Article
Men can say “No”

(As much as this article applies to men, it also does to women.)

More than ever before, society is in desperate need for men to live pure and holy lives. Unfortunately, many Christian men are living impure lives. The appeal to people to live pure and holy lives is often quickly brushed aside, accompanied by reproaches such as ‘you are quick to judge’, or ‘you are hypocritical’, ‘are you better than others’ and also, ‘who are you to judge’?

Scripture, however, is clear that we should be holy because God is holy – that is His standard. This should also be reflected in marriages and in families. Such lifestyles will impact what is done in and through the church, the workplace and ultimately, society.

 

 The Scriptures make it clear that we must live pure and holy lives.

 

In 1 Thessalonians 4:7 we read: For God did not call us to be impure but to live a holy life. Holiness destroys every form of immorality and impurity. The opposite is also true. Jesus explains in Mark 7:21-22 what make us impure: evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.

Living a pure life helps in the restoration and preservation of marriages. It will prevent divorce and also drastically reduce the violent influence of divorce on families, and especially children (Malachi 2:16). A pure life sets a spiritual standard in the community. Living a holy life dedicated to God settles hearts, homes, workplaces and the country in peace. This becomes absolutely possible, especially when men choose to live pure lives.

Men can say ‘no’ to impure relationships. Men are not ‘victims’ of their urges and sexual temptations coming their way and that want to draw them into impure relationships. This only happens when men choose and become involved in extramarital and sexually impure relationships, watching pornography, visiting pornographic web pages, or watching films showing nudity and sexually provocative scenes. Men can choose not to do impure things like the ones Jesus mentions in Mark 7:22.

In society today, more and more households are devastated by divorce. Malachi 2:16 says that God hates divorce and that it is nothing but violence. Men who feel strongly about God’s Word and want to put an end to divorce that destroys children’s lives, will have to start by obeying God’s command to live holy lives.

Choose a lifestyle that keeps you from temptation and sin.

 

How can a man achieve a holy life?

The following are a few guidelines and thoughts to consider:

1. Confess your sins. Read Mark 7:22, Galatians 5:19-21 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Write down your life’s timeline and divide it into sections: preschool, primary school, high school, after school, university, married life, etc. Ask the Holy Spirit to point out specific sins and write them down. When you have confessed these sins and have put them into writing, destroy the page(s). Plan to spend time to stand before the Lord daily and ask Him to show you the things that have to be confessed. Don’t go digging for sins – just allow the Holy Spirit to show you. Carry on with this until there is nothing more to confess. Afterwards, before you go to bed in the evening, you can ask the Lord to point out situations where you behaved in an impure way during the day.

2. Choose a lifestyle that keeps you from temptation and sin. Find one or two accountability partners. Individuals who are mature with whom you can share things about your life, whose help you can ask and who can correct and guide you according to the will of God. Invite at least one person you can trust, to regularly check in on you to ensure you are still living a pure life in your contact with women (this includes your conversations with women and your thoughts about them).

3. Be wise. Don’t travel by car alone with a female colleague or another woman (and if it can’t be helped, find someone else to come along.) Don’t counsel or help women alone and behind closed doors. Try to put a glass panel in the door of your office so that anyone can at any time see what is happening in the room. Try, as far as possible, to maintain an open-door policy.

When the ‘guys’ start telling dirty jokes that belittle women, leave or make it clear that it is not acceptable to you (normally it then stops immediately). Don’t make remarks to women that can be misunderstood and/or discuss your personal and emotional problems with a woman other than your wife.

Some of the things mentioned here may seem impractical to you, unheard of and even ridiculous or absurd, and yet they will protect you against a myriad of temptations. It is precisely in these situations that many men have been tempted and have sinned (Ephesians 5:15). Our lives should be examples to those watching us (children and non-Christians) and be of good reputation to the Christian faith.

4. Be pure in how you handle money. Reflect before the Lord on your attitude towards money, things in your business that are not 100% in line with the laws of your country or that God could see as fraud or theft, and any slander or pride in your heart. Ask the Lord to help you make practical arrangements that will help you avoid every one of these snares.

5. Choose to follow God radically. Take your Bible and start underlining all the commands God gives us and make sure your life is in line with these instructions or commands. Start with the New Testament – it will give you a good foundation.

6. Live from a spiritual position of who you are in Christ. Don’t compare yourself to others and reason that someone else does or does not do a specific thing. The Word alone must be your standard.

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