I think many people – even Christians – think that God is totally out of touch with today’s culture and people’s needs and that’s why He prohibits all sex outside of marriage.
I know I did. I came to Christ after my senior year in high school. Then I went away to a college where there were four girls for every guy. It was the early-to-mid 1970s and everyone was sleeping with everyone, so temptation was everywhere.
As I started growing and reading my Bible, I came across all these crazy rules that said, “Do not do this…” and “Do not do that…” It felt like a great big fence that was preventing me from getting all the good stuff of life. And I just remember thinking, “God is just the biggest cosmic killjoy in the world!”
Have you ever thought that or heard someone say that to you?
Here’s the truth: God prohibits all immoral behavior outside of marriage because of His desire to protect you.
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life.”
The wages of doing something wrong sexually is death. And in Scripture, death isn’t just physical death. Death is separation. When our first parents sinned, they didn’t fall over dead. They were separated from God.
Sexual immorality, whether it’s visual, mental, or physical, puts a barrier between us and Him.
What I learned is that God’s heart isn’t about preventing us from experiencing all the good stuff like sex. The Spirit of God showed me that instead of a fence that stood in the way of me getting all the good stuff, it was actually a guardrail.
It was like God was putting his arm around me and saying, “Chip, I love you. I just want to keep you inside the guardrail so you get first-rate sex. I want you to have sex without guilt. I want you to have sex without shame. I don’t want you to have sex with flashbacks. I want you to get the highest – the best!
The guardrail is to protect you. And it’s also to provide for you.
What many of us fail to realize is that God knows our needs. After all, He’s the One who created us with the hormones that we have! He knows the longings of our hearts and understands our loneliness.
God’s warning against sexual immorality isn’t to take away our joy. It’s the exact opposite. He wants to give us sexual fulfillment, emotional peace, and reward our life with the very best.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip