By C. Titus Edwards
One of the biggest problems that young people must deal with is sex. As one begins to mature, the sexual urge grows strong. Sexuality is a part of being human; we were made either male or female. Sex is a natural desire, but it must be understood and controlled as the Bible teaches. We live in a sex-saturated society. Our sexual instincts are appealed to almost everywhere we turning jokes, television shows, movies, music, recreation, and even in commercials. With so much sexual stimulation to handle, it becomes a major problem.
Let me begin by pointing out that all sex is not bad! We normally paint such a dark and forbidding picture of sex that people end up believing that it is inherently evil. Such is not truel It was God who created man with sexual attraction and provided for its joyful fulfilment. God created sex, not only to have children, but for pleasure. Sex is a pure and holy thing. It is beautiful and honorable. It is a great blessing of God that a husband and wife find each other sexually attractive and share together in marital love (Prov. 5:1520). But the key here is that sex is between a husband and wife in marriage! “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled; but whore mongers and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4). Paul instructed that people should marry, so that they could have sex without sinning (1 Cor. 7:14).
The flip side of all of this is that sex outside of marriage is wrong! It is not only sinful, but shameful, and dishonorable. Fornicators (“whore mongers”) shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire (Rev. 21:8). Fornication is a perversion of that which is good; Satan tempts people who are not married to have sex.
Aaron Hass, in his book Teenage Sexuality claims that by the time young people reach 16, 42% will have engaged in sex. Other statistics indicate that 50% of girls 15 to 19 and 70% of boys 17 to 21 have already had sex. But it starts before that. Hass claims that 50% of boys by the age of 13 have been involved in petting (handling the sexual part of another’s body) and 90% of boys have done so by age 18!
Young people, please guard your hearts against fornication! That is where it all begins (Mt. 15:19). Do not dwell on sexual fantasies. “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:14). This simply means not to place yourself in tempting situations. Watch how you dress. Be careful of the places that you go. Recognize that mixed swimming, dancing, telling filthy stories (or listening to such), and petting are going to arouse you to sin. The key is making up your mind in advance. Determine that you are not going to commit fornication, and then not allow yourself to get into a situation where you will be tempted to do so!
Sex, like all sin, will “take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.” Look at the case of David and Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11). His desire for her not only led to fornication, but lying, drunkenness, murder, the death of a child, evil, and shame. In the case of Tamar and Amnon (2 Sam. 13:1-29), after Amnon had sex with Tamar (against her will), he hated her (v. 15), though previously he loved her (vv 1-2). Sex will change a relationship! Recognize also, that there is a difference between lust and love. But the example that all of us should follow is that of Joseph (Gen. 39:7-13). Joseph knew that having sex with Potiphar’s wife would be a great wickedness and a sin against God; therefore, he refused. So can you!
The fruits of sinful sex can be seen in venereal disease, illegitimate pregnancy and children, abortion, and suicide. Practice self control with your desires and say no to fornication. “Flee fornication” (1 Cor. 6:18) that you may keep yourself pure by “keeping yourself” until marriage. How wonderful it will be to know that you are totally and exclusively your spouse’s.
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 6, p. 171
March 21, 1985