Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Boundaries

here is another installment of my series on sexuality connected with the special series i am doing for the upper room on sunday night's these have all been published in the family life of the church of Christ in falls church

Boundaries

This is the 5th in a 7 part series re-capping the discussions we are having on Sunday nights in the Upper Room about God and sexuality.

I realize this is a "family program" so this morning I am going to strive to stay as PG rated as possible.

A question that many teens struggle with is "How far is to far?" What is the line? When does it move from appropriate displays of affection between a boy and girl friend to it being something that they should not do? What is ok for two single people to do together before it becomes a sin? The answer is both a simple one and complex at the same time.

First the simple answer. Last Sunday night I had a line for progression of "activity" that a boy and girlfriend might engage in. It started with holding hands and ended with sexual intercourse. Along the way you have hugging, massaging, kissing, caressing and so forth. I drew the line at kissing! As you move from kissing along the line, body parts that are normally considered private parts start to be exposed and touched. This touching awakens feelings, desires and hormones that are hard to control. Lust starts to grow and lust is a dangerous sin.

The complex answer to the above question centers around lust. Jesus teaches us that lust is a sin. Lust is not a physical action but a mental activity. It is a desire for something that is not ours. David and Bathsheba give us an excellent example of how lust is dangerous. David while on his roof sees a woman taking a bath. If at that moment he turned and went back into his castle the story would be over and no sin would have been committed. Instead David lingers and allows his lust for Bathsheba to control him. He commits adultery in his heart and then in his bed. His sin started when he lusted after her. He had not held her hand or even spoken to her but he saw her with his eyes. The lust line is different than the physical line. The lust line is something we must control by relying on God's power at work in our lives. It is ok for a guy to think a girl is pretty or a girl to think a guy is cute but if they linger and allow their minds to thing about what it would be like to make out with him or to undress her with his eyes the thoughts have moved to sin.

Why? Why is there even a line? Again two reasons really. First, we are called to live pure and holy lives. Our bodies are not our own but we belong to God because we were bought with the blood of the Lamb. Our bodies are temples to the Holy Spirit. We are not to take our bodies, our temples, or someone else's temple and use it for temporary pleasure. Secondly, it is through relational and sexual intimacy that a man and a woman are united in marriage. The LORD created sex to unite a man and woman. If you are uniting in a temporary relationship with someone you are miss-using a wonderful gift the LORD has given us.

Finally, I know that there are people who are reading this who have crossed the line or are actively crossing the line. I hope this encourages and challenges you to get yourself and your relationship back into a proper relationship with the LORD. He offers us grace, mercy and forgiveness with all our sins, even sexual ones. The LORD, through the Holy Spirit, gives us the power to live pure and holy lives. Even if we allowed our own desires to lead us into sin, He calls us to a new life and to leave our sinful lives behind.

Next week: Responsibilities!
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