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The Bible reveals that God's standard is even higher than abstinence, and that His plan offers peace, contentment, a victorious life for singles of all ages, and fulfillment for those who eventually marry.
Abstinence until marriage is a noble goal. And yet, every "abstainer" must answer one crucial question: "Where will I draw the line?" How much physical contact is acceptable: Hand-holding? Kissing? Touching? Far too many adults - and even teens and preteens - set their limits at intercourse and allow a Pandora's box of sexual sin, which leaves them drowning in a cesspool of guilt, disease, and shame.
The Scriptures clearly and repeatedly describe the one true God as the Creator of the heavens and the earth and all who dwell therein, and, yes, even the Creator of sex. Physical intimacy between a man and his wife is celebrated in the Bible, most notably in Proverbs 5:18-20 and Song of Solomon. Sadly, as with many scriptures, people have erroneously taken these verses out of context and boiled them down to the motto: "no sex until marriage," defining "sex" as intercourse. This is akin to approaching a cliff above a treacherous chasm to see how close to the edge you can stand without falling off.
The Purity Principle
A return to the Biblical text reveals that God's standard is in fact higher than abstinence, and that His plan offers peace, contentment, a victorious life for singles of all ages, and fulfillment for those who eventually marry.
Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God
will put an end to them together. But the body is not for the desires of the
flesh, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body: And God who made the Lord
Jesus come back from the dead will do the same for us by his power.
You have knowledge that it was said, You may not have
connection with another man's wife:
For the purpose of God for you is this: that you may be
holy, and may keep yourselves from the desires of the flesh;
Let it then be your desire to be like God, as well-loved
The Bottom Line
The modern concept of abstinence gives a false sense of security. An abstainer can easily excuse a plethora of sexual activity by claiming self-righteousness: "At least I'm not as bad as so-and-so who has sex all the time!" Intercourse is not alone in the long list of sexual sins, and "lesser" forms of contact still leave many people suffering physically, emotionally, and spiritually. True purity begins in the heart and flows through all of a person's thoughts, conversations, and actions. People who belong to Jesus Christ should exhibit the fruit of the Spirit:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, a quiet mind, kind acts, well-doing, faith, gentle behavior, control over desires: against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have put to death on the cross the flesh with its passions and its evil desires. If we are living by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us be guided. Galatians 5:22-23
By embracing God's plan of salvation and being transformed by regular study of His Word, you will exchange the false lures of this world for eternal peace and purpose. This principle is found in the Apostle Paul's letter to Christians in Rome:
For this reason I make request to you, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you will give your bodies as a living offering, holy, pleasing to God, which is the worship it is right for you to give him. And let not your behavior be like that of this world, but be changed and made new in mind, so that by experience you may have knowledge of the good and pleasing and complete purpose of God. Romans 12:1-2
What Should I Do? A Plan of Action
Single and Engaged Adults
While most talk of abstinence is directed towards teenagers, God's standard holds true for people of all ages. sexual purity starts with you. Recognize the gap between your way of life and the Way set forth in the Bible. Jesus Christ promises to embrace anyone who sincerely repents and accepts His offer of salvation and eternal life:
See, I am waiting at the door and giving the sign; if my voice comes to any man's ears and he makes the door open, I will come in to him, and will take food with him and he with me. Revelation 3:20
Once you are His disciple, He grants you access to a Helper: the Holy Spirit, who will strengthen and enable you the live the life God intended for you:
And I will make prayer to the Father and he will give you
another Helper to be with you for ever,
If you are involved in a sinful relationship, work with your significant other to make changes. Seek an accountability partner who will encourage you to uphold right standards. If both of you are not fully committed to obeying God's commands regarding the relationship, it is better that you walk away from it. Please know that the pain of "lost love" cannot compare to the joy of walking with the Holy One who loves you with a perfect, everlasting love.
I have said all these things to you so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble: but take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
I implore every parent to instill the value of purity in their sons and daughters. It is never early to start: the youngest children learn first by the example set by their mother and father. Elementary-age children must be equipped to face the rampant sexuality around them: from seductive magazine covers in the grocery store, to the suggestive poses of larger-than-life models displayed in malls and along highways. You must also teach them how to respond as their peers begin to experiment sexually at startlingly young ages. Your mission should be to limit your child's access to sexual images and activities, and to teach them to rightly handle such situations when they arise outside of your control.
As your children enter adolescence, you will have to continue building on the foundation of sexual purity. Resources like Passport to Purity will guide you as you mentor your children. While early is better, it's never too late to begin instilling the value of sexual purity in your children. Your sons and daughters will continue to face temptations: prom season, college life, pornography, and much more. Challenge them to embrace purity throughout their single years and to commit to their marriages.
The fourth Chapter of Proverbs contains a father's instructions to his child, and will be a helpful model to you as you instill godly values in your children.
Do not go in the road of sinners, or be walking in the way
of evil men.
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