Before I go into the dangers of sexual sin, its important to define what exactly it is because its not always clear. Here are some of the most common questions I get regarding this topic.
“Is masturbation by yourself a sin?”
“Is pornography a sin if both partners agree to it?”
“Is flirting a sin if your single?”
God has a lot to say about sexual sin, specifically in Corinthians and Ephesians.
However, I think 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 gives us the most comprehensive description regarding sexual sin.
“God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor—not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. Never harm or cheat a Christian brother in this matter by violating his wife, for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives.”
The best answer I can give you regarding sexual sin is to really examine your own heart and the motives behind it. If you’re wondering if its okay, it probably isn’t.
Instead of looking for what you can and can’t do regarding sexual sin, ask yourself,
“Does this help my relationship with God?” or “Will this benefit me as a Christian?”
These are much more important questions to ask yourself when addressing sin of any kind, including sexual sin.
Here are 5 dangers of sexual sin:
1. The Potential For Porn Addiction
Porn addiction is just one form of sexual sin but its also becoming much more common as proof by its 97 billion dollar profits it posted in 2006 (http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com).
According to a literature review article from the Journal of Surgical Neurology, Hypersexual Disorder (aka Porn addiction) will be in the new DSM-5 manual (Hilton and Watts, 2011).
They also highlight some important points that I’ll summarize here:
1) Pornography has been shown to damage the bond between romantic partners (pair bonding).
Counter argument: Some people have messaged me citing a recent UCLA and Concordia study that implies that pornography increases arousal and therefore can improve sexuality between partners for those who might have a low sex drive.
Its important to understand a few problems here, one is the sample size they used (n=280) which consisted entirely of males on a self-reported measure. The other problem is that just because arousal was increased in men doesn’t necessarily imply that this increase will result in an improvement in the bedroom.
Increases in arousal and increases in relationship quality are two different measures. While entirely speculative, what do you think the male or female partner is thinking about when sexual aroused through pornography first?
2) There is a strong correlation (85%) between those who watch child pornography and those who engage in it.
Counter argument: Child pornography users and ‘regular’ pornography users are two very different types of users.
A literature review on the effects of pornography by the Family Research Council found that child pornography users tended to be regular users of pornography regardless of the type of pornography.
3) Pornography induces violent attitudes toward women.
Counter argument: “I haven’t seen this to be true.” While anecdotal evidence can be of some value, it doesn’t carry the same weight as a scientific study.
4) The objective evidence that supports the notion that pornography is harmful has been suppressed by the media.
2. Your Playing With Fire
I’m sure you’ve heard this statement before and how seemingly innocent play can turn into outright affairs. Have you ever thought about how this actually works though from a biological and psychological standpoint?
Let me explain.
We all have a natural desire for physical and emotional arousal. When you’re in a heightened sense of arousal, a natural product of that is that you lose some control and your thinking becomes more driven on fulfilling the arousal (maintenance) and gaining more of the arousal (stimulation).
Sexual sin in the form of pornography involves initiating this arousal system through methods that often result in actions that hurt ourselves (porn addiction, sexual sin against self) or our relationships (God, our husband or wife).
This makes us particularly susceptible to sexual sin because it acts on our natural arousal system.You can begin to understand why infidelity and porn are so prevalent in our society now.
You will often hear someone who engaged in an affair as saying things like, “We just go caught up in the moment or It just happened all of a sudden.”
While that might be an accurate description for that moment, the actual affair began a long time ago usually with some sort of initiation by one or both parties. Remember, once our natural arousal is peaked, even slightly, it has the potential for us to seek it out more.
Maybe that is why God continually warns us about sexual temptation and the best ways to combat it is by fleeing.
Countless people hope to find happiness in sexual sin, but instead of being fulfilled, they only wind up empty. Why is that?
The main reason is because pleasure in itself is temporary. Pleasure requires your continual attention, devotion, and effort in order to sustain it.
True joy on the other hand comes from God and therefore allows us to receive it eternally and without any of our effort.
1 Corinthians 6:18 says, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” Sexual sin may seem like a good idea at first, but it will tear you down from the inside out.
Its pretty clear in the Bible that sexual sin is the only sin in the Bible that results in us sinning against our own body.
You probably by now understand the countless ways we do this but check out my last point to understand what the most severe consequence of sexual sin is.
5. Separation From God
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God has instructed us to stay away from sexual sin, and when we disobey him, we reject him.
Perhaps the saddest consequence of sexual sin is that it pulls us further and further away from our loving Father. We need to realize just how dangerous sexual sin is and take precautions to do everything we can to avoid it.
If you’re interested in the latest scientific studies regarding porn such as how it changes your brain, check out this article here.
What form of sexual sin do you struggle in your life?