God’s Heart for Sexual Purity
Back when I was a young single woman who traveled the world sharing the Gospel with women, I developed a habit of buying beautiful teacups as souvenirs. Each cup represented a memory, a friendship, or a specific place that I loved. By the time I married my husband Justin, I had a large collection of teacups from across the globe, everywhere between South Carolina to Czechoslovakia.
If you’ve ever held fine china, you know that they are exquisite, and many are works of art. As I packed up my whole life to move from Houston to San Antonio, I carefully marked the boxes that held my teacups with the words: FRAGILE, DO NOT BREAK!
A few weeks later, while unpacking, I realized that many of the teacups had been shattered in the move. The moving company had either not cared about what was inside, couldn’t read my instructions, or had flat-out ignored my message. The destruction devastated me.
As I unwrapped more and more broken teacups, I became more heartbroken. At that moment, God impressed upon my heart this thought: “Marian, this is exactly how a generation of my daughters willingly treat themselves. They are treasures that I paid the highest price to redeem. I cherish them, yet they ignore my instructions, and they are crushed. My heart breaks for their tears, their shame, and their brokenness. I long for them to be treated as treasures, yet they settle for so much less than my best.”
Just as those movers failed to heed my instructions, and as a result, my belongings were destroyed, when we ignore God’s instructions concerning love, dating, and marriage, we, too, are crushed.
Sexual purity springs forth from a woman’s heart when she knows and believes that she is cherished—a highly valued daughter of God who is worth fighting for. But let’s be honest. In the world we live in, women often don’t see themselves as “cherished” or “priceless treasures,” nor do they see sex as sacred. But why? Our culture’s base and degraded view of sex is truly a reflection of how our culture has dismissed God. And right along with the debased view of sex is a debased view of humanity.
Sex is cheap in our culture for many reasons, but one of the primary reasons is that we’ve failed to see ourselves as people made in the image of God. Many Christians even fail to recall that they are the temples of the Living God and that His Spirit dwells in them.
We are the creation of a beautiful and loving God. When we fail to see Him rightly, we fail to see ourselves accurately. Sex only becomes sacred again when we see our bodies as sacred. When I started to see God for who He is, then and only then could I begin to see myself for who He says that I am. We behave how we believe. We live out the truth that resides in our innermost being. So when a woman sees herself as God sees her—cherished—she will align her life to that truth. Her choices reflect her core identity.
This revelation was eye-opening. Before, I assumed God’s commands concerning sex were just that, rules. But once I felt His heart for His daughters and understood that He is a good Father who wants to bless us and to protect us, then I began to see His commands concerning sex and marriage as means of protecting us and ensuring that we experience His highest and best.
God created sex as a blessing and a gift within marriage, where a husband loves and cherishes his wife. But in our world, sex is a cheap commodity where souls are smashed and hearts damaged. The world says, “Sex is no big deal, it’s just a physical activity.” That is so far from the truth. The Bible says that in the act of sex, “Two become one.” Sex is designed by God as the superglue in marriage and causes two souls to become one.
We are all sexual beings, and He says that that is a gift and a good thing. But we cannot separate our soul from our body when we have sex. It’s impossible. What we do with our bodies absolutely affects our souls. When you’re crushed, when you’re broken and experiencing the pain and consequences that come from sex outside of God’s design, it breaks the very heart of the one who created you to be cherished.
To cherish is to hold something dear and to make it highly prized. Did I cherish pieces of china because they were hand-crafted in England and had a pretty painting on it? No—I cherished it because it pointed to something greater than itself. When I looked at that teacup, I remembered that I was with a particular friend in this place and that we had this adventure—the cup became a treasure to me because of all that it represented and reminded me of.
The God of the Universe, our Redeemer, says that You are His holy, precious, and chosen daughter. He longs for you to be cherished, and if we settle for sex outside of His design, then we experience the crushing consequences. Choosing the path of sexual purity begins with knowing and believing that God says, “you are a priceless treasure.” He desires a man who will cherish you and treat you the way He sees you.
To hear more on this topic, download the This Redeemed Life App to listen to Marian’s Bible teaching series “Cherished.” Or stream online here.