Thursday, September 01, 2011

virginity, abstinence & the lost art of denial

Many times I come to this blog after reading something that compels me to want to comment. Maybe get on a soapbox. And occasionally shout from the rooftops.

Today is a rooftop day.

My friend Mary shared this quote on her blog*:

“Eighty-two percent of young, unmarried Christians have had sex. Two-thirds have been sexually active in the last year. Even though, according to a recent Gallup poll, 76 percent of evangelicals believe sex outside of marriage is morally wrong.”

Sex is meant to be shared with a husband and wife. Period. But if I just quoted a couple of scriptures, it would probably make some just shrug their shoulders. Let me just say that if you call yourself a Christian, what the Bible says should matter. Not just a few scriptures taken out of context. Not just a couple of memory verses. But the Bible as a whole. The story the Bible tells us of the nature of man, the nature of sin and God's plan for redemption. The whole thing should matter. If it doesn't matter all that much, then maybe....just haven't fully surrendered to God in the first place.

The Bible is not simply a list of suggestions for good living. It is a manual for life that shows you how to overcome the war inside of you. Yes - there is a war inside of you - and it's talked about regularly through the Scriptures. It's the war between the flesh and the spirit. The new man and the old man.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)

Deny himself. Deny himself from engaging in the pleasures of the flesh. From engaging in sin. When we deny our flesh, our spirit is able to be more in tune with the Holy Spirit. We can focus in on how He is shaping and molding us - changing us. And we must be changed. We are not "okay" in any sense of that word. We are fallen. We are sinful. And we need a Savior because we cannot change on our own.

Sex is pleasurable. Many sins are. How do you think people get addicted to drugs or end up drinking alcohol or eating too much food? Engaging in the sin gives them pleasure - but only short-term pleasure. That is sin's greatest lie. The pleasure we gain from sin is fleeting and ends so quickly that just like an addict, we keep going back for more.We become a slave to sin. We end up serving sin - and not God.

When we get mad or fight against God or get frustrated with the "rules" - well, we are missing the point entirely. Everything that God asks us NOT to do, is for the pure reason of keeping us in relationships with Him. Sin separates us from Him. Sin makes us deaf and blind to what He wants to do to shape us. When we deny our flesh, we are then able to follow Him instead.

Saying no to sex is not going to be easy. It's hard! And our bodies are designed by God to want it when we engage in certain behaviors. But if you're not married. You absolutely should be saying no to sex. I don't know anyone who regrets being a virgin on their wedding night, but I know plenty who regret NOT being a virgin on their wedding night.

If you're serious about saying no to sex - and you should be - then you need a battle plan. You need to know - beyond any shadow of doubt - that you will be tempted to have sex. And you will be shocked at how convincing the arguments your flesh will give you to try to convince you to sin.

But we're planning on getting married

I know he/she is the one

It's okay because I love him/her

It's not that big a deal

When God says "no" and we go ahead and say "yes" anyway - we've already lost the battle. And denying ourselves? Well, that's not just about sex. The Christian life is about laying down our desires, and choosing God's desires for us instead. Saying no to sex - well, it's just practice for all the times you'll have to say no to something you want in order to live the life God has for you.

We humans often have many big dreams and desires. But God's desires for us are far better, far greater, and far more than we could have ever imagined. But to get to His desires - we must be willing and able to say no to our own.

We can't afford to be apathetic about sin and we can't afford to be apathetic about following God.


Sarah writes teen fiction and screenplays and directs musicals when she's not driving her three kids around town. Find out more about her books at her website. (Re-posted from "a naked faith")

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