Updated April 2022
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 condoms and providing “sex education training.”
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.
The Battle is All Around
We as men and women are forced into a battle every day against our foe, the devil, who seeks to do us harm. The fight for sexual purity is a 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. In a coffee shop less than a half hour later, I was 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 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.
Prepare to Fight
So, how can we expect to win this fight for purity? First, understand 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 the 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!
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!
Soldiers arm themselves for battle; they prepare for war for 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.
8 Ways to Fight for Purity
1. Christian soldiers take up the armor of God.
We are to put on all of it, not just pick up a sword and shield (Eph. 6:11).
2. Christian soldiers use 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).
3. Christian soldiers submit to godly leadership in the local church.
We know 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 men face in the flesh, and be willing to help in the fight for purity. A godly woman understands 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.
6. Christian soldiers love their wives.
At times it can be difficult to be both transparent and loving to your wife. 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 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.
7. Christian soldiers lead their wives and wash them in the water of the Word.
Be the leader 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 reflect 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).
8. Christian soldiers use accountability software and submit to the Word of God. The accountability software available is truly helpful in so many ways. However, without submitting to the teaching of the Word of God, the 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.
Victory in Christ
Today, you may struggle 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 the battle that wages through the world, the flesh, and the devil. 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. Hope and healing is in the Cross of Christ. 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 temptation comes your way whether in person or on the computer. Instead, pray and resist it by the grace of God. Jesus died in your place for your sin! He is the reason you can put your sin to death. 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:
“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 Tim. 2:1-4).
“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” (2 Tim. 2:21-26).
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.
What about the many men who are single, never married, divorced and widowers? What do they do as the majority of your suggestions are aimed at married men. In my own case, I am a 60 year old and never married and struggle with pornography and the usual girl watching issues. I am also a Christian who lives a mostly isolate life with limited socialization and have a disabling and chronic mental illness.
Please remember also that many marriages feature husbands who employ verbal, physical and even sexual abuse of their wives.
I grew up in a home where Mom and Dad(my grandparents who raised me and I called them Mom and Dad) were in constant verbal conflict. Dad would hurl verbal abuse and Mom would fight back and their was an unspoken understanding that if Dad crossed the line into physical abuse, he would be looking at the walls of a jail cell. As it was, she did clobber him with a metal kitchen garbage can as he mercilessly beat their son.
Submission to husbands is fine but remember the women who are abused by their husbands, have to rely on domestic abuse shelters or fight back as best they can such as Mom resisting a tyrannical husband.
Wow. Thank you. May the good Lord bless you. I learn more from you.
Thank you for writing this and I appreciate and understand the struggle for purity personally. Have you ever thought “beautiful” , “attractive” or as you mentioned inappropriately-dressed women are merely a false belief influenced by culture at its core.
A deception of sorts that we have bought based off our porn consumption? Porn tells us this “look” means sex and that is why we are so fueled with lust when we see a woman similar to the mold of our porn shaped minds. The lies of porn we carry must be put to death. How to have Sex is not an innate thing. We do not grow up knowing how to have sex. We model many behaviors as we learn them. We grow up wondering and questioning where babies come from and have an interest as we develop but we do not know how to have sex (this is by design I believe). Husbands and wives are to explore each other’s sexuality. This is where pure desires can be formed if porn had not been used before sex and with hard work and Gods Grace intimacy in our marriage can be restored after years of porn and sex outside of marriage shaping our brains and false desires. We serve a merciful God.
Learning each other in an act of grace intimacy and expression of love and self sacrifice that leads to sexual satisfaction. I believe if we follow 1 Corinthians 13:5-7 we will have a fulfilling love life with our wives fueled in expression of intimacy and vulnerability.
As you touched on planned parenthood pushing for premarital sex and being the educator to our youth in our public school system. After watching these “educational” videos that only lead young boys and girls to more questions about sex left to be educated by culture, porn , and cinema . I was one of these young boys. Fueled by an inherent need to be wanted and desired curious and broken from sexual abuse by one of my grandmothers at 11, physical abuse and emotional abuse in a home that lacked love. Porn hooked me in after failed youthful relationships and a life set to fulfill my own desires. I was a perfect candidate and set up from generational sexually compulsive behavior / sin or “addiction” I understand these things first hand and I want to not be a child with a beard that looks like a man in the mirror. The struggle out has been devastating but I say this with hope and assurance there is much that has changed ! That being said, All changes have followed me challenging mind sets and my limited beliefs. This has been painful often times I have felt like throwing in the towel giving up / settling but the fight continues because change is happening.
Unfortunately, pornography seems to have influenced fashion and culture and has inevitably been a source for “sex Ed” to our youth furthermore perpetuating the “beauty” myth which is ever changing. Example skinny to fit. Hairstyles, clothing styles, diets, plastic surgery. Hair vs no hair etc
What would drive a woman or man for that matter to such ever-changing drastic behavior shifts? Well make women and now men feel gross, undesired, disgusting and sell them products to make them feel pretty and wanted . Then get the men to be over sexual and get them attaching to porn at an early stage to desire these fashion beauty changes. Leading to women obsessing over beauty and youth all while having very little sexual satisfaction. Attention = money and that is what all these industries are after money and power. Diet, porn, fashion , and movies all tell us our life’s are boring unsexy passe if you will and get us over worked and spiritually broken hating age and value of youth is valued over wisdom. Health is valued over mental morality and so on. “Pleasure is our purpose” seem to scream so many falsely. But our purpose can be found in our pain. It can also be found in Christ and our calling to draw near to a holy God who loves us unconditionally but demands us to repent of our sinfulness and evil desires. This can only be done by renewing our minds ! The truth.
Many indigenous tribes , as the book “your brain on porn” touches on, gives an example of men constantly being exposed to bare breasted women and being unaffected because it is the norm and has not been perverted in their culture. Constant exposure in a consumer society is what shapes our minds around attraction.
The devil is a liar he is the master of deception he is also very good at perverting everything that is inherently good about God’s creation.
We must clear the inside of our cups by questioning everything like our Lord so often did. Questions lead to the truth. This is how we seek and this is how we find. We must not stay stuck in controlling behaviors. The mere fact of looking the other way does not preserve purity.
Purity is our hearts desires. We are led by our hearts desires which lead us into temptation which leads to sin.
Many will scream “the fall, that’s why” yes we have an inherent fallen nature but we have been brought the Holy Spirit our helper and Christ is the way the truth and the life we must embody our Lord and strive towards him while renewing our minds to the truth !
Jesus came and died to not only be the propitiation For our sins but he came to tell us to follow him.
Excuses, victimization and accountability that gets you stuck must be challenged !!!
I have to do this often with myself I fall short but I will keep persisting and I hope others will push and have faith for true purity ! The pure in heart will see God!
IF we can all unite to push further and have Faith it is possible we can achieve our Lords commandments. Unfortunately excuses (that I am guilty of personally ) will only lead to us playing the victim (which I am guilty of too) we may at one point have been a victim of abuse but the fact of the matter is we are no longer a victim we can choose to be a victor and minister to are soul and the Lord.
We must push further we can do this if we have faith !!!! Doubt is the enemy of progress
We must redefine “beauty” we must rewrite our false beliefs. We must bring truth (light) to the darkness (lies) .
We must disarm the enemy by disarming his lies.
Keep the good fight going my brothers. Fight your soul depends on it. Faith without works is dead.