Purity

Lily2

Run away.
This subject does not apply to you.
Purity; that word reeks of legalism.
The people who push for purity are just crazy; it’s impossible to be pure.
Do those people know anything about the world they live in?
God does not expect the impossible from anyone; certainly not from His children.

*Take a deep breath in… and let it out*

This is a touchy subject to address, or perhaps a “no-touchy” subject to address. Therefore, this post will be hard to swallow, and maybe a little difficult to digest, and it is also lengthy. But it has been worth the journey for me to write it, so I hope you will count it worth your time to read it.

Many kids today (and I mean, little kids) are being taught about “safe” sex; “Use protection and make sure that the person you have sex with is worth it.” For one, it is such a broken world we live in when children are taught such things so young, and not from their parents, but from public educators, or, even worse, from secular media. And secondly, kids are being taught the one-dimensional version of sex, the physical, and not the emotional and spiritual dimensions of sex; they are not really being taught how to be safe, how to protect themselves, or how to know who is worth it and who is not.

Safety is patience and a promise.
Protection is patience and a promise.
Making sure that someone is worth it is patience and a promise.

The common belief held by those in public education is that teaching abstinence is out of the question, not to mention, old fashioned. And I am forced to agree, but please bear with me as I explain.

In today’s public schools, it is illegal for those in leadership to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They cannot tell kids that sin is killing them and it separates them from their Creator. And they cannot tell kids that they can find salvation and forgiveness at the cross; only with Christ in their hearts and lives can they defeat sin and live eternally with God. If we lived in a world where the Bible could be read in school and the Gospel shared, then abstinence should become part of the curriculum, because it is fully attainable with Christ. But if a form of godliness or morality is mandated, without a higher authority to back it up, there would be no real reason to adhere to that lifestyle. Even if kids chose to live a holy life, they would still be lost in their sins without Christ; their works would be empty and insufficient. Righteousness has no power to save; it only works to make people feel self-righteous and think that they do not need a Savior. A great weakness in modern Evangelical Christianity is that they petition and boycott for reform, but they forget to share why reform is so necessary, because Jesus died to save the ungodly and He calls them to be holy as He is holy. If you take Jesus out of the cause, if you take Love out of the cause, then you are nothing but a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal; purely annoying. (1 Corinthians 13:1)

If you call me legalistic when I tell you how important it is to be pure, I completely understand, but I am not trying to say that you must be pure in and of your own strength; that is legalism. Instead, I am trying to tell you that purity and a purposeful life can only be attained with Christ and the presence of His Holy Spirit in your life. It is only through Him that you will be able to discern truth and live a holy and blameless life. And please do not think that Jesus wants you to be holy and pure to kill your joy; it is His desire that your joy be fulfilled in Him, no matter your outside circumstance, and He desires to make your life full of eternal purpose and not bound to temporal and passing pleasures.

Purity is not “immediate gratification,” it is a patient and enduring gratitude that has the power to shine through a life, whether that life is single or married.

Purity is not something that can be bought or sold, it is a choice you make and a lifestyle you hold to at every stage of life.

Purity is not impossible; it is difficult; it takes perseverance, patience, courage, and boldness; but with the help of Jesus Christ, it is not impossible.

A life lived in purity boasts of real maturity that does not cave to peer pressure, technological influences, or even pressure from earthly authorities.

Purity is the road less traveled, and, sadly, too many get pulled off the road or veer off of their own free will. And for the girl or boy sticking to the road of purity, it will, at times, feel lonely, endless, and hopeless. But a life lived for Christ, in holiness and purity, is worth it. And I say “worth it,” because purity is precious and priceless in the sight of God, as it should be in the sight of man. But the world views sex and purity in an entirely different, and perverted, way. To the world, the price for sex (the price to give up purity) is a soft touch, a nice meal, a kind word, a long conversation, one date, three dates, three months, one year, or one night. Is there anything of enduring worth in that list? None of those things would ever show the other person as worth it; there are no signs of loyalty, courage, patience, sincerity, love, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, or gratefulness. The “list of prices” just goes to show that the world views sex as nothing more than another commodity or exercise or a natural part of the dating process. And, since the world sees sex as those things, then it is not private, intimate, special, or valuable; which is an outright, self-destructive, and family-destructive, lie.

Despite popular belief, sex is not the same thing as dating, it is the process of “two becoming one flesh,” of giving all and receiving all, of holding fast to that which you have and never letting go. If you think those statements come from a hopeless romantic, know that I am not hopeless. I hope in the One Who created sex to be enjoyed, just as He created the ability to eat food and to enjoy it. Food is a necessary thing that needs to be consumed in order for life to continue, and sex is a necessary thing that needs to take place in order for life to continue. And both of those things are really enjoyable when they are used and done in the right context. But if you overeat, you will get sick or become unhealthy and/or fat. If you eat the wrong foods, then the same thing will happen. However, if the food has been patiently prepared, if you eat it at the proper time, and in the proper portions, then you will flourish and be nourished, just as God intended.

You are MineSex, too, can be overdone and “overused.” If you excessively engage in sex outside of marriage, with multiple partners, then there is a more likely chance of catching an STD and/or spreading an STD. And, over time, you will become numb to the feeling that sex brings, needing to catch a bigger high, or a greater feeling; sex becomes an addiction. Even if you limit the number of those you have sex with before marriage, there is no way to limit or control the spiritual, physical, and emotional heart break that comes when those relationships end. The One Who formed you in the womb has greater plans for you than heartbreak that might have been prevented if only you had loved your Creator more than His creation. Within His love, there is no uncertainty. He will never leave or forsake you. And if it is truly marriage that you long for, then God has the power to prepare your mind, body, and soul, as well as the mind, body, and soul that you will one day become one with. Trust Him, obey Him, or you run the risk of becoming spiritually, emotionally, and physically unhealthy.

The world does not encourage a pure and healthy lifestyle. It does not encourage you to “get back on track,” because who needs a track when you have a floating lounge chair? People in movies and on TV shows seem to genuinely enjoy being sexually promiscuous, so they keep on feeding hungry eyes and ears, and those people keep trading their souls for scraps of coal dust and piles of dung. When you use sex as a thing, then you will inadvertently treat other people as objects, and you, too, will be nothing more than an object to those you engage in sex with; something to be consumed and excreted when sin and the other “object” has gotten everything it wants out of you. But you are , you are not just some piece of meat, and neither are they. You are precious and priceless in the sight of God, but when you have sex before marriage or allow your mind and/or hands to “satisfy” you, then you are selling yourself for nothing; you are using the precious gift God has given you for an eternally worthless purpose. However, if you wait for sex until both you and your spouse have made a binding covenant, and you engage in sex as it was intended – as an act that can make two as one, start another human life, and give enjoyment – then you will flourish and be nourished, just as God intended.

Everything we do and everything that was made by God has a purpose, but if a thing or a naturally beautiful process is worshiped more than the One Who made it, then its purpose is thwarted and no lasting joy can be found in it, only pain.

All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
Food is meant for the stomach, and the stomach for food, but God shall destroy both of those things.
Now the body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
And God has both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by His own power.
Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a prostitute? God forbid! What? Know you not that he which is joined to a prostitute is one body? “For two,” says He, “shall be one flesh.” But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
Flee from sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body; but he that commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.
What? Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:12-20)

The truth is that sex is a blessed part of a steadfast covenant, the seal of a promise that was never meant to be broken in two. It initiates a chemical bond that is mixed with emotional, physical, and spiritual components, so it does not start and end with the physical act, especially when that bond forms into a little human being.

In the context of a monogamous marriage, sex is safe, protected, and precious. Outside of monogamous marriage, it is uncertain, unsafe, unprotected, and treated as a cheap commodity; something to be traded in for perishable shadows of affection and devotion.

Kids in public school are not taught that sex is sacred and precious, that it brings two souls together even as it brings two bodies together. They are not told that sex is worth waiting for or that they could turn back from a life of sexual sin and choose to live in purity. And, unfortunately, some kids who grow up in Christian homes do not know these truths either, and their minds are left to the mercy of media, public education, and/or peer pressure.

ObedienceIn the pursuit of purity, every thought must be taken captive, because if the thoughts are not held in check, then they will steer the hands and feet down a path of destruction. You must choose purity, even when you don’t feel like it. Obey first, and the feelings may come later, but true obedience does not hinge upon reward, it hinges upon a deep and fervent love for God and a desire to please Him.

A life of purity and abstinence seems impossible to the world, but that lifestyle is within reach for all those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and humbly seek to serve Him. And because purity comes only through the power of the Holy Spirit in the follower of Christ, it is not, then, something that you can forever lose or never achieve; it is a daily choice to pursue what is good, upright, and eternally beneficial for your mind, body, and soul; it is a lifestyle that pleases God.

I realize that some of you reading this may feel like you have fallen too far and that there is no way you could ever be pure. First, I must be honest with you. If the narrow road of purity is forsaken for a time, or never followed, then there will be scars and open wounds. And those scars and wounds clearly make it more difficult to pursue, and live in, purity, but the scars will never heal if they are torn open again and again. It heals nothing to continue in sin just because you feel like you have fallen too far to turn back. And it also heals nothing to live in guilt and memory of the past if you profess to have found forgiveness and newness of life at the cross of Christ. “What God has made clean, do not call common [impure or unholy].” (Acts 10:15b) Second, I must confess to you that my thoughts have not always been held captive under the righteousness of Jesus Christ. But God has shown me a great truth; that He listens to those who are humble and broken in spirit, and He rescues them from the sins that would drag them down. (Psalm 51:17, Psalm 34:18, James 4:10, Colossians 1:12-14) This is my testimony, that I have found redemption, freedom, healing, and purity at the cross.

If you think you have fallen too far to receive grace or forgiveness, then perhaps you do not yet understand how far your Creator fell for you and/or you need to be reminded.

Of His own free will, Jesus was born in mortal flesh. He was just as strong and just as weak as any other man, yet He had the power to heal and to teach eternal truths, because the Holy Spirit was in Him. And throughout Jesus’ life, though He was weak at times, and strong at times, yet He never sinned. He never had an impure thought. He never lusted after a woman or hated His brother. He never disobeyed or talked back to His parents. He was never prideful or jealous. Jesus never sinned, but do not think that He never sinned simply because He had it easy; as though He lived in a sheltered home and was never tempted or exposed to sin.

Before entering His earthly ministry, Jesus fasted and prayed in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights. Near the end of the 40 days, Luke 4 and Matthew 4 pick up the story and show how Satan tempted Jesus to do things against the law of God. We are not told if Satan had come and tempted Jesus only at the end of the 40 days or if he had been there the whole time, but we do know of three instances where Jesus was tempted and He did not give into temptation.

1. When Jesus was starving, Satan told Him to turn a stone into bread, but Jesus replied, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” (Luke 4:4, Matt. 4:4)
2. Jesus was tempted to risk His own life in order to show the power of God, but He answered the temptation with, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (Luke 4:12, Matt 4:7)
3. Finally, Jesus was offered power and dominion over many kingdoms, if He would only worship Satan, but Jesus replied with Scripture again, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” (Luke 4:7, Matt 4:10)

Jesus was hungry, tired, and weak in every respect, yet He used none of those things as an excuse for sin.

Though Jesus was perfect, holy, and pure in every way, yet He still took upon Himself the frailty of human flesh, and we see that clearly when He asked His Father to spare Him from the pain of the cross. Jesus knew what was about to happen; He knew He would be betrayed, abandoned, and denied by His friends, and He knew He would suffer death at the hands of those He came to save. But, in all of Jesus’ anguish at knowing what He would have to suffer, yet He ended His prayer to His Father with, “Not as I will, but as You will.” (Matt 26:39, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42)

Jesus suffered and laid down His life on your behalf. His example shows that, even though you don’t “feel” like doing something, and it may even tear you up inside, it is worth it if it means glorifying the One Who loves you, has called you, and has made a way for you to abide with Him eternally. Giving up lust, pride, and sexual immorality are altogether too small a price to pay for eternal life. And giving up those things cannot save you; such an act is simply an outward sign of an inward change, showing that Christ’s power now lives in you. The same power that brought Jesus back to life and enabled Him to resist temptation and live a holy life resides in every single one of His children. So, for those who say, “I have fallen too far to turn back now,” you can now say, “Lord Jesus, have mercy upon me, a sinner. Forgive my sin, set me free from sin, and use me for Your glory.” If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 10:9-11)

You will never fall too far to be reached by the grace of God, so run to Him while you have breath in your lungs. If you are reading this, then there is still time to choose life, to pursue Christ, and to live in purity. The world we live in is crazy and lost and so caught up in sin, but Jesus came to bring sanity to the madness. And the only way you can live in purity for all your life is with Christ in your heart and His Holy Spirit as your strength and guide. It is almost impossible to be pure in this day and age, but Jesus is in the business of making impossible things, possible. When you are a child of God, the sky is not the limit, it is the temporary roof. Faith in Christ is the key, and eternal life is the guarantee.

What are you waiting for? Believe in Jesus Christ today, and let Him be your guide, define your life, make you pure, and set you free.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof, but he that does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; looking diligently, lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled, lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For you know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. (Hebrews 12:14-17)

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as He which has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation, because it is written, “Be you holy; for I AM holy.” (Leviticus 11:44-45, 19:2, 20:7) And if you call on the Father, Who, without respect of persons, judges according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear. Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who, by Him, do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory that your faith and hope might be in God.
Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently; being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which lives and abides forever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falls away, but the Word of the Lord endures forever. (Isaiah 40:6-8) And this is the word which by the Gospel is preached unto you. (1 Peter 1:13-25)

One day, I decided I should write about purity.

It seems to be a word that everyone struggles with, believers and unbelievers alike.

The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Jesus understood the struggle, the war of the flesh against the spirit, and the instruction that He gave was, Watch and pray that you will not give into temptation. (Matthew 26:41) All those who read God’s Word and humbly seek after Christ know what purity is; how it is a physical, emotional, and spiritual concept. Those who do not love the Creator like to place purity in a simple, physical box that can be crushed and mishandled with no recourse, but in reality, the cost is great. Purity is a physical pursuit, an emotional drive, and a spiritual goal; an essential part of a full life. But without Jesus as mediator, Savior, and King, being pure and holy is impossible. However, with Christ, the impossible has already been done. So, conquer the struggle by falling at the feet of Your Savior; seeking His will for your life, trusting Him, and obeying Him.

Will this road be easy? No. Will it be worth it? Yes!

If you want something inspirational to listen to, then follow these links. Seriously, Elisabeth Elliott has some good things to say.
1. Elisabeth Elliott: Enduring Life’s Most Difficult Moments
• What Do You Live For?
• An Unconditional, “Yes,” to God
• Relational Endurance
• Is it Worth It?

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4 thoughts on “Purity”

  1. “But you are , you are not just some piece of meat, and neither are they. You are precious and priceless in the sight of God, but when you have sex before marriage or allow your mind and/or hands to “satisfy” you, then you are selling yourself for nothing; you are using the precious gift God has given you for an eternally worthless purpose. However, if you wait for sex until both you and your spouse have made a binding covenant, and you engage in sex as it was intended – as an act that can make two as one, start another human life, and give enjoyment – then you will flourish and be nourished, just as God intended.”

    Well, first I ask how you define marriage. A mutual understanding and commitment between two consenting adults? Or a piece of paper sanctioned by the government of your choice? Does something magical happen during the ceremony that changes a couple’s relationship? I personally didn’t fine this to be the case as my husband and I have transitioned from “living in sin” to “married”, nothing has changed in our relationship, which is something I highly recommended! Nothing is worse than waking up after the wedding and realizing you don’t recognise the person next to you in bed!

    Secondly, what is it about masturbation that is wrong? Is it the act itself or is it a pre- verses post- marriage thing again? Because honestly, orgasms are awesome! And unfortunately my husband, try as he does, can’t get me to the same level of pleasure as I can. Does the fact that I know how to please myself hurt our relationship? Nope. It gives us something HUGE to aim for every time we have sex! And when he has those times when he comes way too quickly to leave me even remotely satisfied (because I’m awesome at sex), he can still encourage me while I get myself off so that he doesn’t feel like he’s just using me for sex. And since my sex drive is relatively higher than his (or at least, with his health issues, he’s not usually able to have sex as often as I’d like), I have no problem giving myself a quick orgasm when he’s occupied elsewhere. We have no secrets about it, though its not something I announce because it’d make him feel like he’s not giving me enough and that is definitely not the way I feel about our sex life! Sometimes a girl just needs a quick orgasm and sex is time consuming! I personally think that if God is worried about the particulars of peoples sex lives, he’d be more upset if one member of a “happily married couple” isn’t receiving ALL she should pleasure-wise because of ignorance.

    1. Catherine,
      On your first question, I define marriage as God defined it in the beginning; “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept, and God took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’
      “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (Genesis 1:21-25)
      Eve, the first woman, was made specifically for Adam by God. And God brought them both together. He presided over their “marriage” and blessed it. From that point on, Adam was for Eve, and Eve for Adam. Their bond would be broken only by death. The truth is that no wedding could be like that first wedding, because no pastor, priest, or justice of the peace is God. But in this imperfect world we live in, those who follow Christ seek to honor Him by undergoing a wedding ceremony, whether it be big or small. Before witnesses and before God, they vow to love, to have, and to hold. They promise that no other person, thing, or entity on this earth would have precedence over their spouse. And with God’s blessing, any reason for shame in each others’ nakedness is removed.
      So, yes, I believe a wedding, a witnessed promise, is important to God. After all, marriage is used many times as a picture of the relationship between Christ and His Church. And Jesus sealed His vow with His own blood; that is how great His love is for His bride. He did not shed His blood for one bride, take back His blood, and then shed His blood for the “right” bride. His love was patient, true, and steadfast from the beginning. And the Church, the Bride, answers Christ’s love with worship, love, and obedience. Now, in marriage, a spouse should not be worshipped, but a greater worship of God is shown through loving your spouse well. And this is where we get into your other question about masterbation.
      In the relationship between Christ and the Church, the Church is not to make any image of God and worship it, because that is idolatry. God, and the relationship we have with Him, is too sacred for it to be copied in such a cheap way. It is God that we worship and that we enjoy, not simply the pleasure that we feel in His presence. If we worship the pleasure above the giver, then we have become idolatrous.
      If, in marriage, you worship the pleasure of sex above your spouse, then it is a form of adultery. Jesus said, “That whoever looks on a woman (or someone who is not your spouse) to lust after her (or him) has committed adultery with her (or him) already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28). The conjuring up of an image in your mind of anyone (even your spouse), to lust after them, and to create pleasure for yourself is adultery. And when you do that, you make that person in your mind nothing more than an object for your pleasure.
      From what I have read in the Bible, I really don’t think God is all that concerned about us being pleased about ourselves or our sex lives. He is more concerned about our eternal well-being, the matter of our hearts. And our hearts and souls belong to Him, and should be satisfied in Him alone; they were never intended to be satisfied by sex or any other earthly pleasure.
      Ultimately, that is what I have been trying to get to in this post. The world treats sex like the end-all-be-all of life, but sex itself is just a shadow of perfection and it is too often used for selfish gain instead of selfless giving. This life is not about you or me or the pleasure each person receives, it is about our Creator and His glory shining through His Creation.
      I am not married and I have never had sex, and even if I never get married and never have sex, that will be totally okay with me. If God decides that He could better use me as a single person than a married person, then I am content. And I do not need sex to live, but I do need Jesus. “Food is meant for the stomach, and the stomach for food, but God shall destroy both of those things. Now the body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God has both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by His own power.” (1 Corinthians 6:13-14)
      … “Jesus suffered and laid down His life on your behalf. His example shows that, even though you don’t “feel” like doing something, and it may even tear you up inside, it is worth it if it means glorifying the One Who loves you, has called you, and has made a way for you to abide with Him eternally. Giving up lust, pride, and sexual immorality are altogether too small a price to pay for eternal life. And giving up those things cannot save you; such an act is simply an outward sign of an inward change, showing that Christ’s power now lives in you. The same power that brought Jesus back to life and enabled Him to resist temptation and live a holy life resides in every single one of His children.” And by His grace, all those who humbly seek Him find forgiveness of their sins and deliverance from sin.

      If you have more questions, I will try to just keep pointing you back to the Bible, because God is the authority here, not me. I seek His glory, not mine. I want Him to be pleased with me; whether I am pleased is of little consequence.

      1. Well, we obviously have some serious disagreement about who constitutes a witness at a marriage. I think that God is a good enough witness and can see deeper than any group of people can. Therefore, only God can truly witness the marriage of two people and no formal wedding (this includes an elopement in city hall) can replace this. As someone who believes in the sanctity of MARRIAGE, I get pissed off when people try to pass off a wedding as a marriage. Many who have a wedding never actually MARRY each other and we’re deluding ourselves if we think God is happy with those couples because they had a wedding before they have sex. My husband and I were married to each other long before we had sex the first time, even if it wasn’t formalized with a piece of paper. I question the idea that God cherishes a piece of paper over what he can see within a couples hearts.

        I have to say that I’m not surprised that you aren’t married and haven’t had sex. Your post reads like many of those of such a persuasion. You idolize sex as being somehow better because it occurs within marriage without admitting the simple biological mechanics of the act (the difficulty most women have getting an orgasm).

        Your argument seems to be “have sex only to have children. Don’t worry if it hurts or isn’t fun because God doesn’t care about that.” Which seems to contradict your other argument that “God created sex to unite a couple (with pleasure)”. How unifying is sex when one individual gets the ultimate pleasure while the other gets to say “well, that was nice enough, but my body tells me I need something more”. You say that it’s selfish for a woman to want more from sex than what her husband can give her, which is unfair since biology gives men the advantage. You write:”but sex itself is just a shadow of perfection and it is too often used for selfish gain instead of selfless giving.” Every time we have sex, I selflessly give my husband everything I can in order to please his body. Usually this leaves me disappointed because he has an orgasm while I’m left wanting more. I could say “well, I’m obviously trying too hard here, I should make the sex less pleasurable for him and leave us both wanting more” OR I could just be like, “honey, rub my feet while I finish myself off”. And, how is it adultery when the images I use to get myself off all revolve around my husband and myself? Or is that adultery against God in which case it’d be better for all reproduction to take place within a sterile laboratory with no pleasure involved.

      2. Catherine,

        Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not condemning you for your view of marriage; I simply gave you scripture. Yes, the most important aspect of a strong marriage is that God places His hand of blessing upon it, and there are quite a few examples in Scripture where God showed His grace to prostitutes and adulterers (John 4, Genesis 38, Luke 7), but He did not say that he blessed their actions or blessed their “marriage.” In this world we live in, sex is treated very flippantly, and those who do not know Christ as their Savior may have sex with multiple partners before marriage. Even though you, as a proclaimed follower of Christ, only had sex with one man before marriage, it still gives the example to unbelievers (or new believers) that such an act is okay and acceptable. In other words, it leads the weak astray and encourages them to sin. We have been commanded not to do anything that would cause a brother or sister to stumble in their walk with Christ (Romans 14, 1 Corinthians 8, 1 Corinthians 10).

        We will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so I fully realize my sins will testify against me, just as your sins will testify against you, but grace abounds to those who repent and seek to follow God’s way. There are times when we will stumble and inadvertently encourage a brother or sister to stumble, and that is where grace comes in, but if we purposefully cause a brother or sister to stumble and take pleasure in, or justify, their sin, we are contributing to the destruction of their souls. I would not want such an act upon my conscience, so that is why I try to encourage purity and holiness in the Church. For those outside the Church, I try to encourage repentance and humility before the cross of Christ. He alone can save and He alone can give strength to bring forth fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5).

        As far as idolizing sex, that is the opposite of my intention. I am trying to take sex off of its throne and place it where it belongs, as one of many gifts from the Father above, which is not to be abused or misused for selfish pleasure or glory. And in my post I wrote; “if you wait for sex until both you and your spouse have made a binding covenant, and you engage in sex as it was intended – as an act that can make two as one, start another human life, and give enjoyment – then you will flourish and be nourished, just as God intended.” I fully acknowledged the tri-dimensional value of sex, with the ultimate knowledge that it is given from God, and that God does have an intention for it that goes deeper than pleasure. And never in my post did I say anything about “have sex only to have children. Don’t worry if it hurts or isn’t fun because God doesn’t care about that.” I said, it is “an act that can make two as one, start another human life, and give enjoyment” and “I hope in the One Who created sex to be enjoyed, just as He created the ability to eat food and to enjoy it.”

        Another aspect of the scripture that I got that last concept from is that, even if you do not enjoy eating food, or having sex with your husband, the more important thing is that you live for Christ. “Now the body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body… Therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6) If you can honestly say that you glorify God when you give yourself more pleasure than your husband can give you, then I will have to ask, does God only love an image of you? Is He content just to picture you in His head and spend time with you as if you are there, when you are not really there? No. God abides in all those who believe in Him, and those who believe in Him also abide in Him. There should be no copies or substitutions for God in our minds. And if marriage is to be a picture of the relationship between Christ and the Church, then marriage should follow that same example.

        In Romans 1:22-25, it says, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves; who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” I shared that Scripture in a previous blog post, but it really does apply to this one as well. God is God. Every picture or painting of God is eternally worthless. Literally, it would not be blasphemy to burn it, because God commanded for no one to make an image of Him in the likeness of anything. Of course, a lot of those paintings are beautiful, but if they distract from Who God really is, and from people realizing that they are actually in the presence of God, whether they can see Him or not, then those paintings should be destroyed.

        Even if you only imagine your husband and no other man, it is still like making a cheap image of him, and it is not even him, since that image apparently gives you more pleasure than the real thing. A god made in the mind is no god at all, but idolatry. A husband (or wife) made in the mind is no spouse at all, it is either a memory, a dream of what might be, and/or adultery. And if a person truly feels that their spouse cannot give them all they want or need, and they seek to fulfill that emptiness outside of their spouse, then it is a spirit of adultery, no matter how you paint it.

        This is what I have learned from reading the Bible, and I have tried to ensure all my answers are founded in Scripture, but I fully realize that I do not know everything about Scripture I have no power to convince you of what I have learned, and you have no power to convince me. If you wish to send me Scripture in context that supports what you have said, then I will faithfully consider it. But if there it to be an impasse, then we must agree to disagree. Each of us must work out our own faith with fear and trembling before God, because we will individually appear before Christ, and only He serves as our judge and advocate. I know He is my advocate, and I pray that He is yours as well, and that we will meet in Heaven someday, after we have each lived full lives that were lived out for the glory of God our Father.

        In Christ,
        Sarah Jo

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