Fighting for Sexual Purity

Last week we looked at Matthew 5.27-30, where Jesus clarified how destructive sexual lust (including adultery, pornography, sex outside of marriage, etc) is. Sex outside of the covenant of marriage “totals” the human soul. When a vehicle is totaled, it still exists but it ceases to fulfill its intended purpose. Sex outside of marriage does violence to who and what we want to be.

You see, lust makes you want pleasure, love makes you want a person. Lust makes you want women (or men) in general, love makes you want a particular woman (or man). God given love makes you want to trust someone and give yourself to them for the long run.

So where do I go from here?

I wanted to suggest a few resources:

Teens struggle with sexual purity. I know, everyone knows that! But here is a great resource for parents or mentors of teens. Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is) by Joshua Harris is a challenging yet accessible book. Written to both young men and women it will point you to Jesus and encourage you to trust God when He says His standard is, “But among you there must not even be a hint of sexual immorality…” (Eph. 5:3). Teens (and most adults) will find this book really helpful.

Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn Free by Tim Chester should be in the hands of all those who struggle with pornography. Statistically, that means one out of three of you who are reading this post. Chester helps identifies twelve reasons you should give up porn. He goes on to show, not just why you can’t immerse yourself in the world of porn, but why you no longer need to. Porn makes promises to us, but God offers so much more.

We need to be careful how we approach this issue, because often we make it simply an issue of self control. Shame and fear are not sufficient to change us for the long run. Some popular Christian books approach the issue that way, and prove harmful to our soul health. When it comes to sexual lust Jesus will always be the Savior, not our helper.

It is critical to remember that books and conferences are helpful, but Jesus didn’t send us a book to bring our deep healing – he himself came to us and became one of us. Remember that one of the greatest helps you have in winning this war are the people nearest to you. God has given his Spirit to his people in order to bring us healing today. Please reach out – to a parent, your spouse, a person from the church, or to one of your pastor/elders. Don’t let shame or fear keep you imprisoned by lust.

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