I am getting SO MANY EMAILS from wives where marriages are in total ruin because of sexual sin – that I am hoping to address these issues for those of you who are not married yet, praying that God might help you find His path that leads to abundant life NOW and that you might avoid many of the pitfalls that so many of your married sisters in Christ are falling into.
God’s good general design for families is that children should grow up with godly parents – a married mother and father – who love and respect each other, who obey God’s Word, who love God above all else in life, who honor the marriage relationship, who are passionate about God, each other and their children, who raise their children to know and love God and who model godly behavior, attitudes and dialogue every day for thousands and thousands of days as the children grow up. God’s design is for parents to be Spirit-filled believers and for them to quickly repent of any sin and teach their children to live holy lives.
Then, after witnessing godly faith in Christ, a godly marriage, godly femininity, godly masculinity and being trained in God’s Word, disciplined and admonished in God’s ways for 18 years or more – each child will be prepared to be a faithful follower of Christ, to be a responsible member of society, to be a godly spouse, to choose a godly spouse and to be a godly parent.
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Hebrews 13:4
REALITY IS FAR FROM GOD’S DESIGN FOR MANY PEOPLE
I am heartbroken for MANY, MANY of you who have grown up with parents who were ANYTHING but godly – many of them were verbally abusive, emotionally abusive, sexually abusive (or they didn’t stop someone from sexually abusing their children) and/or addicted to drugs/alcohol/pornography/gambling. Many of you witnessed constant hatred, bitterness, strife and turmoil daily. Many of you did NOT have parents who had a loving, respectful, beautiful relationship with Christ or with each other. And you were systematically programmed over many thousands of days from what you saw at home and in the media to believe that what you witnessed as a child was “normal.” Some of you that may have had abuse later by a boyfriend or husband or may have unquestioningly accepted our culture’s ungodly definitions of marriage, femininity, motherhood, marriage and masculinity and don’t even realize that our world’s ways are VERY FAR from God’s ways.
We are reaping the harvest of results in our society and in the body of Christ of some extremely ungodly decisions the generations ahead of us have made – and if we don’t change our ways – we will continue to pass this mess to our children, causing them to miss the many blessings of God because of our sin and ungodly examples.
It is going to take deliberate “re-programing” and our allowing the Holy Spirit total access to our souls to discard what we have embraced and to build on Christ and His Word alone and trash every ungodly thought, motive, priority, word and behavior. We MUST do this, church! We MUST repent and become a godly generation who teaches God’s ways to our children or there is no hope for our children’s generation. The ball was dropped in recent generations – and WE must be the ones to pick it up and get this stuff right in God’s eyes!
“NORMAL” TODAY IN OUR CULTURE IS VERY, VERY FAR FROM GODLINESS
“Normal” today involves watching all manner of any imaginable sin, especially sexual sin on tv and in movies, reading erotica and thinking nothing is wrong with that at all, being unfaithful to our husbands in our minds and hearts, dressing in a way to seduce men other than our husbands (even at church) and talking about things that are completely inappropriate with people at work, church and in our neighborhoods – not to mention Facebook! Oh – Facebook. That may need its own special post another day.
Today, it is also “normal” for single and married people to have lots of friends of the opposite sex, to flirt, to communicate by text/email/talk to/meet with them in private. We’re going to look at God’s Word to see what should be “normal” for believers. If we do not guard our hearts and our marriages – we are inviting destruction!
It’s time to really look at God’s Word and throw out anything that offends God at all from every area of our lives.
THE SNARE OF PORNOGRAPHY
Those of you who get anxious about this topic may want to skip to the next heading, please!
With possibly over 90% of men engaging in pornography on some level, and even 30% or more of ministers/pastors turning to porn at least occasionally, and a growing percentage of women also becoming addicted to porn – it is easy for the younger generation to believe that porn is innocent and not harmful , that it is normal- that everyone does it, so it’s ok. NOTHING COULD BE FARTHER FROM THE TRUTH, PRECIOUS WOMEN OF GOD!
I believe that Satan’s strategy to paralyze our leadership (our men) has been EXTREMELY effective. He exploits their God-given visual design and is bringing this addictive filth – practically for FREE – right into our homes where they can view it privately and no one else has to know what is going on. In generations past, men had to pay money, go to the “bad” side of town and risk their reputation to see anything risqué. Now, they can see plenty of immodestly dressed women at the store and in church – and they have total access to any immoral images anyone could imagine in their own home. Many of our leaders are paralyzed by this addiction – the church of Jesus has largely fallen victim to Satan’s plans, traps and snares and we have been almost emasculated and neutralized as warriors in God’s kingdom by this particular addiction and by many others as well.
- Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. I Thessalonians 5:21-22
- Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language form your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:5-10
- It is God’s will that you should be sanctified (set apart and holy for God’s use): that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable. not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. I Thessalonians 4:3-7
- Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness. II Timothy 2:19b
- Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness (a right relationship with God through Christ), faith, love, peace along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. II Timothy 2:22
- There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. II Timothy 3:1b-5
- I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people – not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolator, or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. I Corinthians 5:9-11
- Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolators nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
- Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. I Corinthians 6:18-20
WHAT PORNOGRAPHY DOES
Pornography is a “gateway” sin. Millions of teenage boys are exposed to it when they are young, maybe as young as middle school or earlier. This stuff is as addictive or more addictive than any drug. It works EXACTLY like an illicit drug in the brain. When men look at porn – the neuronal pathways in the brain become permanently altered. They begin to see women in a very objectified way. And the more they use porn, the more permanently damaged and altered the nerve pathways become. And, like a drug, it takes a greater and greater “dose” to get the same “high.” So, men have to keep looking at more and more graphic pictures to get the same thrill. And this EASILY leads to other things – not always – but sometimes men begin to not be able to be aroused by their own wife or by a flesh and blood woman. Or they resort to strip clubs and that progresses from looking to touching and can lead to prostitution. For some men, they even begin to include violence with their addiction. Many serial rapists/killers began with porn and images and slowly progressed over time. So this is NOT a victimless sin. Obviously not all men continue on to the extremes, but some do. And this is a HUGE problem.
It is not a secret – porn leads to greater and greater sin and addiction. But even if a man only uses it occasionally, he is turning away form his wife, away from the marriage bed and meeting his needs apart from his wife. His desire for her may diminish. Porn causes destruction in marriage. This stuff is dangerous and it hurts marriages deeply. We must each repent if we have gotten into this and seek God’s help to heal from this addiction!
WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO KEEP OUR MARRIAGE PURE?
We must be VERY VIGILANT to keep the marriage bed (our sexual relationship in marriage) COMPLETELY PURE! I’m going to run over some basic principles of honoring marriage and keeping the marriage bed pure for those of you who have not had a godly example and don’t have a mentor to help you with this vital area! Especially those of you who were molested/raped/sexually abused/physically abused earlier in life – you may not know what “normal, healthy, godly” marriages would look like. A lot of people don’t talk about this stuff, and we may not see it modeled. So this is for you to keep in your mind for marriage.
- Sex with someone other than your husband is sin in God’s eyes. That includes looking at someone with lust in your heart, imagining having sex with someone you are not married to, oral sex with someone you are not married to – and I would strongly advise against being alone with a guy you aren’t married to for any length of time. There is SO much temptation and pressure! I would also advise not getting into petting and foreplay because your bodies are designed to continue on to consummation and it is very difficult to stop once you wake up all those hormones.
- Do you know that withholding our bodies sexually from our husbands is a sin against our husbands and God? A HUGE part of keeping our marriage bed pure is to give ourselves sexually to our husbands willingly and joyfully – even when we don’t feel like it, don’t want to, or would rather withhold sex to punish our husbands. That is NOT right! And our husbands have the same command to not withhold their bodies from us – unless we agree mutually to abstain for prayer.
Since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I Corinthians 7:2-5
- We must reserve ALL of our sexual energy for our own husbands alone. We cannot use our imaginations to picture being with someone else (not even a fictional man in a book or movie) – that is lust and it is sin. We must take every thought captive to Christ by the power of His Spirit living in us. If we catch ourselves feeling tempted about something, ideally we could tell our husbands about it (once we are married) and/or a female godly mentor or friend. I always tell my husband if I begin to feel any temptation and ask him to keep me accountable, as well as my sister and a dear friend. Keeping secrets about this stuff makes it so much more dangerous!
- We must build hedges around our marriage to keep it safe and protect our hearts. I believe that means no private discussions with someone of the opposite sex, no private emails/texts/FB chats/meetings whenever possible – and if it is unavoidable, I keep the conversation as BRIEF as possible. If I need to email a man, I copy my husband on it unless it is just a sentence or two about business things. These are probably wise ideas for single women, too!
- We must flee from opportunities that would be potentially tempting (time alone with someone, riding alone in a car with a man, discussing marriage struggles with a male coworker or friend). This includes people that may not seem that likely – like our teenage sons’ friends, our pastor, our Sunday School teacher, our male boss, ANY GUY. Hopefully the exceptions would be your dad or brother – but there are some cases where even those relationships are not “safe” sadly.
- Some women are facing temptations of being attracted to women, also – then you will need to build hedges to protect yourself from temptation in that area, too!
- Use your imagination to feed your desire for your husband when you are married. And if he wants LESS intimacy, then stop fueling your imagination so much with sexual thoughts of him so that you can back off to a level he is more comfortable with.
- If you want intimacy MORE than your husband, be willing to back off and wait for him to pursue you more and look to God to meet your spiritual and emotional needs.
- If you want intimacy LESS than your husband, try to think of it more as – you are ministering to him sexually and that actually also strengthens your emotional and spiritual bond with him! Develop a willing spirit that wants to say “yes!” to your man!
- Make time for intimacy a HUGE priority in your marriage.
- Drop unnecessary time wasters from your schedule so you have the time and energy to devote proper attention to your sexual intimacy with your husband.
- Enjoy your husband’s touch, his body and your time together when you do get married. Feel yourself relax and melt at his touch. There are all kinds of physiological, emotional and spiritual benefits from physical intimacy for both husband and wife. This is the “glue that holds your marriage together” as Gary Thomas puts it in “Sacred Influence.” Sex is such an incredible wedding gift from God!
WHEN A WIFE SHOULD NOT SUBMIT
There are many husbands who want their wives to join them in watching pornography or participating in pornography or who want their wives to be fine with them viewing porn. There are some husbands who claim to be Christians who are talking about threesomes. There are some husbands who want their wives to join them or condone their going to strip clubs. There are some husbands are sex addicts who eventually turn to prostitutes or who are having sexual affairs. This is NOT REMOTELY GOD’S DESIGN FOR MARRIAGE!
The church of Christ has been so invaded by the world, that many believers are accepting these things and not even questioning them anymore.
We do generally need to cooperate with our husbands’ leadership – out of reverence for Christ and obedience to His Word. But we do NOT cooperate with sin. We firmly stand against it!
Precious women of God – these things are ALL SIN. They are NOT OK. If you are involved with a man who is pressuring you to sin sexually or condone his sexual sin – please get out, stop contact and get with a godly mentor to help you pray through this! God’s Word admonishes us
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a man is an idolator – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. Ephesians 5:1-6
If you are seeing anything from these verses above in a guy you are with – that is a HUGE RED FLAG! Do not commit to such a man, precious girl!
OUR GOD IS HOLY
We have such a wimpy view of God sometime. We think that Jesus is “nice” and He doesn’t punish anyone, so we can do whatever we want and be cozy with Him, too.
This is a dangerous lie!
Our God is POWERFUL. He is OMNIPOTENT. He is HOLY. He cannot tolerate sin. He hates sin so much, and loves us so much, that He would rather crush His perfect, sinless Son in order to pay for our sin than watch us all go to hell without hope.
BUT – just because we have the precious, priceless blood of Christ covering our sin – does NOT mean that we can do anything we want! We will stand before Christ and give an account to Him. And if we are living in sin on a daily, habitual basis and we are perfectly comfortable with our sin – we are FAR from God. Someone who has God’s Spirit cannot continue to live in sin. God’s Spirit will convict us of our sin so that we will repent and obey God.
If you are comfortable and not worried about what God thinks about the sin in your life – you are in a VERY, VERY DANGEROUS SPIRITUAL PREDICAMENT!
We as Your church have so embraced the ungodly, sinful ways of our culture, that we don’t even recognize we are offending You. Lord, I BEG YOU to PLEASE FORGIVE US! Open our eyes to the colossal sin and guilt on our heads! Open our eyes to the spiritual ruin and poverty we are living in. Convict us of all of our sin! Work in our souls by the power of Your Spirit. Let us truly repent of all that we are doing that is so offensive and repulsive to You. Help us to turn away from every hint of sin and follow You wholeheartedly! Make us a holy, Spirit-filled people who bring You great honor, glory and joy! Let us accomplish the purposes You have planned for us! Don’t let us continue to wallow in filth. I know that if we continue the way we are going, we are building up Your wrath and there will be a day that our sin will be ripe for our nation to be destroyed. And we will deserve it. I pray that we might repent, turn to You and truly live for You in the power of Your Spirit! Bring Your people to their knees. Break our hearts for the evil we have embraced. Break us. Humble us. And let us be restored to right relationship with You and with each other! Let our marriages and our faith glorify You and lead our children and those around us to Christ!
In the Name and power of Christ,