Sunday, January 30, 2011

February 2011: Sexual Purity

This month, several of our youth will be joining a thousand other youth at LoveFest. Young people are bombarded with sexual images and messages everywhere. Not all of them are good. At LoveFest we'll be learning a lot about what God thinks about sex and about sexual purity.

If you watch TV at all, you find that the concept of "sexual purity" is considered to be almost an oddity. People who are committed to "sexual purity" are considered to be "fanatics". Since the 1960's, our society has sought to free our sexual natures from their bondage to rules and shame. Sexual purity became equated with a denial of our sexual nature. The idea of sexual union being only between "a man and a woman within marriage" was considered repressive and new ways of sexual union became acceptable.

What is sad is that sexual purity, as God sees it, is far from repressive. Sexual purity is not the denial of our sexual natures, but rather it recognizes that we were created as sexual beings. We were created man and woman. We were commanded to be fruitful and multiply. As man and woman, our biological natures complement each other. However, sexual purity also recognizes that, as created beings, we must express that sexuality in the ways that our Creator designed us to do.

According to "This We Believe--Selected Topics of Faith and Practice in the LCMS" God created mankind as sexual. Sexual union in marriage was for enjoyment as well as procreation. Sexual expression of love is to be in marriage and between one man and one woman. Sex is only between a man and a woman. Sex outside of marriage is forbidden. God's will for His people is to remain sexually pure throughout life.

Sexual purity is not a call to be a prude. It is not a call to give up fun or to be a boring person. Sexual purity enhances the value of the sexual union. It is not a call to repress one's sexuality but rather it is to uplift marriage as sacred. Its purpose is not to belittle our sexuality but rather to exalt sexuality in marriage.

For those who are not currently in a marriage relationship, I think it is important to know that they do not "lose out". Their sexuality is not being repressed. It is important to realize that our sexuality is more than just sexual intercourse. Single people are still sexual beings and continue to express their sexuality (i.e. their maleness and femaleness) in a myriad of ways. While it may not culminate in marriage, it is still a part of their daily lives.

Though we are sexual beings, it is also important to know that we are not defined by that sexuality. Many people have tried to excuse sinful behavior by saying, "This is the way I am. I can't help it." In fact, it is dangerous to let our human desires define us. Our human desires have been corrupted by sin. While we are sexual beings, we are more than our maleness or femaleness. We are more than our desires for a man or a for a woman. Where our human desires point us to desire something which God has declared sinful, we are not to express that part of our sexuality. Where our human desires point to godly behavior, we know we have the blessings of God.

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