Devotional

“And when I passed by again, I saw that you were old enough for love. So I wrapped my cloak around you to cover your nakedness and declared my marriage vows. I made a covenant with you, says the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine.”  – Ezekiel 16:8.

It might have been decades ago, it may have been yesterday. It may have been in front of a large group, or a very small one. It could have been very formal or it could have been very casual. It could have cost a king’s ransom. It could have cost the price of a marriage license. But sometime, somewhere we said “i do” and got married. After all, we were head over heels in love and felt a combination of excitement and anxiousness to get married. The actual wedding was a blur. But, after the reception dissolved and people made their way for home, and the bridesmaids were packing the gifts in the car, the reality of our responsibilities before God as husband and wife sank in. And then there is this whole purity thing.

Marital purity is a difficult challenge. Sin is like an undercurrent in the ocean, if you play in it, you will be overpowered and carried away into certain destruction. We may bring sin into the marriage with us or we may start practicing it when we are married. Satan wants us to think that we won’t take our sin to the next level. He wants us to think that we’re stronger than we really are. He wants to make us think that we’ll never go “that far.” All the time we think we won’t go where we don’t want to go. But we can and do. One of the ways Satan works this angle is to tempt you to think that purity is a line in the sand rather than a posture of the heart. He wants you to think that if you don’t cross a certain line, you’re “staying pure.” The problem with this kind of thinking is that Jesus says if we lust in our heart, we’ve sinned and are condemned before God (Matthew 5:27-30).

Purity is all about the heart. The age old question of “how far is too far” may be revealing a desire to get as close to sin as possible rather than a desire to “flee” as God calls us to do: “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18). So I ask you, what’s the posture of your heart? Are you seeking to find ways to flee from lust or getting as close as you can? Be careful to not underestimate your vulnerability, or as Paul said, “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Purity is a daily choice. Even when you’re in a solid, God-honoring relationship—even when you’re married, in fact—purity is an ongoing challenge. Draw close to God and ask for His help in resisting temptation. 

Discussion Questions

  1. How do you define intimacy?
  2. What can we do to better insulate ourselves from temptation this week?