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Summary: Surveys revealed that single young adults admitted to having ten sexual partners before marriage? What does this say to, ""Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which i

Living a Life of Sexual Purity (Col. 3:1-5)

"Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry."

Recently, one of our students researching sexual issues at Pasco Community college asked single young adults how many sexual partners they have had - if any? The average shocked me - ten partners. In other words, having pre-marital sex has become so common that students 18-21 now see it as a normal part of dating relationships.

Many people ask the question, "How can I maintain sexual purity in an age when impurity, immoraltiy, and sexual images are everywhere in the media, on the internet and in our society in general. Some will even go farther and inquire about how far a Christian couple can go without giving into their Christian integrity and personal holiness?

First, we have to remember that whom the Lord loves, He disciplines. If we do not have a healthy fear of God we will think we can get away with anything. Let us remember that if we do not heed God’s discipline on one level He is willing and able to discipline much more severely in order to bring about chastening that will create a greater degree of holiness, separation and disdain for the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life. (I John 2:15,16) God is serious about sexual purity even though our society may make light of it.

One Christian leader wrote:

"I heard one teacher say that sex for single adults wasn’t a problem because if you aren’t having sexual relations, you lose your desire for it. That makes about as much sense as saying if you aren’t getting food, you lose your desire for it. I heard a well-known teacher state that the answer for sex and the single adult was discipline. Both of these teachers were married!"

Let us be honest. Discipline is necessary but it is not enough. When a person is single they will struggle with sexual purity because Paul writes, "The flesh sets itself against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh for these are in opposition to one another so that you cannot do the things that you please. But I say, walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh." (Gal. 5:16,17) Therefore, unless one is controlled, in fellowship and worshipping the Spirit of God we cannot overcome the lusts of the flesh in our own power, will or mind’s emotions.

God tells us that sex is reserved for married couples for a number of reasons. The Lord knows that it is to maintain purity, holiness and a bond that is special for a true agape, phileo, eros and stergo (family love) to occur. One’s erotic love cannot be separated from these other dimensions of love.

Sex is reserved for marriage so that babies will have both a mother and father to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It also protects against all kinds of diseases. Furthermore, when a couple gets sexually active before marriage they bond physically before they are committed emotionally, mentally, spiritually and practically in a wholesome way.

When a couple has sex before marriage it can cause them to be blind to the faults, character weaknesses and personality incapabilities that will emerge soon enough. When people are sexually active it can cause the two people to become sexually addicted. This obsessions can keep them from growing spiritually. It can leave committed couples guilt-ridden and destroy what could have been a wonderful relationship.

Here are some of the ways that an engaged couple can remain sexually pure and cope with a powerful sex drive until they are married.

The following are solid guidelines offered by ACTS international taken from their newsletter of March 4th, 2008:

First, it is advisable to keep yourself accountable to a trusted friend or group of the same sex.

Second, it is wise to have interests so you can sublimate much of your sex drive by pouring your energy into creative and fulfilling pursuits such as serving others, having a hobby, or a work into which you can put your heart and best efforts.

Third, be sure to get legitimate needs met in legitimate ways. For example, we have a need for several areas of intercourse (besides sexual intercourse) such as the following:

Intellectual intercourse—a mutual sharing of ideas.

Social intercourse—being with and sharing social times with friends of both sexes.

Emotional intercourse—an honest sharing of feelings with trusted friends and developing healthy non-romantic relationships.

Spiritual intercourse—relating to and staying in fellowship with God and living in harmony with his will.

These needs can all be met outside of marriage and can be a big help in waiting for marriage to get one’s sexual needs met. However, if we don’t get these needs met in healthy ways, we open ourselves to temptation in a vain attempt to get our needs met in unhealthy ways including through sexual intercourse. Big mistake!

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