Maintaining sexual purity before and during marriage is attainable, but commitment is a necessary ingredient, Pastor Rick Warren said in his “Daily Hope” blog post earlier last month.
Warren, who heads Saddleback Church in Orange County, California, suggests that Christians must accept that God knows more about sex than they do, and therefore it is important to trust God more than popular culture and peer pressure when choosing a sexual lifestyle for oneself.
The megachurch pastor writes that Christians must establish their sexual standard before they encounter temptation, so they will have a strong foundation to refuse such temptation and stay the course of purity. “You’ll need a standard to live by. You can either build your standard by yourself or choose God’s standard. You must decide whether God knows more about your life than you do,” Warren advised.
“You can only be pure by following God’s standard. God’s standards are in your best interest. If you want to live by them and avoid all the negative consequences that come from living outside of them—it starts with a commitment.” Warren has consistently taught the importance of understanding sex as more than a physical pleasure, saying in previous sermons that sex entails emotional and spiritual components that are equally if not more important than the physical act.
While attending a conference on sexual relationships at the Vatican in November 2014, Warren told EWTN during an interview that both marriage and sex are “God’s ideas,” and humans need to respect that God made both of these entities with a plan in mind.
“Sex is the fullest expression of who we are as a man or a woman. It’s not simply a physical act,” Warren said in the interview. The pastor added that Christians must build a foundation for their sexual values that rely on God’s teaching, rather than pop culture.
“We have to realize that truth is always true and we build our lives on this foundation. If you build your lives on what’s in style, here’s the problem: everything that’s in style goes out of style. […] The only way to be relevant is to be eternal,” Warren added.