Thursday, May 27, 2010

Letters Topic #2: Sex

As we continue in our Letters series this Sunday, we are going to speak to the issue of sexual purity.  As we continue to address challenges to our spiritual maturity, we must confront the ongoing temptation that comes from sexual sin.  There are many ways to talk about this issue, but as I have prepared for Sunday morning, let me surface three reasons that I believe everyone needs good teaching and helpful accountability to make progress in our personal purity.

First, our culture presents conflicting messages about sexuality because individuals are conflicted about their own sexuality.  Without a biblical worldview to give us some kind of standards with regards to sex, we have to figure out our own boundaries with sex.  Very few people believe that all kinds of sex are okay, but no one seems to agree about where the healthy boundaries exist or even should exist.  Add this cultural confusion to the fact that all teens are confused about their sexuality (remember how you felt when your sexual desires first started to blossom?) and we have a recipe for disaster.  On top of this, many parents feel like they are handicapped to speak clearly and with conviction to their children about sex because of the way they have handled their own sexuality.  Simply put: we need to be able to think clearly about sexuality and have some kind of objective authority to establish healthy boundaries.

Second, sexual sin is unique in its impact.  The apostle Paul says something to this effect in 1 Corinthians 6:18 when he separates sexual sin from other forms of sin.  While all sin offends God and brings distance in our relationship with Him, sexual sin is unique in its impact on the human soul and the human body.  Much has been written about the impact of promiscuous sexual activity on the body (disease, pregnancy, etc.), but little has been written about the impact of sexual sin on the soul.  This is the main focus of the Bible - we cannot separate our bodies from our souls and think that what we do with our bodies has no impact on our souls - it absolutely does.  In fact, the Bible gives us a very high view of sex - saying that it has the power to bring two people together and make them one new flesh.  When the Bible talks about this, it is speaking beyond the physical union to the spiritual union that occurs.  We must be careful that we don't abuse the gift of sex in our lives because it impacts our souls, not just our bodies.

Finally, sexual desire is powerful.  Everyone knows this, and yet (like the money discussion last week) so few of us get honest with other people about our sexual desires and struggles with sexual temptation.  Why is this so?  I think very few of us (especially men) want to admit that our sexual desires are as strong as they are or that we struggle with knowing what to do with them.  Every time men share about sexual temptation, there is immediate compassion and connection over the issue because all men can relate.  Yet, it seems like those conversations are slow to occur.  Additionally, I think it is important for women to talk openly about their struggles with sexuality and sexual sin.  Just because men are more likely to be aroused by sight does not mean that women are free from the temptation to abuse the gift of their sexuality.  If we are not careful, we will assume that we have our sexual desires mastered only to find ourselves giving in to sexual temptation once again.  Sexual activity is pleasurable, and the human desire to be sexually active is strong.  As we get honest, we can more adequately deal with the truth.

I'm excited to preach on this important topic this Sunday.  Let me know if you have any questions or comments ahead of Sunday's sermon.

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