Sexual sin will keep you longer than you wanted to stay and take you to darker places than you ever wanted to go. Sexual sin is highly addictive, very common, and wildly destructive.
It should be no surprise that the Bible continually warns Christians about the dangers of sexual sin. Perhaps one of the best places to learn how to fight sexual sin is Proverbs 5.
- Look Past the Present Pleasure and Focus on the Future Pain of Sexual Sin (Proverbs 5:1-6)
My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding,2 that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge. 3 For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, 4 but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol; 6 she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it.
Proverbs 5 begins by warning us of the deceitfulness of sexual sin. Like all sin, sexual temptation offers pleasures but in the end produces pain. Physical attraction is a powerful lure to a human. If you live in the moment and follow your immediate cravings, you will take of the forbidden fruit and reap the consequences.
The key is to look past the present and look into the future. Wise people have the ability to look at where they are going. They can see ahead to where their current actions will take them. If you want to avoid sexual sin and overcome lust, then you must focus more on the pain and consequences of sexual sin rather than the immediate and fleeting beauty before you.
So we must “be attentive.” If we let go and stop fighting the mental battle and instead we are led by our fleshy desires, we will fall to sexual sin every time.
- Stay Close to Biblical Teaching and Stay Away From Sexual Temptation (Proverbs 5:7-14)
And now, O sons, listen to me,and do not depart from the words of my mouth.8 Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house,9 lest you give your honor to others and your years to the merciless,10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,11 and at the end of your life you groan, when your flesh and body are consumed,12 and you say, “How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof!13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors.14 I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.”
If you are familiar with those people who have found success in drug and alcohol recovery programs, you know that these types of people do something very basic: They go to a lot of support group meetings and they stay away from their triggers. Those who relapse usually do so once they stop meeting with their recovery group members and start hanging around their old friends.
In Proverbs 5:7-14 we are given the same advice as a means to fight sexual sin. We are told to “not depart” from biblical teaching and to “keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house.”
One of the main ingredients to success is to consume large amounts of biblical teaching and to avoid sexual temptation whenever possible. You have to be around other Christians, read the Bible, listen to sermons, and always keep your mind on Christ. Notice the link found in Colossians 3:2-5 regarding the mind and sexual immorality:
2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
If you want to find success in your fight against sexual sin, you must not only stay away from the bad but you must also constantly pursue the good. Just like sobriety from a drug or alcohol, sexual purity is not about one choice or two choices a day. It’s about living a sober lifestyle. A sober lifestyle keeps your daily habits healthy and conducive to avoiding triggers. You are not constantly thinking about your sobriety, but you are constantly living a life favorable to sobriety. The same must be true when fighting sexual sin.
- Use Your Sex Drive As God Intended (Proverbs 5:15-20)
Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.16 Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets?17 Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you.18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth,19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
One of the main misunderstandings I see Christians make when trying to overcome sexual sin is that they start thinking sex is sin. Human sexuality, physical attraction, and romantic feelings, however, are all gifts given to humanity by God himself. God made all of these things. Sin is when we take a good thing and use it in a bad way. Sexual sin is no different.
Therefore rather than praying, “God, please take my sex drive away!” we should ask God to help us use his gifts to us in proper ways. A healthy sex drive is one sign you are called to pursue marriage (1 Corinthians 7).
Some guys struggle with porn because they are afraid of real relationships. If they were to mature as a men and seek marriage, they would have another tool to avoid sexual sin (1 Corinthians 7:5). I’m not saying you should get married to satisfy your sexual cravings, but a natural consequence of being unfit to love a woman in marriage is that you cannot enjoy sex as God intended.
Overall, the principal to be learned in Proverbs 5:15-20 is not that every Christian should pursue marriage. Rather, the principal is that all Christians should seek to use God’s blessings the way God designed. The Bible doesn’t command Christians to just resist sin. Rather we are supposed to pursue enjoying God’s blessings as he intended before sin entered the picture. Eat the right amount of food but don’t be a glutton. Get enough sleep but don’t be lazy. Enjoy money but don’t be greedy. And don’t think sex is evil but only use sex in marriage.
- Remember: No Sin Is Secret. We Reap What We Sow (Proverbs 5:21-23)
For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord,and he ponders all his paths.22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.23 He dies for lack of discipline,and because of his great folly he is led astray.
One of the most dangerous parts of sexual sin is the secrecy of it. Rarely is someone open and honest about their sexual sinfulness. People look at porn in the night when no one is around. Strip clubs are placed on the outskirts of town where people are less likely to be seen entering them. An adultery almost always takes place in hiding and secrecy. People often do evil things when they think no one is watching.
But no sin is truly secret because God sees all. Only when we truly believe what Proverbs 5:21 states will we resist secret sexual sin, “For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths.” Galatians 6:7-10 also says:
7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
If we want to overcome sexual sin, we must always remember that we reap what we sow. We will have to forsake quick pleasures so God can produce eternal pleasures in our lives through the gospel of Jesus Christ.