A while back I was teaching a series on sex and relationships when I came up with what I thought to be an interesting analogy. It might not be incredibly profound but it provided a great mental picture for me.
Sex is everywhere. We live in a society that is shamelessly embracing it on an increasing level. It’s all over the television, billboards, magazines, music, and the internet. Our world is not just selling it anymore, it’s giving it away. Every day it becomes less of a big deal. This is why we must go to battle.
The world tells us, “It’s not a big deal, it’s just sex.” The world convinces us that “everybody’s doing it.” The world tells us that it’s fun and as long as you’re ‘safe‘, it’s okay.
God created sex as a beautiful pure shameless secure display of trust and intimacy between a husband and wife. He created it for the context of marriage. To quote one of my favorite authors, Jon Acuff:
“Sex after marriage is neon awesome.”
He wasn’t joking when he said that. I read his blog titled “Sex” on Stuff Christians Like before I was married. I remember saying to myself, “I can’t wait to confirm that.” Well, I’m married now, and I can now say Jon was absolutely right! Sex after marriage is neon awesome!
Sexual impurity is a direct violation of what God created us for. When taken outside of marriage it creates feelings of shame, insecurity, and feeling cheap. The worst part is that you’re not only hurting yourself, but the other person as well.
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18 NIV
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Hebrews 13:4 NIV
“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” Ephesians 5:3 NIV
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolotry.” Colossians 3:5 NIV
The list could go on even longer (go to YouVersion.com and search for ‘sexual immorality‘ and you’ll find all kinds of stuff). But this isn’t a sermon on sexual immorality, I’m just building up the thought process for my analogy. The point is, we have a battle to fight.
God only gives us boundaries to keep us from harm. He wants what’s best for us. He wants us to live a life full of purpose and fulfillment. Satan, on the other hand, seeks only to steal from, kill, and destroy us (John 10:10). So we must go to battle. The only way we have a chance at winning the daily battle is to put on our armor.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:10-17 NIV
Being sexually impure is like being in the heat of battle and removing your breastplate.
Imagine an ancient warrior (like the one pictured above). Picture this warrior is running head on into battle. His belt is fastened. His feet are ready. He grips his shield in one had, his sword in the other. His helmet glistens in the sun as he approaches his enemy. His breastplate is securely in place. The enemies arrows hurl towards him but are deflected by his shield. He plows through the enemy line, cutting down all the swords of his enemies. Their weapons are no match.
Suddenly, our warrior begins to grow confident. Too confident. He begins to believe that he is such a mighty warrior that he doesn’t need his breastplate. He decides that he wants to be like King Leonidas and fight bare-chested just as the Spartan 300 did (because let’s face it, those guys were cool!) So, in the middle of the battle, he removes his breastplate.
No one would argue that is a stupid move.
This vital piece of armor protects the most vital of organs, the heart. Without the breastplate you leave your heart wide open. You may last for a while, depending on other strengths to keep you safe, but trust me, it’s only a matter of time. You will get scarred up. Eventually you’re going to get a devastating blow straight to the heart.
This ‘breastplate of righteousness‘ that God tells us of is what keeps us on the right path. Righteousness is living in an upright or ‘moral‘ way. When we give in to the desires of lust and sexual immorality, we willingly give up righteousness. By giving up righteousness, we are giving up our protection.
King Leonidas may have looked cool, but in the end you know what happened. He died. Several arrows to the chest I believe.
Do you have any good parallels for the dangers of sexual immorality? You can leave a comment by clicking here.