BJ Rudge, Ph.D.
With a click of the remote control or a computer mouse, we can instantly enter a sexual fantasy world. Just checking our e-mail can result in a host of unwanted sexual words and images. The pervasiveness of this licentious culture has infiltrated the Church. In light of this reality, what steps can believers take to guard themselves?
I heard the following helpful insights in a chapel service (while working on my master’s degree) at Talbot Theological Seminary. A study based on 200 male seminary graduates who had fallen prey to sexual immorality revealed that there were four traits missing in the lives of these men.
First, these men did not spend personal time with God. They lacked an intimate prayer and devotional life. Perhaps, because of busy schedules and the demands of ministry, they felt they did not have time to pray and study God’s Word. However, we must meditate daily upon God’s Word (Joshua 1:8; Matthew 4:4) and live a life of continual prayer (Colossians 4:2). These “holy habits”were a trademark of Jesus’ ministry on earth (Matthew 14:23; 26:36-44; Mark 6:46; 14:32; Luke 6:12; 9:28).
Second, these men had no personal accountability. The Christian life is not to be spent in isolation, but lived out within the community of other believers. Every Christian needs the encouragement and edification of other believers. We all need at least one person who loves us enough to encourage us when we are feeling discouraged and to correct us when we are living in opposition to the standards of God’s Word.
Third, 90 percent of these men got involved in sexual promiscuity by counseling women. In order to avoid becoming emotionally and/or sexually involved with someone we are helping, we must not be alone with them. Paul told Titus it is the duty of older women to instruct/encourage younger women (Titus 2:3-5). Believers should stay away from inappropriate situations (being alone, “friendly” flirtation, coarse joking, etc.). We should conduct ourselves in a manner reflective of God’s holiness as we follow the examples of Joseph (Genesis 39:6-12) and Job (Job 31:1) to flee situations and avoid thoughts that may compromise us.
Fourth, these men had the attitude that they were immune or “too spiritual” to fall prey to the deceptions and lure of sexual immorality. May we never think we are invulnerable to the temptations of sexual immorality. Rather, may we humbly walk daily in the grace of God as we seek to live a life which reflects His holiness. Rather than being like those who seek after the pleasures and lusts of the flesh, God commands His children to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace (2 Timothy 2:22).
My prayer is that believers will not be swept away by the promiscuity and perversions of our culture, but will stand firm on God’s Word, living a life that is characterized by self-control and that is reflective of the holy character of God Almighty.