“You Shall Not Commit Adultery.” What does this mean? “We should fear and love God that we live a pure and decent life in words and actions and that husband and wife love and honor one another.”
I’m sitting on my couch as I write this midst the calming, cheerful glow of Christmas lights. It’s one thing I’ve always loved about this time of year. I remember when I was little, my brothers and I would get up early on a winter morning and lie next to the baseboard heater in the living room soaking in the heat and basking in the glorious Christmas glow of the tree. But there’s such a thing as a time and place isn’t there? I mean if it were a hot August morning, I wouldn’t want to be cozy up next to a heater! And if the lights were on all year long, they wouldn’t be so special. That’s a little bit like sex and marriage.
Some people accuse Christians of being prudes about sex. I heard one character on a show once say something to this effect – “There are only two kinds of people in this world: people who like sex and people who are utterly creeped out by it.” She was referring to Christians with that last part. It’s a common idea: anyone that wants to impose any limitations on sex must be creeped out by sex. Satan has very successfully peddled the lie that using sex with anyone you want in any way you want is “freedom.”
When we follow what God says in His Word about sex, we don’t do so because we are creeped out by sex but because we value it as something special. We understand rightly how good it can be in the proper context and how bad it can be otherwise. God created sex for marriage. He blessed it when He gave man and woman to each other (Genesis 2). In fact, God did not render His final perfect “it is good” until He had created sex and marriage. In that context, it is a very special thing. Because marriage is a very special thing! In it, besides for sex, God provides companionship and comfort, the joy of children and grandchildren and so many other wonderful and unexpected blessings. I believe it is the most wonderful of all God’s physical gifts.
And that is why He protects it. For this great good can be used for great harm. Look around you at the results of the sexual revolution. Look at the broken families, the broken relationships, the pain and heartache which are a direct result of the ungodly way that the world (and our own sinful natures) treats sex. Can there really be any doubt that God got it right when He said it should be this way: “A man shall leave his Father and Mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
God demands that we treat his gifts of sex and marriage as He intended. He demands purity from us in thought, word, and action. Yes that means that He wants you to wait for marriage to have sex. Yes, that means homosexuality is a sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Yes, that means you shouldn’t watch porn or dirty movies or masturbate, it even means you shouldn’t have a lustful thought for someone you aren’t married to (Matthew 5:27-28). Does that seem like a lot to demand? Certainly it’s far more than you can are capable of keeping, and the same goes for me. It’s good then that we can pray confidently with David in Psalm 51, “Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with Your free spirit.”
In the peace of the forgiveness of sins won for us at the blood-soaked cross of Calvary, may we be set free from slavery to worldly desires and serve the Lord with pure thoughts, words, and actions. Keep sex and marriage where they belong – keep them special.