Hi moms (and dads, if you’re reading this)! We’re deep into the quest now. Over the past few months we’ve talked about so many aspects of inspiring purity in our teens that your heads may be spinning. This month we’re going to take an inward look at ourselves and then begin to apply what we learn to helping our teens.
We’re going to talk about integrity—sexual integrity. This is a tough subject to talk about sometimes. It seems like just when you think you’ve got it, you slip up and lose it. Possibly, you might not even know exactly what it means to have sexual integrity.
Well, we’re going to talk about a few of the things that pertain to sexual integrity so you can help your teens live a life full of it. I recently spoke with my pastor on this topic and we used the book Every Woman’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge. There’s a book for young women, young men, and men, too. Much of what I’ll chat about today is based off this book.
First of all, what is integrity? Uprightness, honesty, sincerity, dependability, truthfulness. It means that what you say you represent, you actually do represent. So to have sexual integrity, then that means you honor your commitments, live a pure life, keep yourself from causing other people to stumble, dedicate your sexuality to the Lord.
For many of us, once we’re married, we don’t ever think about another man (or woman, if you’re the husband). We picked the right one, said ‘I do’, and then never looked back. We never dreamed of dreaming of anyone else in our lives.
Well, even if we have made that commitment, there are still times when we’re tempted to take a second look at someone other than our spouses. As Christians, Satan wants us to be tempted because then we might just take the next step and stumble into immorality.
God once said to Hosea, “You stumble day and night….My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:5-6)
We don’t want to stumble around in the darkness of ignorance. We want to know the truth and know what warning signs to look for, so we can live victorious lives and be examples to our teens.
Many of us have read Matthew 5:27-28, in which Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery’. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Okay, so men are warned not to look lustfully at a woman. But does that verse apply to women also? It sure does. Women lust. We notice attractive men. Noticing them isn’t the lusting. Taking that second look and wondering what it’d be like to be with that person, that’s where lust comes in.
Women crave emotional intimacy. We want attention and we want men to hear what’s on our hearts. We are more prone to taking that second look and to unfaithfulness when there’s an absence of emotional intimacy. If we’re feeling neglected by our husbands, we may act upon something we’ve already been tempted about.
Be on guard! Listen only for the sweet nothings your husband is saying or exhibiting in his acts of service. Learn to recognize his love language and how he’s speaking to you. Whether you think so or not, he is speaking a love language.
Instead of taking a second look, meditate on scripture or sing a worship song. Pray for that man’s wife or for your husband. Single ladies, pray for his future wife or your future husband.
“Wisdom is better than weapons of war.” (Ecclesiastes 9:18)
Here are some tips for maintaining sexual integrity.
Tip 1: Avoid comparing your spouse to another man and yourself to other women.
Comparing yourself to other women can make you feel inferior and you may become vulnerable to dominating, manipulative men. But comparing yourself to other women can also make you feel superior (if you think you look better than they do) and put a gap between you and your Christian sisters. We need Godly women in our lives. Don’t compete with them!
Comparing your husband with another man will trick you into thinking this other man is perfect—and open your eyes to the fact that your man isn’t. Focus on the positive things about your husband—the man you chose.
We’re victims of commercialism. We want to upgrade, upsize, and get the newest version of everything. Your husband isn’t a product to recycle or trade.
Comparing makes our passion fizzle and we begin to barely tolerate our husband’s presence or his touch. If we do that, how can we feel sexual freedom with our spouses? And how can we live a life of sexual integrity?
Tip 2: Avoid the trap of thinking you can watch any movie or read any book that you want regardless of the content.
Maturity isn’t the issue here. Purity is. You put garbage in, garbage will come out. There’s no room in the Godly woman’s life for books like 50 Shades of Gray or movies like Magic Mike. I recommend avoiding movies with premarital sex, extra-marital sex, nudity and abuse.
I KNOW IT DOESN’T LEAVE MUCH. Ladies, if we watch and read this junk we become desensitized and soon it’s not enough. We’ll either move on to porn or to a real-life affair.
If you wouldn’t read it to Jesus or watch it with him, then this kind of entertainment wouldn’t build sexual integrity.
As far as the Internet goes, women get trapped by chat rooms and other forms of social media. We become intimate through sharing our hearts with a stranger or an old flame and then before we know it, they have replaced our husbands.
We have to be above reproach and try to be one step ahead of Satan if we’re going to be an example of sexual integrity for our teens.
Tip 3: Avoid fantasizing about being with someone other than your spouse—even a movie star!
Don’t even go there, ladies. If you have to imagine yourself with someone else in order to be stimulated or feel loved, then you need to be honest with your husband that you’ve got some issues to resolve. It’d be better to agree to a time of abstinence than to have an affair with someone in your mind while being physical with your husband. It’d crush him to know you’re thinking of someone else (even an actor or an imaginary person) when you’re with him.
Sex is holy and there’s no room for a third person (even in your head.) The guilt, shame, emptiness and dissatisfaction is not worth it. If you’re going to fantasize, fantasize about the man you are married to.
Tip 4: Avoid self-pleasure.
I call this the “M” word because I’m conservative. It is a very real issue with women today who may lack emotional intimacy or may experience sexual dissatisfaction with their husbands. Single girls, in an effort to stay pure and because they cannot wait, may fulfill their own desires instead of having sex.
We’ve forgotten how to be patient and to wait for God’s best. We’ve forgotten how to wait on our husbands. We’ve become such control freaks that no one can do it better than we can and we refuse to wait.
If we go the self-pleasure route, we can never be satisfied with how our husbands do things. This robs your husband of the joy of pleasing you. Men love a good challenge. They love to problem-solve. Tell your husband your issues and let him work at making it better.
Single ladies, be patient. Starve the monster—don’t feed it.
We need to focus on loving God and loving others and curb our appetites for sexual things until the time is right. If you need help, seek Godly counsel with a Christian woman (not a man) or join a women’s group who can help you and hold you accountable.
The Sexual Integrity Battle
Satan wants you to feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. He doesn’t want you to win the sexual integrity war. He wants you to feel alone in your struggles. Then you’ll find someone to confide in and fall victim to sexual sin. Satan wants to destroy families. He tempts us to stay single, to be selfish, and once we’re married, to not be satisfied with the one we’ve chosen—all so we’ll be alone and not be a mighty force for the Lord.
Be encouraged that although the battle for your sexual integrity is a difficult one, it can be victorious when you commit that part of your life to the Lord. Ask Him to help you be upright in that area of your life so you can help your teen walk the walk of integrity too!
Sherri Wilson Johnson
Sherri Wilson Johnson is an inspirational romance novelist, speaker, former homeschooling mom, and women's ministry leader who loves to share God with others while sharing her life experiences with them. She loves to laugh and make others laugh, and she's passionate about purity and sexual integrity and living on a shoestring. Sherri is available to speak to audiences of teen girls, college girls, women, and homeschool moms at conferences, retreats, or women's ministry events throughout the U.S. Topics include marriage, dating, sex, purity, modesty, living on a budget, writing, and grief. Sherri is the author of To Dance Once More and Song of the Meadowlark as well as an upcoming novel with Choose NOW Pubishing. www.sherriwilsonjohnson.com
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