For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from [a]sexual immorality; that each of you know how to [b]possess his own [c]vessel in sanctification and honor, not in [d]lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but [e]in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.
(1 Thessalonians 4:3-8)
One has to be careful that what is a God-given desire (sexual intimacy within marriage) is not exploited and abused when only used for self-gratification and self-indulgence. Abstain from exploiting a precious gift. The sexual drive can be very strong and therefore needs to be under the discipline and control of the Spirit lest the carnal man takes over. Sexual lust is a real issue for many, males and females included. Lust is a strong, powerful desire, whether it's a noun or verb: you lust for things you deeply crave.
Pornography is another common form of lust. It is an attempt to satisfy sexual needs outside of the marital sexual union. Indulging in pornography leads to addiction. Like all other forms of addictive behavior, there is help for the sincere Christian that does not want to be under this kind of bondage. Seek help in places like WE CARE Community Services.
Paul explains that engaging in sexual intercourse with someone else's wife is a profane act that is no different from stealing from him, defrauding him, or coveting what belongs to him. He is exhorting the brethren in Thessalonica to walk in spirit and truth and to please God in thought as well as in deed. He reminds his congregation that sexual purity is not only God's will for all of us, but sexual infidelity is a serious sin against another brother... or sister.(v.6)
What about a man having a relationship with a woman just to satisfy his sexual needs without any desire for a life-long commitment? That is also exploitative.
(1) In a sex-crazy world that we live in today, what are some areas we need to avoid, turn away from or even flee from in order not to “feed” lust? The more we “feed” lustful feelings with what we watch or read, the more we will be under its power. Key is ABSTINENCE. And this comes through immersing ourselves in His Word and His Holy Presence. Indulging in sexual mental fantasies and dreams?
(2) Pornography is a major issue today? Share honestly and openly with an accountability partner that you feel safe with. Get prayer support.
(3) In what ways can we “flee” immorality and learn to abstain from all unhealthy and exploitative use of sex?
My Lord, I ask for your strength and power to be free from all destructive and unhealthy expressions of sexual desires. I realize that these will greatly harm marriages and families. Deliver me from any addictive behaviors that can so easily govern me and ultimately ruin my intimacy in the oneness of my marriage. Amen.