I recently began a series of posts on hypocrisy, the sin of "holiness"; today I am expounding on my first point, sexual sins. I have already made a stance against certain things relating to this subject in another post, but today I am going to show biblical proof of this stance. My intention is not to offend anyone, but I do hope to ruffle your feathers a bit. I hope that you go forward with your day feeling prompted to make a change, because that is what Christ is looking for- not complacency, but radical behavior!
Our society is steeped in sexuality. Even children under 10 have a decent idea, if not outright knowledge what the word "gay" means, can vaguely explain "sex", and know someone, or at least have seen somewhere, a couple living together before marriage. Even many Christian kids have seen and accepted these things as normal because in our culture, equality, personal rights, and sexuality of all forms are celebrated and enforced. Why are we allowing this to be the normal in our lives? We are called to be in, but no OF this world. As Christians, we do all things as representation of Christ (Col. 3:17), would you really choose to show Christ as one who participated in or accepted some of the things that come on your television or out of your mouth?
Magazines, movies, books, music, and even product advertisement- nothing is safe from sex! If you think this is an exaggeration, turn on your television; commercials for everything from car insurance to chocolate show half nude men and women, television is getting so racy that non-cable channels are producing shows that make even mommy blush. Standing in a grocery line, you might have to explain to your child what "tickle his fancy" means, or perhaps what "10 secrets to super sex" is really about. Not to mention that your daughter can get a pretty clear image of what her future body may look like, and your sons' first glimpse of a lustful figure can all be rounded up in that trip down the checkout lane. What a deal! There is no sheltering even the most conservative families from the visuals and sounds of sexuality. Shopping at the mall has songs blasting out about all sorts of...er... interesting positions and physical descriptions far more colorful than most people are comfortable with. So where does it end? Is nothing sacred?
Sex sells, and unfortunately we live in that society, therefore we are all exposed to it daily. There are books (Lord, help me here) that are meant for women to find pleasure in a fantasy man, movies with sex scenes and nudity that are now only rated PG-13! I don't know about you, but I don't want my 13 year old knowing what isn't meant to be known in THAT amount of detail until your marriage night! Worse than the fact that this stuff even exists is the alarming fact of the ease of availability to youth. Your teen and pre-teen could easily pick up an erotic book from the library, more than likely with no one batting a lash. Pornography is a growing trend among younger and younger boys, and even girls! Not only do we have to worry about our husbands, but our children, and ladies, if we are honest, ourselves.
Sexual sins are not just overt and obvious things like adultery, fornication (extra-marital sex), and homosexuality, but also things like speaking in a sexually provocative way. Joking about or speaking about your own body parts or of others in a sexual way is not only sinful for you, but becomes a stumbling block to others. Anything and everything that causes a sexual desire, feeling, or event to you, or caused by you to someone else, aside from marital intercourse is a sin. I'm not a fuddy duddy, this is straight from the Word of God! Pornography and erotica books and movies are sinful because they cause the images to play in your mind, and because they cause sexual feelings. Dressing immodestly and looking longingly or lustfully at someone else who is dressed immodestly is also sinful. You do realize that as salt of the earth, we are to be protecting not only ourselves from sin, but also those around us?
A Tempting Trap
You see, what Hollywood won't tell you is that sex is a trap. No, not all sex, obviously sex within marriage is a blessed thing, but sexuality in the world is a dangerous thing. If I am to be completely honest, and I am going to be, so don't judge, I have been caught in that trap myself. It is a subtle thing that entices bit by bit, but the next thing you know, you are in up to your neck, gasping for breath, and begging God for freedom. It is not an easy trap to escape from. I believe that sex is one of the most dangerous sins to get caught up in, and here is what the Bible says about it, "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body." (1 Cor. 6:18). It doesn't get much clearer than that, people. Sexual sins affect your whole being, and over time, often affects your mind and emotions as well.
Pornography, fantasy, lust, sexually exposing yourself for attention, and even reading about or watching things that lead to sexual thoughts are all sins against your own body! You fall into a trap because it seems that you can hide this sin from the view of others, but in hiding, you are sinning again by lying and hiding the truth from others. Unfortunately sexual sins are also some of the most difficult to admit to, and to confess to because they are so often filled with shame. But it is time that we are honest with ourselves and we see our dishonesty for what it really is- justification. We think that if we hide these sins, no one will know and we won't have to feel guilt for partaking. We think that the thoughts that we hold in our minds are for us only, but God sees into the heart of a man, and knows our thoughts and intentions. This is why the Bible tells us the even looking onto a woman (or man) in lust is the same as committing a sexual sin with them.
It is time that we reclaim our minds and bodies, as well as the minds and bodies of our husbands and children. The Bible is clear on what is immoral, "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry" (Col 3:5), and on what to do with those things (Flee!!). We must make a conscious choice to remove from our controllable surroundings anything that can cause us to sin in those ways. The easiest way to do that is to remove the temptation. Remember the verse that says the cut off your right hand if it causes you to sin? I can only hope that your hand is not what you are blaming, but that instead you remove from your home, sight, and ears anything that will cause you to sin in these ways. If you find that a certain actor or real-life person causes you to have impure thoughts, then you need to give yourself time to regain your spiritual strength, and in the mean time, avoid that person. If you have books, music, movies, games, etc in your home that lead to those thoughts, or are filled with the innuendo of sexuality, I challenge you to remove them. My husband and I have had to make hard choices when it came to books, music, and television shows that we loved and were entertained by, because after we started examining what God's purpose in our lives was, we realized that those things could not be a part of what He wanted for us. Our rule of thumb is that we only keep books, shows, movies, and music in our house that we would not mind our children picking up and watching, reading, or listening to.
Aside from removing the temptation, it is very important to confess your sins to someone. If your sins have been against someone (namely your spouse), it is essential to confess those things to them. I believe that by opening ourselves in honesty to our spouses, we are strengthening our relationships. Some people do not believe that this is right, and I am not claiming to know what is right, as there is no clear indication as to what God would want us to do, especially if the sin was in our minds and not acted out in flesh. I do know two verses that I use as the basis of this belief, James 5:16, which says, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." The second verse is in Mark 4:22, "For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open." Between these two, I believe that not only a confession to God (and complete repentance) is in order, but a confession to the person that you have hidden the truth from. In doing this, you bring the darkness to light, and when you do that, satan has nothing that he can use against you as ammo in the future.
Last, as I mentioned in the last paragraph, repentance is needed. You may have to repent and repent a million times a day because that snare is already set in your mind, and it is often difficult to "forget" those thought patterns, but it is not impossible. We have a mighty God, who is our loving Father, and He is "just and faithful" to forgive us when we ask for it. Asking for forgiveness is not going to set you free alone, you must ask Him for strength! He can set us free from all bondage, and it is His desire for us to be set free. Just like trying to quit smoking would be to a person accustomed to picking up a cigarette, it will take time, frustration, and a lot of prayer and will power, but you can be set free from the sins of sexual impurity.
I'd like to say a prayer over you today. If you have gotten this far, and have no conviction in your spirit, then great for you, and you do not have to read on! But if you identified with anything in this article, please read this prayer and let it resonate within you.
Heavenly Father, I pray that as your son or daughter reads this, you would begin to shine light onto the dark places within them. I pray that you would reveal to them the things that they have hidden from others, and have tried to hide from themselves. I pray that they would have an image in their mind right now of things that they must confess to you. (Please take some time to reflect on anything that comes to mind right now). Now, Lord, I pray that anything that has come to their mind would be released from their lives. I pray that you would break the bondage of sexual sin and addiction in their life. I pray that in the place of that sin and shame, you would place healing for the wounds that caused that door to be opened. I pray that you would grant grace for the sins that they have committed, and that you would forgive them, and allow them to forgive themselves. Lord, you see them now, and you see into their very hearts and minds- please strengthen them, and give them a peace in the place of all that has been revealed. Father, in the days to come, please help them to remain strong and faithful in their desire to rid their lives of immorality. Reveal to them, as they go through their day, the things that trigger those thoughts and images, so that they can avoid and remove them from their lives. And Father, I want to take a moment to ask you to minister to those roots, deep within- pull them out in Jesus' name! That the very roots of the sin would be destroyed by your hand, and there would be no place for it to thrive in the future. I pray that your Holy Spirit would bind up the wounds and fill them with your acceptance and forgiveness. In Jesus Name I pray these things, Amen!