Temples and Temptation

Lately the web is full of stories regarding Tim Tebow, the NFL player who reportedly was “dumped” by his girlfriend for not having sex with her. Those in the US are quite familiar with who he is.  But for the sake of those who aren’t, he is a professed Christian who is known for standing up for his faith, honouring God in his games and also – saving himself for marriage. All that is great. Truly, it is. There are other famous Christians who wear purity rings and profess to the world that they will save themselves for the one and only that they will marry. 

Those who support Tebow have been vocal on the web as this story came out, cheering for him for standing up for his values. Is the story true? I honestly don’t know. Some websites claim they were merely acquaintances who met together with a group of friends, while others claim Tebow was madly in love with the former Miss Universe. Still others say they met at church. Whatever may be the case, I believe that having or not having sex is placing the wrong emphasis on the story. 

I do not expect those, who do not believe in Yeshua as Lord and King, to understand the need for purity or why saving sex for marriage is an issue. But, from those who make a public profession of their faith – I do. The emphasis should not be on whether this woman, or any other woman, got Tebow to have sex with her. Rather, the issue is living out what you believe and for Bible believers, that means: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 corinthians 6:14). The internet is full of those who get upset when confronted with this verse. They argue that we shouldn’t be judging others, that sex outside of marriage is a personal matter and does not affect our relationship with God. But that, my friends, is a lie that many have bought. I don’t know much about Tebow or the former Miss Universe. If a person makes a public statement that he will stay a virgin, he should expect the world to challenge him for it and he should be prepared to defend his position. We are instructed to avoid all appearance of evil, as well – not to put ourselves in places of temptation or put ourselves in a situation where our faith is ridiculed. Many think that God doesn’t care about what a person does in his bedroom. That is choosing to ignore the plain teaching of Scripture. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, emphasis added). 

Some comments on the above story say that Tebow shouldn’t have gone out with her in the first place. Others say that they met in a church setting. As for the latter, let me add – so what?  Meeting in a church setting does not make one a born again believer. And going out in order to get to know each other (whether that story is true or not), is not a valid argument in this case. People should make the effort to find out about the person they are interested in. Timothy was said to have a good name where he came from (Acts 16:2 – (“the believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him”). The woman in proverbs 31 also “She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life“. Meaning, a person saving him/herself for marriage is not pure only by not having premarital sex, but by keeping guard of the head and heart as well. Purity doesn’t begin or end with sex – it is far more than that. Job said this – “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman” (31:1). Why? “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). The way we use our body reflects the attitude of our hearts. Purity starts in our hearts, not by having or abstaining from sex “for the sake of the one we will marry”. But because God requires it of us.

Friends, having sex is not the line between pure and impure. God should not be made into a figure of our imagination, like Santa Clause – checking who is naughty or nice. God doesn’t work like that. He wants us to obey, not for fear of becoming impure, but because of our love for Him. Because if we love Him, we love His commands. Because we are not our own, we were bought with a price, so we should honour God with our bodies. The ultimate glory will be His, but we will share His joy because of our obedience.

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