Sexual purity isn’t a popular idea. The world at large views sexual morality as something strange, even sinister — what kind of person voluntarily denies his sexual urges? Even in church circles, the concept of chastity has fallen on hard times. Sometimes the way we talk about sexuality in the church makes people feel guilty, or less significant, or even permanently damaged.

I understand and am sympathetic to people who are concerned for those who fail, for those who wonder if they can ever restore their relationship to God and the church. 

This post is for a different group of students, though. There are some of you, students and young adults, who are valiantly striving for chastity. Nearly everybody around you says it’s a waste of time, it doesn’t really matter, and you shouldn’t worry about it too much. Some of those voices are even coming from your fellow Christians. Self-control is hard enough. It’s even harder when you feel like it’s not only hopeless, but worthless.

I know you’re out there, and I know you feel lonely. I know because I’ve talked with some of you and you’ve asked me why you should keep trying when it seems like everybody else is giving up. I know because I’ve been that kid trying to do what’s right. Now I’m that grown-up married guy trying to do what’s right. And it’s still tough sometimes.

So I have two simple messages for you today: First, it’s not worthless. Second, you’re not alone. 

It’s not worthless, because nothing the Bible commands us to do is a waste of time. Let me be crystal clear: If you think you’re earning “God points” for your sexual self-control, you’re wrong. But I don’t think most of you believe that. You correctly recognize that sexual purity is good and worthwhile because self-control and self-denial are reflective of Jesus. They are also evidence of the Spirit’s work in your heart. You know that treating your body and the bodies of others with respect reflects the fact that you’re made in God’s image. Obedience to God’s commands allows Christians to know Him closely and to represent Him faithfully. So no, it’s not worthless and it’s not a waste of time.

And you’re not alone by any means. Despite the depressing statistics about your peers, there are many of them striving for righteousness. Like you, they’re trying to listen to God’s Word and God’s Spirit. Some of them have failed previously and repeatedly, but they keep asking God to teach them obedience. Many (most of them) of them feel as lonely as you do. So today you might need to hear this: You’re not alone. In the company of your fellow saints, find encouragement and strength to keep pressing on.

Don’t let anybody tell you that obedience is a waste of time. Don’t buy the lie that you’re all alone. God’s commands are never a waste of time. And you are never alone as long as God and His church are standing with you. Press on for God’s sake, through God’s power.

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