- Wisdom About Sexual Relationships
Another powerful relational influence on children and teenagers is sex. The sexual urges often become stronger than the influence of parents and other adults who care for the wellbeing of the child. God understands the power and addresses it powerfully and clearly in His Word.
We live in an extremely sexually-permissive society. Television, movies, magazines, books for young people, social media, Internet … half-naked people in sexually-suggestive embrace … it is literally everywhere. What is a parent to do trying to raise a child today to understand the importance of sexual morality?
First, let’s be clear about the issue of sexual relations. Any type of sexual relationships outside of marriage is wrong. One of the primary words in the Bible for sinful sexual relations is “fornication.” It is the Greek word porneia (the word pornography comes from it).
Here’s what Jesus told His disciples about things that defile a person. Notice that fornication is in the list and Jesus said it was one of the things that defile a person.
“And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” Matthew 15:16-20
Here’s what the Apostle James had to say about the behavior of Gentile believers. Notice that fornication is one of the behaviors he wanted them to stop doing.
“Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.” Acts 15:19-20
Paul included illicit sexual relations as one of many things wicked people do.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Romans 1:28-32
” Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God … Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body … Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that commiteth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 13, 18-20
Paul used the ancient Jews wandering in the desert as an example of what not to do. Notice that fornication is part of that.
“Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.” 1 Corinthians 10:6-8
Paul wrote the Galatians about right and wrong ways to behave. Fornication is wrong. It’s a work of the flesh and not what God wants for His children to do.
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21
Paul also warned believers about sex outside marriage in other letters to the early churches.
“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.” Ephesians 5:3-7
“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.” Colossians 3:5-7
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6
We should be able to agree, based on God’s Word, that sexual relations before marriage are wrong. The question now is how to teach that to children and teenagers so they understand the dangers to their bodies and minds and help them deal with sexual temptations that will surely come their way as they mature. We’ll look into that in the next part of our study about Teaching Wisdom to Our children.