Jordan Pardee – April 5, 2021
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 - “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
For the second devotional in a row, is 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. This is a great passage that clearly lays out what love is, how it acts, and what it should strive for. As we consider the topic of sex, it can be an awkward conversation. Most of the time, it feels least awkward when we talk to friends about it, joke about it, or laugh at someone for not knowing the specifics, or understanding the crudeness of a joke. We need to start by recognizing how inappropriate this behavior is, as it belittles both the value of sex and other people. Instead, we need to understand that sex is okay to talk about and should be talked about…. But in an appropriate way. When we read scripture, God has much to say about it because He wants us to value it, He wants us to enjoy it, He wants us to be responsible with it. Here, we will simply take a look at how sex is connected to love.
The Bible is clear that sex is to be only within the confines of marriage (1 Corinthians 7:2, Hebrews 13:4, Genesis 2:23-24). Sex outside of marriage is known as sexual immorality or adultery, which the Bible is very clear is sinful and wrong (Exodus 20:14, 1 Corinthians 6:15-16, 7:1-2). It is interesting to think about the progression of how we think about sex. I remember when I was in middle school, I would hear sex only referred to as an act between people who are in love. In fact, of my friends in high school who had sex, most all of them turned to it once they thought that they were in love. They then were just doing what they thought was the next step in showing the other person their love and commitment. Even at that time though there was a prevailing attitude towards sex that was different. The idea of sex was moving away from something that people do who are in love and towards something that all dating relationships have engaged in. Almost as though sex as become an expectation of dating. This progression is not only common today, but is the dominant message of the American culture. Sex is fun, your partner should put out if they care about you, you must be some kind of prude (someone uncomfortable with sexuality). How many times have we heard of friends, or experienced for ourselves, situations where someone threatened to break up with the other person if they wouldn’t have sex? The pressure to have sex is intensifying. The expectation is growing. Many Christians are giving in to sexual temptation.
Yet with all this in mind, we still see that the Bible has grounds. Grounds that have not changed or been altered. If we want to honor God, if we want to pursue God, we need to ensure that we not only seek Him daily but also are sensitive to His commands. In Proverbs 1:24-33, we see there are serious repercussions for ignoring God’s guidelines. This means we need to be all the more considerate about when it is sinful and when it is right to have sex.
Now you may be wondering why we chose 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 as the main passage for this devotion. Considering I have said nothing about it yet, may cause you to wonder what love has to do with sex. Or the significance of this passage to the topic of sex. The reason for this passage is this; here we find a sincere, real, deep, committed love. A love that looks to benefit and bless the other person. That is concerned about building up, honoring, and doing what is right not because we should, but in order to do what is in their best interest. Everything that we typically think about concerning sex before marriage is usually focused on me. What I want. But when we consider what love is we recognize this passage has major implications for sex. If sex is about you and what you want, you don’t love the other person. If you are pressuring someone to have sex, you are not loving the other person. Loving the other person means you recognize an important truth, that sex outside of marriage has consequences. Many of which we can think of with ease: getting pregnant, getting an STD, getting caught, having a picture or video of you posted online; then on top of these significant consequences there is always the guilt and shame that no one tells you about. What kind of love desires any of these consequences? What type of love is willing to put the other person through these consequences? What type of love is so inconsiderate?
There is a reason that sex is reserved for marriage. That is when God sees it as good and right. Sex is meant to be a blessing to mankind, not a consequence. It is meant to draw deeper and greater commitment from each other for each other. It is meant to be the way in which mankind continues to exist, it is meant to be enjoyed, and it is meant to be saved for marriage. I can personally attest that waiting until marriage has many great rewards. My wife and I have had to deal with far less baggage and drama in our marriage than many of our friends because we were able to wait. The desire might be strong, the curiosity present, and the justification may seem well and good from your line of thinking. But sex outside of marriage is not only sinful, it comes with a whole lot of baggage that isn’t worth dealing with in your life.
Get a piece of paper and write your responses down.
- Stop and consider, what are some ways you are selfish in how you think about sex?
- How have you been selfish in thinking, talking, or even having sex?
- What is the difference between loving someone, honoring them well, and expecting sex from them?
Stop and take some time to pray that God would help you in every area surrounding sex. The way you think, act, talk, engage, and deal with this entire topic of sex. Ask Him to help you be pure of heart and mind. That in your dating relationship, you would learn to love and honor the other person, desiring what is best for them.