You know better than to play with matches. You learned that early on, “Don’t play with matches. Leave them alone.” While the matches themselves don’t really hurt you, they can easily light and start a fire. Yes, the fire is pretty, and it is warm, but you can easily burn yourself, and if you are not careful, you could even burn your whole house down. Does this mean fire is bad? No, fire is not a bad thing. In fact, it can be very good and useful. But it is not a toy. It isn’t something to be taken lightly. You must acknowledge and respect the power and seriousness of fire.
The same goes for sex.
If you come from a Christian home, you have almost certainly been told not to have sex before you are married. Is this because sex is bad? No. It is a good thing that God created to unite a husband to his wife, and to bring glory to Himself through it. But sex is not something to be taken lightly. Like fire, we must recognize and respect the power and seriousness of it.
While you may not be jumping into a blazing fire by just throwing yourself out there to whoever will take you, committing the obvious sexual sins, it is important to be aware of and on guard against the things that could resemble playing with matches. These include things like erotica, pornography, and masturbation. They are done privately, usually no one else knows, and they become easy to try and justify why they must be harmless. But just like a match can quickly start an uncontrollable fire, playing around with these things is playing a game with time until you wake up one day and wonder how your life fell apart so much. Understand also that these matches may not have a label as blatant as “pornography” on them. It may start with something even more innocent looking, such as non-graphic romance books that make your mind wander a little too far, TV shows that promote casual sex, and even just letting your mind fantasize about whatever it pleases. These things will desensitize you and pave the way for you to go farther than you ever imagined you would.
Sexual experiences of any kind were created to be had only within marriage between a man and his wife. God did this so that sex would be a picture of the love and unity between God and His church, and also to protect us from the hurt of sin that has twisted the beauty of sex. Therefore, taking sex out of this context that God made it for in any way would be unwise. What starts as something small that you think you can control can quickly take over your life and your mind. And what looks like it may be innocent or justifiable right now, may be poisoning you in ways that you cannot yet see.
God created us in His image and as His children He has called us to be holy just as He is holy. The word “holy” means to be “set apart.” This seems to indicate that our lives should not be toeing the line of sin or splitting hairs about what is okay and what is too far. We are to be far removed from the sinful ways of the world. We are to be a light. And we are to stay safe in Jesus’ arms rather than running off towards the back-stabbing pleasures the world offers us.
So rather than trying to convince you that something is wrong, I am simply going to challenge you with: is it best? Are the images you put before your eyes reflections of God’s true love and beauty? Do you treat your body as a sacred temple to the Lord? Are your actions making you look more like Jesus? Do the things you are filling your mind with grow your desire to study your Bible and know God more? Jesus knows what you are thinking about through the day and before you fall asleep at night, does it make Him smile?
“‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, ‘Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.’ The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, ‘The two will become one flesh.’ But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” – 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” – Ephesians 5:3
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” – Colossians 3:1-5
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8
“Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” – 1 Peter:1:13-16
Lastly, I want to say that if you have previously been or currently are involved in any kind of sexual sin, there is still hope for you. Be repentant of your sin and turn from it, but don’t let guilt haunt you. You are forgiven and it is okay to embrace that freedom and joy. You are not broken beyond repair. Jesus is an amazing Healer and no sin you could ever commit is beyond His power to redeem.