In my previous post, I talked about some of the WHY keeping ourselves pure is so important.
Click here if you missed it: 6 Reasons why sexual purity matters
Here I wanted to share some very practical tips that I have found to be helpful in staying sexually pure. When it comes to faith for healing the sick and ministering in the supernatural, we are called to take significant risk. However, when it comes to sexual purity and holiness, it’s a matter of keeping safety first. There’s nothing exciting or glamorous about wearing a seat belt, but it saves thousands of lives. Jesus said you may as well pluck your eye out if it makes you sin. We all know it was hyperbole, but that’s how serious he wanted us to treat not just sin, but anything that WOULD CAUSE US TO SIN. The tips I share here have more to do with the subtle, grey areas, that in some cases we don’t talk about for whatever reason.
Most of them have to do with boundaries. There are wild bears and lions out there, that would love to rip your head off. Put up some fences to keep them far away.
Here are a few examples.
1. Don’t be bored.
King David screwed up when he was bored. When he should have been out fighting alongside his men, he was back home with nothing to do, but spy on a woman bathing. That was the beginning of the snowball effect of his tragic fall.
If you’re bored, find something to do. Do something you’re passionate about.
A silly example of this is that I tend to over-eat the most when I’m bored.
I’m also more easily subject to sexual temptation if I’m bored.
Having a great life is more about pursuing good, than just staying away from evil.
2. Maintain a high standard
Some of the tips I share may seem a little extreme. However, whatever you decide to do, always strive to live with a high standard. It’s better to lean on the side of being more careful when it comes to sexuality, than leaning closer to a more liberal standard.
3. Rides with the opposite sex
The more visibility you have, or authority and influence, the more careful you have to be about setting boundaries to guard your purity, and also to guard your reputation.
When Billy Graham was in ministry, he would have his staff check hotel rooms before he entered.
He did this because, he couldn’t afford the chance of someone trying to black mail him by having a woman hiding in his room, or walk out right as the press starts taking pictures. He had his share of enemies that would have loved to smear him.
He would not ride in a car if it was just him and another woman (other than his wife) under any circumstances.
Maybe you’re not Billy Graham. Maybe you’re not the president. Maybe you don’t think you have as much to lose. But you can’t be faithful in much if you’re not faithful in little.
4. Be open and transparent about anything that is questionable
This is kind of the golden rule, that you can always come back to. Other than just having boundaries for the sake of keeping yourself at a safe distance from temptations, we must consider our spouses if we’re married. What does your wife or husband feel about a certain situation?
In Corinthians 7:4 Paul tells us
The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”
So even if you think a situation is safe, and appropriate, but your spouse is not comfortable with it, then that should be reason enough to reconsider whatever it is. If you’re spouse is not comfortable with you giving someone of the opposite sex a ride home then just don’t do it. Or… this leads us to the next point.
5. Give your spouse a chance to have their say
One pastor wisely shared how as he pastored students in a ministry school, if he was asked to give a ride, or wanted to help a young woman with a ride home, then he would just call or text his wife, to check and make sure she was o.k. with it. If so, then he would go along with it. If she didn’t feel comfortable about it, then he would just decline.
6. Eating out with someone of the opposite sex
A pastor I greatly admire once shared how he once had lunch with a woman about his age, if not older. She was far from being exceptionally attractive, as far as he was concerned. It was a meeting about ministry, so he decided to just have it over lunch to save time. Later he found out his wife wasn’t happy about it. He was surprised. “But it was just so-and-so, honey!” But he listened to his wife, and didn’t do that any more.
Michael Hyatt, perhaps the most successful blogger of all time, and also the former CEO of the largest Christian publishing company has a very firm policy for this kind of thing. He will not go out to eat with someone of the opposite sex. He also will never travel alone with someone of the opposite sex. The stakes are too high.
7. Let your spouse see your calendar
My wife has access to my calendar, which she can see whenever she wants. (I use Google calendar, where you can share calendars with others). The overseer of a ministry school I attended went a step further. If a meeting came up with someone of the opposite sex, that wasn’t already in his calendar, he would later add it to the calendar, as a past event. He did this purely for for transparency, so his wife could see ALL his meetings he had, and who they were with.
8. Ask for help
It’s helpful to remember that temptation is not sin. If you are tempted sexually that simply means you have a sex drive. There’s not necessarily anything shameful about being tempted. Jesus was tempted, but never sinned. One leader I admire shared about what asking for help looks like sometimes. Once he came to church, for an event mostly involving young people. He didn’t know exactly why, but when he came into the church according to his own words all he could see were “butts and boobs”. So what he did next was very simple. He found one of his leaders, who surprisingly happened to be a woman, (that’s how transparent he was with his team), and told her “hey, I don’t know what’s going on, maybe it’s some kind of spiritual attack or something, but ever since I came in here all I can see are butts and boobs. Pray for me.” He got prayer, and was fine after that.
Just because someone’s been an electrician for 20 years, doesn’t mean they’re immune to being electrocuted.
I don’t create my purity with my boundaries. Boundaries are there to protect that I’m already pure.” Chris Cruz
What kind of “grey areas” have you had to deal with in your life? How did you resolve them?
Feel free to comment below.