We have always had a movement for abstinence. It’s gone by several names … one most commonly known is “true love waits.” We live in a world that shouts “DON’T WAIT.” “YOU CAN’T WAIT.” “IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO WAIT.” But, is that true? Is it impossible to wait? I recently heard a wonderful phrase by Roland Warren, President of CareNet, International. As Roland was speaking on another subject, he used the term “bigotry of low expectations.” I believe we have fallen into the trap of the bigotry of low expectations. Many years ago I was speaking with a school teacher in our area. She explained to me she never wants to hear how her new students acted in the previous years. She treated them as people who could meet “high expectations.” And do you know what? Most of the time those students did meet those high expectations. Because they were treated as people who were important and valued … as an indiviudals who COULD achieve high goals.
Is saving sex for marriage a high goal? I’ll shout it loud and clear: YES! IT IS! Sex is a beautiful and natural act that was designed by a perfect Creator to bring us pleasure. But, He designed it with guidelines. There are guard rails we must put up. Why? Because we want for sex to remain beautiful and natural. We don’t want it to become common and impersonal. We want to treasure it as precious, special and very personal. Think about it … have you ever had a garden you needed to guard from animals? What did you do? Many times we put a fence around that garden to protect it. But, do you put a fence around the weeds in your yard? No! Why? Because they are common and destructive. You only protect that which is priceless … that which is treasured. It is the same thing with sex.
But, why should I have it as a goal? Why should I wait? If everyone else is doing it, why should I be different? What is so special about sex anyway? Isn’t is just a physical act? Isn’t is just an act to bring us pleasure? I’ve heard the argument over and over that “it’s the culture we live in.” However, I may live in the culture, but the culture is NOT to live in me. I do grow weary of how we make our decisions based on the culture when God says: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) — literally translated, that says “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold…be squeezed into God’s Word …His Word shows you His will. And His will for sexual purity is clear … He gave us guard rails.
What are God’s guard rails?
- Hebrews 13:4 — “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled.”
- Matthew 19:4-6 — ” 4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
- 1 Corinthians 6:18-20: –“18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the [a]immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 — “3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. 8 So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.
So, spiritually speaking, God’s Word says this … the act of sexual intimacy is between one man and one woman … who have been united together in marriage. Everything outside of one man and one woman united in marriage is not sexual purity. I know that is not a popular statement in the culture we live in …. but again … I live in the culture … the culture does not live in me.
Why would God put up these guard rails? FOR OUR PROTECTION!!! In addition to the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or getting pregnant, sex outside of mrragie leads to emotional distress, distrust, regret, and emptiness. That’s because sex connects two people in body and spirit; it’s impossible to separate the two. It affects us spiritually, mentally, emotionally, relationally, and socially.
You may be thinking …. but, I’m not a “spiritual” person. Why should I wait. We’ll look at that more in the weeks to come as we talk about the other aspects of waiting.
So, is it easy to wait? NO! But, can I wait? YES. And it is so worth it, because sex is beautiful and special when it is done God’s way. What if I haven’t waited? Can I stop now? YES. Although we do want to express ourselves in our relationships, keeping it healthy will bring a greater joy later down the road. And here are just a few tips to help you, whether you are making the decision before moving into a sexual relationship, or you have already had a sexual relationship … it is never too late to walk in the truth of what God says about sex.
- Make a commitment. Making a commitment or a plan is the first step in remaining sexually pure. Make a promise to yourself that you won’t engage in sexual activity until you’re married. Once you’ve made this commitment find someone you can share it with … your parents, a sibling, a friend, a pastor … someone whom you trust and who will help keep you accountable. Give them permission to ask you how you are doing in this area. But, be honest when they ask. Also, be sure you renew this commitment every day … with yourself, with your accountability partner, but most importantly, with God.
- Keep your thoughts under control. Your body is going to be feeding your mind different messages. Be careful what you feed your mind. Guard your mind from sexual images that might tempt you. Remember, what you watch, what you read, what you listen to will feed your mind with healthy thoughts or destructive thoughts. Don’t feed on “junk.” What we fill our minds with … what we think on … eventually will result in actions.
- Stay away from people and places that are not healthy. Although you may have made a commitment, and even have a plan to stay pure, it is important to be careful about the situations you put yourself in. If you feel yourself being drawn more and more to a person, then make sure you do not put yourself in a position of being alone with that person. Surround yourselves with family and friends. Be accountable! When you find yourself in a compromising position, know where and how to put on the brakes. Plan what you will say and do to keep your commitment to purity. Say something like, “I really do care about you, but I don’t want to have sex until I’m married.‚” Be as clear and as firm as possible. Then leave the situation quickly. Years ago when my husband was a youth pastor, we told our young people to call us if they ever found themselves in a compromising position. And, we didn’t care if it was the middle of the night. We had a couple call us one evening after we had already gone to bed and fallen asleep. But, we got up, we spent time listening to them, and encouraging them in their commitment. We also encouraged them to go home to tell their parents about their struggle. The end result: THEY FLED from their compromising situation.
- Respect yourself and respect the person you’re with. Remember, they are not your property to do with as you please. And, you are not their property. If they are saying “If you love me, you.ll …” then walk away. That is not real love. That is not real respect. You are worth so much more. You are worth someone saying to you “I will care about you and respect you. I will never cause you to do anything that goes against your convictions and commitments. But, remember, you must have those convictions and commitments to keep you strong and accountable.
- You can always have a new beginning. Maybe you’ve already had sex … that doesn’t mean you have to continue to have sex. You can start over … set new boundaries … make new commitments … reestablish your convictions … be prepared to talk to your boyfriend or girlfriend to let them know that you respect yourself and you respect them too much to continue in a sexual relationship. But, find new ways to express yourself … find a hobby, an event, an activity you both enjoy. Pour yourself whole-heartedly into getting to know them personally, not sexually.
You won’t regret the wait. Remember the old saying? “Good things come to those who wait.” Well, this is one good thing that is worth the wait. Here at Life Options Clinic we can help you on this journey to sexual purity. We would love to sit and talk with you. Call us at 983-2730.