, just say no—that gets it over more quickly!
— If you “just want to get it over with,” you are being pressured into doing something that you don’t want to do—so don’t do it!
10. “I didn’t want to be the last one to have sex.”
Be concerned with your own choices, not with those of everyone else.
— Half the teens in America between the ages of fifteen and nineteen are virgins. Being the first or the last is not the issue—obeying God is what’s important.
11. “I didn’t want to look like a prude.”
Would you rather look prudish or pregnant?
— Submission to the standards of your Creator is more important than meeting the expectations of your culture. By being sexually pure, you will be a testimony to others facing the same choices you are facing.
12. “I was sexually abused as a child, so it doesn’t matter.”
It matters from this day forward that you live a life of sexual purity.
— Your decision about whether or not to have sex outside of marriage matters to God. Although you were sexually violated, being victimized was not your choice, nor was it your fault! God sees you, if you are a believer, as unblemished and pure, and He will empower you to stay sexually pure.
As you nurture a “family of friends” and look for ways to regularly serve others, you will find yourself focused not on sex, but on loving others with a pure heart.
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10)
Question: “How should I respond when I know I’m attracted to someone who is wrong for me?”
Answer: Ranchers know that to keep horses in a corral, the gate must be kept shut. Once the gate is open, the horses run out. This same principle applies to your emotions. If you keep the door shut on your wrong desires and refuse to open the door to wrong relationships, then you have kept rein on your emotions and have “guarded your heart.”
Pray, “Lord, I thank You for giving me wisdom to know that this attraction is wrong for me. With Your strength, I choose to guard my heart and to focus only on Your perfect will for my life.”
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
B. “What Are Seven Underlying Reasons for “Giving in”?
Many people become vulnerable to sexual pressure because of never having moved through the developmental stages of childhood in a healthy way. Something or someone was missing. But not all is lost. God can use our past pain to open our hearts, teach us wisdom, and bring healing into our lives.
“Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” (Psalm 51:6)
• Lack of Self-worth
Self-worth is an inner God-given trait that parents should cultivate in their children. If we have a lack of self-worth, instead of looking to God to confer His value on us, we often look to another person to give us a sense of worth.
— Those who want to bolster their self-worth may assume that engaging in sex is the solution to their problems. But to grasp our true meaning and purpose, we must realize that God has already established our worth.
— When sex outside of marriage causes self-worth to plummet further, the false assumption can be, I’ll feel better about myself if I have more sex. However, instead of turning to sex to establish our value, we must remember that the Bible says we are so valuable that God has already planned a positive future for us.
“ ‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” (Jeremiah 29:11)
• Lack of Self-control
Self-control is a personal trait that should be developed at an early age—a discipline necessary throughout your lifetime.
— The toddler who was never taught to stay out of the cookie jar before dinner will have difficulty moving into the teenage years because of a lack of self-control.
— When the flames of sexual desires begin to burn out of control, the undisciplined person does not possess the necessary control to put out the fire. If you struggle with lack of self-control, the Bible gives this warning …
“Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” (Proverbs 25:28)
• Lack of Self-respect
Self-respect is a character trait that should be nurtured in childhood by your parents and all extended family members. Children learn to respect themselves and others from the way they are treated at home.
— If family members have not treated you with respect, you can still gain self-respect by believing and accepting the love God has for you and accepting the value He has placed on you. People are His most special creation, fashioned in His very image.
— Refraining from having sex outside of marriage shows true respect for yourself, respect for the one you date, and respect for your future mate.
“Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:17)
• Lack of Emotional Intimacy
Emotional intimacy is a need that all children, teens, and adults have—a need for emotional closeness with others. When a parent is emotionally distant, children are unable to develop the healthy attachments necessary for secure, stable, adult relationships.
— Lack of emotional intimacy cultivates ground for unhealthy, codependent, needy relationships.
— To compensate for the emotional void, we can tend to develop intense emotional attachments that become fertile soil for unhealthy sexual relationships, including even same-sex sexual attractions. Regardless of our background, we all need to experience the unchanging love of the Lord. God assures us …
“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.’ ” (Jeremiah 31:3)
• Lack of Communication
Communication is learned by children primarily at home. When communication exists on only superficial levels, children are unable to express their natural questions and feelings about sexuality. One of the major factors in determining our attitudes about sex and morals is whether our parents have openly communicated their attitudes and morals.
— Although many parents shy away from using the word “sex,” hoping that their children will somehow learn about sex without home discussions, all children should be taught the truth about sexuality.
— All young people should be trained in how to make right decisions about sex. Otherwise, when they are faced with making choices in the heat of passion, their decisions will be based on feelings rather than on fact. They are not likely to have the reasons or the readiness to say no when needed.
“It [the grace of God] teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” (Titus 2:12)
• Lack of Boundaries
Boundaries are a child’s first line of defense against outside danger. Children who have been sexually abused often struggle with promiscuity as they mature. Being used for sexual gratification teaches children among other things, that they have no separateness as individuals, destroying the foundation needed to build healthy boundaries. This heinous act creates vulnerable children who grow into vulnerable teenagers and adults.
— Those who have been victims of abuse, including rape and incest, often feel like “damaged goods” and often lower their sexual boundaries.
— Those who have experienced a premarital pregnancy typically feel a deep sense of shame and often lower their sexual standards. When sexual boundaries have been broken and the heart has been hurt, the Bible is specific about the comfort of the Lord and the emotional healing He offers.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
• Lack of Discretion
Discretion, the ability to make responsible decisions and to distinguish between right and wrong, wise and unwise, is sorely needed in children and adults alike. A sexual crisis has invaded our culture, and even if we try to avoid it, every one of us is exposed. The nature of all temptation is fundamentally based on a lie—a lie that promises intimacy but produces only a counterfeit. This counterfeit intimacy promotes a worldview that claims our sexual standards are now dispensable. However, the Book of Proverbs says,
“My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight.” (Proverbs 3:21)
Subtle seduction calls for both discernment to detect and discretion to decide to avoid the sexual “hooks” that are most apparent in these three areas:
#1 Sexually driven advertising can manipulate our thinking and condition us to accept a lower moral standard.
“Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight.… They are … reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning.” (2 Peter 2:13–14)
#2 Television programming usually has as a standard sexual theme: illicit sexual relationships, extramarital affairs, the false delights of homosexual relationships, and even teenage sexual activity.
“They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.… These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.” (2 Peter 2:15, 17–19)
#3 Computers and the Internet have had a worldwide impact and have quickly become indispensable to education, business, and professions. But just as with all good things, the enemy of our souls is looking for innocent prey to devour. In the privacy of our homes, the Internet offers the most perverted sexual enticements ever known, stimulating the brain as powerfully as cocaine. As the fastest growing addiction today, pornography takes a terrible toll on our minds and on our marriages.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8–9)
C. How Can You Have God’s Power for Purity?
Sexual intimacy in marriage is a gift from God, but this good gift is often twisted by fallen humanity. In our world, premarital sex, seduction, homosexuality, and extramarital affairs are promoted and sensationalized. You can find distortions of God’s intention for sex everywhere … and sometimes those distortions can be very appealing.
Have you been struggling to defeat a sexual habit or desire but find yourself unable to resist? Integrity begins in your heart. Only through God’s power can you live in the purity that He desires for you. Only through His power can you have integrity that lasts.
How to Have Integrity That Lasts
If you would like to have sexual integrity in your life, God has a solution for you—a solution that can be spelled out in four points.
#1 God’s Purpose for You … is Salvation.
— What was God’s motive in sending Christ to earth? To condemn you? No … to express His love for you by saving you!
“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16–17)
— What was Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth? To make everything perfect and to remove all sin? No … to forgive your sins, empower you to have victory over sin, and enable you to live a fulfilled life!
“I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
#2 Your Problem … is Sin.
— What exactly is sin? Sin is living independently of God’s standard—knowing what is right, but choosing wrong.
“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” (James 4:17)
— What is the major consequence of sin? Sin produces death, both physical and spiritual separation from God.
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
#3 God’s Provision for You … is the Savior.
— Can anything remove the penalty for sin? Yes. Jesus died on the cross to personally pay the penalty for your sins.
“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
— What is the solution to being separated from God? Belief in Jesus Christ as the only way to God the Father.
“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
#4 Your Part … is Surrender.
— Place your faith in (rely on) Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and reject your “good works” as a means of gaining God’s approval.
“It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8–9)
|Prayer of Salvation|
|“God, I want a real relationship with You. I admit that many times I’ve chosen to go my own way instead of Your way. Please forgive me for my sins. Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins and rising from the dead to provide new life. Come into my life to be my Lord and my Savior. Help me to desire the things that You say are good and right. Through Your power, make me the person You created me to be.In Your holy name I pray. Amen.”
What Can You Expect Now?
By placing your trust in the completed work of Jesus Christ, look at what God says He has just done for you!
“To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
D. How Far Is Too Far?
God intended the sexual relationship for pleasure within the protected confines of marriage. With pleasure as a goal, the number one question asked about sex (outside of marriage) is: “How far is too far?” Or to put it another way, “How close can we get without getting burned?” If the question is: “To what degree can we have any sexual activity outside of marriage?” the Bible’s limit is clear: “Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality” (Ephesians 5:3).
Fires can burn out gradually or burn out of control. If a sexual fire is smoldering, the natural response is to add more fuel to keep it going. When holding hands or casual kissing no longer arouses the flame of passion, “the law of diminishing returns” kicks in. If passion is the goal, more advanced sexual activity is needed to reach the same level of pleasure. This progression is built into us by God and is intended to lead to the culmination of sexual oneness. Apart from a marriage relationship between a man and a woman, God never ever approves of the culmination of sexual oneness—nor does He condone attempts of sexual arousal.
“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:3)
The Progression of Touch
b. Holding hands
c. Closed-mouth kissing
d. Open mouth/deep French kissing
e. Bodily kissing
f. Touching over clothes/bodily caressing/petting
g. Touching under clothes/hand to sexual organs
h. Mutual masturbation/oral sex
i. Sexual intercourse
“It can’t be wrong if it feels so right!” This classic line has been used for years to excuse sexual impurity when passion runs deep. So, where do you draw the line? Never underestimate the power of sexual passion. Momentary passion can erode any sound commitment previously made. Even the first steps of physical activity are highly addictive.
— One successful approach for male/female couples is a mutual commitment: Never touch any part of another person’s body that you yourself do not have. (The parts covered by a bathing suit.)
— Perhaps the best question to ask is: “Which steps can you take and still glorify God?” The best option is to not even start down a progression that could ignite a fire—a fire that cannot be legitimately put out!
“Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?”
E. Root Cause
We are all created with three inner needs for love, for significance, and for security. When one or more of these needs is not met, we can have a “hole in our heart” that we are trying to fill. That is why so many people find themselves looking for love in all the wrong places!
— Based on unfulfilled love and security … usually felt by females who think,
Being sexually involved fills my deep need for love and for security.
— Based on unfulfilled significance … usually felt by males who think,
Being sexually involved gives me a sense of power and control and provides physical release for my sex drive.
“My deepest needs for love, for significance, and for security can never be filled through any sexual involvement outside of marriage. I will rely on Jesus to meet my deepest inner needs. He will provide His power so that I can overcome temptation and be a person of integrity.”
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:3–4)
|Prayer to Restore Sexual Integrity|
|“God, I want to be a person of integrity in every area of my life. I know I have sinned, and I ask You to forgive me. Lord Jesus, thank You for loving me. Thank You for sacrificing Your life on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. May I see my sin as You see it. May I hate my sin as You hate it. I’ll do whatever it takes for me to enter into a deep, intimate relationship with You. I’m asking You now to come into my life to be my Lord and my Savior. Change me inside out to be the person You created me to be. I trust You to be my true Need-Meeter.In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
IV. steps to solution
If only Samson had steered clear of sexually immoral women! If only he had committed himself to God’s principles of sexual purity! Then he would not have been burned—he would have escaped the trap set for him. But he thought his physical strength would protect him. He thought he could “sleep with the enemy” and not be ensnared. If only he had listened to his parents and had not become entangled with an unbeliever! If only he had selected a woman of spiritual strength! Rather than following in the footsteps of Samson, recognize that your strength comes from yielding your life to the Lord. You can experience extraordinary spiritual strength by fleeing sexual temptation—and maintaining sexual integrity.
“Flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”
(1 Timothy 6:11)
A. Key Verses to Memorize
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
(1 Corinthians 6:19–20)
B. Key Passage to Read and Reread
1 Thessalonians 4:3–8
“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:3–8)
|• God calls youto be holy—literally set apart from the world’s thinking.||v. 3|
|• God calls youto sexual integrity.||v. 3|
|• God calls youto control your sexual desires.||v. 4|
|• God calls youto be holy and honorable.||v. 4|
|• God condemns yourlust.||v. 5|
|• God holds youaccountable for your treatment of others.||v. 6|
|• God will punish yourpromiscuity.||v. 6|
|• God does not call youto be impure.||v. 7|
|• God calls youto live a holy life.||v. 7|
|• God sees yourinvolvement in sexual sin as rejection of Him.||v. 8|
Right now you can live by faith—or you can live by your feelings. One way leads to spiritual life—the other to spiritual death.
C. Are You Caught in the Delilah Dilemma?
Do you have a Delilah in your life—someone who uses your romantic relationship to try to control you? Delilah used a classic line: “If you love me, prove it.” Her plea was dripping with sensual passion.
“She said to him, ‘How can you say, “I love you,” when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.’ With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death.”
Samson fell for Delilah’s manipulation and, ultimately, fell out of God’s favor. As a result, he lost both his strength and his sight because, actually, all along he had no spiritual insight.
Are you a modern day Samson who doesn’t know how to respond to the pressure of sexual temptation? Are you caught in a dilemma of being both drawn to and pressured by someone? If you find yourself lacking sexual integrity, without right responses when the coercion begins, learn what to say when you don’t know what to say!
“Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.”
Top Twenty Enticements
#1 “Everybody’s doing it.”
— Then it won’t be hard to find someone else to do it.
#2 “It’s okay because we really love each other.”
— If we really love each other, we’ll do what’s best for each other … and sex outside marriage isn’t best for either of us.
#3 “I promise not to tell anyone if you’ll have sex with me.”
— No promise is necessary because there won’t be anything to tell. I would regret having sex whether or not anyone else knew.
#4 “Sex is fun—nothing bad will happen.”
— Sex is serious—you can’t guarantee what will happen.
#5 “I know what I want.”
— I know what I want too—I want to save myself for the one I’ll marry.
#6 “What are you afraid of?”
— About 25 STDs … and the possibility of pregnancy.
#7 “There’s nothing wrong with us having sex.”
— If there’s nothing wrong, then why do we have to sneak around?
#8 “If you love me, you’ll let me.”
— If you loved me, you wouldn’t ask me.
#9 “What’s wrong with you?”
— No, it’s what’s right for me and for you. It’s right for both of us to protect our future.
#10 “Now’s the right time to make love.”
— The only right time to make love is when we’re both married to the right people.
#11 “Make love to me—I know you want me.”
— Whether I want you or not, I want what God wants more.
#12 “Sex is just a game.”
— If sex is just a game, that means someone loses … and I don’t want to play.
#13 “After all I’ve done for you, you owe me sex.”
— I don’t owe anyone sex.
#14 “I’ll protect you—I’ll use a condom.”
— A condom can’t protect my conscience, and it won’t protect my heart.
#15 “If you don’t put out—then get out.”
— Then I’m getting out.
#16 “If you were a real man, you would do it!”
— If you were a real friend, you wouldn’t say that.
#17 “You owe me a reason for saying no.”
— I don’t owe you a reason—we both have the right to say no.
#18 “You’re a chicken.”
— It takes more strength to abstain than to give in.
#19 “I thought you loved me.”
— I love you so much that I don’t want to sin against you or against God.
#20 “No one will ever know.”
— I’ll know, you’ll know, and most importantly … God will know.
“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
|Refuse to allow verbal pressure tactics to violate your values. Such a violation will keep you from experiencing God’s best for your life. When people appeal to your natural sexual desires, decide not to let your defenses down. Just one unguarded mistake … just one failure to resist an enticement can change your life forever.|
“They mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.”
(2 Peter 2:18)
D. What Are Seven Myths about Sex?
As a rule, people believe what they want to believe, and in no other area could this be truer than with sex. Many people believe they can have indiscriminate sex without any consequences. Or, to put it another way, they “sow their wild oats,” and then pray for crop failure! But the Bible says,
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
#1 Myth: “All is fair in love and war.”
Truth: The basis of love is sacrifice, not fairness.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1 John 3:16)
#2 Myth: “If it feels good, it must be good.”
Truth: Sin can feel good, but that doesn’t mean sin is good.
“He whose walk is blameless is kept safe, but he whose ways are perverse will suddenly fall.” (Proverbs 28:18)
#3 Myth: “I need sex in order to feel good about myself.”
Truth: Real love is not self-seeking.
“Love … is not rude, it is not self-seeking.” (1 Corinthians 13:5)
#4 Myth: “A husband prefers his wife to be sexually experienced.”
Truth: Premarital sex can breed jealousy and distrust in a marriage.
“Jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.” (Proverbs 6:34)
#5 Myth: “Multiple sex partners give me more experience.”
Truth: Multiple experiences breed comparisons and dissatisfaction.
“Do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.” (1 Timothy 5:22)
#6 Myth: “Sexual flirtation is harmless.”
Truth: Sexual flirtation harms the conscience and leads to sexual arousal and physical involvement.
“Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)
#7 Myth: “As long as I’m not married, I should be able to have sex with whomever I want.”
Truth: The only instance where God blesses two people in a sexual relationship is within a husband and wife marital relationship.
“ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one.” (Mark 10:7–8)
E. What Are Spiritual Reasons for Sexual Integrity?
We all know the sickening feeling of living with a guilty conscience … or knowing we have let others down … or knowing we have let God down. The problem is that we were not aiming at the right target. Like Samson, we can be solely focused on self-gratification instead of on self-control. When we place ourselves in dependence on God and when our target is right before God, we can have a clear conscience and be a light in the midst of darkness.
“I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.”
• I want God’s blessing on my life.
“I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)
• I don’t want to do anything that will hinder my prayer life with God.
“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” (Psalm 66:18)
• I don’t want God’s disfavor on the life of either of us.
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9–10)
• I don’t want to take the place of God by trying to meet all the needs of another person.
“You shall have no other gods before me.” (Deuteronomy 5:7)
• I don’t want anyone else to take the place of God in my life.
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ ” (Matthew 22:37)
• I want to live a life of integrity, being the same in the dark as I am in the light.
“I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity.” (Job 27:5)
• I want others to see the power of Christ in me.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3)
Because “I can do everything through him [Christ] who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13), I am closing the door to all thoughts of sexual involvement as a means of getting my needs met. The Lord will meet all of my needs.
“My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Question: “I’m a teenage girl who has committed my life to the Lord. What can help me resist sexual temptation?”
Answer: Carry visual reminders of your highest ideals, values, and commitments. For example, many young people choose to wear a “chastity ring” to symbolize their covenant to the Lord—specifically, to abstain from engaging in sexual activity outside the marriage relationship.
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” (Proverbs 27:12)
F. But What If It’s Too Late?
You cannot take back sexually that which has been given any more than you can take back that which has been spoken. However, that which has been lost—virginity—can be reclaimed. As you have opened your heart to the Lord and as you have begun to desire His best, you can come to know Him as both Redeemer and Restorer. If you are single and not a virgin, God still desires that you live a life of sexual integrity. You can choose what is called “secondary virginity,” and He can, if you permit Him, empower you to have victory over the past. God intends your sexuality to be a wonderful present to your marriage partner. From this point on, save yourself for the one God has saved for you.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Invest in Integrity
Invite others to walk the road of sexual integrity with you.
• Allow yourself to be vulnerable with people whom you can trust.
• Share your struggle with a wise and understanding friend or mentor.
• Go to a spiritual leader or a support group and ask for accountability.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–10)
Never put yourself or your loved one in a tempting situation.
• Consider bedrooms off-limits.
• Don’t be in a home alone with each other.
• Know your triggers—know what is sexually tempting to you and make a decision to counter those triggers.
“Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.” (Romans 6:13)
Trust God to meet your need for love in the future.
• Don’t use sexual pleasure to try to meet your needs for love and affirmation—it won’t work!
• Learn to live dependent on the Lord. Give Him your heart.
• Let Him know that you are looking to Him to be your Need-Meeter.
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” (Psalm 143:8)
Enjoy others instead of using others.
• Don’t try to fill up your “love bucket” with sex—there will be holes in that bucket!
• Learn to be friends with each other—to enjoy doing many activities with each other.
• Realize that a real friend will never use you sexually.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:9–10)
Give yourself only to sexually pure relationships.
• Guard the gift of sexual intimacy until the time you are married.
• Keep the gift of sexual intimacy exclusively for your marriage partner.
• Realize that you can have an “intimate relationship” that is not a sexual relationship.
“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” (1 Peter 1:22)
Refuse to justify any sexual impurity.
• Honestly face the sexual sin in your life.
• Pray for God to convict you of any sin.
• Commit yourself to being a person of purity.
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
Isolate yourself from tempting people.
• Leave any relationship that does not honor God.
• Refuse to be with someone who dabbles in drugs or tries to use alcohol to weaken your will.
• State your commitment: “I will not allow myself to be alone with individuals who tempt me sexually.”
“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ ” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
Transform your mind through the written Word of God.
• Find Scripture that is focused on your area of struggle.
• Ask God to reprogram your mind as you follow a discipline to read and memorize Scripture.
• Read one chapter of Proverbs daily.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)
Yield to Christ, who lives in you, trusting Him to produce in you a life of purity.
• Consciously submit your will to the will of Christ when you are tempted—do it before you are tempted.
• Don’t lie to yourself—refuse to be lulled into false confidence in your own ability to withstand temptation.
• Live your life dependent on Christ, who lives in you. Jesus said,
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:1–5)
You can’t be fulfilled in the way that God intended unless you are connected to Him … living dependently on Him. If you allow Christ, who lives in you, to find expression through you, He will empower you to have sexual purity.
G. Practical Steps for Sexual Purity
How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you should have determined ahead of time how you would respond? Yet in the heat of the moment, you acted and later realized with regret that you had made the wrong decision?
Many of your decisions need to be made prior to when they are needed. This involves knowing the end result you desire and then committing yourself to a plan to achieve that desire. In the Bible, Job had such a plan in order to maintain his purity. He made a commitment—a covenant vow before God …
“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.”
• Write out your vow to be sexually pure from this day on.
— Share your pledge with your parents and a special friend.
— Consider matting and framing your commitment.
“When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.” (Ecclesiastes 5:4)
• Find friends who hold the same commitment.
— Abstaining from sex is easier when you have close friends who hold to the same vow.
— Practice the joy of talking to Jesus as a friend.
“Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” (Philippians 2:2)
• Pray for the right accountability partner.
— Ask someone who cares about you and someone you deeply respect to hold you accountable sexually. Ideally, this person should be several years older, one who will ask candid questions and one who will “speak the truth in love.”
— Commit to meeting with this person on a regular basis.
“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” (Proverbs 27:6)
• Develop a proactive strategy for countering sexual triggers.
— Don’t be alone in your date’s home. Don’t go into your date’s bedroom.
— If your sexual challenge is the Internet, use an Internet filter; if your challenge is sex on TV, use a blocking service (or make a commitment not to even turn on the TV).
“Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men.” (Proverbs 4:14)
• Make a list of your goals for life.
— Develop short-term goals (six months to two years) and long-term goals (two to ten years).
— Tell your family and friends about your goals so that everyone can encourage you in the same direction. Pray for God to put into your heart the work He has planned for you to do.
“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
• Wear a chastity ring, bracelet, or necklace.
— A physical item can be a spiritual reminder of your commitment to sexual purity. During your wedding ceremony, you can replace your commitment rings with your wedding rings.
— Each of you can give your commitment rings to your parents, expressing appreciation for their encouragement, or the rings can be passed down to your own children as a reminder to them to stay pure.
“Then will I ever sing praise to your name and fulfill my vows day after day.” (Psalm 61:8)
• Write a love letter to your future mate.
— Tell your future marriage partner why you chose to save yourself for him (or her) and share what purity means to you.
— Sign your letter, date it, and then read it once a month.
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” (Hebrews 13:4)
• Lend a hand in helping others.
— Studies show that those who give themselves to serving others are less likely to be sexually active.
— Help an elderly person on a regular basis. Volunteer your time in service to others, possibly at a nursing home, hospital, or shelter for battered women and children.
“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
• Rely on the spiritual beliefs or teachings of your church.
— Almost all churches—and even most world religions—teach the value of maintaining sexual purity.
— Spiritual faith is a strong motivation to do what is right.
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)
• Make a Promise List.
— “I promise I will practice sexual abstinence.”
— “I promise I will not date those who are not committed to sexual integrity.”
— “I promise I will set sexual boundaries and will stay within those boundaries.”
— “I promise I will not be alone with a date in a bedroom.”
— “I promise I will not be alone with a date in a parked car.”
— “I promise I will guard my eyes, my mind, and my heart against sexual impurity.”
— “I promise I will not take any drink or drug that would weaken my defenses.”
— “I promise I will not do drugs.”
— “I promise I will not look at pornography.”
— “I promise I will not get on Internet sex chat rooms.”
Read your promise list once a week, and renew your vows to the Lord.
“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”
(2 Corinthians 7:1)
H. Why Is Waiting Worth It?
Do you want to have the most satisfying sex life possible? Even though you may know that God will not bless a sexual relationship outside of marriage, you may think it doesn’t matter. You believe that God doesn’t really care about you, but God cares deeply about you … and He cares about what you do. He wants you to be fulfilled in your life. He knows that couples who enter marriage with sexual baggage from the past can have great difficulty coming together with the same trust and respect as can those who have maintained sexual integrity. By saving yourself sexually, you give a priceless wedding gift to your covenant partner—you give your mate the gift of purity.
“[There is] … a time to embrace and a time to refrain.”
When You Choose to Wait
• Emotionally—You have …
— Freedom from guilt
— Freedom from anxiety
— Freedom from grief
— Freedom from emotional scars
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6–7)
• Physically—You have …
— No premarital pregnancy
— No unwanted child
— No sexual disease
— No abortion consequences
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18)
• Socially—You have …
— Positive relationships
— Positive self-image
— Positive values
— Positive reputation
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” (Psalm 37:5–6)
• Spiritually—You have …
— A pure conscience before God
— A pure vision for God’s will
— A pure motive initiated by God
— A pure relationship with God
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
Do Condoms Provide “Safe Sex”?
Sex is safe only when it is practiced within the guidelines provided by the Creator. Sex unites two people in a unique relationship that a condom does not impact. Furthermore, condoms do not provide complete protection against sexually transmitted infections and are an effective form of birth control only when used consistently and correctly. Some studies show that condoms are used properly only 50% of the time. Ultimately, keeping sexual activity within the marriage relationship and practicing abstinence outside of marriage is the only “safe sex.”
“Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.”
The Myth of Safe Sex with Condoms
|• Pregnancy||Condoms reduce the risk of pregnancy by only 86% during the first year of use.|
|• HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)||Condoms reduce the risk of contracting HPV by only 50%.|
|• Syphilis||Condoms reduce the risk of syphilis by only about 50% ifused 100% of the time.|
|• Chlamydia and Gonorrhea||Condoms reduce the risk of these two STDs by only about 50% ifused 100% of the time.|
|• Genital herpes (HSV-2)||Condoms reduce the risk of herpes by about 50%.|
|• HIV/AIDS||Condoms reduce the risk of HIV by only 85% if used 100% of the time.|
When people are seduced by the myth of safe sex, they are more likely to engage in dangerous behavior and in heterosexual and homosexual experimentation. Don’t be lulled by the lie of “complete condom protection.” The only safe sex is a committed sexual relationship with a lifelong marriage partner.
Physical purity is necessary for spiritual purity.
“Having nothing to do with godless myths … rather, train yourself to be godly.”
(1 Timothy 4:7)
What Are Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
An STD (sexually transmitted disease) is an infection that is transmitted through sexual activity, whether vaginal, anal, or oral sex or intimate skin-to-skin contact, from one person who is infected to another person.
• Bacterial STDs can be cured with antibiotics.
• Viral STDs can never be cured. Symptoms, such as sores or warts, can be treated, but the virus remains in the body, causing the symptoms to flare up again and again.
In the sixteenth century, syphilis was the only identified venereal disease. Then, in the nineteenth century, gonorrhea joined syphilis as a cause of infertility. Both were classified as incurable until the discovery of penicillin in 1943, which eradicated VDs as a major public health issue. However, the wild, sexual revolution of the 1960s became a breeding ground for a myriad of STDs (the new label), including Chlamydia and HPV in 1976 and HIV/AIDS in the early 1980s. Today there are more than 25 STDs. Some common STDs include the following:
|Curable Sexually Transmitted Diseases|
|• Chlamydia(the most common bacterial STD||Bacteriathat is pus-producing||Vaginal, anal, and oral sex Congenital||Men and women:Asymptomatic or:
Men: Discharge from penis
Women: May experience discharge and pain when urinating
|Women:Sterility; Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID),* risk of contracting HIV/AIDS increased|
|• Gonorrhea(second most common bacterial STD)||Bacteriathat is highly infectious||Vaginal, anal, and oral sex Congenital||Men and women:Asymptomatic or:
Men: Pus from urethra, burning during urination
Women: Painless sore, rash, fever, fatigue, pus-like discharge
|Men:Sterility, scarring of urethra and urinary tract problemsWomen: Sterility, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)* Damage to heart and brain
|• Syphilis(oldest known STD)||Bacteriathat produces highly infectious sores or patches on the genitals or mouth||Vaginal, anal, and oral sex Congenital||Men: Swollen, non-painful ulcers on genitalia, fever, enlarged lymph nodesWomen: Discharge, burning during urination, venereal type warts
|Men: Damage to heart and brain, blindnessWomen: Damage to heart, brain, and nervous system; can cause birth defects or death in newborns
Men and Women: Death Risk of contracting HIV/AIDS increased
|• Trichomonas||Parasitethat causes genital infection||Vaginal and anal sex Congenital||Men and women:Asymptomatic or:
Men: Discharge from the penis and burning during urination
Women: Foul smelling vaginal discharge and genital pain, vaginal bleeding, swelling, and irritation of the genitals, painful urination
|Men and women: Risk of contracting HIV/AIDS increasedWomen: Premature rupture of membranes that protect a baby in pregnancy and preterm delivery
|Incurable Sexually Transmitted Diseases|
|• Genital Herpes(herpes simplex virus) HSV-1 is associated with the mouth.HSV-2 is associated with the genitals.
|Virusthat infects the skin and mucous membrane||Vaginal, anal, and oral sex Congenital||Men and women: Asymptomatic or painful blisters or sores on the genitals, buttocks, thighs, or mouth||Men and women: Genital ulcers, higher risk of HIV|
|• Hepatitis B||Virusthat is a common blood-borne infection||Vaginal, anal, and oral sex Needles Congenital||Men and women: Asymptomatic or yellow skin/eyes, fatigue, nausea||Men and women: Liver damage, cancer, ultimately death|
|• HPV(Human Papilloma virus or “genital warts”)||Virusthat infects the skin and mucous membrane||Intimate skin-to-skin Vaginal, anal, and oral sex||Men: Wart-like genital growthsWomen: asymptomatic (may be detected by a pap smear)
|Men: Cancer of the penis and anusWomen: Causes 99% of cervical cancer! Genital warts
|• HIV/AIDS(Human immunodeficiency virus)(Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)||Virusthat invades the immune system and destroys it over time||Vaginal, anal, and oral sex Needles Congenital||Men and women: Asymptomatic or flu-like symptoms (fatigue, fever, aches) initiallyLater: Skin and oral lesions, diarrhea, difficulty breathing (pulmonary infections), difficulty thinking (meningitis)
|Men and women: Intestinal infections and Candida mouth infections, immune system failure, TB, cancer, and death|
|If you are serious about sexual integrity, you must make a commitment and give high priority to a plan—a specific plan to protect your mind and emotions from sexual impurity. When you have sexual integrity—no matter the pressure or pull from others … no matter what others know or don’t know—you will do what is right in God’s sight.—June Hunt
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