According to the bible, fornication is a sin. Both men and women are liable to fornicate. However, we sometimes regard fornication as a different class of sin when it is committed by a woman. When I hear a story of a girl who sleeps around, I often feel pity for her. But when it is a guy, I think to myself ‘dude, you really need to repent’. Why?
This scenario is way too familiar. A guy and a girl have sex illegitimately, but the girl is always held responsible or brought before the Pharisaical Court of Justice in public. Somehow we have managed to make sex look like a thing girls give to the satisfaction of the guys that ask for it. Therefore when a guy ‘manages’ to get a lady to sleep with him outside marriage, he is hailed as a champion and the lady is called a slut. Jesus himself had to deal with this very issue. Remember when they brought the adulterous woman to him? The woman was caught in the act of adultery: meaning she was involved with a guy. Of course, the patriarchy in that society was so prominent that the man was left off the hook and the woman was found guilty. Jesus looked on the woman with eyes of love and compassion and not eyes of astronomical moral standards. He knew that condemning people would only deepen the scars that the guilt had left in their soul. His aim was to bring redemption. Nothing redeems better than love. So he looked at the woman and told her ‘… neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more’. Jesus didn’t approve of the sexually immoral lifestyle here. He offered the woman a dosage of ‘no-condemnation’ to empower her to stay away from sin. Condemnation leads to guilt; guilt hardens the human heart; a hardened heart is a fertile ground for more sin.
This isn’t Jesus’ only encounter with a sexually immoral woman. At a well in Samaria, he spoke with a woman who had five ex-husbands and was at the time in a relationship with a man who wasn’t her husband. Did Jesus condemn her? Nope. He let his love rain on her to the extent that she was transformed instantly into an evangelist, going about inviting people to come and listen to ‘… a man who told me all I ever did’ – as she put it. That day many Samaritans came to believe Jesus because he chose to be compassionate towards a woman who didn’t deserve it by societal standards.
The double standard of sexual behavior is a moral code that permits sexual promiscuity in men but prohibits women in the same regard. This has deluded many guys into thinking that they can be sexually immoral and at the same time judge girls who are just like them. It doesn’t even make sense. It is like a rapist sentencing another rapist to prison in the court of law. I am all for purity … and yes, it is because the bible says so. Nevertheless, I think the bible isn’t partial in the standards it sets for the children of God (male or female). If we are to make that assertion at all, then it appears that the bible expects greater sexual purity from men than women. In Matthew 5:28 it says that any man who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. We are here appealing to men to stop raping babies, girls and women. The bible says men should stop sleeping with women in their fantasies. Can you see the difference between the sexual standard society sets for men against that of the bible?
It is hard to go a day without having lustful thoughts, especially when the temptation to do so stalks you every step of the way. Guess what, God in his infinite wisdom wants us to deal with the problem at the roots: the thought-level. Our actions are more premeditated than spontaneous. Which means, once you keep thinking about an activity, it is more likely you will indulge in it when given the opportunity. So if you keep sleeping with women who you are not married to in your mind, the likelihood that you might do it in the physical is extremely high. The truth is, this isn’t what the bible even says. According to the verse I quoted above, once you lustfully fantasize about a woman, it is recorded as adultery. Guys, guard your heart. Watch what you think about. Kill sexual immorality at the roots and don’t cut the leaves and gloat over it just yet.
In Job 31:1 Job said he had made a covenant with his eyes not to look at a woman lustfully. The dude had to literally sign a contract with his eyes lest he lust after a woman. Job is an Old Testament character by the way. If he could do this under the law, we who are enormously empowered by grace should be more than able to do same. Let us be intentional about sexual purity. Let us not treat it like a thing that will fall onto our laps from heaven. Men need to train their hungers. I am not even talking about sexual hungers at this point. Really, you need to train yourself to eat and consume only that which is necessary for growth and development. Your being operates under one law of consumption. This law informs your decisions on everything you let into your system: be it music, movies, books or even conversations. Therefore, if you eat anyhow, everywhere and at any time because there is food, you tend to consume other things with like mentality. So you can sleep with any and every lady who appears appealing to your sight. If she resists engaging in intercourse with you, because you have little control over your fleshly desires you apply force to have your way with her – that is rape. Train your hungers bro; tame your hungers. Though it is not stated categorically in the Word, I can boldly say that God rarely uses people who have a bad eating habit. Most people God used in the bible were ‘chronic fasters’ who ate to live and didn’t live to eat. Daniel ate greens when he was offered sumptuous royal food and meat. John the Baptist ate locust and wild honey while both of his parents worked in the temple which meant they had an ample supply of meat and food at home. Jesus fasted for 40 days before commencing his ministry. Moses also fasted for 40 days. The 84 year old prophetess Anna vowed not to stop fasting and praying till Jesus was born – and she did get to meet him. Train your hungers bro.
On the flip side, the people who couldn’t train their hungers brought calamity unto themselves and others around them. Adam and Eve were authorized to eat everything in the garden but two fruits. At the end of the day they ate one and that was the root of the sin Jesus had to come to die for. Esau sold his birthright and blessings to his little brother because he couldn’t train his hungers. The Israelites lamented that they were tired of eating manna; hence God sent them an abundant supply of quails. While the meat was still in-between their teeth as they ate, God struck them dead. Amnon raped his own sister Tamar and was murdered because of it. Bro, tame your hungers. As I said, a single law of consumption operates in your being. Therefore the way you eat is directly related to the level of control you have over your sexual urges. There are two major hungers in every human being: the hunger for food and the hunger for sex. The hunger for food is stronger than the hunger for sex. Therefore if you can master full control over your hunger for food, you are automatically transformed into an intolerant dictator over your hunger for sex. Of course it must be a spiritual activity marked by the reading of the word and prayer – not merely a hunger strike.
Solomon said it is better to have self-control than to conquer a city. Ironically, he married 700 wives coupled with a whopping 300 concubines. David, his father, slept with Bathsheba though she was married and he went on to orchestrate the killing of her husband. Samson was warned against having relations with women from Philistine. He didn’t heed to this warning and that was his undoing. I would like to state emphatically that, contrary to popular belief, the downfall of all these men wasn’t the women, but their lack of self-control. Here we have the wisest man who ever lived; the strongest man who ever lived; and one of the greatest warriors in human history and they all have one thing in common: they couldn’t control their sexual urges. By these three stories, God has illustrated to us that it doesn’t take physical strength, or wisdom, or even battle prowess to have self-control. Only the grace of God can give you complete control over your flesh. The grace is abundant in his presence; intentionally make the effort to dwell there. Pitch a tent; rent a room; chain yourself to a tree… whatever you can, please do it to stay in his presence. Do not rely on your wisdom, strength or battle prowess, if these could do you any good, Solomon, David and Samson wouldn’t have made those mistakes.
He who controls his spirit is mightier than he who conquers a city, as Solomon said. Only a superhero can conquer a city all by himself. Therefore, a man who has self-control is mightier than a superhero.