“I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.” –Ezekiel 36:26-27
I went into a doctor’s office and saw a sign on the wall stating as many as one in two sexually active young people will contract an STI/STD by age 25 and most won’t even know it. Wait a minute! Let’s take a quick second to break that down. That means if I am a young person who does NOT have an STD currently, I just need to have sex with one person. Because one in two means if I don’t then he probably does. According to the Center of Disease Control, half of the estimated 19 million sexually transmitted infections that are reported each year are of the age group below 25 years. If the above poster is remotely true, then the statistics we may read about STDs are only reporting a percentage of the actual cases. Many people have STDs and don’t know it. There are three options here. Option 1: we close our eyes and go on a comfortable and sexually experimental path, like the obvious majority. Option 2: we gain a greater awareness and learn to practice physically safe sex, well until some fall into the unfortunate few that experience a casualty the “safe” way. Or option 3: the safest sex is no sex until marriage. This is also the only emotionally safe sex. Option 2 does not eliminate the emotional damage and heart break that always come from sex outside of marriage.
Before anyone can make a conclusive decision, let us delve into each notch in the spectrum. The more knowledge we have the more appropriate our choices will be. Each person is responsible for their own actions, and their own life. I respect people’s choices, but I also love people too much to stay silent concerning the truth. Now, I’ve heard some radical stances on courtship. Perhaps it is a surprise to hear, but I’m not on THAT end of the spectrum. I neither promote courtship nor do I support dating in its fullest capacity according to current society.
As time passes, darkness floods into all facets of our world. It is crazy what we may see when we turn on the television or saunter by the magazine stand, or the tone of obscenities we may hear coming from the two ten-year-olds in line behind us. We need to be aware of what is going on around us. As Christians, we cannot look the other way or close our eyes to society’s behaviors and expect to walk away unharmed. Be in the world, but not of the world, Jesus says. We can’t hide from it, but we can’t join in and justify with the typical line, “Well, everyone’s doing it.” That doesn’t work when we stand before the Throne. We will be held accountable. God loves us too much to let us walk through life blindly.
I love hearing the stories of women walking in purity. I am elated by the choices they make. If anyone has slipped up, gotten off track, or turned their back on purity for a time, I’m sitting in that circle, too. I have been in some rough patches. I have slipped up on my standards. The beautiful note here is that God has not given up on any of us. It is for that reason I stand here today with some sore spots and a pure promise. For the bad choices I’ve made in life, I’ve been forgiven. The memories are reminders of how gracious my Father in Heaven is and how He has protected me along the way even when I stepped off His ordained path. I’d like to think my pain can help guide others in the decisions they will make concerning relationships. It isn’t worth it to walk in the footsteps of the world. The world makes it look fun sometimes, but it only fosters pain and discontentment. Each selfish step is one step closer to death.
“For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night.” (1 Thessalonians 5:5)