Week Twenty Seven
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God
Quote from Pray While You’re Prey:
“If you want an instant self-image booster, stop giving away pieces of yourself to potential mates.”
When I was younger, I loved Janet Jackson’s music. The first song I remember getting down to was “Control.”
When I was 17, I did what people told me
Did what my father said and let my mother mold me
But, that was long ago…I’m in control!
The song came out well before I was seventeen, but oddly enough, when I was seventeen, I made a choice that would change my life completely. I had graduated from high school and I was in my first serious, long-term relationship (okay, it had been four months, but when you’re a teenager, that’s long term). I really loved this guy and we were going to get married, but we had to go finish college first before we could actually get married. Now, I had vowed to God to remain pure until I was married. God had helped me out by not allowing me to have a real boyfriend until I was nearly an adult. But now, I was in a relationship that I knew would last forever and we were committed to each other; we just couldn’t get married because of school, so it was almost like we were married just not on paper.
It’s amazing, as I write it, now it seems like a completely irrational justification for sin, but then, I think I truly believed it. I think I really believed that going to get married and being married were the same thing, so I broke my vow to God to stay pure. I put my relationship with my beau before my relationship with Christ because I was in CONTROL!
Clearly, because I am writing this devotion series for singles, that relationship did not last forever. It took a while for me to regain control over my physical urges, which led to too many ill-advised relationships (one is too many, so don’t sit there and try to figure out a number). When I wrote Pray While You’re Prey, I was abstinent and vocal about it because, with God’s help, I had come back to my senses and chose to avoid sexual immorality, which is God’s will. And, just to be clear, premarital sex is included in sexual immorality. Nevertheless, as I stated in the book, I was not in any real relationship, so I had not been tested. And, when I did get into a real relationship again, I stumbled again. Why? Well, even though I was in control of my decisions, I clearly did not have control over lust and trust.
The lust part is self-explanatory. I was, at the time, old enough to know that I should not put myself in a compromising position. But, older is not necessarily wiser, and sometimes, we think we know our boundaries and we can stop the inevitable at any point, but I am a witness that doing so is nearly impossible. Plus, when it comes down to it, I did not trust God. I had been in a four year relationship dry spell. I had finally met someone with whom I could see forever, and I did not want him to leave me. Had I trusted God, I would have placed the relationship in His hands and said, “Lord, Thy will be done.” But, I could not take the risk that His will was for me to be alone again, so I blatantly disobeyed God’s will in order to keep my man.
Again, obviously, that did not work out too well because I am writing this devotion. Call me old-fashioned, but I do not think that men and women realize the spiritual impact of sex. We know the physical impact. We can most times calculate the emotional impact, but there is a spiritual impact as well that seems to be ignored. For me, submitting to the lust of the flesh caused significant spiritual damage. I did not think that God would or could love me again, but I am so glad that I was wrong. Not only does He love me, but now I have truly placed Him in control because the only way for me to control my body is with His help and His guidance. Abstinence is not impossible with God. Surrender control to Him and He will help you through this time of singleness and temptation.
Thank You, God for being willing to
take control over my life.
Please forgive me for thinking that I could handle
physical urges and passionate lust on my own.
Lord, please help me to be wise enough to
avoid compromising situations and to trust
that You know what and who is best for me.
In Jesus’ Name,
*Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©1984, unless otherwise indicated.