Buckling Up

(Photo by Selma Komisky)


Buckling Up?
A Look at the Belt of Truth in Connection to Sexual Integrity

By Michelle Ochen

Ever seen someone struggle as they continue to hike up their pants because they forgot to put on a belt? Ever seen someone nearly lose their pants because of the absence of a belt? Ever been that person?

Maybe you were between pant sizes and could not afford to buy new pants; what did you do to balance yourself out? A belt. I believe there is no accident in the analogy given by Paul in Ephesians 6 using a belt to describe our need for truth. Truth balances us out. Truth brings my feet back on level ground when my feelings and emotions have caused me to wobble. Truth brings my mind back to reality when fantasies have planted weeds that cause discontentment. Truth keeps my mind right and my pants on so I can walk forward properly.

We need to know the truth of God’s word in all areas of our lives, but especially in the area of His standards and directions for our sexual integrity. If your story bears any similarity to mine, you were told to “stay pure” a thousand times growing up. There was a list of reasons why, but if you were honest, none of the reasons on the list were good enough for you to overcome your desires to be edgy or to be wanted and pursued by men. You knew being pure was the right choice in your head, but your heart was not as convinced. You knew the correct answer, but could not stand upon it as truth. It was not until I got older and had already allowed my heart to be bruised that I began to really seek out the truth of God’s desire for us to pursue sexual integrity and our need to stand upon the truth to succeed.

My answer did not lie in looking up every verse and command God gives regarding purity, sex, and integrity, but it came by beginning to understand the background to all of God’s commands—His love for us. His desire that we  know the truth and have been set free by it. The world is yearning for truth, we are all seekers, and we who know Christ, are the ones who have been found. Every command given to us by God is for our good, and for freedom. The truth is that purity sets you free. The truth is that sexual integrity sets you free. Free from the bondage of regret, shame, and guilt for mistakes made, for secrets kept, from consequences that come from such things. God’s Word gives us truth to set us free. God’s word and commands give us the belt to secure our pants in this world so we can stop hiking up our own pants and be able to help someone else. God desires for us to be those with pants on and minds set right, not those tossed to and fro every which way by the temptations, lusts, and hurts of this life.

When we begin to view God’s standards from the point of love and freedom, we begin to stand upon the truth. Real freedom is found when truth is applied, when every thought and imagination is taken captive and given to the Lord to balance it out. If we ignore truth, we will be those struggling to keep ourselves balanced and walking straight will be harder than it ought to be. God has given direction in the area of sexual integrity because He knew it would be an area we encounter in life. He desires we be free in it and enjoy it within His standards. Sex is to be kept and used within a covenant marriage only, because it knits hearts together. Sexual pleasure is to be enjoyed by one man and one woman in a covenant marriage because it teaches us how to serve and satisfy each other instead of selfishly satisfying one’s self through masturbation and similar practices. Sexual intimacy and sexual desires for touch are to be enjoyed within a marriage because it is intended to lead to the possibility of reproduction and God desires the family to be strong and based upon a foundation of marital commitment.

Seeing the reasons of love and purpose behind God’s commands, gives us a glimpse into the heart of God, the potential pain He desires to keep us from, and the truth and freedom He desires for all of His creation to enjoy. Lets be those who seek out the truth and come to understand that beautiful balance a life of truth brings to our everyday pattern of walking and thinking.