Since we’re considering sexual issues in these last posts, let me send two more your way that relate to another sexual subject, fornication.
“Fornication” is a Biblical concept we’ve lost the meaning of today in our culture. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance says the Greek word for our English translation of “fornication” is porneuo and means harlotry (including adultery and incest); and figuratively, idolatry — fornication.
Strictly, defined, fornication is “voluntary sex between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman;” extended in the Bible to adultery. This is sexual intercourse between partners who are not married to each other.
In the Bible the Greek definition of the word “fornication” means to commit illicit sexual intercourse. We also gain the English word “pornography” from this. And isn’t pornography and other illicit sexual practices, actually the idolatry of the human body?
In the American culture, and the European cultures as well, we’ve come a long way from putting any weight on the issue of fornication. When 60% of the couples in the USA today are cohabiting without marriage, sexting is rampant in our cell phone relationships, strip clubs are prevalent in every major and minor city, pornography is available at the flick of a key, and many pools and beaches in Europe are “topless” — all without much conscience being applied — we’ve come a “long way baby” from a solid application in our culture against fornication.
And the relative way we handle the concept as believers, even Christian workers, is messing us up on the personal and marital level today. When violated, this leads to a deep moral crisis, stress, and even PTSD in any family that still is “old-fashioned” enough to consider fornication a moral issue.
Therefore it behooves us as Christian workers to take a step back, reflect again on biblical moral definitions — even if we are the only ones holding them in our relativistic culture — and tighten up our application on how we are handling sexual morality in our own lives. This is a call to holiness.
And, of course, this has major impact in the lives of our kids who we, as parents, expect to “toe certain moral lines” while they live in culture(s) that create behaviors far from those “moral lines.” There’s tremendous internal pressure in our Christian kids today as they try to understand themselves — the normal process of human growth — and yet be accepted in their peer culture. Christian parents: Please don’t underestimate these pressures.
How we help our children chart their way through this moral morass is a challenging task. Probably conversations with other parents and even with our kids will strengthen them. If you have ideas on this, please share them here so we call can gain from your insights.