Monday, March 03, 2008

Desperate Sex Lives Continued

So I'm giving everyone another day to find out what Dr. Sleeth's top three environmental suggestions from his visit on Monday February 18th. In the meantime, I thought I would continue the monday tradition of sharing a brief synopsis of our h2o message from Sunday night. We've been covering some pretty serious issues that young people are struggling with, and it's been really thought provoking and eye-opening for all who have been attending.

Three weeks ago, we started a two week series at h2o on relationships, dating, and purity called Desperate Sex Lives. We "borrowed" the title from some of my friends in Blacksburg who had a similar series last fall. We have expanded the series by two additional weeks because this subject is of tremendous interest and importance to college students and young professionals, and folks really want guidance in relationships and help in overcoming sin in this area.

Next week we are going to simply have a question and answer time on all of the topics covered/overlooked over the last three weeks, so if you could be praying for wisdom, I would appreciate it!

This past week we talked about lust and sexual impurity. During the message we talked about everything from pornography to maintaining sexual purity in dating relationships. Did you know that according to that 50% of Christian men are addicted to pornography, and nearly one in four women wrestle with this same problem? One person has been quoted as saying if Christians would stop using pornography it would put a serious dent in the industry.

We talked about sexual sin, and why sin in this area hurts so much, and why it hurts so many people. We talked about why we are even tempted to give in to this area that the Bible clearly speaks against. it isn't that sex is a bad thing. Face it, if you are reading this blog, it's because a couple of people had sex and brought you into this world. The problem is that sex has a proper context--marriage, and when we ignore that context it hurts us and everyone around us.

Really the essence of the struggle with sin in this area is a question of ourselves and of God. Men wonder if they are really men, if they have what it takes, and women wonder if they are loved--and so men and women go to sex to have these deep questions answered. Only God can answer these questions, but deep down, many experience a lack of trust or deep belief that God is good.

As we talked about this subject and about the need not simply for behavior modification (although for some, changing behaviors is a necessary starting point), we shared that the real need is a change in our heart that only Jesus can do. We need him to change our heart so we can live differently and experience life abundantly. In order for him to do that, we need to be willing to let Him in, and to begin to trust Him.

Beyond that key element to overcoming sin in this area, we shared a few resources that can be helpful. Here they are.

Accountability (tell someone you are struggling so they can pray for you and help you overcome sexual sin)
Prayer (we need to seek God's help to overcome)
Scripture (Psalm 119.9 says "How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.)
Computer Software--if you are struggling with pornography, there is FREE software that will monitor your internet habits, and send an email to your personal accountability partner. Even if you aren't struggling with this area, you might want to just put this software on your on your computer. Click here for the software. X3watch.
Avoiding temptation (Proverbs 26.20 "For lack of wood, the fire goes out)

I realize that this isn't a fun topic to talk about. I realize that for some reading this blog there may be shock and disdain for sharing about such a taboo subject. For others, maybe this blog can be a first step for you in overcoming sexual sin. None of us are immune to temptation.

I Corinthians 10:12-13 "Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."

Thankfully, we all have a rescuer in Jesus Christ. May more and more men and women find their identity in being the Beloved of an amazingly gracious and loving God, and as we do this, may that love transform our world and overwhelm others.

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