Addicted to porn? Giving in to sexual temptation? Feeling shame? Sex misused can destroy your relationships and your health.
Lust is unbridled sexual desire that is directed in the wrong way.
Sex per se is not loathsome at all.
In fact, when properly expressed (that is, between a man and woman who are married to each other), sex is a great thing—one of God’s best blessings to us. Sex without sin is a beautiful act of union, becoming “one flesh.” (See Genesis 2:24–25 KJV).
An entire book of the Bible, Song of Solomon, uses sexual imagery in a positive way. Only when this good gift of sex is perverted into an evil through lustful desires do we see the multiple expressions of immorality that mar our world.
Counselors sometimes categorize sexual sins as “victimless” sins and “victimizing” sins. Whether the sexual immorality is “victimless” or “victimizing,” it is a violation of God’s will for human beings. And since sex is such a powerful drive, a pattern of sin can quickly set in. Some may call this a “sex addiction,” but we prefer to call it a sexual sin habit needing healing.
Sin habits must be broken. Time and again, Scripture warns us against misusing the gift of sex.
Don’t participate in…sexual promiscuity and immoral living.
Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires.
You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust.
—1 Peter 4:3
In another passage, the apostle Paul laid out the rationale for sexual purity among Christians. Since we are spiritually united with the Holy Spirit, we cannot be physically united with anyone other than our spouse.
But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies….
Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
—1 Corinthians 6:13, 18–20
We recognize that the causes for sexual immorality may be complicated. Childhood sexual abuse, for example, often predisposes its victims to making poor choices about their sexuality in later life. One’s other sins, such as self-indulgence or deceit, may be related to improper sexual behavior. But regardless of these other factors, sin is still sin.
The bottom line is that the only place where sexual activity is acceptable is between a man and a woman who are married to each other. As hard as it may seem, sexual abstinence is the requirement for anyone who is not married. And for married couples, sexual attention can be directed only toward your spouse.
Harder than these restrictions are the costs of sexual misbehavior. Guilt. Shame. Abuse. Disease. Broken marriages. Even criminal charges.
God loves us and wants to preserve us from such suffering. His prescriptions of sexual abstinence before marriage and of fidelity within marriage protect us from harm and at the same time offer married couples the freedom and enjoyment of sex as it was meant to be. Most of all, they show the way to holiness in relation to that important part of our life known as sexuality.
Purity is a beautiful thing. Its blessings exceed any brief pleasure that sexual immorality might offer.
5 Steps to Overcome Immorality
Discover how to overcome immorality in its various forms through time-tested insights that really work!
We have outlined a five-step process in the free e-book, IMMORALITY: Sex Misused, to help you work through the repair of that area of your life.