Each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor (v.4).
When I stopped by a nearby restaurant to pick up some food, a guy and a girl standing in the parking lot caught my attention. Their arms linked together, the guy craftily reached to place his hand between her legs. My heart sank, and I began to pray that they know the beauty of glorifying God with their bodies (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
Because the world we live in often equates sex with approval, it’s little wonder that people end up with some very mixed-up ideas about sexual desire and its purpose. Consider the sphere of advertising. Owned by Unilever, Dove’s campaign for “real beauty” has resonated in the hearts of women in different parts of the world. Ironically, Axe, another one of Unilever’s trademark products, is known for its advertisements that make women out to be little more than sexual animals, driven by their inner lust. While sexual desire is a God-given gift, Satan has taken something good and twisted it into a selfish pursuit. True love, however, is selfless and honorable. Paul writes, “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other” (Romans 12:9).
Married or single, even those who have placed their hope in Jesus will experience sexual temptation. And living in purity doesn’t simply mean keeping one’s clothes on during a date. It begins with the heart (Proverbs 4:23) and has much to say about a healthy relationship with God (1 Thessalonians 1:1), ourselves (4:4), and others (1 Timothy 1:2).
When we allow God’s greatest commandments—to love God with everything and to love others as we love ourselves—to seep into the core of our being, the strength to remain sexually pure becomes greater.
Read Hosea 2:13 and consider how our view of God shapes our view of His commandments. What’s the difference between a husband and a master? (v.16).
When have you faced sexual temptation recently? What lies has the enemy used to draw you into compromise?