|Originally posted in May 2012.|
Last night at Campaigners we looked at 1 Corinthians 6:16-20. The senior guys were surprisingly mature, but reluctant to go deep. I asked them why they thought we should pursue sexual purity. Grasshoppers chirped outside.
During our family’s recent spring cleaning I discovered an old journal. Inside I found a list I’d written years ago entitled “40 Reasons to Pursue Sexual Purity.” I shared it with the guys during Campaigners.
I debated posting the list on the blog because it’s so personal, but I felt the Lord’s prompting to share it. Hopefully it will help some of you out there in Young Life Leader Land, either personally or as you lead your Campaigner groups.
The list isn’t organized neatly. It’s just as a stream of thought that came out of some time with the Lord as I wrestled with my own sin.
40 Reasons To Pursue Sexual Purity
1. Out of obedience to God, because He commanded it.
2. Because I know God has my best interest in mind.
3. So I can be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit instead of filled with lustful thoughts.
4. Because I am no longer a slave to sin, but now a slave to righteousness.
5. So I can be a man of integrity.
6. So I can be honest with my wife/future wife.
7. Because I’m cheating on my wife/future wife when I have lustful thoughts.
8. Because lust always leaves me feeling empty.
9. So I don’t have to live in fear of being “found out.”
10. So I can be a Godly father to my future kids.
11. Because an impure thought life leads to impure actions.
12. Because impure actions lead to regret.
13. Other men that have cheated on their wives didn’t just fall into temptation, the cheating began with their thought life. I don’t want to end up like that.
14. God calls us to take every thought captive. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
15. What goes in must come out. I want to overflow God, not lust.
16. So I can honestly speak truth to all those I lead.
17. A pure thought life makes married sex life even better.
18. When I lust after another woman, that’s someone else’s daughter, sister, future wife or wife. (1 Timothy 5:2)
19. I don’t want guys lusting after my wife, my sister or my daughter.
20. Obedience to God brings blessings, disobedience brings conflict.
21. Purity leads to intimacy with God and others. I desire intimacy.
22. I have no right to lust after another woman.
23. Being two-faced sucks…and is exhausting.
24. I want my life to be an open book.
25. I can’t live however I please, squandering what God paid such a high price for.
26. Women are God’s daughters.
27. Sexual impurity will eventually catch up to me.
28. I am more fulfilled when my mind is on Christ.
29. Lusting is a waste of valuable time that God has entrusted me to steward wisely.
30. Images are not quick to leave and will haunt me for a long time.
31. Porn is disgusting.
32. I desire a life of peace, not of fear and guilt.
33. God’s boundaries are there to protect me and provide for me.
34. The Devil is a liar.
35. I want to be a man who honors women.
36. Choosing purity exalts the truth of God and silences the lies of the world.
37. It gives God more reign in my life. I can hear his voice more clearly.
38. My body is His temple.
39. Lust never satisfies. It is dead water. He is the Living Water.
40. Pursuing sexual purity forces me to be dependent upon God and not myself. I can’t do it on my own strength.
1 Corinthians 6:16-20 (MSG)
There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.
1 Thess 4: 3-8 (Phillips Translation)
God’s plan is to make you holy, and that entails first of all a clean cut with sexual immorality. Every one of you should learn to control his body, keeping it pure and treating it with respect, and never regarding it as an instrument for self-gratification, as do pagans with no knowledge of God. You cannot break this rule without in some way cheating your fellow-men. And you must remember that God will punish all who do offend in this matter, and we have warned you how we have seen this work out in our experience of life. The calling of God is not to impurity but to the most thorough purity, and anyone who makes light of the matter is not making light of man’s ruling but of God’s command. It is not for nothing that the Spirit God gives us is called the Holy Spirit.