Speaking of love , Ephesians 5 is our ‘go-to’ chapter on human relationships and how to love who.
“And have nothing to do with sexual immorality, lust, or greed—for you are his holy ones and let no one be able to accuse you of them in any form. Guard your speech. Forsake obscenities and worthless insults; these are nonsensical words that bring disgrace and are unnecessary. Instead, let worship fill your heart and spill out in your words.”
Ephesians 5:3-4 TPT
Did you spot the words sexual immorality’? Are you one who reads words like this, and automatically your brain blanks out while you read to a more comfortable topic? Or whose inners thoughts are secretly cursing, wishing this kind of behaviour was allowed? Or if neither, what is your natural response?
Why then are we talking about sexuality? The answer is … because it is NOT the same as sex! It is not the same as the acts of sex-related sins, the greedy, debased, behaviour that can come from uncontrolled emotional pain.
We find that even bringing up the word ‘sexuality’, which has the s-e-x letters in it, often offends – conjuring up hidden feelings of shame and embarrassment, making it a tender no-go taboo.
The clue to avoiding sexual immorality is found in the last sentence of verse 4: “Instead, let worship’ (or in other versions, ‘thanksgiving’) fill your heart and spill out in your words’.
Healthy sexuality leads to thanksgiving for our bodies, which are fearfully and wonderfully made by a loving God family, where the Trinity said: ‘Let us make man in our own image’ (Gen 1.26).
Healthy, covenant-protected sex is an act of worship and thanksgiving where our bodies, souls and spirts unite in mutual, grateful submission to one another.
Healthy covenant – which includes, protected sexuality, allows us to confidently live out our callings in work, relationships and leisure. Sexuality is the core of how we view ourselves, how we integrate into our culture and how we relate to others. It develops and evolves through every stage of life. Healthy sexual identity is one of the important threads that pulls our spirit, soul and body into one.
This famous chapter from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, begins with receiving God’s love, then avoiding body-only cravings by giving thanks, before serving up specific suggestions for loving well.
At Sexuality Matters, we specialise in getting to the need behind the greed that leads to lustful, debased behaviour. It starts with the good news, that you are unconditionally loved by a God who longs to do daily life and full living with you.
Feel free to sign up for our 40 day devotional helping loved ones escape the need for pornography or other sexually explicit material.
Written by Jennifer Webster (Andre’s wife)