(If you need help understanding the picture, go to the Fusion podcast which will be updated with Fusion’s message tomorrow).
Tonight at Fusion we continued on in our Matchmaker series with a message entitled “The Right Way.” What is purity supposed to look like for those who are striving to do things God’s way? Here is the big idea for the day: I would rather experience the disapproval of this world than I would experience the disapproval of God. However you choose to live, someone is going to be disappointed in your decisions. Someone is going to look down on you for choices you make. I just personally don’t want that person to be Jesus Christ. I want him to approve of the relationship decisions I make and the practices I keep.
Joseph, when he fled from Potiphar’s wife, became a reproach in the eyes of man for his quest for purity, but he didn’t care – he wanted God to approve him. Job made a covenant with his eyes that he would not look on a woman that did not belong to him.
Here’s a couple of things to put feet to what we learned tonight:
1. Get some accountability software – For anyone who has ever struggled with looking at things not helpful to the Christian walk on the internet, I am going to charge you to do something bold: download X3 Watch on your computer right now. This software, which is free, enables you to have two accountability partners to whom this program will email periodically containing information about questionable websites that you have frequented. Find some people that will call you on the carpet. Find some people whom you can do this together. If you have struggled in this area, don’t be prideful enough to think that you can make it on your own, download this software now.
2. DTR Talk – If you are in a relationship or are in a quasi-relationship, someone needs to initiate the DTR talk (Define The Relationship). Fellas, this should be you, but ladies, if he isn’t initiating, make the first move. Girls especially need titles and definitions to what the relationship is, even if you think this is stupid guys. It helps them because they see what you are investing in the relationship, and they are able to see where you are heading. Can you see yourself heading towards marriage? If not, do you need to be together?
3. FTR Talk – This talk is not as famous but needs to be in your vocabulary: the Fix The Relationship Talk. If you are in a relationship and things occasionally go too far physically, then it’s time that you start the conversation concerning boundaries. Even if you haven’t gone too far yet, you just might, so have that conversation now. Ask the questions if you ever need to be alone together at your house by yourself at night. Ask yourself what physical displays of affection are appropriate and/or healthy. If you don’t have this conversation, you will neither know where the line is and you will keep crossing it. If you at least talk about it, you will be able to have two people who are watching for the boundaries and not just one. Remember: Not only flee from sexual immorality but also flee from the appearance of evil. Even if you are in a relationship where you are abstaining from sexual immorality, what if people believe that you appear that way due to staying over, being alone constantly, watching movies in the dark alone in your apartment? Their perception of Christ should mean enough to you that you will neglect the luxury of spending a lot of alone time together (which can be dangerous anyway).
4. The writer of Sex is Not the Problem, Lust Is, Joshua Harris, gives some tips on his website on how to stay pure in the middle of a culture where temptation is delivered to you through TV, internet, etc. Go here for some great tips! If you don’t have this book, and you ever wanted more teaching on this area, this is the book. You can buy it in the North Side bookstore ar at Amazon.
5. Accountability – If you are in a C-Group, have an accountability partner, or do not, here is some good info to get you started:
In walking with Christ, God has given us the privilege of sharing life with others with whom we can encourage and challenge. We encourage our 20-somethings to find someone of the same gender with whom they can be accountable with weekly in order to stay consistent in our Christian lives. If you don’t have this type of relationship, pray about someone with which you can be authentic and intentional on a regular basis. “So what do we do when we get together?” First, share prayer requests and lessons that God has been teaching the two of you. But further than that, you need to challenge each other. Please adjust the following list of sample questions, not to make it easier, but to get more specific with areas in which you know you need help. Make sure the two of you are clear on the meaning of each question.
- Have you spent time with God on a regular basis?
- Have you compromised your integrity in any way?
- Has your thought life been pure?
- Have you committed any sexual sin?
- Did you put yourself in an awkward situation with a member of the opposite gender?
- What significant thing did you do for your spouse and/or family?
- Have you shared your faith this week? How?
- Have you been truthful in everything we have discussed?
Hope to see you next week as we conclude this series, if you weren’t able to come tonight, make sure you check out the podcast. Above all else: don’t let even a hint of sexual immorality be named among you!
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.