Editor’s Note:

The purpose of this series is to help singles think through how to be single in the church, those who are married but don’t have kids to continue to pursue each other and those who are married to excel at parenting by the grace of God.

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Fighting for Purity

We live in a culture where the constant refrain in our movies, television shows, and music seems to be pursue sex outside of marriage because there are ‘no consequences’. Our public schools and government (particularly via Planned Parenthood) openly encourage young people to pursue sex outside of marriage, divorced from responsibility by handing out condemns and providing “sex education training” designed to entice young teens to engage in sex outside of marriage. The Bible, however, presents a different picture—namely sex inside of marriage only. Sex inside of marriage may be the most counter-cultural action a Christian married couple can participate in.

We as men are forced into a battle every day against our foe, the devil, who seeks to do us harm. The fight for sexual purity is spiritual battle between a vanquished foe named Satan, and a victorious, triumphant, and exalted Savior in Jesus Christ. Even the day I wrote this article, I faced this challenge head-on at the Subway restaurant near my house. An inappropriately-dressed woman came into my line of sight, and I was faced with the question, “How should I respond?” Knowing what God’s Word teaches, I not only looked the other way, but I also began praying, resisting the urge to glance again as I held fast to the gospel. Not more than a half an hour later, as I sat at a coffee shop, I was once again challenged as a young woman walked past me in an extremely short skirt. Once again I prayed, resisted, and stood fast.

Men, fighting for your purity of mind and heart is serious spiritual warfare. All around each of us, the world is seeking to destroy you and me. Not only is the world and the satanic host armed to take you down, but your flesh cries out to be appeased. You are in a war and this war is very real. This is why fighting for your purity is spiritually imperative.

So, how can we expect to win this fight for purity? First, understand that God sees your heart. You cannot go beyond the sovereign gaze of an all-knowing God. He knows whether you stand fast or if you give in. My encouragement to you today is to hold fast and stand courageously. As Ephesians 6:14 states, Gird yourself for battle you are in with the Belt of Truth. One day the battle will end and your struggle against the world, the flesh and the devil will finally be over. Go to battle for the sake of your marriage! Will you go to battle for the sake of your soul? A solider dresses for battle and stands armed to the hilt against the enemy. As Christians we have been signed, and sealed in the Lord Jesus. Your eternity has been secured by the Risen Christ, so fight the fight knowing that your victory in Him is sure!

From what I’ve personally witnessed, many men give into temptation, allowing the lust of their eyes to damage their own souls. They are enticed and seduced by the seductresses flaunting around in overly tight clothes and short skirts. Men, resist and turn your eyes from these women by the grace of God. These are not the types of women you want to be your wife. These women are only after one thing—they want your attention (and flattery). They are nothing more than seductresses aiming to destroy you (whether or not they realize it) and take you out of the battle…maybe for good.

I realize that these are strong words, but we cannot sugar-coat the situation. We must recognize that our very lives are at stake and the damage done with one lustful glance can scar our souls forever. Soldiers arm themselves for battle; they prepare for war or many months. You have easy access to pornography and inappropriate images through smart phones, laptops, and other media devices. Temptation is everywhere—even in the line at the grocery store. So, how do you stand firm? Let me give you eight tips to help you navigate this spiritual minefield.

Eight Ways to Fight for Purity

First, Christian soldiers prepare for battle by taking up the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11). We are to put all of it on, not just pick up a sword and shield.

Second, Christian soldiers prepare for battle by taking up the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. You can claim victory over evil only by knowing the TRUTH found in the Word of God. If you don’t understand your identity in Christ, as one who is victorious, you will be unable to stand against the claims of Satan (the father of all lies).

Third, Christian soldiers prepare for battle by submitting to godly leadership in the local church. We know that God has ordained those in leadership to be our shepherds. Their teaching and leadership should be respected and followed, so long as they maintain a biblical perspective and godly teaching.

Fourth, Christian soldiers seek out accountability. What war has ever been won alone? Jesus has given us comrades, fellow Christian men to help us through the struggle. No one should try to shoulder the weight of this fight alone.

Fifth, Christian soldiers pray with their wives. As our helpmates, our wives can be the strongest pillar in our fight against the flesh. They will (hopefully) be knowledgeable of the struggles that men face in the flesh, and be willing to help in the fight for purity. A godly woman understands that the sexual temptation of her husband can be the downfall of their marriage. Her righteous prayers can move mountains, so do not be afraid to conscript her in this war. She’s there to help, as God intended.

Sixth, Christian soldiers love their wives. While at times it can be difficult to be both transparent and loving to your wife, there is a place of balance. Your wife may be hurt if you confess the struggles you have with purity, but a strong relationship is one of love and trust. If your wife cannot trust you, she may struggle also to love you. So I say again, love your wife, be honest with your wife, and engender trust and faith with your wife. Always remember that Jesus commands us to love our wives as He has loved the Church (and so died for Her). If you show this type of love to your wife, she will see Christ in you.

And seventh, Christian soldiers lead their wives and wash them in the water of the Word. Be the leader in the home that you are called to be. Do not forsake your duties as a husband and shepherd of Christ in the home. Use your knowledge of Scripture to lead by example in a godly way. If you provide an example of what it means to be a man of God to your family, God will use it to bless those in your care—not only your wife, but also your children (if you have any).

Finally, Christian soldiers use accountability software to help them fight against temptation, but seek first and foremost to submit to the teaching of the Word of God. The software available for purity accountability is truly helpful in so many ways. Without submitting to the teaching of the Word of God, however, software can only go so far. It is up to you to allow the Holy Spirit to renew your mind through the Word on a daily basis. If you refuse to allow His Word to instruct you in the way you should go, you have lost the battle already.

Today, you may be struggling with looking at illicit images or watching similarly themed videos. This is a battle I’ve known well. As one who’s overcome a pornography addiction, I know well the battle that wages through the world, the flesh, and the devil. Yet, there is hope and healing in the Cross of Christ. You can stand and resist, but you can’t do it in your own strength. You can fight for your purity and overcome temptation only by the grace of God. He alone is your victory; He alone is your hope. Lean on Him and trust Him when he says He is “for you”. He will never leave you, nor forsake you. Jesus is the reason you can fight for purity and stand firm in the grace of God. This is why I call you today to put your sin to death. Don’t coddle it and don’t play games with it. A little sin will harm you a great deal. Don’t just look away when that seductress tempts you in person or on the computer, instead you must pray, resist, and put it to death by the grace of God. Jesus died in your place and for your sin! He is the reason you can put your sin to death; He is the reason you can slay it. So, men of God, slay the dragon of impurity and fight for your purity by the grace of God. As a final thought, remember the words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy (2 Timothy 2:1-4 and 2 Timothy 2:21-26):

2 Timothy 2:1-4, “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.  Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”

2 Timothy 2:21-26, “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,  correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”

Jesus Christ is stronger than Satan could ever be—and He has given you VICTORY through Himself. Trust that His Word is true and you will remain victorious.