Greg and I have been taking a class on Sunday nights at our church where the middle and high school student ministers share with us the material they have been teaching our children about God’s design for love, relationships and sex. The material they present has been SO very good, biblical, insightful and full of God’s wisdom. I wish every teenager and single adult (and even all the married people) could take this class! Such a wonderful biblical foundation for relationships.
One question that the high school minister says he hears more than any other is,
“When I am with my girlfriend/boyfriend, how far is too far to go physically? I don’t want to sin. So, what is ok and what is not ok for me to do?”
The minister said something so profound. “That is the wrong question. If we are asking how close can we get to sin, our hearts are in the wrong place. The right question is, ‘How can I most pursue purity and holiness and Christ?'”
He then said that he tells the students, “Let’s play a game. Let’s have one of you come up on stage and we will douse you in gasoline. Then at the other end of the stage, we’ll have a big fire. The game is: let’s see how close you can get to the fire before you burst into flames.”
That is what we are doing when we try to get as close to sin as possible “without sinning.” We are covered in gasoline and trying to get close to the fire without getting burned. There is a HUGE chance that we will get too close and get badly burned and permanently scarred emotionally, spiritually and physically.
I love what the ministers shared with our children about purity.
Purity = to be free from contamination, guiltless, clean and innocent. It means to live a life of sinlessness.
Purity is God’s desire for all of His children – purity and holiness. That means – physical, emotional, visual, mental and spiritual purity.
All it takes is one image in our minds to contaminate us with sin. All it takes is one compromising situation and one sinful decision to lead to sin.
God wants us to seek Him above all else! This is much more important than being a virgin, even. It is possible to be a virgin but have a heart that is full of sin and far from God. God wants our hearts. He wants all of us. He wants us to be in close fellowship with Him, living in Him, empowered by His Spirit, living lives worthy of Christ. The only way to do this is by His Spirit pouring into us.
Some other truths our children learned:
1. It only takes a moment to become curious.
2. Curiosity leads to actions.
3. Actions have consequences.
Practical ways to pursue purity:
1. Pay attention to God’s Word.
How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to Your Word.
I seek You with all my heart;
do not let me stray from Your commands.
I have hidden Your Word in my heart
that I might not sin against You.
2. Set boundaries now.
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
I Thessalonians 4:3-8
Don’t put yourself in a position where you will be tempted. Don’t be alone with your boyfriend or with a guy. Be out in public, have other people around you. Show respect for your own body and for your man’s body. Don’t try to tempt him. Don’t flaunt your body to him visually. Don’t purposely try to set up a stumbling block for him or for men. Honor God in the way you present your body and yourself to the world and to others. Don’t show pics of yourself in a bikini on FB or Snapchat. Don’t send naked pictures of yourself or ask people to send you sexual pictures of themselves. God knows everything we do. Let’s treat our bodies and the bodies of others with high regard, respect and honor – this honors God!
3. Be accountable to others.
Be sure that you have a godly mentoring woman in your life or very godly friends or parents you can talk with after dates who will keep you accountable.
Whenever God sets boundaries for us, it is because He loves us and wants to protect us from great harm. His commands show His great love for us. We have free will and can violate His commands, but when we violate God’s boundaries, we will pay the price emotionally, spiritually and physically.
GOD’S GRACE AND FORGIVENESS IS ALWAYS AVAILABLE IF WE WILL TURN FROM OUR SIN AND TURN TO HIM!