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Miranda Writes: Living for an Audience of One, Part 2




by Omar Miranda



For the past two weeks we’ve been talking a lot about the importance of being connected to, and spending time with, the right types of people, particularly the ones we’re dating, because they have such a large and important influence upon us.

This week we’ll be looking at a story in the Bible that specifically answers this question: What does a Christian do when tempted to have sex with a non-Christian (or with anyone he or she isn’t married to, for that matter)? How should the Christian respond? Then, toward the end, I’ll point you to a book of the Bible that has a lot to say about God’s view of healthy sex and sexuality.
Now, let’s look at a story that should help answer the question I just mentioned. Then we’ll talk.

The story is found in Genesis 39. Let me set up the background for you. A teenager named Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers. (You think you’ve got it bad at home?) Joseph was bought by the captain of Pharaoh’s guard, a guy named Potiphar. Because God blessed Joseph, he did a great job on every assignment he was given, so eventually Potiphar put Joseph in charge of running his whole household.

The story continues in Genesis 39:6-12: “Joseph was a strikingly handsome man. As time went on, his master’s wife became infatuated with Joseph and one day said, ‘Sleep with me.’

“He wouldn’t do it. He said to his master’s wife, ‘Look, with me here, my master doesn’t give a second thought to anything that goes on here—he’s put me in charge of everything he owns. He treats me as an equal. The only thing he hasn’t turned over to me is you. You’re his wife, after all! How could I violate his trust and sin against God?’

“She pestered him day after day after day, but he stood his ground. He refused to go to bed with her. On one of these days he came to the house to do his work and none of the household servants happened to be there. She grabbed him by his cloak, saying, ‘Sleep with me!’ He left his coat in her hand and ran out of the house” (Message).¹

So after reading this story, I want to focus on a couple of points that I found really important and interesting:

Joseph was an extra-good-looking guy, and his boss’s wife was the one hitting on him—not just once, but time after time after time! Joseph refused her demands for two reasons: the respect he had for his boss and, more important, the respect and love he had for God. Did you notice that when he said no to his boss’s wife he said two things? The first was the exclamation “You’re his wife, after all!” Joseph was reminding her of the seriousness and sacredness of the marriage promise that she had made to her husband, and even if she didn’t care about it or take it seriously, Joseph certainly did. The second thing he said was “How could I . . . sin against God?” Joseph doesn’t water down his reasons for choosing to do right. So many times when we’re stuck in a difficult situation with non-Christians, we may be tempted to water down or change the reasons we choose not to do something, because telling the cold, hard truth might make others feel uncomfortable. But Joseph wasn’t worried about that, was he? He told it like it was. Just like last week, I ask you: “Who are you living for?”

After Potiphar’s wife continued to nag Joseph to have sex with her, one day she grabbed him. When he got cornered—literally—what did he do? Did he give in? Did he talk himself into having sex with her just once so that maybe she would leave him alone? No! He kept his mind in gear, and then he put his legs in gear and physically got out of there! He didn’t stick around to try to talk her out of it or to think about it some more. Because when you’re tempted, you don’t have time to do any of that. You’ve got to firmly say no and then completely leave the tempting situation. A lot of us allow ourselves to get into situations that can lead to our downfall for several different reasons: (1) we think we’re more able to resist temptation than we really are; (2) we think we can influence our girlfriend or boyfriend for the right instead of them influencing us for the wrong; (3) deep down, we really want to find ourselves in this situation and give in rather than remain true to God and His righteous principles; (4) it’s difficult to take a stand for God because we’re embarrassed, etc. But the apostle Paul tells us straight-up to “flee sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18, NKJV).² He warns his young friend Timothy (and us): “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart”

(2 Timothy 2:22, NKJV). Imagine someone chasing you with a gun and trying to kill you. How fast would you run to escape? That’s what the word “flee” means! Instead of running with all their might, however, a lot of people stroll, amble, meander, and even crawl away—and then leave temptation their forwarding address!

There are some excellent passages of Scripture that Solomon, the wisest man ever, wrote on this subject. They can be found in Proverbs 2:16-22; 5:3-20; 6:23-35; and 7:1-27. I think a lot of them came from his own experience, because the Bible says of him: “But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites—from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.’ Solomon clung to these in love” (1 Kings 11:1, 2, NKJV).

I encourage you to read all these verses and then sit down with a trusted, wise, spiritual adult (preferably one who’s married) and really discuss them. Examine them in the light of your past, present, and future decisions about dating non-Christians and about the whole subject of sex. I think you will be blessed by doing this.

Our sexuality and our need to have godly attitudes and actions regarding sex are as important to the Lord as any other aspect of our lives. He created us male and female (see Genesis 1:27), and He created all the differences—physical, emotional, hormonal, etc.—between the two sexes.

Sex should take place only between one man and one woman who are married to each other—and only after they are married (see 1 Corinthians 7:2-4). The whole purpose for sex is to glorify God; to bring pleasure to a husband and wife; to bring children into the world and ensure that they have a healthy family, with both a father and a mother who are committed to each other and their children; and to function as a holy “superglue” to help keep a committed husband and wife together for the rest of their lives in a totally unique and special way (see Genesis 2:24).

So when we choose to have sex before being married, we end up “gluing” ourselves to the wrong types of things (such as porn), experiences, and/or people (see 1 Corinthians 6:15-17). And that makes God very sad, because when we sin sexually, we end up actually sinning against ourselves in a serious way that can mess us up for a lifetime (see 1 Corinthians 6:18).

If you want to learn what God’s view of healthy sex and sexuality is, read the entire Old Testament book Song of Solomon, sometimes called Song of Songs. Let me tell you something interesting about this book of the Bible: in the Hebrew culture boys weren’t allowed to read this book until they were past a certain age because some of the contents were so provocative. I just made you want to read the book, didn’t I? Do prayerfully read it and then discuss it with that same trusted adult we mentioned above (or another one).

If you’re currently doing something you ought not be doing, let me be the first to say: “Pray for God’s help and stop doing it.”

Finally, remember what the Word of God says to you: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NKJV).

Until next time, remember that God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Make God first above all else in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912

¹Texts credited to Message are from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
² Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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