My oldest son has a tender heart. When he was a child, he would become very upset with all the wrong in the world.
He would become anxious with the cheating in playground games, the fighting between friends, and the violent stories on the news. In frustration, he would cry out, “Why did Adam and Eve have to sin?!”
Most everyone is familiar with the story of Adam and Eve eating the “forbidden fruit” in the Garden of Eden. God blessed Adam with a perfect garden with all the amenities for life. But he was given a choice. He could choose God’s way of life, or choose death by eating the forbidden fruit. His choice solidified humanity’s eternal destiny.
The concept of “forbidden fruit” was not restricted to the Garden, but is also very applicable today. Little children tend to test their parents’ “no” commands. Older children test the “do not” admonishments of their parents. Youth challenge their parents in order to maintain their independence, to go along with the crowd.
All of us deal with some “forbidden fruit.” It could be the cravings of expensive designer clothing, cool cars, sports attire, the “in” brand of smart phones or iPods. It could be alcohol, smoking, drugs.
The most obviously approved “forbidden fruit” in our culture is sexual expression outside of marriage. The concept of co-habitation has so crept into American culture that many Christian young people see it as a “convenient” preparation for marriage, or as a normal expression for a single. In premarital counseling, I am no longer taken by surprise at the response of couples preparing for marriage, when asked about their chastity.
The “forbidden fruit” of sexual expression outside of marriage is condemned in the Bible. Paul says, “The body is not meant for sexual immortality, but for the Lord.” 1 Cor. 6:13. In fact, he says “Flee from sexual immorality” in verse 18.
Why? Because a Christian’s body is the (residence) of the Holy Spirit. Thus any premarital physical relationship is considered prostitution, thereby violating your future spouse’s trust and purity.
Intimacy is a sacred expression reserved only for a husband and wife. This does not even address the guilt, the parental stress, the sexually transmitted diseases, future complications, or becoming pregnant.
It was in the Garden of Eden that Satan twisted and distorted God’s command to not eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, promising it would make them wise and like God. Today, he also distorts God’s truth regarding purity of one’s relationships.
Government, schools, culture, movies, songs all condone and encourage a life of promiscuity. In fact, calling someone promiscuous is considered condemning a person’s choice. But, whatever the “non-biblical elitists” call it, the Bible still calls it sin, an act of disobedience to God that brings marital harm and emotional, physical, and social consequences, and pain.
An obedient Christian is called to follow a higher standard, the “narrow road.” Why? Because, being made in the image of God, our bodies first belong to God and then to the spouse we marry. Satan takes great delight in destroying a person by having them partake of the “forbidden fruit” outside of marriage.
In this permissive society, I would like to encourage parents to talk with their youth about God’s standards, the reasons for these standards, and benefits for remaining pure till marriage. Like in the Garden, Satan still is crafty. As a liar, he does not reveal the painful consequences of violating God’s standards for purity.