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Giving Up Sex
by Fern Horst
"For 55 million dollars, would you give up
sex for the rest of your life?"
What a question! It invoked some interesting answers from listeners to a radio talk show I was listening to recently. Some who called in said they would be more than willing to forfeit sex forever
for this amount of money; others said, "no way!"
While this was not a Christian program, it made me think of a similar question posed by my Lord
and Master, Jesus Christ. He has asked me and every Christian single, "Out of obedience to Me,
will you say 'no' to sex as long as you're single, which will possibly be for the rest of your life?"
Before you answer, remember, there's no 55 million dollar "reward" for an affirmative answer to
his version of the question!
There are rewards, definitely, but they aren't easily measured and aren't
always readily seen or felt.
In fact, we sometimes have to struggle to convince ourselves that it truly is worth the wait, and
even the possible complete forfeiture forever. The rewards are long-lasting, even if not immediate:
God obviously has good reasons for His commands.
But aside from any "reward", our answer to Christ's question is obvious when we realize it's
part ofa larger decision we've already made to follow Christ.
There are two commandments, Christ said, which sum up all of God's commands: the first is to
love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves. Please read Mark 12:28-34
So evidently it's not the sacrifice of giving up sex that is important to God, but rather
the expression of love to Him and to our "neighbor" by refraining from an act which
He has put loving perimeters around.
If we love God will all our being (including our bodies), how can we unite in a bond outside of the perimeters which He has commanded?
If we love our neighbor as ourselves, how can we violate him or her by taking what is not ours to have?
The two cannot coexist: We either love as God has called us to love and therefore refrain from
sex outside of marriage, or we indulge and in so doing despise Him and the one with whom we
think we are "in love".
It's this focus on God, and on loving Him and others, that will enable us
to say "no" when the pressure is on.
Do you think the guy who accepted the 55 million dollars will continue to refrain from sex by focusing on what he's missing? Probably not. It's the 55 million bucks that will continue to motivate him.
As Christians, we have a much greater motivation: a love relationship with the God of the Universe,
a God we will spend eternity with, a God who loves us more completely than any human being can.
Many around us - the media, our co-workers, friends, even at times other Christians - make it
sound as though giving up sex is an unnatural and impossible thing to do.
But we're not giving up sex just to give it up. We're giving up sex because we love with our whole selves, not just with our sexual appetities. And the rewards, though we can't completely comprehend them all now, are even greater and longer lasting than 55 million dollars!
Fern Horst is an author and staff writer for "Purposeful Singleness". This article was reprinted with permission.