Why and How

We’ve discussed the “why” of moral purity.  Now we need to discuss the “how.”  How is it that we can do what we know we should?

Paul called believers in Ephesus to live lives of moral purity (Ephesians 5:3-14), but it wasn’t any easier for them than it is for us.  Ephesus contained the massive temple of Diana, one of the seven wonders in the ancient world.  The temple contained hundreds of so-called “sacred” prostitutes.  Immorality was sanctioned and encouraged by the religious underpinnings of Ephesus.

How do you live moral lives in an environment such as that?  How can we live moral lives in our own culture?

Put these four practices into your life and culture:

First, replace the impure with the pure.  Instead of thinking of what you must not do, focus on what you want to do.  Paul said it this way:  “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things (Philippians 4: 8).   Paul knew that you become what you think about.  Substitute the holy for the sordid.  Think of the things of God and you will be less inclined to think of the things of the world.

Second, set appropriate boundaries.  If you plan ahead, you can head off a lot of temptation.  Put safeguards in place to overcome impure and immoral thoughts and opportunities.  I would suggest two vital decisions concerning overcoming immorality. 

  • Watch what you view, read, or hear.  Determine ahead of time that you will not place any impure thought in your mind.  Your mind is a fertile field for either purity or impurity.  It all depends on what you place within it.
  • Place a “force field” between yourself and any person other than your spouse.  Unfaithfulness needs a catalyst.  Don’t allow the catalyst to create a problem for you. 

Third, speak often and glowingly about your spouse.  Such speech is the anti-unfaithfulness.  Your speech will demonstrate what you feel about your spouse, and it will remind you why you chose your spouse in the first place.

Fourth, ask God.  Begin your day with God.  Ask Him to help you through the day.  Ask Him for His protection and guidance.  He gives His wisdom and guidance generously.

2 Comments


  1. Patrick Brown
    Jun 13, 2011

    Dr. Bailey,

    Well put! This blog is a excellent idea. I will be checking it on a regular basis.


    • Waylon
      Jun 13, 2011

      Thanks, I hope that it will be helpful to you and to others. Please share it with others as you have opportunity. Let me know if there are issues that you would like for me to write about.

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. — 1 John 4:16 (NIV)