A W has 5 points: This discussion has 5 points: Why? What? When? How? The Word!
Why maintain your purity? In the eyes of God, a virgin means more than just your physical body. It represents heart, mind and body innocence, purity, honesty and commitment to Him.
In the book of Genesis in the Bible, Joseph maintained his purity through difficult circumstances. The Bible tells us that God had a great purpose with Joseph’s life. Although the world tried to compromise that purpose through all sorts of horrible things happening to Joseph, He remained pure in heart, mind and body by continuing to seek God and therefore, Gods purposes were able to happen….. and an entire country was spared from a 7 year famine.
We all have a story that God is writing. It may or may not be to save an entire country, but for sure is something big and by seeking His purposes, we can come closer to receiving it.
What does temptation look like?
Genesis 39:6 tells us that Joseph was a “strikingly handsome man”. He was 17, strong, handsome and because Potiphar rose him up into power, he now has authority and influence.
Think about a famous person that is young, strong, attractive and influential…… How would you describe the emotions you tend to feel about that person?
Desire? Human nature has not changed since Joseph lived, so we can believe that this is also how Joseph was seen. He would have been desired by many. Ch 39 tells us about the wife of Potiphar and how she desired Joseph and tried to engage him in sexual activity. V6-7 says that she became infatuated with him and one day said “sleep with me.” Joseph chose God in this situation and as Potiphar's wife continued to pursue him, he chose to flee the temptation.
What is my responsibility?
Its good to take care of our bodies. We must remain mindful though that “attractive and successful” tempts others and that we should not use our bodies or our successes to manipulate others to get what we want.
Also, We must practice listening and seeking God. When we do, He will help us stay in line with His perfect will for our life. He will help us recognize right vs wrong. He will tell us when to flee.
Walk vs run! Walking is slow, easy to navigate and allows us more time to make our choice. God wants us to walk with Him AND in our relationships. Joseph was walking with God and was able to take the right path when faced with this temptation.
We have freedom to choose where we walk. We have Free will! There are forks in the road of life where we will have to choose a direction. God demands of us to make a choice, He wont make it for us. In order to make choices that please Him, we also have to walk with Him so we can know His voice.
When we run, its easy to lose control, harder to make decisions at the forks in the road and easier to crash. If were moving too fast in a relationship, we may miss His guidance and turn the wrong way.
When is it okay to have sex?
Relationships are emotional and sometimes the other person is emotionally needy. Being emotionally needy can create temptation to move quickly into a physical relationship thinking it will meet the emotional need.
Potiphar’s wife was emotionally needy. Her husband was the ruler of a nation. He was busy, probably gone a lot and likely not offering his wife all she felt she needed. She would have been emotionally needy and her advances toward Joseph demonstrate that she was trying to fill that need with sexual activity outside of her marriage.
Sexual temptation is not just about the physical. There is always a good feeling that comes from being desired. God designed that in us. He also designed sex within marriage to meet our emotional and sexual needs.
How do we find the strength to flee, to make choices that please God in our modern day situations?
The good news is that God gave us tools to help.
He gave us Jesus, his son, who died for us. Jesus wants to be our savior and our Lord. This means He desires to walk with us, guiding us as we make choices in life.
He gave us the Holy Spirit. He resides in us and encourages us in the things of God. He is the voice you hear speaking encouragement and positivity when your mind and body are feeling negativity.
He gave us wisdom in the encouragement of others who are older and more mature in their faith than we are. Some encouragement that may be offered around maintaining your purity include:
- Keep your conscious clear. It makes it easier to keep your body pure. Don't blur the lines of right and wrong.
- Know that you are a child of God, totally and completely loved by Him. Let Gods truth be your guard. Keep His word in your heart.
- Remember that God knew we were going to get very uncomfortable. It’s why He gave Himself the name, The Comforter! Seek Him when you're uncomfortable and learn His voice.
- Be aware of how temptation works. It feels good to have someone desire you. Sometimes, people are persistent after you, which also feels good. It is when you're vulnerable that you get ambushed with tempting circumstances - often this is when you're alone with the person of desire. When those situations happen, Flee! Don't wait or debate it in your head. It is always right to FLEE when your tempted.
Finally, make a commitment and develop a strategy before temptation hits. Joseph made a commitment to integrity in his life. He conducted life in honesty, so it was not as hard for him to say no to the temptation. If you are dishonest in one place in your life, it is easier to be dishonest in other places.
Write your commitment down and share it with someone you trust. If you keep it in your head and to yourself, it will be easier for you to change it when your tempted. Sharing it makes it harder to break.
What does The Word say?
- You are Worthy to be loved the way God loves you! Don't let a lesser love deceive you.
- Learn about how much God loves you by reading about what Jesus did for you.
Isaiah 53:5 “ He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities…”
Matthew Ch 26
Joseph made mistakes. We all make mistakes. Gods love for us is so great that even through our mistakes, He will show us His favor when we seek Him. Don't let mistakes you've made keep you from seeking restoration of your purity. As long as there is breath in your body, it is not too late!