Strategies For Sexual Purity

Strategies For Sexual Purity

I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?
–Job 31:1

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:18, “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.” How do we flee sexual immorality? Let me give you two strategies for sexual purity.

One, control your looking. Job 31:1 says, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?” You have to make an agreement with your eyes that if you see somebody attractive, you may not be able to prevent looking that first time, but you do not have to look back again–and you certainly do not have to gaze. Martin Luther once wrote about a young man who had a hard time with lustful thoughts, so he asked a hermit for advice. The older man said, “You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but only let them fly. Don’t let them nest in your hair.” Control your looking.

Two, transform your thinking. Paul said in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” It is not enough to say, “Just do not think about lustful things.” You have to replace wrong thoughts with right thoughts, and there are no thoughts more right than those found in the Bible. Let me give you a few verses to memorize:

  • “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. . . . Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You” (Psalm 119:9, 11).
  • “The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; he who would destroy himself does it” (Proverbs 6:32).
  • “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7).
    Do not linger in your looking, and do not conform but transform your thinking.

We have all had thoughts we should not have, but the good news is this: no matter how often or how far we have fallen, God’s grace is sufficient to cover. As 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Christ offers forgiveness to everyone who asks, but He adds a command, just as He told a woman caught in adultery in John 8: “From now on sin no more” (v. 11).


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Straight Talk About Your Sex Life” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2022.

Martin Luther, “Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional,” ed. James C. Galvin (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), March 8.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.