I’ve been wanting to write on this topic for a few weeks now. I have been waiting, because I want to make sure my words on this topic are gracious, and not judgmental; authoritative, and not condemning.
Three weeks ago, I was cleaning out my younger sister’s car for some extra cash, and while I cleaned, we talked. We were on the topic of sexual immorality (which I define as any sexual activity outside of a covenant/marriage relationship) because someone we knew had recently been found out in this area. I’d had a feeling about this particular person being involved in this sin before it came out, and mentioned that to my sister.
“Lydia,” she said, in a tone that would have made anybody think she was older than me, “anybody in that kind of a relationship is doing it.”
“No,” I responded, “they’re not.”
I didn’t challenge her further on it, but here’s what bugs me about her statement: what exactly is that kind of relationship, and why is anybody in that kind of relationship doing it? Pretty general, isn’t it? And, to me at least, it reeks of justification: if anybody in that kind of relationship is doing it, something about doing it becomes more okay.
Ladies and Gentlemen, first of all, it is NOT okay. Sexual sin is NOT God’s will for you and I. His Word is clear: “It is God’s will for you to be holy, so stay away from sexual sin” (1 Thessalonians 4:7 NLT). Sexual sin violates God’s standards first and foremost. Sexual sin is also often accompanied by consequences in our bodies (STDs and unwanted pregnancies) and spirits (distance from God). Sexual sin violates us. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, and you are engaging in this sin, it is not okay. It is not going to be okay, no matter how hard you try to justify it in yourself or before other people. So can I give you some advice? Stop trying to justify it! Go before God and those who are involved and confess that what you’ve been doing is sin. Surrender it to God, and watch Him change you and your situation. I promise you He will redeem every mistake you’ve made if you humble yourself and let Him: it’s not a stain that will be on you forever!
And secondly, everybody’s NOT doing it. Believe me, I’m aware of the statistics of teens who claim to have had sex, and I agree they’re staggering and probably not far off from reality. It’s even more unusual for a single person to make it through college with his or her virginity intact. But it’s not impossible. I know because I’m not doing it, nor have I ever done it.
And this is the point where somebody who HAS engaged in this sin will lose me; not because they have sinned in this way, or because I think this sin is so much worse than any other kind of sin (HA! no, I don’t really think that), but because at this point in the conversation, I am almost always told I have no business saying these things. Why? I’m still a virgin and therefore don’t have the life experience to back me up. And if I’m still a virgin, it’s probably because I’ve never been tempted to give it up to a guy, and so I can’t possibly understand where they are coming from. (Puh-lease. Those who have heard my full-version testimony know that’s not true).
Justify, justify, justify.
And that’s my whole point with this post: Don’t set yourself up for failure by justifying sexual sin. There is no justification. Sure, there is grace and mercy, there is redemption once it’s done, and anyone who has sinned sexually but surrenders to God’s will for his or her life can have just as blessed a life as me. But as long as you’re justifying it, complacently looking to other people to set the standards God has already laid out, you’re circumventing that blessing.