Sometimes in life we have to make quick decisions; this is why many jobs require rigorous training so that certain things become second nature to us and then if the crunch comes quite suddenly, we know what we should do. This is also true in our spiritual lives and especially if we need to make decisions about sexual purity when our emotions are involved. Particularly as young people, the part of our brain that responds to our emotions is strong and tends to deactivate the part that helps us behave wisely¹.
As Christians, we need to know what God says about sexual purity because following God’s word will honour Him and bless us. It will not necessarily make life easy in the short term, but it will undoubtedly save us from unhappiness and regret in the long term. We need guidance from God’s word on issues of sexual purity long before we have to make decisions in the heat of the moment.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path’ Psalm 119:105
The Bible teaches that sexual intimacy is God’s gift exclusively for marriage, and that the marriage bed should be kept pure (Hebrews 13:4). We also need to ask for the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to help us make the right call at a crucial time.
I always remember being taught the analogy of the driver who went too near the edge of the mountain road and went over the edge. He should have stayed as far away from the edge as possible to be safe. We should remember this as we seek to please God. If we have an attitude of ‘How close we can go to the edge?’, or put it another way, ‘How much can we get away with?’ it will be all too easy to fall over the edge into sin, especially when swept away with emotion.
In Titus 2v12 Paul tells us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives.
So particularly if you are leaving home, perhaps starting university or going to a new job, if you are having to leave your church friends and make a new group of friends, take time to think through the new issues you might face. Make the decision now to follow God’s ways, before, in the heat of the moment, you have to make a big and potentially life-changing decision. Psalm 119:11 ‘I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you’ emphasises the importance of knowing what God says to us in the Bible.
If you would like to think more about this you might like to read Challenges to Living God’s Way (especially Chapter 8).
Helpful related articles:
- ‘What your teen is trying to tell you’ by Stella O’Malley, Chp 2 p.39/40 published by Swift Press.