“Ah! Mom! Get out!” the 17-year-old shouted in outrage as she and her boyfriend tried to hide under her purple-patterned comforter. The door slammed and the God-fearing mother stood frozen in shock. What went wrong? Her mind screamed as she stumbled down the hallway in shock. We raised her to believe in purity. We taught her that sex was for marriage only. We told her it was God’s plan. What went wrong?!! The dazed mother sank down at the breakfast table and waited for the teenagers to emerge. Is it all over? Will she just run around and have sex with all her boyfriends now? The tears started to flow. And what do I say when they come out?*
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Having sex outside of marriage…does mean that she’s strayed from God’s plan
“Be imitators of God (holy and sinless), as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving…. Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,” Eph. 5:1-4, 15.
Jesus calls His bride to be like Himself – pure (Eph. 5:25-27). As God’s children, we are a reflection, a witness, of Jesus Christ on earth. We are called to holiness, purity and righteousness because our Savior is holy, pure and righteous. The world is none of those things. It is in the contrast of our purity against the world’s utter impurity that Christ is glorified.
God’s plan is for each of us to keep the marriage bed pure, because marriage is God’s chosen picture of Christ’s saving relationship with His bride, the Church. “We defend marriage because God made it for us and told us it is good. We defend it because God created it as a living picture of His own love for us.” (Rebecca Jones, Does Christianity Squash Women?) God’s plan is simple: sexual relations are for marriage; marriage is for God’s witness and the couple’s sanctification.
Having sex outside of marriage…does mean that she will face the consequences of her actions
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 says, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Let’s put aside potential pregnancy and STD’s for now – those are possibilities. Let’s talk about the guaranteed consequences of sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman.
God created sex to unite a man and a woman as one flesh in marriage. Now the “one flesh” union is a mystery, but we know it causes strong emotional, spiritual and physical ties in both parties. I’m sure you’ve heard of oxytocin, the chemical in the brain that is released during sex to help form a monogamous bond between the two. It is based on this chemical bonding phenomenon that secular matchmaker, Patti Stanger, preaches to her girls that there should be “no sex until monogamy.” And oxytocin is just one example of the bonds formed through sexual intimacy.
We are complex creatures with interwoven physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects – you can’t do something physical that doesn’t affect you mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Your relationship with God is directly connected to what you do with your mind, emotions and body. Your emotional health is directly connected to what you do with your body. This is one of the reasons God makes such a strong point in Scripture about keeping the marriage bed pure – He loves you and wants you to have the best relationship possible. Being sexually intimate with someone outside of the safety and sanctity of marriage will have consequences. Consequences like distance in your relationship to God until you repent and greater heartbreak in relationships where there was a sexual bond.
Having sex outside of marriage…doesn’t mean her fight for purity is lost
Having sex outside of marriage doesn’t mean the war is over, that her entire life is surrendered to the lusts of the world. Purity is a lifelong fight, through the power of God, to walk in the strength of the Spirit and resist the desires of the flesh. You may have lost that one battle, but it doesn’t mean the war is over – the fight must continue… so that you can have a close relationship with God, so that you can have a healthy marriage someday, so that you can glorify God with your life.
To rejoin the fight for purity in a world of fleshly desires, we must repent, confess and live in victory. First, repent. Confess your sins to God and to other believers. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:5-9. Turn from the sin and find mature believers to hold you accountable to daily turn from sin. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed,” James 5:16. Live in grace. You have been forgiven your sins of lust. You are set free. Now, live in that freedom. “He said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more,” John 8:1-11. As a believer, you are dead to sin and have been given life through Jesus Christ! Choose to live like the pure, holy and cleansed person that you are (1 Peter 1:14-16, Romans 6:9-10).
Having sex outside of marriage…doesn’t mean that she can’t have a beautiful relationship in the future
“After 8 years as a professional athlete, there aren’t many sins I haven’t committed at least once.” Jae choked out, a single tear escaping down her cheek. “Jesus has saved me from all that – I am pure in his eyes. But I don’t consider myself innocent – I still have intimate knowledge of all those sins. Nothing about me is innocent or pure,” she wiped away the tear. “I think you have an incomplete view of grace,” her accountability partner contradicted. “Yes, you have sinned, as we all have. But not only are we forgiven, but if we allow the Spirit to do his work in us, he can restore us to a place of holiness and innocence. Don’t sell God short.”*
How often do we assume that because we have experienced sin, that we can never really be removed from it? Yet that is not what scripture says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9 .
The power of God can transform our minds, replacing the knowledge of sin with the knowledge of God. Restoration of innocence is possible, but we have to pursue it. Not because we deserve it, but because we desire to become like our Savior.“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect,” Romans 12:1-2.
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“Sweetie, have a seat.” The somewhat more composed mother addressed her 17-year-old daughter. “Can you look me in the eye?”
“I… I just don’t want you … or God… to be disappointed in me.” The teenager sniffled.
“Oh, sweetie. I love you and God loves you – nothing can change that – ever!” She pulled the girl into her arms, “but I am sad at this choice you’ve made to disobey God. You’ve sinned, but that doesn’t mean it’s over.” She looked her daughter, “Lets dry your eyes, I’ll make us some hot chocolate and then we can discuss repentance, accountability and redemption.”