Churches today teach a lot about sexual purity to young people. They teach half the truth, the part about not having sex, but are afraid to teach the whole truth. The rest of the story is that once you are married sexual purity changes from having no sex to having enough sex.
1 Corinthians 7:1-5 (NIV)
Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
We’ve looked at these verses before when we wrote about Sex and the Good Samaritan. This scripture makes it clear that we each owe a debt to our spouse of a fulfilling sex life. We owe them this because we chose to marry them. If we didn’t want to have sex with them, then we should not have married them. If we don’t want to have sex with anyone then, according to the Apostle Paul (verse eight), we shouldn’t marry at all. This is the part the church leaves out. To remain “sexually pure” after marriage one must have enough sex.
Now, about the language of “sexual purity.” “Sexual purity” is a loaded term. Why? Because before marriage “sexual purity” means, no sex, and after marriage it’s contradicted into, enough sex. The problem is the church doesn’t really teach the second part of this so all the young people get is that having sex before you are marriage makes you impure. Not a huge jump from that to, “sex is impure” which is something that scripture does not teach. Is it any wonder we’re seeing such sexual issues in marriages when the church seems afraid to teach the full Truth of scripture?
The other issue with the term “sexual purity” and how that’s singularly defined, having no sex before marriage, is it can make “purity” a works based exercise instead of a God honoring exercise. Let me put it this way, who of you wants to be impure, please raise your hand? So, do we remain “sexually pure” to honor God or because we do not want to be impure for ourselves? “Sexual purity” seems to be based to me on not doing something instead of focusing on honoring God and His Word. Remember, we’re talking about how young people and, therefor, young Christians might interpret what they are being taught.
I think it is very interesting what immediately preceeds these versus in chapter six of 1 Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (NIV)
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Paul talks about fleeing sexual immorality to honor God. He goes right from fleeing sexual immorality into discussing a solution to the problem of sexual immorality other than fleeing it, sex within God’s plan, marriage.
It seems to me that the church could be doing a better job preparing young people for the sexual challenges that face them. What are your thoughts?
This content is published under the Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.