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Pure | Dean Inserra

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
October 22, 2022 1:00 am

Pure | Dean Inserra

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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October 22, 2022 1:00 am

What happens inside when you hear the words, “purity culture?” On this Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, Dean Inserra addresses the negative effects of this teaching as well as the biblical design for sexuality. Hear this important conversation today on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Featured resource: Pure: Why the Bible’s Plan for Sexuality Isn’t Outdated, Irrelevant, or Oppressive

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Look what happens when we go outside of God's boundaries, from adultery, pornography, abuse, to divorce, to hookup culture, and pain, and fear, and abortion.

I mean, all of it comes from that, right? So as God wants His people to flourish under His design. Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Today, the big picture of God's design for men and women regarding sexuality. Dean and Sarah will talk about reclaiming one of the clearest teachings in the scriptures, the call to sexual purity.

Dean says, while purity culture gets the truth right, the approach and gospel elements it espouses are often wrong. We're going to unpack that today on the program, and you can find more simple ways to strengthen relationships at the website, fivelovelanguages.com. Our host, as always, is author and counselor, Dr. Gary Chapman. Gary, you've been talking about God's design for sex and marriage for decades. What changes have you seen through the years? Chris, I think probably in no other area of our culture have we seen more changes. We live in a very confused world when it comes to sexuality.

A lot has to do because we've abandoned the biblical perspective on sexuality. Our conversation today, I think, is extremely important. I just urge our listeners to stay with us.

I think this is going to be very, very helpful. Well, let me introduce our guest today, Dean and Sarah. He's a graduate of Liberty University, holds an MA in Theological Studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He's the founding pastor of City Church, and he's passionate about reaching the city of Tallahassee, Florida with the gospel to see a worldwide impact made for Jesus. He's married to Chrissy.

They have two sons, Tommy and Ty, and a daughter, Sally Ashland. And if you go to moodybooks.org, you'll find out more about our featured resource. It's titled Pure, Why the Bible's Plan for Sexuality Isn't Outdated, Irrelevant.

Why the Bible's Plan for Sexuality Isn't Outdated, Irrelevant or Oppressive. Again, go to moodybooks.org. Well, Dean, welcome to Building Relationships. Thank you. It's great to be with you. I appreciate the invitation to come onto your program. As we begin, tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Dean and Sarah? Well, I'm a hometown pastor, which is a lot of fun. I'm pastoring the town where I grew up.

Something's kind of unique. I know others have that same experience, but my wife and I have been married for 18 years. We met on a blind date before there was social media. It was kind of the old school, original blind date when he got set up by a mutual friend.

We have three kids, like we said earlier. I was raised going to church, raised a mainline Protestant. The certain one that I was a part of was really good people, really good folks, taught me a lot of great life lessons, but I was never really told that I was a sinner who needed to be saved.

I heard life lessons about Jesus, to be more like Jesus, but my need for Christ for my salvation was never on the forefront. So I went to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes retreat when I was 13 years old. I heard the gospel really for the first time. I was given an opportunity to trust in Christ. And really not long after that, I really started feeling a tug into some sort of ministry. I saw a lot of my friends were in the same boat I was in. Or if you asked them if they were a Christian, they would have said, of course I am.

But the reason for believing so had nothing to actually do with saving faith, according to the Scriptures. So now I'm home trying to reach my friends, and it's like with my friends for Christ. We love being in Tallahassee, capital city. Florida State University is here as well. So a lot of serious ministry to do here in our town. Yeah, sounds great. Anytime you're in a college town, there's ministry to be done. Not just the college students, but to the whole population.

Yeah. Well, now, why did you want to write about the topic of sexuality from a biblical perspective? What motivated you? Well, I started seeing a lot of conversation, including like op-eds in the New York Times, being negative about what is called purity culture, which is referring to the era I grew up in concerning youth ministry after I became a believer in the 1990s, mostly linked to the true love weights movement. And we didn't call it purity culture then, it's called that in retrospect in kind of a demeaning sort of way. But much of what we participated in youth ministry were conversations and rallies and lessons about what they would call saving yourself, was a language they used for marriage. And by that, I meant saving yourself sexually, not being sexually impute with anyone until your honeymoon night. And we were encouraged to sign cards, pledging a commitment to our future mate. There were rings that you could buy, and the whole idea was you wear your ring until your honeymoon. And we're 16 years old, we're getting these rings, keep in mind.

Being told to wear these to our honeymoon and everything was about this whole idea of your future spouse. Well, anti-purity culture rhetoric has really cranked up. And my concern is that, and my whole premise is, let's say that everything the critics are saying about purity culture is true. I don't think it's all true.

Let's just, for the sake of argument, say it's all true, all their angst is justified. Does that change even for a moment that God has a very clear design for us for sex and marriage? And my answer is, of course it doesn't. So some missteps by some hopefully well-intended believers a generation ago doesn't change God's timeless principles concerning marriage and sexuality. So I wanted to write about this to help awaken people to the fact that this is God's design for His glory and for our good.

And it's a much bigger picture than simply waiting. It's about following Jesus, especially when it comes to our sexuality. And the last thing about it is I've seen a lot of believers either get really quiet on matters of sexuality, shrink back or completely abandon it altogether while still maintaining and holding on to other core doctrines of the faith.

They're jumping ship when it comes to what the Bible says about marriage and sexuality. So I want to talk about it and write it in a way that's not from an academic perspective, but I call it sexual ethics for normal people, for regular folks, that really goes into every area of the big umbrella of sexuality in our culture. So your book then is a response to the pushback on purity culture. So bedrock question, what is purity culture? Yeah, purity culture was this kind of full program and emphasis on this big idea of that you should save yourself for marriage, the language they use for your future spouse. The language they use was your future mate, and they get you to make this pledge towards that.

But it became all encompassing. I mentioned the ring, there were purity balls where fathers would take their daughters to a purity banquet, and in that they'd have a conversation. There are books written encouraging people not to date. And really, I think what brought about a lot of angst was the approach, I think, took the wrong angle, and it made everything about your future spouse. Like the whole motivation was here you are 15, 16 years old, and you're being told you should make these choices in your life based on this hypothetical person you've never met before. And then guilt and shame was put into place because you were told things like, you don't want to be the one who hasn't saved yourself for your wedding day.

You don't want to be the one who shows up on your honeymoon. And it turned the honeymoon into this kind of utopia and this kind of pressure situation. So what it did was it created a lot of Pharisees, one that thought they deserved someone who made the exact same choices they made and wouldn't even acknowledge someone who'd become a believer later or whatever it might have been. And then also it created a lot of guilt and shame for others, where someone had messed up in an area, fallen short, and now they felt like they were someone who was unworthy to marry a Christian who had remained a virgin until marriage. I just don't see the gospel of Jesus Christ in that kind of thinking. And I think it really caused a lot of damage for people looking back. So why do you think there has been this backlash toward that concept?

Well, I think there's a couple different camps. I think some really do sort of have some guilt and shame associated with it to this day, where they just kind of felt like they were failures and that maybe God was done with them or just things that are anti-gospel, but that's easy to creep in that the devil can do with you. But also I think this is really significant, Dr. Chapman, is that we are seeing marriage be more and more delayed in our culture. So you're seeing a lot of Christians who are now 30 years old and are still single. And so as a result of that, the pressures of dating and those types of things are still there. And I think that there is a little bit of a pushback happening against God's design, because some people don't really want to participate or go by God's design. And then others are just simply cultural marching orders, that our culture has created this world where sex is expected. What used to be maybe the first kiss in a relationship is now sleeping together. And it's become such the norm that to not fully embrace it is to see yourself as some sort of out-of-touch, irrelevant, kind of prude type of person. And I really think a lot of it is coming from the cultural influence. And purity culture is an easy culprit to blame when really it's our belief that there's more to be gained by disobeying God than there is to be gained by obeying God.

Or I have to go around God to things I'm looking for in my life rather than actually write to him. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Our guest today is author and pastor Dean and Sarah. And our featured resource today is his book, Pure. Why the Bible's plan for sexuality isn't outdated, irrelevant, or oppressive. You can find out more at moodybooks.org.

That's moodybooks.org. Well, Dean, what issues do you think have arisen in the church because of purity culture teaching? I think that the biggest thing I'm seeing is that any conversation about sex and sexuality is very segmented. Like it's only reserved like a certain sermon series at Valentine's Day or for the youth group once a year, something along those lines. Or it's rather than being the alternative for that would be part of the biblical story, right? Because the whole idea of purity culture just sort of isolated sex as this thing to be careful of and avoid.

And rather than seeing it in the grand narrative of the Bible, of God's design and how it plays out through the whole storyline of the scriptures. But then also, I think we're seeing churches just get silent concerning it because they don't want to come across as being people who are what the world thinks that we are or accuse us of being. So I think we're either seeing an abandonment or in a silence or just a very almost apologetic, hey, we're just going to talk about this just for a couple weeks and we just kind of have to. Almost like a shameful approach.

Yeah. Well, why do you think so many churches have been reluctant to speak openly? I mean, the Bible has a great deal to say about sexuality. Why do you think we've been more reluctant to do that? Oh, I tell folks that the Bible is as clear about God's design for marriage and for sexuality as it is anything else in the scriptures we love and believe.

It's as simple as can be. It's really not as complicated as we make it out to be, at least concerning what God has said regarding it. So I think what's really happening is I really do think it's that cultural pressure because so much is done today in the name of what is pragmatic.

What's going to work? What's going to keep bringing people here? What's not going to offend? And it's become such a taboo topic. So the two things we're not allowed to talk about are money and sexuality. But what does the Bible speak to regularly?

Money and sexuality. I think it's God caring for us. When he's caring for his own glory, he will not share his glory with anyone else. But I also think he's caring for his children, that when we operate outside of his design, it's going to lead to brokenness. And if we just look around right now and see what's happening in our society and what has happened concerning sex and sexuality, it's almost like we should have expected to be here because we've abandoned what God has made.

It should be broken, right? It should be chaotic when it's not done by his design. But I really think a lot of guys are just scared and they just aren't quite sure how to approach it or what to do because the culture has made it such a huge deal. You'll hear things like, and when you do talk about it, it's like, why do you care about what happens in someone's bedroom? Or why is the church so obsessed with this matter?

It's like the church isn't obsessed with this matter. We're about preaching the Bible and it's the culture that's obsessed with this matter. So we're going to speak this everlasting truth in our ever-changing culture.

Yeah, no question about it. It has become central in the culture today. Sexuality with all kind of voices, crying from all different places.

Yeah. Well, what do you think is the best strategy or the way to minister to people in the midst of the chaos that we're experiencing? I tell people that I think it's two approaches, clear and compassionate. Maybe as clear as possible concerning what the Bible says.

So really convictionally clear. They preach as much clarity as possible regarding these issues. And by doing that, I mean, we're not just saying, hey, don't have sex until you're married. And once you are married, don't have sex with anybody else except your spouse.

It's more than that, but it's definitely not less than that, of course. But the more than that is, this is part of the grand narrative of the scriptures, that God from the beginning has designed this institution through the very thing, this man and woman one-fleshness, through the very thing by which He would show us through that visible portrait about the union of Christ in the church. This is a bigger issue than just a couple or a relationship. This is about the gospel. This is how God, the groom, Jesus Christ, the bride, the church are brought together as one united together. And how we understand that is back to Genesis. And we see through the storyline of the Bible in Genesis, we see the one-flesh union. When Jesus is asked about marriage in Matthew 19, He points him to Genesis as the source, as a historic event. When Paul is confronting the church in 1 Corinthians 6 about their sexual sin, he says, don't you know that when you lie with her, you become one flesh with her. He's pointing them back to God's design. When Paul in Ephesians talks about marriage, he talks about Christ in the church, he's upholding Genesis as the design. This really is a biblical mandate, not just rules to follow, but for a story of God's design and grace and glory to participate in.

Yeah. What do you think are some of the lies that many Christians are believing about sexuality? So we're seeing right now, I think the first one is that sex is expected. If you're going to be in a dating relationship, that's kind of what you do as long as it's consensual. It was just kind of part of the dating process. That's so normal in our culture right now.

I'm seeing with college students who are maybe kind of more cultural Christians are on the fence, that to go on a date is basically to agree to sleep with someone and maybe not the first date, the second date at least. It's really tragic when you think about it. And then from there, I think that pornography is normal. It's kind of a normal part of life. It's kind of normal growing up experience. It's not a big deal.

It doesn't hurt anybody. But what I'm really concerned about right now is marriage being viewed as a capstone rather than a cornerstone. And what I mean by that is rather than marriage being something you build your life from, it's becoming something you sort of build your life to. So once you get your all your degrees, save enough money, live together for a while to make sure you're compatible.

Once you get a chance to cross some items off your bucket list and do the things you want to do, date around for a little while, and somebody, then and only then if you really want to, then you should maybe get married if you really want to settle down. And that's not how we see marriage in the Scriptures. It's a cornerstone of relationship.

It's what God has made for society to flourish. So then we need to get back to champion being married young. I don't mean flippantly or carelessly or foolishly, but getting married young and seeing marriage is something we build our lives from, not to.

So those are the major ones that come to mind that the culture is buying to us, and we're buying into it right now. Yeah, I think when we recognize where our culture is, if we don't get back to the fundamental issues of the Bible and the place of marriage in the Bible, marriage and family, because let's face it, marriage and family is the central unit of culture. And this is where young lives and minds are formed in the family.

And I think one of the reasons we have so many problems today is because the family is so fractured with all of what has happened. What words would you have to offer to someone who has been harmed through what we call the purity culture? Yeah, I would say that it's really important to know that maybe the harm that you have endured was not from the Scriptures or from the Lord, but it was from fallen and sinful human beings. And it does not still change the fact that God has a design.

And if we recover and pursue that design, that's where brokenness actually doesn't take place. So just know the Scriptures say to the believer, there's no condemnation for those who are in Christ. So if you felt condemned during purity culture, know that that is not a condemnation that comes from our Lord. He is quick to forgive.

He's quick to make us new. Hebrew says that our Lord is not ashamed to call us his brothers and sisters. What a powerful thought that is. Why don't be ashamed of you when God's not ashamed of you? That's the story of the gospel and what the Lord has done in our lives through Christ's death and resurrection.

So I would say to believe those things for yourself. And then maybe make it a point where when you feel like you're at the right place, in terms of your recovery from that, to make sure that when you're teaching others about God's design, that you're doing it in a way that brings life and that brings clarity and that brings compassion to people that are trying to navigate how to follow Jesus in this area in such a broken world. So I would just say that God's not done with you.

He never was to begin with. You just had some bad encounters and I want to not make light of those. But just know that does not change anything regarding what God has designed for you concerning relationships.

Yeah. Can I ask a question, Dean, about you personally? Because you said you grew up in this. Do you feel like you were harmed by purity culture at the time?

No, I feel fortunate that way. I didn't really have much at home. You know, my parents, I come from a wonderful family and we definitely, my dad and I would have conversations about sexuality. But in terms of purity culture, it didn't exist in my home.

It was more what we did when we went to youth group and those types of things. But no, I wasn't harmed by it. What I saw more was just the harm in general about people who had kind of already made that mistake, if we're going to kind of put air quotes in the air, you know, kind of mistake or what do you want to call it, falling short, which sin is really what it is in that area. But that then kind of went, well, I guess it's already over now. You know, I've already messed up.

Therefore, I guess I can just kind of keep doing it because I'm already the one who's messed up. And I'm like, whoa. When I was 15 years old, it was hard to fully articulate that but it's going, wait, that's not what God has done for this.

That is not what God has designed. So I think that's what I saw more was that kind of idea. What was it kind of like, oh, well, I guess I'm already disqualified from this. So I might as well just keep going and do whatever I want in a relationship. So me personally, though, no, I was not negatively affected by it. Now, another aspect of a stage in our culture was this concept of I've kissed dating goodbye. How is your understanding of purity related to that concept?

And how's your own view changed about that through the years? Yeah, well, when that book first came out by Josh Harris, I kissed dating goodbye, my group of Christian male friends, we hated that book. Because all of a sudden, our Christian friends who were ladies, all of a sudden, wouldn't date anybody for a little while.

So we're going, what's going on here? So here's how I try to approach dating now is I try to tell people, a lot of college students in our church, my oldest son's a teenager in high school. And what I talk about is dating without regrets. Like dating is a part of our culture, like in our cultural makeup, it's how you meet people. Dating is not in the Bible, that doesn't make it wrong, it just makes it neutral. So what makes it complicated is that since we don't have the guidelines for the actual institution, which is not an institution, I should say practice of dating, then we have to make it up.

So we have to make sure that in our inventing it that we're not trying to go outside of biblical principles. So we take biblical principles and put it into dating and realizing that it's not an actual real relationship, it's a relationship that's a one of you decide it's not. There's not actual commitment there from a romantic standpoint or a lifelong commitment standpoint. So I try to tell college students and my own kids, hey, date without regrets, meaning there's really only two things that are going to happen in this dating relationship.

Either you're going to get married or you're going to break up. That applies unless someone tragically dies. Like even if you start dating when you're 15 years old, either you're going to break up or you're going to get married.

I'm not trying to oversimplify it, that's the truth. So in the process, like have fun, remember what God has said about sexuality, flee sexual morality. Don't do what I would call permanent things with temporary people. And to make sure there's just no regrets. So when you break up, it's not the end of the world.

There's all this, yeah, your feelings might be hurt a little bit, you might be a little bit sad. But there isn't this tremendous amount of brokenness. There's not all this regret. There's not guilt. There's not fear.

There's not shame. Because nothing happened in that relationship that would cause that. So I'm all for dating. I just say, hey, work hard to date without any kind of regrets. And that's not just physically, but emotionally as well.

And how you give yourself to someone who's not your spouse. We can learn a lot in the dating process, right? Definitely.

Yeah, absolutely. What about yourself? About how you interact with people? Maybe about also what you think you need to be looking for in a godly future spouse.

And those are all part of the process of a cup. So I think in learning a lot about ourselves and others during a dating relationship, I think it's helpful to make your expectations clear. I think just add a brother and sisterly love in Christ.

That's who someone is first. Your girlfriend or boyfriend before that your girlfriend or boyfriend is your brother in Christ or your sister in Christ. So I would say just out of that kind of brotherly Christian love, sisterly Christian love, make your expectations clear. You might say something like, hey, I don't want anything very serious.

I just kind of want to hang out, you know, go out for milkshakes, get to know each other. You might go, hey, look, I'm at a place in my life where if I want to get in a serious relationship, I want to talk about marriage. And then the person knows. Because the other person might be less than on my radar right now. Well, guess what, as a Christian, it's probably not wise to date that person. Because you want to make sure you're on the same page in a relationship. And I think that defining expectations clearly is a great way to love our neighbor while we're dating.

Yeah. How do you think we'd go about in the church returning to some right understanding of God's design for sex? I think we have to see it in the storyline and framework of the whole Bible.

And not as just kind of isolated rules to the side. It's exactly what you said, his design, that from Genesis to Revelation, like we see God working this design out for his people as the mandate, like as a ground zero, you know, as actually the foundation of human flourishing. So I think we need to also make sure that those who are not married don't feel like the married talks aren't for them, you know, and that God's standards apply to all people. That the heterosexual married male, like myself, has the exact same standard and design that God has given him as the single female. And that means only one person that we're to be physically intimate with. And that is the person we are married to.

And that God has designed marriage to be between a man and a woman. So I just think we need to keep working it in the framework of our sermons and the story of the Bible. And I hope we're preaching and teaching people the whole counsel of scripture. And that's going to include this. I think we need to start earlier and earlier. I'm not saying age appropriately, but the youth ministries and children's ministries need to at the very least be talking about men and women and their differences and how God has made us for his glory.

And here's what that looks like. So I think it needs to become a non taboo. I'm not trying to oversimplify it. I think it begins with becoming a non taboo topic in your church. And then from there it gives a lot of freedom to have a lot of conversations. Yeah, yeah. When we think in terms of where we are, and in the Christian church, if we can help people understand that whatever God has laid down for relationships, marriage and otherwise, it always grows out of his love.

So you can't improve on it. If he says don't do this, and then says do this, those things will lead you to the best possible life. Absolutely. You know, where our culture has kind of exalted, you know, be happy now, do something, do whatever you want to do, you know. We've actually kind of lost the whole concept of morality, have we not? Yeah, and I think it begins with us not believing the greatest blessing God has for us is actually God. Like it's actually himself. And to believe that he is the ultimate goal, that he has given us himself, how amazing is that? There's not more to be gained by disobeying him. Like he is not, yes, he is first and foremost for his glory. He's also for the good of his children. He gets to define what that means. We can trust him with that.

So I think it really is a belief issue before it's anything else. We forget that he is the greatest blessing. We forget that he is enough, that abundant life actually really is in him and his way and his word.

And all the brokenness we see out there, it's because we have rebelled. We said, God, no thanks. I don't want what you have for me. I want your stuff instead.

I want what I have for me, not what you have for me. So that's a great act of repentance that needs to happen is based on our beliefs about who he is. Thanks for joining us today for Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Our guest is author and pastor Dean and Sarah. We're talking about his book, Pure, Why the Bible's Plan for Sexuality Isn't Outdated, Irrelevant or Oppressive. You can find out more at moodybooks.org.

That's moodybooks.org. Dean, there's the second section of the book has seven different lies. A couple of them you've already talked about. Sex is expected. Marriage is a capstone, not a cornerstone.

And then you go into some others. I'm really interested for our listeners to hear what you're saying about, for example, lie number seven, cohabitation just makes sense. This is rife in the culture, isn't it?

Oh yeah. And this is, I'm not proud of this, but I almost assume when someone reaches out to me and asks me to do their wedding, that they're living together because it really is the norm. Even Christian couples who are, and they just justify it as, oh, we're trying to save money.

It's always just makes sense in their eyes. And it really is a problem right now. Now the world, we expect the world to be that way. We expect the world to follow the ways of the world. We want them to still have a life that flourishes. We think it happens best by God's design, but their biggest issue is they're cohabitating. They don't know Jesus.

That's their biggest issue, right? They're dead in their sins. But for the believer, the person who's claiming life in Christ, this is an area that is allowed to go under the radar for too long. The amount of Christian unmarried couples who are engaged or about to be engaged, they're living together.

It's almost like cohabitating is the new engagement. And that if you suggest that it's not a good idea or that it's unwise, or even that it's sinful based on what practices are taking place while they're doing that, you're almost looked at as if you have three heads. Because again, we have become so influenced by the culture that what is worldly seems normal and what is holiness seems strange. So I'm not sure who first came up with that term.

It's not an original for me, but I think that applies to this. So I believe that we need to make sure that we're clear on this and that we are not afraid to confront that and actually speak to it as a barrier to people's discipleship as that decision to be, and also to their witness. There's no distinction from them in the world regarding this area. Cohabitation is such the norm. I'm also seeing it be a generational shift to where maybe grandma and grandpa, they definitely did not cohabitate, but the next generation underneath them did.

And then the generation after them just basically expected to, which is sort of what you do. So this is something that really is a burden. And I think we need to address it and really start talking about it in Christian circles. If we're going to have any credibility in the rest of the conversation, like how can we stand up and talk about what God says regarding homosexuality, what God says regarding gender, and also be turning a blind eye to the amount of people in our churches who are living together or who claim the name of Christ and are cohabitating outside of marriage. We need to talk about it. Okay.

So how do you do that? How do you have that conversation with someone you know who is cohabiting now and you don't want to offend them and push them away or do the purity thing and shame and guilt, but you want to speak the truth? How do you have that conversation?

Yeah. Well, I do think you mentioned from the pulpit sometimes, not calling anybody out specifically, but just the idea of it. I think it needs to come from the pulpit. And then I think the best discipleship is going to come through actually conversations, like private conversations through relationship.

Maybe as the pastor, you're not even the best one to have the conversation if you don't have the relationship in place, but a trusted group leader, an elder in the church, a deacon, a mentor, whoever it could be. And then I think we have to really show people that, because they know, people who are Christians, they know. They know that that is not God's will for them. And the way they've justified it is by saying things like, this goes back to the Garden of Eden, the woman you gave me, she's the one who did this, right? There's always an explanation.

There's always a disclaimer. So they'll say things like, well, it just makes sense right now because we're saving money. We don't want to pay two rents. And it's like, well, how serious are you about following Jesus? And I think we have to get really frank sometimes, and I have to make them acknowledge a choice they're making. Because if it's that big of a deal, why don't you move in with a friend, one of your Christian friends who let you live there for free? Why don't you live with your parents for a little while? Well, I'm 32 years old.

I don't want to do that. It's like, okay, but what's more important, being 32 years old, maybe the embarrassment of living at home for a little while or living in sin? That's what's happened now.

That seems like a bigger deal than the other. So I think we've actually had people say out loud that they're making a choice to go against God's will, and then just continue to challenge them on that. And I think that's where church family comes into place to have those conversations. And you're going to see a lot of these couples actually are marginally churched. So there might even be cultural Christians who actually don't know the Lord. They just know Christian culture, not Christ by conviction. But there's the others in churches who need to be confronted with this by people they know and trust in their lives.

And just be prepared. There's going to be the explanations, they're going to always bring up money, bring up what's easier, things such as that. And so I simply be prepared to have those conversations. What's happening is people are not having those conversations, and we got to be willing to have them.

The other factor is that all research shows, and this has been going on long enough, we have lots of research, the divorce rate among couples who live together before they get married is higher, much higher, than the divorce rate between couples who do not live together before they get married. Yeah, undeniable. Undeniable.

Yeah, yeah. Dean, when we look at the Scriptures, what is at the very heart of biblical theology of sexuality? I would say the glory of God.

The image and pointing towards the gospel story of the bridegroom, Jesus Christ, and his bride, the church. And then I would say after that, it's human flourishing. Anything through reproduction, all the way to living as God intended in worship of his people.

But I think God's glory is the biggest. And we see in Romans chapter one, we see the guilt that's put before us about how we have traded the glory of God and the worship of God for man-made things. And here, Paul, running the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he's running the words of God. God could have said anything he wanted to, to us. He's God, to illustrate what that looks like, this rebellion looks like.

And what did he choose? He said, men are lying with men and women are lying and having relationships with women. Now, by that, he's not saying that homosexuality is a worse sin than any other sin.

He's simply saying, this is an example for us of what rebellion against the glory of God and created order looks like. God, I don't want what you have for me as a man, a woman. I don't want a woman. I want a man instead. Or God, you made me a woman. I don't want what you have for me.

I want another woman instead. And that's what God lifts up for us as an example of what he's talking about in our worship exchange, in our rebellion. So the heart of it all really is God's glory. And anything outside of that is idolatry.

It's saying, God, no, I don't want what you have for me. So I think it's God's glory. But thankfully, our God, who's about his own glory, is also about the flourishing of his people. And he wants us to live in the design he has made for us out of his love and out of his grace. Now, this is where flourishing takes place.

And anything outside of those bounds leads to brokenness. And all we have to do to affirm that is look around. Look what happens when we go outside of God's boundaries, from adultery, pornography, abuse, to divorce, to hookup culture and pain and fear and abortion.

I mean, all of it comes from that, right? So God wants his people to flourish under his design. You know, another whole area, Dean, is the whole area where individuals have been sexually abused earlier in life. What does purity mean for people who have gone through that experience? One, I think it begins by a God who loves you and has compassion for you when others haven't, when others have harmed you and taken outside of God's design in a way that's harmful to you, not just harmful to the design, but to you personally. I think it's to acknowledge the brokenness and the pain there, and then really to lean on the Lord in his church once trust is rebuilt for grace and compassion. And it also means that as you are mentally and emotionally and spiritually able to move forward in terms of working through it, it's not something you ever get over.

It's something you work through. Those are two very different things that God's design is still there for you to recover and pursue by his grace, and that it still remains the same. This is an example in a very sinful, harmful way of someone who has harmed or abused you going so far out of God's design that it breaks everything in its path. So just know that you are a victim of what happens when God's design is broken, and that God is there to restore you and recover and pursue that design for you again in your life.

Yeah. And there are many in our day who need to hear that message of God's love and God's restoration of their lives. What advice do you give to people who are dating and are asking themselves after a while, is this really God's person for me? Is this the person that I should marry? Yeah, I think one way to realize that you are not bound in that dating relationship. You don't have to stay in a relationship with that person.

That's not an actual binding commitment. In other words, you're not stuck in that relationship with a dating person. That's impossible to be stuck. You're making yourself stuck.

That's not an actual real thing. So I would say don't feel bound in a dating relationship. That's just really important to know. I think those need to hear that sometimes.

And then also, I think we can make sure that our standards are not the world's standards. I mean, yes, you're going to pursue someone or be a part of a relationship with someone you're attracted to, you enjoy, but those things are fleeting. So I would say that in that dating relationship, that you make sure that you really do enjoy being with that person. You do have fun with that person. But if you don't think it's someone you want to marry, I would get out of that relationship sooner than later.

But also make sure your expectations aren't unrealistic. You're not asking someone to be something that doesn't exist out in the world. You know that, that someone being a brother or sister in Christ is who they are first. I would add, I think it's so important that dating an unbeliever is an absolute non-negotiable. I mean, you just can't, that is just, if you believe that Jesus rose from the dead and the person you're dating at best believes he was a nice guy and that's it, you are on so different paths of life. It's not reconcilable.

Like there's no way that those two things can be together. So I would say to be very, very intentional about that. Don't even go on a second date with someone who isn't a believer. I would say that you, if you want to be friends with that person and include them in a larger group of friends and stay connected through a friendship, make that so clear, you know, out of the gates.

So those are the kinds of things that first come to mind. But to realize that in dating, like the purpose of dating should be to lead towards eventually the person you want to marry. So to always have that in mind, not in a way that consumes the entire conversation or makes you out to be some kind of overkill, jump the gun, aggressive weirdo. But rather, keep in mind that that's what happens.

Either you're going to break up and not go out again or you're going to get married. Thanks for joining us today for Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Dean and Sarah is our guest and our featured resource is his book, Pure, Why the Bible's Plan for Sexuality Isn't Outdated, Irrelevant or Oppressive.

Find out more at moodybooks.org. Dave, we've been talking about purity and of course, that's in the title of your book. In what ways is purity different in marriage than in singleness? In what ways are in what ways is it the same? Well, I think we first need to understand that it's the same.

That's the first step. Again, in that I'm a married man, been married for 18 years and the only person by the scriptures and not God's design and for God's glory and for my good that God has permitted me and his design to be intimate with physically is my wife. And if I was a single person right now, the same would be true.

It would be the person I'm married to. And if I wasn't married, that would mean that I abstain from sexual relationships with anyone. So as a married man, I am not permitted by God's design and God's word to go outside of my marriage for physical intimacy.

That's the place God has ordained and designed for it. So I think a lot of times, one thing the True Love Waits Movement did was it almost made marriage the finish line, where you stay pure and then get married. It's like, well, I think we also need to make sure we talk about the finish line. It is not getting married. The finish line is till death do you part, right?

Like your last breath. That's the finish line on this earth. So I think we need to make sure that we're mindful of that because I want to see marriages that not just start well and start romantic and fun and all the, you know, the utopia of feelings, but that actually sustain and not just get to a finish line, but get there in a joyful manner. And that's going to take us really just celebrating God's design and believing in it and believing that really is what's best for us because it's what brings him the most glory.

And I think when you look at those who make that covenant with the person they marry in the presence of God and witnesses and live that out, I mean, it's the greatest possible life. You know, again, everything God says is for our good. I want to talk a bit before we have to close here on the whole issue of pornography. You know, it used to be very much taboo.

You didn't hear about this. Now it's just a norm in the culture. How did we get to where we are so that pornography is so pervasive in our culture? Yeah, I think some of it is part of that sort of loner mentality we have today, a lot of isolation, but also a lot of access. The amount of access we have to these things is really kind of scary. And so I think it's one click away. It used to be a whole process where you had to have an older brother who had a magazine or your friend's house where your dad had a secret stash he didn't know you knew about, or you had to go to the gas station and ask for a magazine.

Now you just pick up your phone. And even the best filters. Our kids are more technologically savvy than we are.

So they can even get around those kind of things. I think it's just so prevalent. And I think it was kind of a don't ask, don't tell kind of approach. But now I think I'm encouraged by the amount of time I see Christians talking about it now, where it really has become a conversation that's happening more and more because I've seen it wreck marriages. I've seen it wreck people's future relationships that they can't ever be, they're never attracted to their wife because the wife can't in their eyes, I'm trying to be appropriate here, but live up to the fake image on the screen, all those types of things. So it really is doing a lot of damage and in a real life sort of way and not a fake image.

Some of the people who are involved in making the movies and the videos are, they're real, maybe they're trafficked, they're being abused. I mean, we're even aiding that going forward when we engage in such matters. So it's so much bigger than even our own personal relationships.

It's about the entire image bearers of God who are out there and what this industry is doing to people. It's truly tragic. One of the saddest things I encounter in my office is a wife who has discovered that her husband's on porn. It is like a knife in the heart.

Why does he have to turn to an unreal world when I love him? I don't think we sometimes as men realize the deep pain that this causes to wives. What do you say to parents who are struggling with how do they protect their children from this, the whole pornographic world? Yeah, well, we can't fully do it.

However, that doesn't mean we don't make every effort possible. So I almost feel like a realm of negligent parenting today is to ignore your kids' screens and their phones, to let them have that as their own kind of private world. It's like, actually, no, it's your phone. You're the one paying for it.

It's your screen. So we can't be afraid. I think a lot of times it's a temptation today to want to kind of be your kids' buddies and to want to be seen kind of as a friend or the cool mom, the cool dad, the nice mom, the nice dad, to where you don't want to interfere in certain things. But you need to see, and I need to see when it comes to kids and grandkids, whatever it might be, that we're protecting their very lives when it comes to us monitoring their screen time and their engagement. So I would say just remove any stigma that you're the bad guy in doing this. Actually, you're being a very responsible, engaged parent by making sure you're well aware of what's taking place on your kids' phones.

Children and teenagers desperately need guidance in this area. Well, as we come to the end of our program today, Dean, share with our listeners what you hope this book will do for them and how you hope it will be used. I did not write it from an academic perspective. I call it Sexual Ethics for Normal People.

I'm just a regular everyday guy that talks in regular language. And I just wanted to take these things that I've seen in our culture and actually address them from what I believe is a biblical Christian perspective. So it's not just a book about just, hey, let's not have sex before we're married. It's looking at every realm of this. I'm talking about hookup culture, adultery, pornography, homosexuality.

I have a chapter on that, on cohabitation, on marriage, all these things. I just really want to see Christians and churches have these conversations and be able to speak the truth into a world that's been setting the agenda for far too long. God's the one who designed this.

We're the keepers of the keys here. We should not be letting the world define for us when God is the one who has made this for us. So I hope I can just help people engage in regular conversation with each other and also have a clear understanding of what God has said concerning this in his word. Dean, before we go, I want you to talk specifically to the single person who's listening right now who may have interpreted from something that you've said here that I'm a second class citizen if I'm not married. You know, if I'm supposed to get married when I'm younger and I didn't do that and I'm in my thirties or forties, I'm second class. I know you don't feel that way, but talk to that person.

What about them? Yeah, if singleness is second class, then we have a really strange religion called Christianity after Jesus Christ, who himself was single, right? So I would say that God, I want to be really clear with it. I think too oftentimes churches like that, they're kind of tiptoe around non-married people. And I don't want to do that. I want to first say that God's design is what we said it was, you know, it's clear on his design that sex is not for ready people or mature people or experienced people or in love people. It's for married people and that God has made marriage between a man and a woman. So I would say as a single person, first believe that and embrace that and celebrate that. And in the meantime, don't feel bad about wanting to be married. Not every single person wants to be married.

And that's fine too. But just know that this is what God has ordained as the means by which his plan would be worked out concerning sexuality and relationships. But if you want to get married, don't be ashamed that it's okay to pursue marriage.

It's okay to try to meet someone. It's okay to be maybe to have that burden that you're not married and you want to be. But in the meantime, I hope your church does not see you as second class or a JV kind of person, that you flourish in your singleness through relationships, through your church, through serving, through all the things that you can do, or even singleness is not even part of your identity. It's not your identity. It's your status. It's your marriage status. You're single.

You fill out single on a form. That's not who you are. And the same way a husband is not ultimately who I am. I'm a child of God. I'm a church member. And let those things be what drives you. But I really, oftentimes, when the conversation with single people happens, it's always about like, oh, it's okay.

You're not second class. And it's like, yes, amen to all those things. But I also want to communicate to you, it's okay to desire to be married, and to not be ashamed of that and not be ashamed to pursue that. Well, Dean, I want to thank you for being with us today. And thank you for writing this book. I really believe that what you're trying to do, and in fact will happen, is that people read this and reflect upon the biblical perspective and seek to follow that. It will make a difference in their lives. So thanks for being with us today. Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me.

It was a privilege. If you'd like more information about Dean and Sarah's book, go to moodybooks.org. The title is Pure, Why the Bible's Plan for Sexuality Isn't Outdated, Irrelevant, or Oppressive. Again, go to moodybooks.org. And next week, we open the phone lines and take your questions and comments. Don't miss our October Dear Gary in One Week. Our thanks to our production team, Steve Wick and Janice Backing. Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-14 01:53:02 / 2022-11-14 02:15:21 / 22

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