I Am Stumped

For years I have heard the stories from countless men how they are able to refrain from sexual sin only to repeatedly experience failures.  The time of success with the eventual trip-up becomes a way of life for them.  They truly desire to live a life of continuous integrity, but eventually develop a conclusion that, “this is just how life is for a man.”   Because they do everything in their power, including calling on God’s power, yet experience repeated failures the belief that true freedom is not really possible creeps into their psyche and their efforts are sabotaged.

We try to make peace with the tension among our best effort, what God desires for us, and the cycle of our life.  We make peace by developing a false-belief which is more of a coping mechanism to deal with the tension in our hearts.  I want to suggest that the problem here is that we have not correctly identified the real issue–the root cause.

We identify the behavior as the problem.  We say the adultery, the use of pornography, participation in voyeurism, etc. is the problem.  Yes these behaviors are problems but they are not “the” problem.  They are symptoms to a deeper issue and until the root cause is treated, the symptoms are going to flare-up from time to time.  They may even flare-up in different ways, but the root cause will be the same.

Behaviors under the umbrella of sexual sin are many times treated as the sickness rather than the symptom of a deeper issue.   Because most of us only address the symptoms, true and lasting change rarely occurs.  This is why one may not experience any symptoms for weeks, months, even years but the core issue is lying dormant while we do everything we can to control the symptoms, only to eventually experience a flare up.

Why do we focus only on the symptoms?

Focusing on the symptoms is easier and less threatening than focusing on the root causes.  One sees the symptom of the use of pornography; so he says, “don’t use pornography.”  The work is done quick and easy, until one uses pornography.

Focusing on the root cause takes time; it takes work; and it may even require some help.

I suggest that the root causes of sexual sin originate from one or more of the following three areas:

  • Physical
  • Emotional (Psychological)
  • Spiritual

Join me as we explore the root causes of the behaviors of sexual sin.

Sex ED: The “F” Word

FORNICATION— the Bible’s “F” word.

FORNICATION– the Bible’s “F” word. Have you ever heard of it? If you grew up in church like I did, you not only heard of it but you also read it in the Bible. More recent translations have replaced that term with “sexual immorality.” Do you have a better idea to what the word might refer? Let’s start by seeing what the New Testament says concerning this term:

1.  Flee from sexual immorality. (I Corinthians 6:18)

2.  You should avoid sexual immorality. (I Thessalonians 4:3)

3.  Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality. (Colossians 3:5)

4.  But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality. (Ephesians 5:3)

5.  The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality. (Galatians 5:19)

Would you agree that these verses give the impression that whatever “sexual immorality” means, that it is not good for us and that we should avoid it?

As we continue our Sex ED study, keep in mind our point of view for this series: “Great and Godly sex starts between the ears long before it starts between the legs.”

So let’s establish the meaning of fornication and sexual immorality. The two words are translated from the same Greek word “Porneia (Por-Ni’-ah); meaning illicit sex including adultery, incest, premarital sex, or any extramarital sexual arousal.”  This meaning would suggest that any sexual activity or arousal outside the covenant of marriage would be considered sexual immorality, something for us to stay away from.  And Yes! This is were we get our English word “pornography.”

Let’s be clear, these Scriptures are not suggesting sex is bad; in fact, God created sex. The first sexual intercourse is recorded in Genesis 2:24, and in the next verse the phrase “no shame” is used. Sex expressed in the way God created it is not shameful; however, sex outside God’s intention is shameful.

You may ask, “how do you know God does not want us involved in sexual immorality?” Well, first, there are five Bible verses already written in this article that provide that reasoning, but in case more is required, let’s expand I Thessalonians 4:3, which reads, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality.” That should settle the issue of God’s will, but just as people are people regardless of the time and place they live, we always try to work around the language. Do you recall the first time we did that? It was in the Garden of Eden when the serpent said to Eve, “Did God really say…”

Kind of sounds similar to when a former United States President said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Really? He is not alone in his logic.  We all have been there for one thing or another.

But praise God the Bible has another big “F” word for us: FORGIVENESS!

I pray that you are able to allow the Spirit of God to speak to your heart as we continue our Sex ED series and that your life would reflect sexual integrity in our sexualized society.