I acknowledge the complexity of the issue that I am about to address, as well as the emotional investment many of my readers have in it. I intend to tackle it just as I have in the past – with compassion and conviction.
Sexual Immorality. What is it? I define sexual immorality as any sexual activity outside of a covenant relationship. I derive that from the NT Greek word for fornication, porneo (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8). I do believe that such covenants are designed by God to be between a man, a woman, and God for the purpose of helpful companionship and fruitful multiplication (Genesis 2:18-22; 1:27-28).
We live in a sexually broken society.
Of the 53% of marriages that end in divorce in the United States, 41% failed because of infidelity (Infidelity Facts). I wasn’t able to find data on the heterosexual marriages that are ending because a spouse leaves to pursue same sex relationships, but I’ve heard many testimonies, and I know this scenario is all-too-common.
There are the people not getting married at all, quite possibly because of those scary statistics above, but that’s not stopping them from living together. According to NBC, “By the time they’re 20, 1 in 4 women ages 15 to 44 in the U.S. have lived with a man, and by the time they’re 30, that ratio climbs to 3 in 4.”
And just because they’re not living together doesn’t mean they’re not fooling around. The average age of lost virginity in the United States is 17 (The Atlantic). I don’t know if rape is included in that statistic or not.
Add to these the most emotionally-charged topic of them all: homosexuality. A 2002 Gallup poll estimates 1 in 5 Americans identify themselves as gay or lesbian. While I believe there is a fundamental difference between identity and actions, I think what we identify with we will eventually act upon.
If two people love each other, why can’t they do what they want? Here’s the thing: in the eyes of our government they absolutely can. I’m not interested in having a political discussion, though. This #GetOutoftheField series is about lifestyles that lead to death, physical (decay) and spiritual (distance from God).
Let’s talk about the decay of our bodies: “Recent estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Infection show that there are 19.7 million new STIs every year in the U.S.” (ASHA). It sounds like we’re creating new diseases every year, but it may just be new cases. Either way, the words “rampant” and “unchecked” come to mind.
Let’s talk about the decay of future generations.”In 1991 a study was done of children from which the parents were divorced six years earlier. The study found that even after all that time, these children tended to be lonely, unhappy, anxious and insecure” (Children and Divorce). They also tend to have more health issues and perform lower in school. I have heard numerous testimonies of children who grew up in homes with gay parents – many dealing with difficulties with growing up without a mother or a father; some of them more difficult to swallow, dealing with molestation. They are shut down too often, because their stories interfere with our placid views of sexuality.
Don’t get me started on abortion. Oh, wait…
Sexual immorality leaves broken people in its wake who go on to break other people.
Remember when I said that sexual immorality was any sexual activity outside of a God-designed covenant relationship ( a man, woman, God)? When God and His design are left out of it, He is not in it. God is not in the extramarital indiscretion and affair. He is not in the covenant-less cohabitation or premature loss of virginity. He is not in the homosexual union.
Now, please understand: I am not saying that God is not with the people doing these things. I am not saying He doesn’t love them.
I am saying that when any of us chooses to disregard God, we create distance between Him and us. We may follow Him in every other way, but the minute we choose to disregard Him and do a thing our way, we block Him in that area of our lives. That’s true of any sin.
Here’s the problem: we don’t want to acknowledge that we’re sinners, and we sin. Sin has a negative connotation. So instead of addressing it for what it is, we attempt to normalize it. If it’s normal, we don’t have to correct it, and it’s nobody’s business, because everybody’s doing it. If someone does address it, shame on them.
As with my #GetOutoftheField: Abortion post, I am inviting criticism when I say sexual activity outside of God’s design is sin. That even though it’s common, it’s not okay. That it hurts us, it hurts others, and it hurts God. That it is leaving far-reaching consequences in our families, churches, and society. That it’s not just one thing, but all the things. That sex is not ultimate.
Hopefully my critics will catch that God’s plan for our well-being is beyond our spoiled rotten attitude of sex when we want it, and with whom. That our ultimate satisfaction is in knowing and following Him with everything we have, including our sexuality. That He wants to adopt us into His family, so we can root our identity in being His children, not in our sexuality.
Some don’t want to believe there is a God; they don’t want to believe they are accountable to Him, and so they will continue to do what they want. They may come up empty again and again, but they will keep going. God loves them, and so do I, but much as I may want to, I can’t make those people see.
But maybe today you’re coming up empty for the umpteenth time, maybe from an affair, or from a lack of commitment, or from another partner (same gender or not), and you know it’s not working. Did you know God loves you for who you are wants to make you His child, and wrap you up in Jesus? Did you know that He calls you to live life a certain way because anything else shortchanges you? Did you know that the more you embrace your identity as His child, the less you’ll identify yourself by what you do or who you’re with? Did you know that He wants you to be more you than ever before – what He saw before sin entered the picture? Did you know that He knows how you struggle and when you fall, and He wants to fight for you, and pick you up?
He’s a good God, and He doesn’t hate you. He is crazy about you!
Run to Him.
If you would like prayer or you want to talk more, you are welcome to email me at lydia . evelyn . thomas @ gmail . com (minus the spaces).