images“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5

Sexual intimacy between a husband and wife is a beautiful and sacred part of God’s plan for us. It is an expression of love within marriage and allows husband and wife to participate in God’s creation of life. God has commanded that this sacred power be experienced only between a man and a woman who are legally married. Chastity includes abstinence from sexual relations before marriage and absolute fidelity and loyalty to one’s spouse after marriage.

Upholding the virtue of chastity is a real challenge in today’s society. Young people are often bombarded with images of impure and sinful relationships. The idea of chastity may seem to be one that is outdated; however, virtues do not lose their value, even if they do go out of style in some cultures.

God instructs us to love our neighbor as ourselves and this love should be pure and selfless. Pursuing sexual intimacy outside of marri

age only gratifies oneself. Its motive is selfish. How can a relationship that is called “love” be dictated and dominated by selfish motives? It can’t. We need to examine our understanding of love, as Christ modeled for us. Love gives itself for the good of others; it gives up its selfish desire. Chastity is the way to demonstrate love in our relationships both before marriage and after marriage.

Often times we think chastity is a line, and as long as we don’t cross it, we are okay. The fact here is that if we feel that we are chaste as long as we don’t cross “the line” then we could assume any sexual intimacy leading up to “that line” is acceptable. This notion is false and that is one of the reasons young people dating ask: “How far can we go?”

The answer to that question stems from a true understanding that chastity is not a line but a direction. Walking on the path that leads you to “that line” leads you to the path of impurity. We need to reserve our affection and guard sexual intimacy so that we do not ignite passions that are intended to be reserved for marriage. We need to save ourselves for marriage so that we can someday reap the manifold blessings of a truly holy and passionate marriage, the way God designed it to be.

Written by Dr. Godwin & Blessing Ude


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