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LEARN: WHAT IS GOD'S HEART ON SEXUAL PURITY & INTEGRITY?
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Balancing Your Passion with Purity
“The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.”
Proverb s 10:9
What Is Sexual Integrity?
We love our heroes. We need heroes in every generation and in every culture—heroes who possess what they profess … who reflect what they represent … who walk their talk … heroes who survive close scrutiny. True heroes have integrity and are worthy of imitation. We find hope in heroes who are willing to stand alone regardless of stress, who hold to principle no matter the pressure, who will not compromise their convictions. One aspect of the overall integrity of true heroes is their sexual integrity. To have sexual integrity is to consistently live your life with the highest moral sexual standards—consistently guarding your mind, will, and emotions from sexual impurity.
The Bible tells us …“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”
What Is the Difference between Lust and Love?
Remember your first real crush … the flush of your face, the pounding of your heart, the shortness of breath at your first touch?
You were “in love” … or perhaps, more realistically, in love with love. Your heart was filled with excitement at the anticipation of holding hands and receiving a sweet goodnight kiss. Such were the days of innocence—the ways of “puppy love.” When infatuation turns to feverish passion, innocence can be lost. What you think is love turns out to be lust… an illusion of relational intimacy … a counterfeit of the lasting love that sustains a relationship. Too late, you learn there are great differences between lust and love.
“The rulers of the Philistines went to her [Delilah] and said, ‘See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him.’"
Samson was God’s chosen leader to deliver God’s chosen people from the oppression of the Philistines. Before his birth, the angel of theLord had announced to his parents that their son would be a judge over the Israelites and warned that he should not cut his hair, for if he did, he would lose his strength. However, instead of living to please his God, Samson lived to please himself. Rather than learning to exercise the discipline of “delayed gratification” (waiting until the right time and the right circumstance to do what is pleasurable), Samson insisted on instant gratification. Even in his early manhood, his mother and father appealed to their son…
- He had it all!
- He had the call of God, the anointing of God, the blessing of God, and the power of God … all at his fingertips.
- He had every opportunity to live an exemplary life—to be a hero throughout the annals of history.
- His parents established a positive home environment.
- They were sure he would be a strong leader—indeed, his extraordinary feats made him famous.In spite of great ability and great advantage, his moral failure led to his downfall.
- Throughout history, this infamous man will be remembered for both his immense strength and his immense weakness.
- How different the life of Samson would have been!
- If only he had withstood the test of sexual integrity—if only he had not succumbed to the lure of sexual seduction—a lure that led to his ultimate destruction.
- Instead of obedience, he chose disobedience; instead of self-denial, he chose self-indulgence.
“His father and mother replied, ‘Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?’ But Samson said to his father, ‘Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.’ ”
What Is Sexual Integrity?
- Sexual integrity is consistently living your life according to the highest moral sexual standards—consistently guarding your mind, will, and emotions from sexual impurity. (Proverbs 10:9)
- Sexual integrity is to be the same in the dark as you are in the light—not double-minded with contradictory thoughts, words, and deeds. The person without integrity “... is double-minded and unstable in all they do” (James 1:8).
What Is Sexual Purity?
- Sexual purity is chastity or freedom from sexually immoral attitudes and actions. (1 Timothy 4:12)
- Sexual purity doesn’t “just happen.” Because of our bent to sin, we need to take an active role in purifying our hearts, which will in turn purify our attitudes and actions. (James 4:8)
God’s Heart on Sexual Intimacy
- The man and the woman will establish a separate family unit from their parents. (Genesis 2:24)
- The married couple will cleave—unite or bond—to each other as the priority relationship. (Genesis 2:24)
- The “one flesh” sexual relationship will begin after the God-ordained marriage between husband and wife. (Genesis 2:24)
- The sexual and emotional intimacy in marriage will be open and vulnerable with moral purity between husband and wife. (Genesis 2:25)
- Marriage partners will not be burdened by the fear or shame of pregnancy out of wedlock. (Genesis 1:28)
- The intimate relationship will represent the intimate oneness that true believers have with the Lord. (Isaiah 62:5)
7 Underlying Reasons for “Giving in”
1. Lack of Self-worth
“‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’”
2. Lack of Self-control
“Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control”
3. Lack of Self-respect
“Show proper respect to everyone: Love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor”
(1 Peter 2:17).
4. Lack of Emotional Intimacy
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness”
5. Lack of Communication
“It [the grace of God] teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age”
6. Lack of Boundaries
“Those who guard their ways preserve their lives”
7. Lack of Discretion
“My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion”
“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
7 Myths about Sex
- Myth: “All is fair in love and war.”
Truth: The basis of love is sacrifice, not fairness. (1 John 3:16)
- Myth: “If it feels good, it must be good.”
Truth: Sin can feel good, but that doesn’t mean sin is good. (Proverbs 28:18)
- Myth: “I need sex in order to feel good about myself.”
Truth: Real love is not self-seeking. (1 Corinthians 13:5)
- Myth: “A husband prefers his wife to be sexually experienced.”
Truth: Premarital sex can breed jealousy and distrust in a marriage.
- Myth: “Sexual flirtation is harmless.”
Truth: Sexual flirtation harms the conscience and leads to sexual arousal and physical involvement. (2 Timothy 2:22)
- Myth: “As long as I’m not married, I should be able to have sex with whomever I want.”
Truth: The only instance where God blesses two people in a sexual relationship is within a husband and wife marital relationship. (Mark 10:7–8)
Reasons for Sexual Integrity
- I want God’s blessing on my life. (Romans 12:1)
- I don’t want to do anything that will hinder my prayer life with God. (Psalm 66:18)
- I don’t want God’s disfavor on the life of either of us. (1 Corinthians 6:9–10)
- I don’t want to take the place of God by trying to meet all the needs of another person. (Deuteronomy 5:7)
- I don’t want anyone else to take the place of God in my life. (Matthew 22:37)
- I want to live a life of integrity, being the same in the dark as I am in the light. (1 Chronicles 29:17)
- I want others to see the power of Christ in me. (2 Peter 1:3)
“I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.”
Practical Steps for Sexual Purity
- Write out your vow to be sexually pure from this day on (Ecclesiastes 5:4)
- Find friends who hold the same commitment. (1 Corinthians 1:10)
- Pray for the right accountability partner. (Proverbs 27:6)
- Develop a proactive strategy for countering sexual triggers. (Proverbs 4:14)
- Make a list of goals you have for life. (Ephesians 2:10).
- Wear a chastity ring, bracelet, or necklace. (Psalm 61:8).
- Write a love letter to your future mate. (Hebrews 13:4).
- Make a Promise List. (2 Corinthians 7:1)
Answers to Enticements and Temptation
- “Everybody’s doing it.”: Then it won’t be hard to find someone else to do it.
- “It’s okay because we really love each other.”: If we really love each other, we’ll do what’s best for each other ... and sex outside marriage isn’t best for either of us.
- “I promise not to tell anyone if you’ll have sex with me.”: No promise is necessary because there won’t be anything to tell. I will regret having sex whether or not anyone else knows.
- “Sex is fun—nothing bad will happen.”: Sex is serious—you can’t guarantee what will happen.
- “I know what I want.”: I know what I want too—I want to save myself for the one I’ll marry.
Invest in Integrity
- Invite others to walk the road of sexual integrity with you. (Ecclesiastes 4:9–10)
- Never put yourself or your loved one in a tempting situation. (Romans 6:13)
- Trust God to meet your need for love. (Psalm 143:8)
- Enjoy others instead of using others. (Romans 12:9–10)
- Give yourself to only sexually pure relationships. (1 Peter 1:22)
- Refuse to justify any sexual impurity. (Matthew 26:41)
- Isolate yourself from people who tempt you. (1 Corinthians 15:33)
- Transform your mind through the written Word of God.
- Yield to Christ, who lives in you, trusting Him to produce in you a life of purity. (Galatians 2:20) (Psalm 119:11)
Questions and Answers
“Is sexual temptation a sin?”
No. Temptation is not a sin, but to yield to temptation is a sin. We are all tempted in different areas. The issue is whether or not we give in to temptation. Only one person on earth experienced temptation in every area, yet was without sin—Jesus, our Savior.
“We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”
“Am I obligated to give sexual favors to someone who has spent money on me by buying me jewelry, taking me to dinner, going to the theater, or paying my rent?”
No. You are worth far more than any gift, favor, or dollar amount. You are made in the image of God, and it is far beneath your dignity to perform any type of sexual favor in return for any type of gift or “investment.” Stop and realize how valuable you are before bartering yourself for anyone or anything.
“The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”
(1 Corinthians 6:13)
“I’m a teenage girl and have committed my life to the Lord. What can help me resist sexual temptation?”
Carry visual reminders of your highest ideals, values, and commitments. For example, many young people choose to wear a “chastity ring” to symbolize their covenant to the Lord— specifically, to abstain from engaging in sexual activity outside the marriage relationship.
““Godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
(1 Timothy 4:8)
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