In life, we get pulled around between wanting to please our desires and wanting to do right in God’s eyes (whether we realize it or not). If you grew up in a Christian environment, you may have been told about abstinence and to not have sex until married. It becomes a “no-no” to have sex. It doesn’t always mean anything when you’re a young kid, or it is hard to fathom why sex is so bad, so you just accept it at the time to trust the people who say you should abstain. It is easy to stay obedient to the claim of abstinence until you find that person that you gain feelings for. You never understood the difficulties of staying pure until that point when you feel a tingle of excitement in seeing that person’s smile, looking in their eyes, holding their hands, feeling their arms around you, or kissing their lips. As time goes on in the relationship you start realizing that you have to take a step back and think “Is it really all that bad to indulge my sexual desires? Won’t God forgive me anyway since He loves me so much?”
Recently, Co-contributor Rachel pointed out to me a blogger’s post stating she didn’t think sex was a sin, though she decided to not have sex anymore with her boyfriend because her boyfriend decided that it was wrong for them to have it. She explained “Abstinence for me is an informed choice. It is not a pledge that I was guilt-tripped into taking when I was 13 (though, I’ve taken many such pledges growing up and I consider them to be manipulative). It is not a decision made out of fear or shame. And it is not a decision made out of ignorance. – Sex, not even of the premarital variety, is not inherently evil, and, especially when handled with wisdom and maturity, does not always have horrible consequences.” She goes on explaining how most people seem to say they have guilt or think of former partners and that she can have a satisfying sex life later, etc – but that she didn’t.
Reading through the post and the comments, both Rachel and I felt sorrow for this girl, happy for her boyfriend’s decision, and sad for the people who agreed with her that sex was fine even for a Christian to be involved in.
Although many times I believe there are faults of how abstinence is taught in society and through the church, this young woman has decided to basically throw out pieces of the Bible that she didn’t like in order to fit her own way of life. She had even stated “I’d like to say that I’m not so sure anymore that premarital sex is a sin. The culture of the Bible is so drastically different that it’s almost impossible to compare it with ours, especially when it comes to intimate relationships.”
I want to take a trip into the Bible towards 2 Peter 2. Within these scriptures we see that many people are coming around making excuses to say exactly what this blogger is stating. In verse 2 we read, “And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.” It goes on to talk about how God didn’t punish people lightly in the past so we shouldn’t expect to get away with it currently (and despite what she says, sex in the world, is honestly not too different today as it was then – they even had temples for places of sex and orgies just like we have strip clubs and pornography). “then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones.”
If we are to state that sex before marriage is acceptable, we are going against all the scriptures talking about staying pure and staying away from sexual immorality. The big picture is that God created us and loves us enough to give us the ability to choose to live in purity and in worship of Him through how we live our lives. We can choose to give into our desires that make us just like the rest of the world. However, we are to be set apart as holy vessels of the Lord.
Balaam in the Bible (who is mentioned in this section of scriptures in 2 Peter 2:15) was a stumbling block who seemed righteous to the Israelites but led them to disobey God. When people preach a different gospel than what is in the Bible, they have become just like him by steering people away from the truth. Verses 17-20 says, “These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. “
If you have felt the calling of God on your life, you’ll see that your life will be transformed. The way that you live will be noticed by the people around you and certainly by yourself. We need to give up ourselves completely in order to follow Jesus, and that is a scary thing for many people who claim to believe in Him, but are not changing their lifestyles and still fit into the mold of what society claims is right.
The end of 2 Peter 2 (verse 21) tells us that people who proclaim to do things the world’s way of giving into our lusts would have been “better for them never to have known the way of righteousness “. That’s pretty hard to take in. The rest of the chapter closes with a quote from Proverbs 26:11 that says, “Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.” Every time we decide to go back to sin, we are eating our vomit, our filth, our unsettled and undigested consumption of whatever takes heart or focus in our lives that is not of God but has instead become our god. God calls to be cleansed and to not walk around with yokes on our necks.
If you’ve read Rachel’s testimony or my testimony, you will know that we each had sex before marriage (though she waited until marriage with her own husband when she had her life transformed by Christ and I had married the only one I had sex with before marriage – so our perspectives are different but the result was the same) after being raised in Christian environments (including attending the same private school together that taught abstinence). We found freedom in Christ when recognizing our sin as sin. Just because this blogger had stated she didn’t feel any guilt or have problems in her relationship with sex doesn’t mean she should dismiss the sin. We have all at one point been so ensnared by a sin that we fail to recognize it as so, but still are in need of redemption from it. Through the recognition, the confession of it to Christ will show us just how much bondage we were in and we’ll feel more freedom than we knew. Christ frees us and takes off the veil from our eyes to see more clearly. This blogger has so much potential for Christ to fill her and it is wonderful that her boyfriend has been able to make steps in his own life to say to his girlfriend that he needs to stop having sex with her. That is a very tough thing to do. The fact that she agreed and sticks with him, is really beautiful. Perhaps in time she will see why it is good to abstain instead of saying, “I did it for my boyfriend” and to think to put Christ first in her life to do it for Him! She closed her blog entry with “And love is a much better motivator than shame and fear, don’t you think?” To recognize God’s will for our lives and to see how much He loves us so that we will abstain from all sin will be the most beautiful thing of all. There is no shame or fear in obeying Christ ever. “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.” -Isaiah 54:4-5
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