Survey on Sexual Purity in the Church: How far is too far?

Survey on Sexual Purity in the Church: How far is too far?

I conducted a brief survey on sexual activity and the church on Surveymonkey not long ago. It wasn’t an empirical survey but a very basic and forthright one. I tallied the results of 94 adults (47 men and 47 ladies). Our demography ranged from 18-35. 58 of our respondents were aged between 18 and 24. 36 were aged between 25 and 35.

Have you given your life to Christ? / Are you born-again?
All 94 respondents affirmed that they were believers who had a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Have you been discipled since you gave your life to Christ?
74.5% of the total (70) had been discipled after coming to Christ. 13.8% (13) had not been discipled. 11.7% (11) did not know what discipling was.

Are you sexually active outside marriage? (i.e. are you involved in any kind of sexual activity e.g. fondling, vaginal sex, oral sex, masturbation, making out etc.)
45 of the respondents were NOT sexually active.

49 of the respondents were sexually active. 25 of the 49 were not consistent in their activity.

In your dating/ singlehood as a Christian, do you struggle with any of these? (You may tick more than one)
31 of the respondents struggled with masturbation. 41 struggled with necking, petting and making out with their boyfriend or girlfriend. 24 were hooked in pornography. 10 were involved in oral sex and 10 were involved in vaginal sex.

Are you dating?
58 of the respondents were single. 36 of the respondents were dating.

If dating, are you faithful to your significant other?
Of the 36 who were dating, 9 were unfaithful to their partners.

Are you hopeful for a good marriage in the future?
A majority (90) were hopeful for a good marriage. 3 were unsure while 1 was not hopeful.

What is your view on sexual activity while dating/single?

I will summarize the responses to this question since I cannot list all 94 responses. However I will list some responses that stood out.
Here are some of the responses:

Pen Strokes has contributed quite a number of articles on sexual purity. Soem include personal stories of struggles and victories. You can search for some in the search bar and leave your comments after each. However there is one article that I hope to rewrite for the sake of many who may ask the age old question: How Far is too far?

How far is too far?

How far is too far? If you haven’t asked that question in relation to Christian dating and sexual activity, you’ve probably thought of it. I thought about it even when I was single. How far is too far? Is kissing wrong? Is holding hands okay? I know sex before marriage is wrong because the Bible says it but what if I cuddle with my girlfriend on a couch is that bad? When I began dating I became desperate to know the answer to that question. Before that, I was smitten a couple of times and I just wanted to feel the thrill of holding a girl’s hand! If I succeeded, I would relive the memory severally! However, when fantasizing about holding hands grew me weary, I realized I wanted more. I didn’t just want to hold hands. I wanted to wrap my arms around her waist. That fantasy faded with time and I wanted something new. I desired to peck her cheek. Then I wanted a kiss. Then I hoped she’d kiss back. It was my own version of a Hollywood chick-flick in the city of Nairobi. Sex before marriage was an obvious no go zone, I reasoned. We were taught that in Church. But how far is far enough to make it romantic without making it sinful? Sure there was a line. I hoped the desire for a smooch would end there but my fantasy wanted more. This is when I noticed something. The hunger for sexual activity grows once you set your eyes on a target for intimacy. You try stop your impulses by saying, “kissing is okay for us” but your impulses (as some of you may know) don’t respect your opinions on how far is too far.

You probably know what I’m talking about. You went home that day and were so afraid that your mom or dad could see that you had done it. She warned you not to kiss boys and you had done it. He told you not to get a girl pregnant but you got her. They said you’d get an STI and you got it. The conviction is almost palpable. You probably feared that you lost your connection with God. That Jesus couldn’t believe you did it after you swore to live for him. 

I later came to find out the answer to that question and I’m going to share it with you. Listen to this:

Ephesians 5:3 “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality or of any kind of impurity or of greed because these are improper for God’s holy people.

It’s the kind of verse that makes one squirm. However, in it lies the answer to our question, how far is too far? Every believer who asks that question has a motive in mind. You want to do something "sexy" and you need God’s stamp for approval. Don’t cover it up with the notion that you’re being genuine because we all know where that road leads. I asked how far is too far because honestly I wanted to feel a girl’s body. I wanted to know the pleasure it brought and I wanted it now! Do you identify? That, beloved, is called lust.

Lust is the consuming desire that pushes us to satisfy sexual gratification outside the confines of a marital covenant.

Let’s dissect our verse so we can see how far is too far.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality or of any kind of impurity or of greed because these are improper for God’s holy people.

Let me give you a hint.

If you look at that verse in Ephesians, you discover that there are 2 things that fight holiness- sexual immorality and greed.

What is a hint?

A hint is a teeny tiny weenie gesture. It’s seems like no big a deal. Yet that “no big a deal”, God says it shouldn’t exist in the believer. I want to assume a hint of sexual immorality to be a mere thought-just a thought. It can’t get smaller than that can it? Yet even that thought of kissing a woman who isn’t my wife, falls in the sexual sin bracket. Jesus says in Matthew 5:28 “ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If dreaming of kissing Scarlet Johansson is adultery then what is cuddling on a chair with my girlfriend? I think you see where I am going. God is very clear on what constitutes sexual sin. We call it a romantic kiss, God calls it sin. We call it cute cuddling, God calls it sin. We call it “appreciating beauty” God calls it adultery. We ask how far is too far, God asks how blind can we be? Seeing God’s high standard begs us to ask, “Then can anyone be saved?” The answer is no. Nobody can and that is why we need Jesus to cleanse even the very thought we think about people we find sexually attractive. However we may want to ask, “Will anyone be saved?” The answer is yes. Those that commit their sexual thoughts to Christ for a renewal of mind. Make a covenant with God. Make a covenant relationship with God to GIVE your thoughts to him and not to RECEIVE thoughts that make you lust. Job of old did it.

See Job 31:1 I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.

Your covenant with God should revolve around his will on sexual purity. That will is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:3: “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honourable.”

Let’s drink to poison!
Tetrodotoxin is a poison that if consumed, paralysis and death can strike within six hours. If a tot of tetrodotoxin poison was placed in your cup of juice, would you drink it? Of course not! If the tot was reduced to a tablespoon of the same strong poison would you still take it? I bet not. If it was reduced to a teaspoon, now would you take it? No. Why? Because it’s poison! It’s noxious! Only a crazy person would do that! Whether it’s a teaspoon or a cupful, only a fool would drink the spiked juice. Sin is a poison way deadlier than tetrodotoxin beloved. Yet, look at how we treat sexuality. A kiss on the cheek is a teaspoon and penetration sex is a cupful. I put it to you that both are poison and both will kill you.

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