(Photo by Natalie Baugh)
WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS CONTENT FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY
A Discussion on the Struggle for Sexual Integrity in Our Broken Society
By Bonny Lou Dady
Sexual Integrity. It’s much more than you might think. Certainly, much more than our modern society sees it. Society says we should “ideally” have one sexual partner at a time. But….if you and your partner agree, then….anything goes. Even multiple partners. Society tells us it doesn’t matter what we do sexually. Or who we do it with. Society says marriage can be good – if that is what you want; but it isn’t necessary.
As a Christian believer, a follower of Jesus Christ, living with sexual integrity means living our lives in such a way that we honor His Word and His plan for us. In God’s plan, sex is reserved for marriage. We are also called to be faithful in both mind and body to our spouse. Our thoughts and attitudes towards sex and the habits we develop help make it possible for us to abstain from pre-marital or extra-marital sex. One of the habits we all need to work on is to always seek God’s help in prayer. Many times I’ve needed to ask for His help, His strength and power to overcome those tempting thoughts and feelings. We can rebuke Satan in the Name of Jesus Christ, reminding him that he must leave us alone. Satan has no power over us unless we let him into our mind – and allow him to linger there.
We can, instead, have an ongoing conversation with the One who designed us in the first place. God knows our needs, our desires, and our weaknesses. He knows because He made us. He designed sex to be a means of bonding a loving married couple to each other for the rest of their lives. And that is with or without children being conceived through their union.
In the Bible, there are numerous teachings on sex and marriage, including First Corinthians 6:12-20 and all of chapter seven. The Bible includes the stories of many men and women throughout the centuries – most of whom have struggled and failed – just like us. And what if we’ve already failed to follow those Scriptural guidelines? What if we are struggling daily to maintain sexual purity and integrity? What if we find ourselves imagining starting an affair? First, I want you to know you are not alone. No marriage is easy. Or a guarantee of a blissful life full of love. We all have conflicts, hurts, and doubts. We even have times where we just don’t want to continue going on the way we’ve been living. We want out. We even imagine a life with someone else. A life that would be so much better. We could be happy then. And, eventually, we allow ourselves to put our focus on someone who is not our own. And then come the emotional, and eventually, sexual betrayal of our marriage. This is the trap we can fall into.
I came very close to falling into this same trap. I allowed myself to imagine the possibilities of a future with someone else. I allowed myself to see only the problems and disappointments in my marriage. The more I focused on my disappointments, the better this other imagined future looked. It is by God’s great mercy that He kept me from acting on my thoughts. I struggled with my feelings for quite a while; and I still, occasionally, find myself wondering about the “what if’s,” but I know I am no longer under the control of those feelings. Prayer, reading Scripture, journaling, talking it out with a trusted friend, and more prayer brought me to sanity again. I am trusting that my God loves me and will help me through any struggles I have. He has the power that I need when I have no power of my own. When I go to Him, and repent, He is always loving and forgiving. He gives me His strength to go forward. And yes, I still sometimes need to rebuke Satan for trying to take my thoughts where they do not belong. I can (and do!) call on the power of God, in the Name of Jesus Christ. Something beautiful has been happening lately too… my husband and I are closer than ever. My love for him has grown. I’ve been remembering the wonderful things about this man I married so many years ago and why I married him in the first place. I married that man because I fell in love with him and just could not even imagine growing old with anyone else. And I know beyond any doubt that he loves me and feels the same way.
There really is hope for us in this life too. We do not have to be held captive by our thoughts and feelings that would lead us to sin and destroyed relationships.