We couldn't find what you are looking for. Try searching for something else.
"That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh." - Genesis 2:24 (NIV)
Sex is a wonderful God-given gift to be deeply enjoyed within the context of biblical marriage. But we have an enemy who wants us to believe it’s something that should be experimented with, disregarding all boundaries. The world has already bought into the lie. And our flesh is all-too-happy to be dragged along. From the enemy’s perspective, anything other than God’s design is just great... and Satan baits the hook with temptations that lead to actions, and become strongholds: adultery, pornography, premarital sex, prostitution, child sex-trafficking… the list goes on and on. Using God’s good gift of sex at the wrong time or in the wrong way inflicts pain in countless lives.
Why is sex such a strategic target for the enemy? Sex produces union. When people are sexually involved, they become one flesh. If you glue two pieces of cardboard together, allow the glue to dry, then try to pull them apart, you’ll find shreds of one attached to the other. The misuse and abuse of sex leaves shards and splinters of our hearts connected to other people, to pictures, to images… leaving behind a wake of destruction in our hearts. When we find ourselves entangled in old relationships, hook-ups, flings, computer screens? Splintering. Shattering. Heartbreak. Regret.
Ultimately, the enemy wants us to downgrade our idea of love. To confuse it with the intimate act of sex. For us to be driven by our feelings, emotionally-charged, and measure “love” by the impression it leaves on us or the experience it gives us. How we feel about ourselves and the other person is objectified as a means to an end. But that’s not love. It’s selfishness. God has given the gift of sex to be beautiful and wonderful within its proper setting.
"Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body." - 1 Corinthians 6:18 (NIV)
You may already know this, but there are three battle fronts in our lives. The world, the flesh, and the devil are constantly scheming together to drive us to crave the fulfillment of God-given desires and needs so desperately that we will settle for a version of them outside the proper way or appropriate time in which they are designed to be enjoyed as a God-given gift. This can happen with all the needs we have, but especially with sex and sexuality.
The battlefield is clear: Sex gets an inordinate amount of attention. Everyone seems to be talking about it. Sex is all over our media. It arrests people’s attention, so advertisers use images in books, websites, social media, movies, television, and more. Even the clothes people choose to wear are purposefully or unwittingly designed to turn the mind toward sexual preoccupation.
While the battlefield is evident, the enemy’s propaganda, lies, and disinformation-warfare are hidden and subtle:
- On and on and on… enticing bait that appears to be harmless until the hook rips into your mouth and tears you away. Have you been snagged by the hook the world has set out for you? Or stumbled over the tripwire the devil has placed in your path? Or simply been dragged away by your own desires into a place of regret and pain? Many of us have made mistakes with the gift of sex, but, even if you have, God is inviting all of us to exchange lust for love and what is solely sensual for what is supremely sacred. Only His intervention can redeem our past and restore this beautiful gift to its proper place in our lives. Run to Him for help.
"Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well." - Proverbs 5:15 (NIV)
Proverbs 5 contains the words of a father sharing wisdom with his son about running from sexual immorality. The well is a metaphor for sex. With that in mind, turn to John 4. We find Jesus, alone for a moment, encountering a woman who has shown up at a well to draw water at an odd time. This woman was well acquainted with the Red Idol of sex. The stage is set.
Jesus strikes up a conversation. Why had other men spoken to her? Perhaps they preyed upon her, starting what sounded like an innocent conversation and turning it with innuendo and sweet-sounding words that landed her in the same place, over and over. Or maybe it was the other way around. Whoever “started it,” it takes two to tango, right? It’s easy to assume her wounded heart heard a different kind of invitation than the one Jesus was ultimately offering.
Jesus was usually extremely gentle with wounded people. But He suddenly changes tone and verbally smacks her down. Was her tone sultry when she said, “I don’t have a husband,” [wink,wink]. Jesus’ response removes any potential of misunderstanding His intentions. He made it clear He was not interested in seducing this woman...sure she doesn’t have a husband! She has welcomed five “husbands” into her bed. Ouch!
But when Jesus decisively draws this boundary, the conversation is transformed. Then the woman is transformed. And, finally, her entire community is transformed. A whole new trajectory was launched when Jesus took His stand and clarified His intentions, precisely defining the conversation and, thereby, their relationship.
- We can do the same to guard our hearts and relationships. It all starts with a couple of decisions. One, decide to lean into God and His leadership in your life so He can transform your desires. Second, decide in advance to run from temptation when you stumble into its pathway. Third, resolve to be crystal-clear in your communication, not dabbling in flirtation or double-entendre in conversation with the opposite sex. Steer clear of the snares and stay back from the edge of the cliff. You’ll be glad you did.
"You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." - 1 Corinthians 6:20 (NIV)
“I can quit anytime.” It’s the cliche’ response from an alcoholic in denial. It implies that, with a little effort, any problem can be left behind. And how often do we also hear, “It’s not really a problem.” These words imply that managing an addiction isn’t really a big deal, right? Even when a person’s life is clearly in a downward spiral and lives are being shattered around them, denial keeps a false peace in the mind of the addict at the epicenter of the demolition. But real change is in store when an alcoholic takes that first step to becoming well, admitting they are powerless to manage their own lives. That they need help from God - and others - to see any kind of change in the life-controlling habit by which they’ve found themselves ensnared.
You know what? It’s the same with ANY life-controlling habit, ANY addiction. When it comes to sexuality, there are lots of ways addiction can creep into the mix. The “addict” may struggle with compulsions like control, selfishness, codependency, anger issues, and more that become tangled in the problem - it’s not always simply about the feelings and pleasure associated with sex itself.
If you need help, ask for it. If we are sick, we won’t suddenly, accidentally, unexpectedly become healthy. You have to be healed if you’re going to make healthy choices. Confide in a trusted friend. Talk with a counselor. Make the call. Attend the meeting.
You’re not alone. Not by any stretch. Sexual addiction can be hidden away, beneath the surface, ready to pounce any time the right trigger is sparked. The trigger might be that same old person, that same old time of night, that same old stop on the business trip, that same old website, that same old… fill in the blank.
"I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me." - Song of Solomon 7:10 (NIV)
Can you imagine a couple planning their wedding, sharing their hopes and dreams... for their relationship to be shattered soon? Of course not! They are dreaming, looking forward, starry-eyed even. Romance. Fairytale. That’s the focus.
But did you know that if a couple is having sex before marriage, they are ignoring a huge trap even while making their plans for cake, venues, colors, photography? Couples who are living or sleeping together while planning their big day are almost 85% assured to be separated in less than 5 years. Either the marriage is called off or it ends in divorce.
As a pastor, I try to help pre-marriage couples develop a right perspective on two words: Passion and Purity. If you can practice directing your passions and guard purity before marriage, you will be laying the groundwork to be able to direct your passions and guard your purity after marriage.
Passion before marriage looks like a deep, compelling enjoyment of one another - in a variety of good ways: playing games, binge watching TV shows, walking in the park, sipping coffee and enjoying great conversations. Purity before marriage is choosing to abstain from sex in all its forms, saving the gift to be experienced when the time is right.
After the wedding, passion looks like everything we noted above, plus the addition of the gift of sex. And purity becomes the enjoyment of a developing, deepening, growing sexual relationship with your spouse - and your spouse alone.
- It takes a cooperative effort between yourself and God… let Him work in you. Align with His heart and thoughts. As our minds are transformed, our hearts are changed, and sexuality within the context of marriage can be unleashed to be the beautiful gift it was intended to be. It’s worth waiting for. It’s worth defending. It’s worth the work to make it all it can be. Our deep enjoyment at the right time, in the right way brings God a deep sense of joy. He’s for us, friends.