“My boyfriend expects me to have sex. Everybody’s doing it. I don’t see what the big deal is . . . besides, I like it too.”
When I heard these words from a girl I’ve watched grow up, it broke my heart. She didn’t care what the Bible had to say on the subject, and she didn’t want to hear my opinion either. It broke my heart because I knew it broke the Father’s heart.
The trail of devastated lives left in the wake of behavior that is destructive, should deeply concern all of us. In the name of tolerance and personal freedom, too many people have accepted a worldview that is damaging the souls, minds and lives of millions.
For the record, I’m not some right-wing-prudish-self-righteous-and-out-of-touch-religious fanatic.
I'm a man and husband trying to walk in purity and in faithfulness to his wife.
I'm a dad and granddad who’s deeply concerned for his family.
I'm a pastor who has seen firsthand over and over again the emotional and physical devastation of people who do life their way rather than God’s.
That being said, here’s my concern: We live in a culture that has normalized the abnormal. We now embrace without reservation what used to be considered morally unacceptable or at best questionable.
Back a thousand years ago, when I was in high school, the girl who “slept around” and dressed provocatively was considered a loose woman. Lots of guys might have wanted to get into her pants, but none of them wanted to bring her home to meet their mom. For millennia, sex outside of marriage was considered wrong and immoral. Now it’s simply a common recreational activity—no big deal.
Today, according to several studies, the average age a boy or girl loses their virginity is 16 or 17 and many are much younger.
Back in the dark ages during my childhood, a PG-13 movie rating meant no nudity and no F-Bombs. Now partial nudity and at least one or two sexually crude words are commonplace in PG-13 movies.
Once upon a time, the hot TV programs were The Waltons or Little House on the Prairie. You actually could sit down with your grade school children and enjoy TV shows together. Now sex is the overwhelming common denominator in everything from sit-coms to medical dramas to crime shows. Can you think of a primetime program that doesn’t include somebody sleeping with someone outside of marriage? If fact, today if you’re a virgin, you’re considered weird—a nerd and a loser.
When I was a kid, Victoria’s Secret commercials would have been considered soft porn, and you had to buy a “dirty magazine” to get the real stuff. Now these ads are on just about every TV channel, and you can find porn on the web for free and in many popular apps (like Twitter and Instagram).
Like it or not, here are some realities for your consideration:
- God created sex for marital pleasure and procreation and to develop a deep emotional bond between a husband and a wife.
- Every time people give themselves to someone sexually outside of marriage, they give away an irretrievable piece of their soul that God intended for them to give to their lifelong marriage partner. By the time they get married, these people have far less of themselves to offer their spouse.
- Sex is supposed to be a gift given by one man to one woman and one woman to one man that seals the covenant of marriage.
- It’s okay to admire beauty, but lust is selfish and destructive. Porn objectifies and dehumanizes precious people made in the image of God.
- Sexual promiscuity, immorality, and fornication have always and will always be forbidden by God. (Check out Colossians 3:5; Ephesians 5:3; Galatians 5:19) By the way, here’s the definition of fornication: “Consenting sex involving unmarried persons; any unlawful sexual intercourse including adultery.” Sound familiar?
I know I'm swimming upstream. I know how out of date it is to encourage moral purity. But purity matters. It matters to God because we matter to God. It should matter to us because people matter to us.
One last thing you need to hear from me: We all sin. No one is perfect. Every living person on this planet has failed in the area of sexual purity. Remember, Jesus said that if we even look at a person and lust we have committed adultery in our hearts.
Not for a moment am I suggesting that we treat anyone poorly or without love as if we've got it all together. However, in the name of love, we also can't afford to embrace what God rejects. He never rejects people, but He does reject sin. And for the record, God is the only One qualified to define what is and isn't okay, and He does so clearly in His Word.
Why? Because He’s a killjoy? No.
God gives us relational guardrails for our benefit and protection. He gives us a path to follow (narrow as it is at times) that leads to life.
“Small is the gate
and narrow the road that leads to life,
and only a few find it.
Matthew 7:14 (NIV)
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