“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18
U.S. News & World Report previously ran a cover story entitled “The Trouble with Premarital Sex.” The subtitle was, “Americans don’t think it’s too much of a problem. Maybe they should.” The gist of the article was that sexual freedom does not deliver true intimacy. Jennifer Grossman, a 30-year-old single woman and contributor for MSNBC-TV, gave the most telling statement in a sidebar interview entitled “Was It Good for Us?” Grossman, a self-described libertarian, said:
“I used to complain to my mother, who is a liberal, about how boyfriends seem commitment shy. And she would say, ‘Well why buy the cow if the milk is for free?’” Jennifer continued, “We’re in the sexual promised land now, the milk is free, people are surfeited with sex-and yet we’re starved for love . . . The acceptance, even encouragement of premarital sex makes it very difficult to sustain the fantasy that we are loved alone.”
Jennifer’s musings are telling. As she points out, all of us have a deep, soul-level desire to be loved exclusively, and the “sexual promised land” does not fulfill that need. Yet this generation is sold out to the idea that the rewards of intimacy can be had in an endless series of hook-ups between any two people who feel the urge.
God’s Word has much to say on this topic. Even though our culture today accepts immorality as “the norm,” the Bible says it has been a problem for centuries. In fact, Paul had to write to the members of the church at Corinth about their conduct in this area.
He told them to “flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18). Seems pretty clear to me—he’s saying, “Don’t have anything to do with it!” Treat it like the potential disaster that it is. Like a semi coming at you when you’re in the middle of the street. You don’t stand there and look it up and down and try to decide what to do. The course of action is clear. Get out of there!
But how different is this compared to the casual way that the world approaches this issue? The world says, “Hey, the milk’s free, jump into bed with anyone you find attractive. Go ahead and experiment—it’s no big deal.” Not true. Millions could testify that if you live to do whatever your sex drive tells you to do, you’ll be disappointed, damaged, and full of regret.
The truth is that promiscuity harms us both emotionally and physically. As Paul goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 6:1-20, the one “who sins sexually sins against his own body.” In essence, you’re hurting yourself. People who lead promiscuous lives suffer from desensitized emotions, loss of self-worth, regret, disease, and unplanned pregnancy. I think we all agree that this stuff is a high price to pay for a few moments of pleasure here and there.
Ready for some good news? You don’t have to stay in bondage to sexual sin. Paul reminds us, “you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). The truth is that we are loved truly and exclusively when we strike up a relationship with Jesus. When we live in His love we will never ask, “Was it good for us?”
- David committed sexual sin, but God forgave Him. Read Psalm 51:1-19, and jot down a few observations about the way David approached God to ask for forgiveness in this area. How does this apply to you or someone you know?
- Are you flirting with sexual immorality in your life? Read the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife in Genesis 39:1-23. What should you do when sexual sin tries to entice you?
- Have you been hurt by promiscuity in the past? Pray and ask God to help you heal from the wounds. Recommit yourself to obey God and live a life of purity.