Sunday, June 27, 2010

Purity: It's Not Old Fashioned by Ann Wayne

Week 26--June 27-July 3
Scripture Reading: Job 42; Ecclesiastes 1-12; Song of Solomon 1-6; Psalm 89-92
Key passage for devotion: Song of Solomon

“Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” Song of Solomon 2:7

Just as a fly can become entangled in the spider’s web, we also can become entangled in Satan’s web of sin. Because we are human, we are vulnerable and touched by the temptation to enjoy the pleasures of our bodies. We can easily fall into the entanglement of sexual sins.

Let’s get real. God created man to have a strong desire for a woman. And he created woman to have a desire for a man. In the context of marriage, God blesses these desires. But how are those who are single supposed to handle them until marriage? Let’s take a look at some advice from Christian counselors. But most of all, let’s look at what the Bible says about this.

I have read the book, “Boundaries in Dating” four times. Twice with a single’s group and twice with men friends. This book was written by two Christian psychologists, Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. It is full of tips on setting proper boundaries for dating at any age so that all of our relationships will be healthy. Those of us who have taken the time to read this book have benefited greatly from the Godly wisdom of the authors. Even so, I think most people that I have talked with still struggle with physical boundaries.

It is simply easier said than done.

In the book, “Boundaries in Dating,” the #1 tip for physical boundaries is simply not putting ourselves in a private setting alone with our date to set ourselves up for temptation. Spending time with friends and spending time alone with our dates in public settings lessens our chances of falling by the choices we make ahead of time.

In Song of Solomon 2:7, the Shulamite woman charges the daughters of Jerusalem, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” Single brothers and sisters, this is referring to not stirring up our desires until the consummation of marriage.

God knew that because sex is so powerful, that there must be some constraints on intimacy and how it is handled in a dating relationship. He specifically designated sex to the arena of marriage. The kind of intimacy that God desires between a married couple cannot occur between those who are not committed to marriage. It can only be experienced between one man and one woman who have made a covenant in marriage. So God has specifically said, “Flee sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18). That is, do not have sex with someone who is not your spouse. Obedience requires that sex be reserved for one’s spouse in marriage.

But what about the other gray areas of physical boundaries? Are they really gray? Do Christian singles sometimes get those boundaries clouded by ideas of “as long as I don’t go all the way,” everything else is okay?

In 1Thessalonians 4:3-5, it says, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God...” The Word clearly teaches us that we should avoid immorality in any form.

I can understand why the Bible is called the Sword. If we earnestly seek answers, the Word will sharpen our senses and it will cut away anything in our lives that is not righteous. The Word of God teaches us everything we need to know to live righteously – even staying abstinent until marriage.

Then why did God create man and woman to have these desires? He wanted them to be blessed by each other and reproduce in the context of marriage; after the sacred vows of holy matrimony have been exchanged before a holy God and a cloud of witnesses.

Sex is a good thing because God created it! The only way to keep it a “good thing” is to follow God's guidelines. He will reward you if you choose to honor Him, and save sex for its proper time and place — your marriage.
You can read more of Ann's writing and read about her ministry retreat on

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