Sexual Integrity Starts Here. Integration is a big word describing the large task of becoming whole. Over the next couple of episodes, we’ll dedicate time to understanding the mechanics of sexual integrity.
You are a complex, marvelous being with many layers and even more moving parts.
When it comes to sexual integrity, you may assume your body is the enemy, the source of sexual sin. That is just one sign of the dis-integration we’ll identify.
You are worthy of and designed for wholeness.
The journey to sexual integrity starts here, with your body.
To be a person of sexual integrity means all these parts are healthy and they are working together that you might live out your life physically, relationally, sexually, with integrity.
Your body is not the enemy.
Honor your body because you are designed bodily for God not for sexual immorality.
Talk to your body prayerfully and with honor. Apologize to the part of your body involved in sexual sin.
If it was your eyes, then pray: “Lord, forgive me for using my eyes in a way they’re not designed for. Eyes, forgive me. You were made not for lust. You were made for love.”
If you want to learn more, check out Josh’s latest musing on this topic at, Sexual Integrity Starts with Who You Are
Click for Full Podcast Transcription
As we get started with the new year, I have an idea I want to explore with you guys around the topic of sexual integrity. So if you are a person and you are longing for more sexual integrity in your life, maybe you’re wrestling with pornography or sexual hookups, or being sexual with a boyfriend or girlfriend you’re not married to, or you’ve got attractions or desires that are steering you towards that which God says no to. Or maybe you’re well on the journey towards sexual integrity, you’re in a recovery group, or you’re getting spiritual coaching, and you’re making some progress. But there’s still some areas of your life where you know, you’re not living the way that you want to live, then what if we made 2022 A year of sexual integrity a year about getting after sexual integrity. Now, before you go and set new year’s resolutions towards that effect, let me just rewind a little bit slow down a little bit, and talk about what sexual integrity is and what it is not. Because I think part of what hangs us up as we pursue sexual integrity in our lives is a misunderstanding of both what that is, and therefore what it requires. What sexual integrity really is, and therefore what sexual integrity requires of us. So let me start by saying this, I want you to imagine for a second a clock, an old fashioned wind up clock. The clock has a bunch of different parts, just looking to the outside, you see there’s the clock face, there are the numbers, there are two hands at least maybe three hour hand, minute hand, maybe the second hand. On the back of the clock, there are there’s a you know, a backing and some maybe some screws or some way to get inside the clock inside the clock is a whole nother story. There are gears there are springs, there are coils, there are mechanisms, all sorts of stuff, you mess with that, and the whole thing might fall apart. Alright, so let me ask you this question. If a clock had integrity, what would that mean? As some of you might think I think if we equate it to the way that we view sexual integrity, a lot of you would answer well, when a clock has integrity, it’s telling the right time, it’s telling the exact time it is for the area in which it is. So if it’s 10am, Eastern Time, a clock with integrity will say 10am. But that actually is not the primary indicator of whether a clock has integrity. Because even a clock that is broken, or slow or fast or not working at all, will tell the right time, at least twice a day. So the fact that it says 10am does not mean the clock has integrity. What the defining characteristic of a clock that has integrity is that all the parts of the clock are in the right place, all the parts of the clock are present, all the parts of the clock are assembled correctly, they’re in the right proximity to the other parts of the clock, the gears line up, the springs are in the right place. All the parts of the clock are working properly, individually. And collectively. That is a clock that has integrity. So if a clock is missing the hour hand, it can never have integrity. If the clock is missing, one of the springs inside or a screw that holds the spring or the coil where it’s meant to be. The clock will not have integrity, even though the clock may tell the right time, twice a day. So what does this tell us? What does this communicate to us? What does this mean, in the area of sexual integrity? Well, first of all, I think it reframes for us what sexual integrity is and where it comes from. sexual integrity is not primarily what we see on the outside is not primarily about our behavior. It is that but it’s not primarily that it’s about what’s happening under the surface what’s happening inside. You can you might be you might look like you have sexual integrity twice a day, right? Like even if you’re not working. But do you do you? And I think here have some of you heard me tell this story before, but I remember years ago, there was a woman who she wrote an op ed. And it was titled something like why I waited for marriage to have sex and why I wish I hadn’t. And in the Op Ed she wrote about how she had been, she’d grown up in a Christian environment. It was very strict. She had taken she had had a purity pledge when she was a little girl. She had you know signed the paper that she’s gonna stay a virgin. She had a purity ring, whatever else it was that kind of stuff. But when she got married, she was so wrapped up so kind of bound up about sex. I mean, she’d really kind of ingested the message that sex is bad. And so you wait till marriage stuff sacks which doesn’t make sense at all right like if marriage Just bad You don’t you don’t wait to make a commitment to someone for life to do it. She was wrapped up about sex she was broken. And so when went on her wedding night, she and her husband could not enjoy their sexual relationship. And she actually ended up entering into therapy for a while to kind of undo some of her years of, of, of what was outwardly sexual purity, but inwardly was was was harming her was hurting her. And now she’s an advocate, at least when she wrote the article, she’s an advocate for not waiting until marriage to have sex. And so one of the questions I like to ask people is, does that sound like a person who has sexual integrity to you? Does that sound like a whole person? A healthy person, a complete person in the area of sex? No, no, it doesn’t. Something sure her behavior was was correct, quote, unquote, on the outside, but something was not working correctly on the inside. And so that image of the clock, and that idea of integrity coming from within is such an important part for us. So think about yourself, your own life, if you want more sexual integrity in your life, think about what makes you you. So you can just start with the basics. You know, you have body, spirit, and soul. And those three have to work in harmony with each other, they have to each be working properly. Drill down a little further, there’s your heart, your will your mind. through another lens, we might say, you know, there’s your emotions, your relationships, your intellect, your physical condition, there’s your spiritual life. There’s your imagination, all these different parts of you, I mean, the human person is complex. To be a person of sexual integrity means all these parts are healthy, and they’re working together, that you might live out your life physically relationally sexually, with integrity, all the springs and coils are in the right place, they are working properly intention with one another. They the heart knows when to go first. And when to sit back. The the mind knows when it’s needed, your body knows when to step up and take action and when to let the heart lead or the mind lead. I mean, I’m you know, that’s probably not exactly how it works. And we’ll unpack that more in the next couple of weeks. I want to unpack this more. But just to give you an idea, if you want more sexual integrity in your life, you have to begin by looking what’s happening on the inside. Because we want what’s happening inside of you working together. So let’s just start with this basic principle. We’ll start here this week. And next couple weeks, two, maybe three weeks, we’ll unpack this idea of sexual integrity even more. But first, let’s start with this. If you want more sexual integrity in your life, then begin thinking about your body, your body. One of the biggest pitfalls I see is when people are working against their body for sexual integrity. They think their body is the enemy. A lot of times when you hear Christians talking about the sexual temptation and lives, you get the impression that they think their bodies are the enemy. They think their bodies want sexual sin, their bodies are designed for sexual sin, they cut a ton of talk about themselves, like their animals and heat. But Scripture does not teach us that our that our bodies are the enemy to sexual integrity. As a matter of fact, Paul says very clearly in First Corinthians six, that when you sin sexually, and he actually kind of calls out sexual sin is unique. He says, because when you sin sexually, you sin against your own body. And he’s writing that to the church in Corinth, which was really wrestling with sexual sin, sexual depravity, they, they were immersed in a culture where sexual morality was the norm and even integrated, synthesized into religious practices. And so the Christians in Corinth were called out to live a different kind of sexuality. And Paul was saying, you were calling you out to is to honor your body, because your body is made for the Lord, not for sexual immorality, despite what your body may feel. And this is where it gets tricky, I think for a lot of us, because when we sin sexually, we feel bodily pleasure. And so we think, okay, so our bodies messed up there. And I’d argue, the bodily pleasure that we experience is is another sign of our DIS integration. It’s another sign of disintegration. So you might think about it this way. If you are a farmer, and you have a lamb, a sheep that you’re going to, you’re going to feed and feed and feed so that you can slaughter it and eat it. Well, you’re going to feed it tasty food and that land is going to think on the front end, that you’re, hey, this farmer loves me. He thinks he’s out. He’s out for my good man. He’s given me everything I want. And then the sheep just you know, has an appetite and grows affectionate towards the farmer but really the farmer is not out for the sheep’s good The farmer is fattening up the sheep for slaughter. And think we can think that same way or a similar way at least, we think about what sexual sin does to our bodies. We fed and fed and fed our body sexual sin our bodies have grown accustomed to it have have developed a taste for sexual sin. And we’ve come to think, Hey, man, this you know, sexual sin or pornography or hookups or this app or that app or whatever, this is my this my friend, it really cares about me, when the truth is, it’s just fattening us up for slaughter. That’s what Paul’s talking about in First Corinthians six. When you sin sexually, you sinned against your own body. Don’t you know that your bodies are members of Christ, that your bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Paul says, glorify God, honor God in your body. So as you think about having sexual integrity, start here this year, start with your body, and begin practicing thinking about treating your body, as though the truth is, in fact true that your body is made for the Lord. It’s not made for sexual morality. Your body is made for the Lord. It is designed for the Lord. It is like a key in a lock that is specifically designed for the Lord. In fact, your body is designed for the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit, to abide in you to dwell in you. That’s what your body’s designed for. You’re designed bodily for God, not for sexual morality. So however, however your body seems to move, or has been trained or accustomed, as developed a taste for sexual morality, begin practicing the truth. And even begin, you know, you can even talk to your body prayerfully a body. I know you think that’s what you want, but it is not what you’re made for. You’re made for something much, much greater than that. You think that’s life? No, no, no, no, God has life for you. He wants to dwell you with His very presence is fullness of love, His supernatural power. He wants to fill you with His Spirit. And remember, in the New Testament, you know, there are examples of people who were filled God’s Spirit and man they were people thought they were drunk. They were, I mean that, that the experience they were having of the Holy Spirit was so powerful. You are made for that. Whether you experienced that All right now we’re not invite the Holy Spirit in your body. On a practical level, one of things I used to do, when I’d struggle with sexual sin, if I lusted, I would actually afterwards I would apologize to my eyes, I would, I would lay my hands over my eyes, close my eyes and, and prayerfully to say, Lord, forgive me, for using my eyes in a way that they’re not designed for, for for I actually just assaulted my eyes by lusting with them, and lay my hands my eyes and say eyes, would you forgive me? Forgive me for treating you in a way that you were never meant to be treated. You were made, not for lost. You’re made to love God would you open my eyes heal my eyes that they might see what is real and see with love, rather than the last. You can do that for every part of your body that has been involved in sexual sin. In the short term, it may be difficult for your body, but in the long term, your body will thank you for it because you are your body and you were made for sexual integrity. So as you seek to walk in sexual integrity this year, incorporate your body because your body is made for the Lord bless you brothers and sisters.
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