How To Fight For Integrity In A Hyper-Sexualized World

by | May 22, 2024

I’m old enough to remember when tv shows like Three’s Company and Murphy Brown were scandalous. Now, it’s difficult to find a show that isn’t filled with profanity, nudity, and graphic sex. So how do you, as a Christ follower, walk with sexual integrity in our hyper sexual world? What does it look like to live in a culture where the average 11-year-old has seen porn, sexual immorality is expected (and even celebrated), and many Christians no longer believe sex should be reserved for marriage? 

You cannot read the New Testament without being confronted with the truth that God cares about your sex life. Over and over again, those who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ are called to confront sexual immorality and live lives of sexual integrity. Being a Christ follower means following Him in every area of our lives, including in our sexual choices. “Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity or greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people” (Ephesians 5:3).

While you may have made the decision to pursue these biblical principles, you may also be frustrated by a journey of routinely falling back into sin.  Here are five things that can help you in your pursuit of sexual integrity as you navigate our current culture.


Be radical in purging.

There were a few leaders in Israel’s history (Josiah, Nehemiah, and Hezekiah to name a few) that led the nation to revival. Each of these leaders confronted the evil of their community with a purge. They cleaned house. The description of their efforts includes words like smashed, burned, desecrated, pulled down, and ground to powder. Jesus told his followers, “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off.” While this suggestion might be hyperbole, the message is for us to be ruthless with whatever invites sin in our lives. 

What do you need to purge? Are there friends in your life who are leading you astray? Do you need to make your smartphone a “dumb phone” or cancel some streaming services? Take advantage of technological tools that can help you block gateways to sexual sin.


Be sensitive to conviction.

I was recently struck by Paul’s description of people who don’t know God. “Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity with a continual lust for more” (Ephesians 4:19). Sounds like an accurate description of our culture! Notice the first thing Paul mentions, “Having lost all sensitivity…” Paul is referencing what happens when we harden our hearts to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. 

Have you ever been watching or reading something and know you should walk away, but the story has you hooked or you are watching with friends who wouldn’t understand? When we obey the Holy Spirit, we become more sensitive to the wisdom and direction God gives us. When we ignore Him, our hearts become hardened to the work of God. 

What is one thing (perhaps a media choice or friendship) the Holy Spirit is convicting you about right now? Will you listen and obey?


Confront wrong thinking.

When you read the term “sexual purity,” you probably immediately think of behaviors. Don’t have sex before marriage. Don’t look at porn. Don’t cheat on your spouse. While sexual integrity involves our behaviors, it also includes how we think. We are called to be transformed in our thought patterns. In fact, changing your thinking will dramatically impact your actions. You think about something before you actually do it. 

It’s difficult to overestimate the power of the culture’s narrative of sex, reinforced thousands of times a year through your music, shows, and social media feed. Everywhere you turn, you learn, “Sex is about self-expression and freedom. Do what feels good. Follow your desires.” These mantras are likely so embedded in your thinking that you don’t even recognize them as thought patterns that are contrary to God’s Truth

At Authentic Intimacy, we want to provide a steady stream of content and community opportunities so that you can identify lies from the culture and embrace a Christian worldview related to sexuality.


Choose good friends.

You probably heard it growing up–you become like the people you hang around. Solomon put it this way: “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm” (Proverbs 13:20). This is not just true for teenagers. It’s true for all of us.

Your worldview is shaped not only by the content you consume, but also by the people you spend time with. Your friends help you make sense of your life and your circumstances. I’m not suggesting that you live in a Christian bubble and avoid people who don’t know God. Jesus told us to be salt and light in the world, which means we need to engage with people of all walks of life. Yet your core group of friends will always be part of your discipleship–either toward or away from holiness. 

What do your friends talk about? What shows do they recommend? Do they challenge you to be different, or do they blend right in with the culture’s way of doing things?


Be proactive in community.

Imagine a time a hundred years ago when people lived in the same small town their entire lives. There was one neighborhood church and grocery store, and everyone knew the people who lived next door. Although the 1920s had problems, people didn’t lack community. Most people knew they belonged. 

We now live in a day and age where information and entertainment have replaced community. Even most of our human interactions don’t happen in person but through technology. The Center For Disease Control has declared loneliness as a modern epidemic. 

Sexual expression is the culture’s substitute for genuine community. Your greatest need is not sexual or even romantic fulfillment, but intimacy. God created you to be part of something–a community with people who know you and love you. With fractured families, unstable jobs, and transient communities, intimate relationships won’t be part of your life unless you proactively seek them out. 

What step can you take today to invest in community and intimate friendship? 

Choosing to follow God with your sexuality means not only avoiding wrong behaviors, but proactively pursuing a life of holiness.


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