Sex And The Christian Parent ... Premarital Sex, we discussed how to teach a child a healthy respect for the sexual act, prepare her/him for the impending changes s/he will experience as part of puberty, and how to deal with sex so that it will not become degraded as something dirty that must be hidden, but as something natural that, within proper confines, can be enjoyed.
Yet, even the best-intentioned parents will be unable to teach their children if they do not lead by example. Considering the large number of dating Christian parents, and the numbers of babies born to single Christian moms, it is apparent that parents are in desperate need of a refresher on God's attitude on premarital sex. With this in mind, this article seeks to prepare you, the Christian parent, to question your own convictions and, if necessary, to pave the road for repentance. In keeping with the methodology favored by late night TV talk show hosts, let's look at the top five convictions modern Christian parents lack, and how to regain them:
- "Since sex in and of itself is not bad but was created by God, it is acceptable even outside the marriage relationship."
This line of reasoning is about as logical as saying that driving a car is not bad…yet would not every parent agree that a minor child does not belong behind a steering wheel? Additionally, don't we all agree that those with whom we share the roads in vehicles should be properly licensed to be operating said contraptions? If we can agree on this, then why does it present such a hard teaching that sex itself is not for everyone who wants it, but only for those who are in duly designated circumstances to enjoy the privilege?
Conviction: Sexual morality protects us, while sexual immorality harms us. "18 Flee from fornication. Every other sin that a man may commit is outside his body, but he that practices fornication is sinning against his own body." 1 Corinthians 6:18
- "Foregoing sexual satisfaction is too hard."
There is no evidence to suggest that unmarried Christians who deny themselves illicit sexual gratification suffer medically, emotionally, or otherwise. Similarly, if the urge and temptation are strong, God is still stronger.
Temptation to give in to sexual urges/desires can be overcome with God's help. "13 No temptation has taken YOU except what is common to men. But God is faithful, and he will not let YOU be tempted beyond what YOU can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out in order for YOU to be able to endure it." 1 Corinthians. 10:13
- "I was just looking!"
God's standard with respect to sexual purity does not only pertain to the actual sex act itself, but also to other issues, no matter how tangentially related.
Conviction: Looks can kill (your immortal soul, that is)! "28 But I say to YOU that everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:28
- "But everybody is doing it! (Or, in variation: S/He says it's ok, and s/he's a really strong Christian!)"
And if everyone would jump off a bridge, would you jump, too? And if s/he (the really strong Christian) would suggest that a little porn would be ok, would you believe her/him? Didn't think so.
Conviction: Religious people (good people) may be wrong! "5 Deaden, therefore, YOUR body members that are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry." Colossians 3:5
- "But we love each other!"
Great! Instead of getting a room, rent a hall and get married!
Conviction: In the sight of God sexual activity is only moral if it complements the holiness He expects from us. "3 For this is what God wills, the sanctifying of YOU, that YOU abstain from fornication; 4 that each one of YOU should know how to get possession of his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in covetous sexual appetite such as also those nations have which do not know God;…" 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
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…continued from above.
Does this appear as somewhat simplistic? Why yes, of course it does! And why shouldn't it? God never said that obedience to Him was akin to brain surgery. Additionally, obedience to other precepts of the Christian walk is not difficult; i.e. living out the Great Commission is fairly easy to understand and not too many will argue with you that God would like you to share the Good News and invite your next door neighbor to come to church with you, should s/he be so inclined. Similarly, the concept of sharing your food with those who have none is a concept so simple and easy to understand that we seek to impart it to our children as soon as they are old enough to hold their own bowl of Cheerios.
What makes obedience to the command to reserve sexual gratification for the marital relationship so difficult then? Is it societal permissiveness? Is it the glorification it receives in mainstream media? Is it the promise of (at least short-term) acceptance and love? Is it because it just "feels good"? Is it a need for self-validation? Is it perhaps a mix of all of the above?
Regardless of the reasoning one may seek to attach to a rationalization of the sin of illicit sex, what makes it so difficult for us, the Christian parents, to obey God in this matter? Why do we allow ourselves to cheapen God's gift for a "quick romp in the hay" and thus set up the next generation for failure? You don't think your kid(s) know what's going on? Oh, but they do! They can see what you seek to conceal, hear what you seek to whisper, and behold in horror what you seek to abort in private.
Sex outside of holy matrimony is never moral.
"13b Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord is for the body. 1 Corinthians 6:13
18 Flee from fornication. Every other sin that a man may commit is outside his body, but he that practices fornication is sinning against his own body. 19 What! Do YOU not know that the body of YOU people is [the] temple of the holy spirit within YOU, which YOU have from God? 1 Corinthians 6:18-19
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, and they are fornication, uncleanness, loose conduct, 20 idolatry, practice of spiritism, enmities, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, contentions, divisions, sects, 21 envies, drunken bouts, revelries, and things like these. As to these things I am forewarning YOU, the same way as I did forewarn YOU, that those who practice such things will not inherit God's kingdom. Galatians 5:19-21
3 Let fornication and uncleanness of every sort or greediness not even be mentioned among YOU, just as it befits holy people; 4 neither shameful conduct nor foolish talking nor obscene jesting, things which are not becoming, but rather the giving of thanks. 5 For YOU know this, recognizing it for yourselves, that no fornicator or unclean person or greedy person-which means being an idolater-has any inheritance in the kingdom of the Christ and of God. Ephesians 5:3-6
3 For this is what God wills, the sanctifying of YOU, that YOU abstain from fornication; 4 that each one of YOU should know how to get possession of his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in covetous sexual appetite such as also those nations have which do not know God; 6 that no one go to the point of harming and encroach upon the rights of his brother in this matter…1 Thessalonians 4:3-6a
4 Let marriage be honorable among all, and the marriage bed be without defilement, for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. Hebrews 13:4
The Scripture translation used is the New World Translation for its unmistakable language.
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