By: Ella Wiegand

Anyone with a social media account is constantly bombarded with sex. Whether it’s actual porn, nudity, sexual information, or maybe just hearing others talk about it, sex is everywhere. All of us have probably watched a movie or TV show with a sex scene in it and didn’t turn the television off or skip the scene. Isn’t that sad? Sex was designed to be an intimate moment between a husband and a wife, not entertainment. Yet, society has created a hook-up sex culture that downplays sex, and this culture is a huge reason so many abortions happen each year, not to mention all of the other mental problems and addictions that porn, nudity, and a hook-up culture cause. Our tantalizing and technology-savvy world has drastically distorted sex and the way people view their bodies.

Instead of looking at things from a secular view, it’s important that a Christian teen asks, “What does God say about sex?” In Genesis, God created sex as a gift to be shared between a man and a woman who are married. Sex was created only to take place inside marriage. Outside marriage, it’s clear that sex can create life-long problems and consequences, a high price to pay for a few moments of pleasure. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:18 that we should “flee from all sexual immorality” and that the sexually immoral person sins “against his/her own body”. Sex, outside marriage, damages us spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Yet God desires sex be used for good. He commanded us to be “fruitful and…multiply” (Genesis 9:7) because He wants to give the gift of children.  Sex brings a husband and wife closer together physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally; it’s a one-flesh union. Two flesh become one (Genesis 2:24), and this union creates an incredible life-affirming bond between the two. This is why God explicitly tells us to keep our bodies safe from sex until marriage.

We are not only told to keep our bodies safe from sex but also our minds. That means we work to keep our minds free of sexual thought. Paul writes that our bodies are a holy place, a temple, a place where the Holy Spirit dwells (1 Corinthians 6:19). We honor God with our bodies when we flee from sexual immorality, when we turn away from images, videos, and social media content that will only cause temptation.

As Christians who are constantly bombarded with sexual images, avoiding temptation is tough.  Teenagers believe they know everything. But we don’t, and not knowing everything about sex is a good thing. Sex is designed to be between a husband and wife, a gift to figure out together that creates an inseparable union. We’re not supposed to learn everything from the internet.

So, what should we do if we want to preserve God’s gift of sex? If we’re honest, the best way to prepare for marriage in a technology-driven world is probably to just delete all social media and get off the internet. But that would be hard for most, if not impossible. Instead, I’ve come up with a few alternatives: try unfollowing people who post explicit things, block those pages, and report sexual content when it comes across your feed. As for yourself, commit to posting pure, honorable, God-pleasing content. If a sex scene pops up during a movie, just skip it or turn it off altogether. There probably isn’t much going on in that scene anyway.

It’s important to protect the gift God intends to give, to wait for our future spouse and not give our bodies to people who will walk away. And it’s just as essential to understand that we are more than just bodies; we are complex, handmade, human beings. God created us and Christ died for us. That gives our bodies and lives value and purpose.

In Him, there is also forgiveness and freedom. If you are struggling with sexual signs or temptations, reach out to your pastor, parents, fellow Christian friends, or a trusted adult. Sexual signs can be forgiven; they too were covered by Christ’s blood.

God desires to give gifts; He wants to keep us safe and gift us a life-long marriage with our spouse. Any sexual activity outside of marriage, including thoughts of porn and sexual content, is not from God. Since God created us, we desire to honor Him with our thoughts and actions, and we desire His gifts. Because of our sinful nature, we will fail at times. But because Jesus was sent to forgive our sins, we have hope. Through His Word and Sacraments, we are strengthened and able to live a new LIFE.