Christian Family, Free Online Correspondence Course Lesson 3

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Purity Before and After Marriage

Pre-Marital Sexual Purity: The Bible mentions the following relationships (boyfriend – girlfriend relationship not included) between a man and woman: 1. brother and sister, including non-relatives; 2. betrothed  engaged); 3. husband and wife. Sexual intimacy or sexual union is pure only in the last relationship; in the other two, it would be sinful. 

The betrothed should treat each other as brother and sister as it concerns sexual intimacy and sexual union, so that God’s will is done whether or not their engagement leads to marriage. If you permit sexual intimacy or sexual union, and then for some reason marriage does not take place, how can the two persons part, and live with a good conscience the rest of
their lives? Delaying sexual intimacy util marriage is a small price to pay for living with a pure conscience.  What can we say to those who have gone wrong? When we come to  the Lord in repentance and humility, He forgives us without  condemnation. He does not ask, “why did you sin?” but only says, “go,
and sin no more” (John 8:11). 

“Flee fornication,” (1 Cor. 6:18). “Resist the devil, and he will flee from  you” (James 4:7). All other sin is committed outside the body, but when  you sin in this area, you sin against your own body.  The battle can be intense. If your hatred for sin is equally intense you  will receive grace to resist sin “unto blood” (Heb. 12:4). You must flee  all that causes temptation. Do certain TV programs cause you  temptation? Do some books or magazines cause lustful thoughts? Do  certain types of music arouse lust in you? Then flee these as you would  flee the fire of hell. Young Joseph fled from the woman who tempted  him. Paul wrote to young Timothy to flee from youthful lusts (2 Tim.  2:22; please open your Bible and read verses 20–22). It is certain that if  you will not flee, you will not overcome lust, but will be overcome by it.  Please ask the Lord: is it pleasing to You that I watch these TV  programs? Is it pleasing to You that I read these books and magazines?  And, listen to Christ’s words in Matt 5:29: “…if thy right eye offend  thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that  one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be  cast into hell.” You should flee from lust as from hell fire. Is that not  what Jesus meant? 

Faith for Victory:  Please read attentively Paul’s words in 1 Cor. 9:25-27: “And every man  that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to  obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run,  not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep  under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means,  when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” I know  an older Christian who testifies that these verses kept him from much  harm in his youth. 

Men, learn from Job and make a covenant with your eyes. What was  Job’s covenant? His covenant was not to “look [lustfully] upon a girl”  (Job 31:1, The Amplified Bible). Women, may your heart and mind be  veiled, and preserved like a garden enclosed, like a spring shut up, and  like a fountain sealed, as the bride in Song of Solomon 4:12. The bride  of Christ weaves her own wedding gown, which will be found without  spot or wrinkle. May you be found among such. Do not allow one  thought to come in that would arouse lust. When the door is firmly shut  against lust, sin that crouches at the door is mastered (Gen. 4:7, The
Amplified Bible). 

Those who overcome “shall be clothed in white raiment” (Rev. 3:5).  They are promised a white stone with a new name written on it which no  man knows except he who receives it (Rev. 2:17).  Thoughts, Intimacies, Physical Contacts  Jesus said that even without sexual union, adultery occurs in the heart  when one looks at a woman to lust for her (Matt. 5:28). “Watch over  your heart with all diligence,” we read (Prov. 4:23, New American  Standard). By grace we can be kept from lusting if we abide in godly  fear, and are kept by the power of God. A young man and a young  woman, though betrothed, would do well to think of themselves as  brother and sister, and relate to each other as such in godly fear.  The test lies mostly in ‘time alone’ and physical contact. Ask  yourselves: what example is being set for the young people in the  Church? Would it be proper for other young adults — not betrothed — to  have the physical contact and ‘time alone’ you allow for yourselves?  There is always a possibility that marriage may not take place, in which  case you want to part in peace and with good conscience. Those who  keep themselves pure gain tremendous respect from each other, and their  eventual union will have the fragrance of innocence and enduring  romance. 

We wish all young boys and girls could receive this instruction before it  is too late for them. The culture around us like a deluge is drowning  young people, and there is such an absence of clear, timely, guidance.  We need to hear these things clearly taught. Sexual purity both before  and after marriage is a matter of utmost importance, having  consequences in this life and the life to come.  Sexual Purity for the Very Young  Intimate body contact between girls and boys (beyond about seven years  of age) while playing or working together should be shepherded with  care. How much more does this apply to older children and teenagers! 

This should apply to members of the same family and relatives as well.  We should train our children to respect the bodies of children of the  opposite sex, and keep a healthy distance in the fear of God. It is naive  to assume that children are sexually insensitive, especially in our  television-saturated culture. 

Another word of caution for parents: Children sleeping in the same bed —  especially boys — could give occasion for harmful sexual experiences. It  is good to have them sleep in separate beds. It is also best for boys not to  share the same room with girls. These cautions apply to members of the  same family also. 

Sexual Purity for the Married: “…Let the marriage bed be undefiled” (Heb. 13:4, New American  Standard). The husband and wife are to love each other with exclusive  love, with no mental image or involvement of any other person defiling  their pure love for each other. Then their union is pure, because their  thoughts are pure. The desire and prayer in their heart is that God,  according to His will, will give them a godly offspring. 

Here we repeat a passage from an earlier section: How earnest a husband  should be, a wife should be, to preserve this exclusiveness of affections.  While in the presence of other women, a husband must have the door of  his emotions securely locked (“I made a covenant with mine eyes,” Job  31:1) so that he may preserve his exclusive love for his mate. It is as if  he is a father or a brother to other women. A wife, in the presence of  other men, would, as it were, rather see than be seen. It is as if she is  veiled to other men. It is a demeanor that adorns her face as
an invisible  veil, and is her power and her glory. She relates to other men as if she  were a mother or a sister to them. For such a couple the exclusive  delights of Eden are promised in this earthly life.  Difficulties in sex life are to be expected due to circumstances, poor health, and ignorance. But if each spouse is committed to live for the  other, and not for oneself, God will give us understanding to work with  the difficulties. There is wisdom to be received from faithful older  couples, as well as from reading wholesome educational material.

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