How can we honor God with our longing for sexual intimacy? Paul taught that desires are for our transformation: “And that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 4:6-8). Paul called believers to love others by not harming them through sexual sin. He warned of God’s punishment for sexual immorality and called the church to love God and live pure and holy lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. Notice the present tense: “Gives you his Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 4:8). Paul tied this giving to his original thought of living in order to please God (see 1 Thessalonians 4:1). The Holy Spirit is our spiritual transformer, empowering us to live in a manner that honors God with our bodies.
Are you ready to move from a single-phase life, going it alone, to a three-phase life that experiences a fully surrendered relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Make a commitment today to tap into the transforming power of the Holy Spirit who will step down sexual temptations, helping you to avoid sexual immorality; step up holiness to help you control your body in a manner pleasing to God; and be transformed to loving your spouse, loving God, and loving others. God will use three elements to make you new again.
First is the Spirit of God. Confess any temptation and seek His power to transform every temptation into obedience (see 2 Corinthians 10:5). Ask Him to redirect your desires to your spouse. See or hear everyone at the heart level. Men, refocus your eyes from any temptation to your wife. Become an active participant with your wife and daughters when it comes to dressing modestly. Ask the question, “Is it too tight, too short, or too revealing?” Couples, pray audibly together to increase your intimacy with each other and Christ.
Second is the Word of God. Quote Scripture to battle temptation, just as Jesus did (see Matthew 4:1-11). Couples, study the Bible together to grow in wisdom. The Holy Spirit will deepen your relationship with God and your intimacy with each other.
Third is the People of God. Experience authentic community within a small group of believers who can provide a safe place to confess and restore.
Desires are not for our gratification, nor our elimination, but for our transformation. The result of surrendering to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit will be wives who respect their husbands; husbands who intimately love their wives; and marriages, families, and communities who love God.