Monday, May 21, 2012

40 Reasons To Pursue Sexual Purity

There's more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, "The two become one." Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never "become one." There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for "becoming one" with another. Or didn't you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don't you see that you can't live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.  
1 Corinthians 6:16-20 (MSG)

Last night at Campaigners we looked at the above passage.  Guys were surprisingly mature, but reluctant to go deep. I asked them why we should pursue sexual purity. Grasshoppers chirped outside. 

During our family's recent spring cleaning I discovered an old journal. Inside I found a list I'd written entitled "40 Reasons to Pursue Sexual Purity." I shared it with the guys during Campaigners.
Here's the actual journal. We miss you #3.

I debated posting the list on the blog. It's personal and sensitive subject material, but I felt the Lord's prompting to share it. Hopefully it will help some of you out there in Young Life Leader Land, either personally or as you lead your Campaigner group. 

The list isn't organized neatly. It's just stream of thought that came out of some time with the Lord as I wrestled with my own sin. 

40 Reasons To Pursue Sexual Purity 

1. Out of obedience to God, because He commanded it.
2. Because I know God has my best interest in mind.
3. So I can be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit instead of filled with lustful thoughts.
4. Because I am no longer a slave to sin, but now a slave to righteousness.
5. So I can be a man of integrity.
6. So I can be honest with my wife/future wife.
7. Because I'm cheating on my wife/future wife when I have lustful thoughts.
8. Because lust always leaves me feeling empty.
9. So I don't have to live in fear of being "found out."
10. So I can be a Godly father to my future kids.
11. Because an impure thought life leads to impure actions.
12. Because impure actions lead to regret.
13. Other men that have cheated on their wives didn't just fall into temptation, the cheating began with their thought life. I don't want to end up like that.
14. God calls us to take every thought captive. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
15. What goes in must come out. I want to overflow God, not lust.
16. So I can honestly speak truth to all those I lead.
17. A pure thought life makes married sex life even better.
18. When I lust after another woman, that's someone else's daughter, sister, future wife or wife. (1 Timothy 5:2)
19. I don't want guys lusting after my wife, my sister or my daughter.
20. Obedience to God brings blessings, disobedience brings conflict.
21. Purity leads to intimacy with God and others. I desire intimacy.
22. I have no right to lust after another woman.
23. Being two-faced sucks...and is exhausting.
24. I want my life to be an open book.
25. I can't live however I please, squandering what God paid such a high price for.
26. Women are God's daughters.
27. Sexual impurity will eventually catch up to me.
28. I am more fulfilled when my mind is on Christ.
29. Lusting is a waste of valuable time that God has entrusted me to steward wisely.
30. Images are not quick to leave and will haunt me for a long time.
31. Porn is disgusting.
32. I desire a life of peace, not of fear and guilt.
33. God's boundaries are there to protect me and provide for me.
34. The Devil is a liar.
35. I want to be a man who honors women.
36. Choosing purity exalts the truth of God and silences the lies of the world.
37. It gives God more reign in my life. I can hear his voice more clearly.
38. My body is His temple.
39. Lust never satisfies. It is dead water. He is the Living Water.
40. Pursuing sexual purity forces me to be dependent upon God and not myself. I can't do it on my own strength. 

What reasons would you add to the list above?


  1. Great list! Thanks for being vulnerable. I have a feeling many Campaigners will be seeing this list very soon

  2. Great list! Thank you for sharing and being valnuerable! It will help me with my own struggles.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this list. I deal w/ sexual sin, lustfulness. It is great to see others being so open about they same issue. I am not a YL leader or campaigner, just a college student. But this message really hits home.. Thanks again.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this list. This will definitely be very helpful for young Christians out there who are struggling against retaining sexual purity and the pressure the society is pressing on them. If I could only take back time, I definitely would have preserved myself. But since what's done has been done, I now advocate myself in sharing to other teens the benefits of waiting and the consequences of failing to wait.

    Keep up the great work. God bless.

  5. So much of what I see come out of YL with regard to sin is about sexual sin. Yet, very little of the bible and nearly none of the New Testament itself is focused on sexual sin. Instead, the prophets rail against economic injustice. I am struggling with allowing my son to attend YL and yet, I am a very religious person. I would love to see YL teach more about the more global and corporate sins like failing to care for God's creation, violence against all, putting power above relationships, etc.

  6. I share your passion for social and economic justice. I have lived, witnessed, worshiped, worked, and raised my family in South Central LA for 23 years now (I grew up in rural Arizona, discovered Jesus in college). But I think it's odd that you see sexual sin as unconnected to issues of global sin, violence, social power, and the abuse of power in relationships. Actually, they are intimately, even inextricably, connected: think of the human trafficking problem for starters. (I'll not list all the many other examples that came immediately to mind!) Perhaps you struggle with YL's focus because most of these YL posts about sexual purity don't connect the dots between sanctification or the pursuit of personal holiness, and the profound impact of personal transformation on both social relationships (casual, professional, whatever-- its about how persons are treated) and worldview paradigm shifts (an awakening to our responsibilities as stewards for example: stewards of the gospel, stewards of truth, but also stewards of this planet and all its amazing living complexity). Curiously, I find these latter conversations about environmental or socioeconomic stewardship much more rewarding with young people who strive for personal sanctification and personal intimacy with God. Youth who have a shallow commitment to Christ in the details of their personal life often have a hard time thinking critically or committing sacrificially to the broader issues in life.
    Just my personal perspective... YMMV

  7. (...and I'm sorry you did not feel safe enough to post a name or nickname in this forum, Anonymous...)