Pastor, do you consider yourself one who has sexual integrity? It would be easy to say, “Sure, I have sexual integrity–I have never cheated on my wife.” But let’s take a deeper look at this term and perhaps discover an area of weakness that we may not have previously considered.
When you think of sexual integrity, what comes to mind? For me, I consider great men of faith who have stayed with one wife and have never strayed from their original promise to love and to cherish ‘till death. Billy Graham is one that comes to mind. He lived out his strong faith and commitment to his bride by establishing some very solid boundaries that served him well throughout his life and marriage. I also think of those who failed in this regard. Over the years, we have heard countless stories of men and women of faith losing their careers, their ministries, and their families due to lack of sexual integrity. I’ve often wondered, how does this happen and what can I do to be a man of sexual integrity? In consideration of this question, I’ve decided to take a look at David.
You’ll recall that David began his meteoric rise to “fame” in the book of Samuel, when God used the prophet Samuel to anoint David as the next King of Israel. David, the boy, then went on to defeat the giant and then on to prove himself a great commander and defender of God’s people. In fact, he was referred to by the LORD as a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).
Then, one evening, this King, this man of God, this great defender of the people of God, lost his footing and fell into sexual sin. As he stood on his roof that night, he gazed at Bathsheba while she bathed. He lusted after her and brought her to his home and lay with her. While the sin of lusting and adultery were bad enough, he then planned a “hit” on Uriah to make way for him to marry his newfound love. How did this happen, and how can we avoid this breach of sexual integrity in our own lives and ministry?
Let’s take a look at the progression of events that led to David’s sin. First, he saw Bathsheba bathing. He didn’t just casually glance and look away; he allowed himself to gaze upon her and found that she was very beautiful to behold. The extended gaze turned into a decision, the decision to bring her to his home. He then proceeded to action by following through with his desire and sleeping with this married woman. Fearing his sin would be found out, he proceeded to attempt a cover-up by having her husband killed in battle.
The progression of events began with a simple glance that turned into something much more. Pastor, consider this powerful example and examine your own life. Do you allow your eyes to wander and gaze upon things you shouldn’t? Do you allow your gaze to linger when women wear tight or revealing clothing? When you see a provocative commercial on television, do you quickly divert your eyes, or do you find yourself “taking it in”? Has your wife “caught” you inappropriately looking at someone or something?
Are you guarding your heart by what you take in through your eyes? David didn’t set out to commit adultery and then murder, yet it happened. Do you want to live a life of sexual integrity, honoring the Lord, your spouse and your family? Be mindful and intentional of where you allow your gaze to fall, asking the Lord to give you strength.
If you find this is a struggle for you, give one of our Pastoral Counselors a call. We stand at the ready to come alongside you and offer a listening ear, encouragement, and prayer support. You don’t have to fight this battle on your own – let us help. Just give us a call 844/4PASTOR (844/472-7867). We’re here Monday through Friday from 6:00am – 8:00pm MDT. We look forward to hearing from you.