Temporary pleasure comes at a price and is never as fulfilling as it leads us to believe. God’s rewards are worth waiting for.
For over a decade Christ’s Church has provided a father and son retreat for our sixth graders. One of the goals of the retreat was to provide a biblical perspective on what a real man is compared to what the world says. We didn’t talk to the sixth graders about adultery, but a book that helped shape some of the elements of the retreat included information about living a pure life. The book by Robert Lewis called, Raising a Modern-Day Knight, a Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood, uses an acronym to frame his biblical definition of manhood. It is REAL. Here’s a quick summary.
R is for Resist passivity. This means to stand up for what is right.
E is for Expect a greater reward. The price for delayed gratification is high, but worth it.
A is for Accept responsibility. Do your part and don’t blame others if you fail.
L is for Lead courageously. Lead without fear due to “The Greater Truth & Power” you have placed your trust in.
In Matthew 5:27-30 Jesus addresses the seventh commandment about adultery. He addresses it not only as a behavior, but also the motives that lead to adultery. That’s where lust comes in. The Greek word epithumeó means to long for, covet, lust after, set the heart upon. Jesus knows the power of longing for something.
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve misplaced their longing. From the outside, we can see how, in their longing, they were willing to ignore the truth they had been given and embrace an immediate, impersonal substitute filled with false promises. They didn’t keep it REAL. They were passive, wanted an immediate reward and played the blame game when confronted.
When we keep it REAL we resist misplaced desires and focus our longings on the One who can truly fulfill them. We remember that temporary pleasure comes at a price and is never as fulfilling as it leads us to believe. God’s rewards are worth waiting for. We can take action and be responsible for the situations we expose ourselves to. And we can lead courageously in our sexual purity because our strength from within comes from the One who is always with us.
Keep it REAL!