All week I have thought carefully about what I would say this week. I have asked God what He would have me to remind us all when it comes to promiscuity and the use of our bodies. Clearly this is an issue that Christians have had to face throughout history and will continue to face into the future. People in the Church can be blatantly out of line with the Word of God on this issue because we have a hard time disconnecting from the culture we are engulfed in daily.
But disconnecting from culture and reconnecting with God is the only way to avoid the temptations that promiscuity lays before us.
Let’s take a brief look at the church of Corinth. Corinth was one of the many churches started by the apostle Paul. Paul wrote lengthy letters to this particular church, in part because this church clearly represented new Christians caught in a state of wanting to seek the living God but struggling to break free of the world. Sexual promiscuity reflective of the surrounding culture came in the door with these new converts and was not easily snuffed out.
In fact, Paul includes some harsh language in his letters to the Corinthians over their lack of restraint.
I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you—something that even pagans don’t do. I am told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother. You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship. 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 NLT
When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 NLT
Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! 1 Corinthians 6:15 NLT
To say Paul was a little distressed in this situation is an understatement. He is completely floored that those that claim to follow Christ would do such things. And Paul, who remained single his entire life, gives this command:
Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18 NLT
Now some people may accuse Paul of being legalistic in this area. I mean times are changing aren’t they? But what we really fail to see is that Paul committed his life to God in such a way that no physical relationship would ever satisfy him the way his relationship with God did. And although we may feel this is way more of a commitment than is necessary, the point is we who do desire to have a physical relationship with someone can’t even wait a short period of time in abstinence to have a lifetime of guiltless sex with someone forever. Paul’s restraint doesn’t have to become a legalistic rule in which we all follow, but it should be a wake-up call that restraint is possible!
Why is Paul so passionate about this subject? It wasn’t because he denied himself this physical pleasure and thought himself better than others. It was because he knew to whom he belonged and why. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Paul states:
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. NLT
Church folks, we need to get it together! We.do.not.belong.to.ourselves!
Now least you think I’m talking at you, let me assure you that I’m not above temptation in the least. I have been tempted many times over the course of my life to allow sexually inappropriate thoughts or situations try to take me down a road to nowhere. Whether it has been an innocent invitation from a friend to come clubbing with her to noticing that fine fellow three rows up during the Sunday service, I’ve had my share.
But here’s what I can tell you, I’ve been extremely blessed to marry the fellow I married and once I said I do, I made sure to just avoid any and all situations that could even potentially tempt me.
Whether you are single, married, divorced, or anywhere in between heed these words:
The best way to resist temptation is to avoid it. Prevention is far, far better than repentance. – Spencer W. Kimball
Lord, I pray for any of my sisters that are facing any type of sexual temptation. Let Your strength fill them now and show them the way out. And if any sister has gotten caught up in the trappings of promiscuity, Lord, would You let her know that You still love her. Would You show her Your grace and mercy? You are such a forgiving Savior and You paid the ultimate price to call us Yours. May we cling to that image and fall at Your feet in repentance for every lustful, tasteless thought we have had. And may You stop us dead in our tracks when we are on the verge of misguided actions in this area. Thank you Father for Your watchful eye and Your huge heart for the broken. Amen.
Founder, Transforming Love Ministries
Creator, She Steps Forward Women’s Conference
For more of Elaine’s story, you can find Love Echoed Back: I Cried Out; He Answered on amazon.com.
Please note all scripture references taken from the NLT.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation.