When I look at my three grown children I see hints of both my husband and me. My daughters have Wayne’s dark eyes. My son Mark’s eyes are green like mine. Sometimes when Mark speaks he sounds exactly like his dad. And occasionally the girls move in a way that mirrors one of my mannerisms.
Physically we are all a mix of our parents – good traits and less desirable ones too. But unfortunately, the character and behavior of believers are also often a mix. In some ways we reflect our heavenly Father and sometimes we look just like the world.
This month at Do Not Depart we are focusing on sexual purity for today’s Christian woman. The gap continues to grow between the world’s sexual standards and God’s. If we truly desire to follow Jesus, we must dare to ask ourselves: “Are my values and behavior in the area of purity being shaped by God or the world?”
God commands us to turn away from the world’s values and standards and instead be shaped by His thinking. His character. His ways.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2, NLT
Sadly, many of us are shaped more by the world than we even realize. We live in a culture that is saturated with sex, sexual overtones, and sexual undertones. It is pervasive. Our society has “lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more” (Ephesians 4:19).
But God calls us to “put off” that way of life, “which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires,” and to be “made new in the attitude of our minds” and to live a holy life (Ephesians 4:20-24).
Today, let’s lay the world’s standards alongside God’s and see where we stand. The table below compares God’s truth with the world’s viewpoint on a number of sexual issues. As you review it, ask God to show you whether He or the world most shapes your attitude and behavior.
|TOPIC||WORLD’S VIEW||GOD’S TRUTH||SCRIPTURE|
|Sex Before Marriage||At the worst: Anytime, anyone. At the best: Okay if you’re “in love”||God created sex. But He designed it to be for one man and one woman within the context of a marriage relationship.||Genesis 1:27-28, 2:20-25;Matt 19:4-9|
|Adultery||Still frowned upon in some circles, but easily justified – loveless marriage, marriage problems, etc.||The principle above also applies to the married man and woman. Sex should be reserved for the married couple.||Exodus 20:14;Matt 15:16-20, 19:4-9; 1 Tim 1:8-10|
|Pornography –Defined as “obscene writings, drawings, photographs, etc.”||Not only has our culture increasingly accepted pornography, our culture’s definition of what is “obscene” has also changed. So much so, Christian women read books like “Fifty Shades of Grey” without hesitation.||Reading & viewing sexually graphic material fosters sexual desire & even creates a physical response. Since Jesus said lusting after a woman is the same as the physical act of adultery, we must guard our hearts & minds from anything that causes this kind of reaction.||Matt 5:27-30Phil 4:8|
|Personal Appearance||Women dress to be sexually desirable. Even clothing for young girls reflects this. Edgy, sexy, flirtatious is the goal.||God is the author of beauty. But our culture has replaced beauty with “sexy.” Christian women must be careful not to cause anyone to stumble by the way we dress. Our conduct in every area must be for the glory of God.||1 Peter 3:3-4;1 Cor 8:9;1 Cor 10:31-33|
|General Role of Sex||We live in a hyper-sexualized culture. Sex pervades every area of our society. Advertisers know that “sex sells.” We give condoms to middle-schoolers and “Teen Moms” grace the cover of supermarket tabloids.||God created sex as good, enjoyable, & productive. But He also created limits. Our limits are to be one man with one woman inside the bounds of marriage. Sin has warped it and made it vulgar.||Eph 4:17-24|
What’s the verdict? Did you discover any areas that need to be transformed by God’s truth? Which areas do you think Christians struggle with most?