A word highly valued but very rarely respected and protected.
The sad part is, the church and Christians are no different in this department. They live and do things just the same as the rest of the world. What has become of the purity of Christians in relationships?
I have recently befriended this amazing girl, who became a reborn Christian end of last year and about 3 months ago began dating one of the young men in my church. I had to find out through a social visit with both of them that she was living with him and sleeping in the same bed. He tried to cover it up and hide it, but due to his girlfriends lack of knowledge about the Christian Biblical standard, she blabbed it out as if it is also normal and okay for Christians.
What saddened me mostly was the fact that the young man has been a reborn Christian for more than 8 years now, he know what the Bible says and what purity means, yet he choses to continue living in sin by having sex with his girlfriend before marriage. He is taking advantage of her innocence and purity. And there is no respect in such behaviour.
What am I supposed to do as a friend? First, do not reject the couple, but continue loving them as a friend and pray. Secondly, confront the young man about his behaviour and choices – what he is doing is wrong. If, like in my case, you are a woman, I would suggested you talk to the young man’s cell leader or a trusted male friend of the guy about the situation and ask that this male friend do the confronting on your behalf. Thirdly, since the girlfriend is completely unaware of what is right and wrong according to the Bible, be gentle with her and sensitive when broaching the subject – do not hit her over the head with the Bible. Gently introduce the topic of purity in relationships, ask her what she knows about the topic and open a door to discussion in this area.
Just keep in mind – you cannot force people to choose purity. You can make them aware of living in purity according to the Bible. You can teach and train them in scripture. But at the end of the day, it is their choice whether they are going to do it or not. That’s why it is extremely important to pray for conviction and understanding, for renewing of the mind.
I know of another couple who had been living together for about 10 years and has had 2 children together, and they never married. They became reborn Christians about a year ago, and no one ever told them that it is Biblically incorrect for two people to live together and have sex before marriage. They were surprised by what the cell group leader said concerning purity, and the wife admitted that she was terrified of commitment due to a previous relationship that had gone terribly wrong.
“Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honour, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God…” 1 Thessalonians 4:1-5
The cell group leader was very gentle and understanding of the situation, the pain and fears involved in their decision. But he remained steady and told them that one still needs to stick to the ways of purity as described by scripture. The couple agreed to live separately, and the husband has moved out to the garden flat. They are very serious about learning how to abstain from sex and do things the right way.
Do not get me wrong. Sex was designed to be pleasurable and desired. But God did also design it to be enjoyed within the boundaries of marriage as the glue of the relationship. He never designed it to be used as we feel and desire to do so before and outside of marriage.
Choose purity. Make a choice to wait until your wedding night.
If you are currently sleeping around or living with a partner, be honest with yourself about your feelings and struggles. Be honest with your partner about it. But honour God and respect your partner by choosing purity. Move out of the flat / house. Live in separate rooms. Do not share a bed. Abstain from sex.
The Bible does not teach and does not support “friends with benefits”. Either you marry and have sex, or remain single and pure. But do not blur the lines and choose what you want and call what you would like to be right and what you feel is wrong. To do the right thing, you need to let go of what your hormones demand and how you feel and pursue purity with everything you have in you.
Let God be the foundation of your relationship and friendship be the cornerstone. Do not let sex be a motivation for keeping the relationship. If that person really and truly does love you, then your relationship won’t be dependent on sex only.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24