Summary: The practice of purity protects marriage.
Keeping Your Vows
Rev. Brian Bill
Note: The subject matter this morning deals with sexual purity. I will be careful with my words but I want parents to be aware that this message may lead to some good conversations with your children…if they…and you are ready for it. If you sense that your child is not ready for this, you may want to have them go upstairs now.
I want to begin by asking you to imagine that I’m an older man (not hard to do) giving some counsel to my sons and daughters. My name is Solomon. The content that I’m going to share comes right out of the Book of Proverbs, chapters 4 through 9.
Listen, my children to what I’m about to say. Pay attention and don’t forsake my teaching. My dad taught me some of this same stuff. He kept telling me that doing what God commands leads to life and I want to pass the same on to you.
Whatever you do, get wisdom and then guard it when you get it. Don’t turn away from what you know to be true, like so many do when they get older. You see, there are two paths you can take. One is the path of wisdom and the other is the path of the wicked. Be attentive and avoid wrong choices. The only way to do that is to “keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Keep your heart tender before God, my children and choose faith, not folly. Keep an eye on things because it’s a slow fade.
You will be tempted in this world. The allure of illicit sex is everywhere. What may seem to be sweeter than honey will turn out to be more bitter than taking a bite out of rotten wood. Set up some boundaries or you will end up giving your heart away…and then your body will want to go all the way. Wait for marriage or you will become ensnared and held fast by the cords of your sin. My son, do no lust in your heart after a young woman. My daughter, don’t get swept off your feet by empty promises meant to entice you. Can you scoop up fire onto your lap and not be burned? Can you walk on hot coals without scorching your feet?
Let me tell you what I saw one time when I looked outside. I saw a young man headed to where he should not have been going. In the dark of the night a woman dressed skimpily came out to meet him. She grabbed him and gave him a kiss and told him to come to her house because she had been looking just for him. She had a full refrigerator and an empty bed, promising the man that her husband was gone on a long business trip. Do you know what he did?
Let me quote from what I wrote: “All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life. Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. Do not let your heart turn to her ways…her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.” (Proverbs 7:22-27)
Children, you may think you can get away with it, that somehow “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” but that leads only to danger and even death. Guard your heart, my sons and daughters.
I want to say right up front that this is a tough sermon to preach. While it was difficult to prepare, the biggest challenge is that most people think that Commandment #7 is too old-fashioned or irrelevant today. Here it is, stated in simple yet strong words: “Do not commit adultery.”
Let’s be honest: There’s an adultery epidemic in our culture, and in the church. According to a Reader’s Digest survey, 50% of all husbands and 35% of wives have broken their marriage vows. Another study reported that up to 60% cheat on their spouses over the course of marriage. Just this week, a well-known pastor from Indiana was fired for an immorally inappropriate relationship.
Accurate stats are difficult to find because most people don’t tell the truth about this part of their lives. Many teens, including Christian kids, throw their faith away just to have physical intimacy. Casual or recreational sex is on the rise as the phrase “friends with benefits” defines and describes many relationships today.
How many of you are watching the Olympic Games? Are you aware that Olympic Officials have distributed 150,000 free condoms to the athletes? Are you ready for this? There are about 11,000 athletes in London for the games. I’ll let you do the math. Some say that this is a preventative against disease and pregnancy; I say that it promotes immorality. What say you?