Dirty Laundry, Part II
Today's sermon was surreal. I talked about sexual immorality with one of the widest audiences to which I ever spoken. However, one person after another shared how this topic impacted their lives-- whether for them or for someone they love.
The stats are pretty incredible--
--2/3 of all marriages will end in divorce
--the average age for a male to be exposed to pornography is 11
-- the average age for a girl's first sexual encounter is now 12
--9 out of 10 persons between the age of 8 and 16 have been exposed to pornography
I could go on and on!
In a recent survey, 57% of pastors reported that pornography is the most important, destructive issue in their church's life. I know in my own ministry how important this topic has become, not only because of its effects on the person in question, but also in how that person interacts and values others.
But, THERE IS HOPE.
God has a new normal in store for us. We were meant for more. And, no matter what the broken edge might be, God has established a set of rules that pull us from our brokenness and restores our life and our relationships.
It is a simple formula--
1. Follow God's Rules for Our Intimate Life-- Celibacy outside of marriage; monogamy within marriage.
2. Give our bodies and our broken edges to God each day
3. Treat others as we would have them treat us
4. See each other through Christ's eyes
1 Thessalonians 4: 1-8 talks about the power of sexual immorality, but also shares the incredible power of how following God's rules for living a holy life can change, almost overnight, our circumstances. Not that the details change overnight, but the trajectory certainly does.
I am not sure where you are in your walk. Your marriage may be in trouble. You may be involved in inappropriate relationships or patterns that no one knows about. God HAS A NEW NORMAL AND WANTS BETTER FOR YOU. Don't turn your back on God's love for you. Reach for it. Cling to it. And, then, allow your brothers and sisters to step into the gap for you.
I love you.
Be Salt and Light... You matter!
P.S. On this Memorial Day Sunday, we also shared a special service this afternoon to remember those who had given their lives in service to their country. It was a true blessing of a service. We didn't have a big crowd but God certainly was present and we were blessed.