Sexual immorality is any physical or psychological act that violates our bodies and relationship with God or a spouse. Sexual immorality de-personalizes our relationship with God. The devil’s mandate is to separate the people of the earth from God and one of the easiest tools he has used over the years is sexual immorality. In more recent times, sexual immorality has become an integral part of human “civilization”, and is all around us. Sexual acts are committed willingly and forcefully and are gradually destroying the moral fabrics of societies today. God’s thoughts on sexual immorality are explicitly stated in the Bible – 1Thessalonians 4:3-5:
God wants you to live a pure life. Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity. Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God [MSG].
The big question today is “HOW DO WE WIN THE WAR ON SEXUAL TEMPTATION?”
Fill your hearts with the Word of God daily: Psalm 1:1-3 shows that those who delight in the law of God and meditate on it daily shall be like a tree planted by the riverside. Proverbs 7:1-5 also helps us understand the importance of knowing and obeying God’s laws. It is the knowledge of the Word of God in your heart that helps you withstand every temptation the devil throws your way. Knowledge is power! Study and meditate daily because if you are not deeply rooted in the Word of God, you could be an easy target for sexual sin. Note that our hearts need to be preoccupied with the things of God always (James 1:14–15).
Flee from every appearance of sexual immorality: Do not expose yourself to compromising situations. We obviously live in an overly sexualized world, a world where sexual content is glorified and passed on as harmless through music, TV shows, pornography, online games, and even children cartoons. The theme of the contents we see today tells you (albeit falsely) that you are strong enough to not give in to temptation even when you indulge in certain acts. They tell you it’s weird and uncaring not to physically express your love and affection to someone you feel strongly about. They will tell you it’s just a kiss and a little bit of coziness. What they do not tell you however is, that little kiss, touch or coziness can leave you longing for more. Be deliberate about fleeing from everything that can make you fall for sexual temptation. Reading through Proverbs 7:6-23, I realized that the young man wouldn’t have been tempted at all if he hadn’t left the gathering of all the other youths and passed through the obviously lonely corner by the path of the adulterous woman. She was able to seduce him because he put himself on the path where he unfortunately lost his life afterwards.
Know your specific weaknesses, pray about them and be sensitive: Have you ever felt the urge to engage in sexual immorality? What circumstances were you in? Was it something you saw or heard? Was it something someone did? Was it a physical or mental activity? Whether or not you conceded to sexual temptation before, you need to listen to your body and understand what weaknesses you have that the devil could take advantage of. The young man in Proverbs chapter 7 could obviously not say ‘no’ to a woman who was seductively dressed, smelt very nice, offered good food and said sweet words.
God also perfectly understands that our spirit can be willing to stay pure while our bodies are weak; he created us and knows our thoughts and desires. However, He makes GRACE available when we ASK. There is no better person to tell about your weaknesses than God. Being very specific and open with God in prayers will help you stay away from sexual immorality.
Communicate: Communicating your purity goals to your partner (for those in a courtship) can be very helpful. One of the reasons sexual immorality is spreading in the world today is because the Church is not talking about it as much as we should. We can see in the Bible that God created sex to be beautiful, and He is interested in how it is practiced. Proverbs Chapter 5 describes the ideal romance but insists it must happen in the context of marriage, so do not shy away from discussing this subject with your partner. Decide together and agree on your prevention plan. For instance, you can both agree to never meet in secluded places amongst other measures.
Be Accountable: Having an accountability partner among the brethren also helps you overcome sexual temptation; this partner could be a friend or a mentor. I once heard a sermon where the preacher said he found himself alone in the house with his fiancé before marriage and just before he could yield to sin, his best friend saw the fiancé’s car parked on the drive way and immediately came over and started banging on the door, screaming out Bible passages to his friend. This was a very funny story but that act helped him overcome the temptation to indulge in sin at that moment. I sense from this story that this intruding friend was quickened by the Holy Spirit to go visit at that particular moment because the young pastor had committed to relying on the help of the Holy Ghost.
Ask the Holy Spirit for help: He has helped others before us and he is still helping those who rely on him.
Further Readings from the Bible: Galatians 5:9, 1 Corinthians 7:2, 6:9-10, 6:13, 10:8, Colossians 3:5, Ephesians 5:5s, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, Leviticus 18:22, 1 Peter 2:11, 2 Timothy 2:2