“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4
Imagine you are on a sidewalk waiting to cross a busy street during rush hour. Across the street there will most likely be a big flashing red hand with the word “wait, don’t walk” warning you of the dangers of crossing before it was safe to do so. Now, imagine you were with a friend who was angry at this sign. “This sign is trying to steal my joy of crossing this street! Why does this sign not want me to have the freedom of doing what I want?!” In a similar way, we understand that God made sex. And God made sex good in the right context, namely marriage. God is not trying to rob us of joy or freedom any more than the sign on the busy street is trying to rob us of our freedom of crossing the street. God’s “no” and God’s “wait” is protection, not punishment. He is protecting us from getting hurt by trying to cross a dangerous road when the time is not right. Paul is challenging the Thessalonians with this idea and challenging us in our culture with the same: Do we trust God and His timing of the gifts that He created and gave us?
Do you view God’s commands and “waits” as protection or punishment? Are there any of God’s “signs” that you are ignoring right now that have put you in a dangerous place?