The Toxicity of Sexual Sin Day 1: Purity Has Become Countercultural
Finally, brothers [and sisters], whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8, ESV)
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10, ESV)
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23, ESV)
Sex. It’s a deeply personal subject, yes, but I would venture to guess it’s an area of struggle in either your life or in the life of someone you love. For me, sex is something that has hurt me in ways words can’t convey. As someone who has been betrayed sexually, I am passionate about spreading God’s design for sex and speaking out on why anything outside of His purposes harms us.
Here are a few statistics that may open your eyes to the real pandemic we face in our culture today:
-According to covenanteyes.com, 64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women watch porn at least once a month.
-1 in 5 youth pastors and 1 in 7 senior pastors say they have struggled with pornography, yet only 7% of pastors say their church has a program or ministry related to the topic to help struggling church members.
-Outside Christian circles, 98% of men and 73% of women have viewed porn in the last 6 months.
-Anywhere from 30 to 60% of marriages experience an affair.
-By age 19, 75% of youth have had some form of sex.
-In November 2021, statistics showed that more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections are acquired every day worldwide.
-58% of white Evangelicals believe cohabiting is acceptable if the couple plan to marry in the future, yet the Bible clearly calls this fornication and forbids it.
As there are so many problems associated with sex outside of God’s set pattern, what should our reaction be as Christians? Why are we often silent on the subject when it’s destroying marriages and families every single day? Sometimes we try to sweep the subject of sex under the rug; and I get it—it’s a sensitive issue. We must also consider the age of our audience if we are to address it well. But it must be addressed, and we must first look at our own hearts before we go any further.
What’s your sin struggle? Is it lust? Do you think sexual thoughts when you see an attractive person? Is it a hunger to view pornography, and then fantasize about what you’ve seen? Now, what are you doing about it? Do you have safeguards in place to protect you in the area of your weakness? Do you have accountability with a close friend to whom you can tell anything, knowing they will give you godly advice and encouragement?
The battle begins in our own minds, and what we think about and act upon flows out from our hearts, as our Scripture above indicates. So we must guard our hearts from the things that lead us to sin. And we must accept that God, the One who designed sex, has the ultimate authority on what is acceptable and what is sin.
My challenge to each of us today is to identify areas in our own thought patterns that may be opening us to sin. These thoughts often lead us down a path of unwise choices, and from there to our own destruction and that of those we love. As believers, our body is the very temple (or home) of the Holy Spirit within us; this fact alone should be the sobering truth needed to make right choices regarding our bodies. May we begin today to think on things that lead to life, and not open the door of our minds to sexual sin and the brokenness that always follows.