As a mental health crisis sweeps across America, people are looking for answers to issues such as depression, loneliness and hopelessness.
These issues affect everyone, and single, never-before-married Christians are bending to the seduction of the world in the misguided hope that they find relief outside of biblical doctrine.
According to a new report by Communio titled "Nationwide Study on Faith & Relationships," Christian singles are struggling to find suitable marriage partners and are turning away from biblical views on sexuality.
The Bible is clear in its teachings on sexual immorality and the importance of abstaining from it. Despite the clarity of these teachings, many Christians still struggle with living a sexually chaste life.
As reported by the Christian Post, "Author JP DeGance, the founder and president of Communio, said this secular attitude among single Christians toward sex and sexuality is likely among the drivers causing single Christians to delay or decline getting married today.
"Despite scriptural teaching to the contrary, research has shown that most never-married Christian men and women are not living lives of sexual chastity. This engagement in sexual relationships outside of marriage coincides with and likely fuels delays and declines in marriage," De Gance says.
"The delay in marriage represents what some scholars have called the shift from a cornerstone view of marriage to the view of marriage as a capstone institution," he adds.
One of the biggest reasons why Christians may struggle with living a chaste life is the culture we live in. Secular values often promote casual sex and sexual exploration, which can lead to confusion about what is right and wrong. In addition to these snares, modern media often portray sex as something that is expected and celebrated outside of marriage.
All of these factors can make chastity difficult for Christians who want to live according to their faith.
Another reason Christians may struggle with sexual chastity is the lack of accountability within the community. Many churches do not address the topic of sex and relationships enough within their sermons and teachings. This leaves their members with little guidance on how to navigate these issues in a healthy and God-honoring way.
Additionally, Christian singles who may feel the pressure to engage in sexual activity may not have any support or accountability from their peers and spiritual leaders to help them remain pure. Despite these challenges, it is important for Christians to remember the value of sexual purity.
In Hebrews 13:4. the Bible says, " Marriage is to be honored among everyone, and the bed undefiled. But God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers." Sexual purity is not just a suggestion, but rather a commandment from God. It reflects the love, commitment and trust that is supposed to be present within the covenant of marriage.
De Gance believes that church leadership needs to stand in the gap for these single Christians who are still maturing in their relationship with God as they weather the cultural storm of sexual promiscuity in life.
"Beyond the moral and biblical imperatives, church leaders must not reinforce the current zeitgeist. Instead, they must find ways to push back against the cultural narrative around sex and reestablish a cornerstone model, because, in part, it leads to less loneliness, more relationship satisfaction and greater happiness," De Gance says.
In a letter to the Christian Post, De Gance details a plan of action to address the loneliness epidemic affecting Christians of all backgrounds.
"To effectively evangelize today, we must address the declining number of marriages, poor marital health and improve the effectiveness of fathers in those marriages. By addressing these three issues, we can end the loneliness epidemic as well as spark a sustained revival in Christian faith and active church attendance. The link between marriage and faith is clear, yet 85% of all churches in the United States report spending zero dollars annually on marriage and relationship ministry," De Gance explains.
"These survey results show that the alternative (capstone approach to relationships) leads to epidemic levels of loneliness and suffering among their congregants. Going beyond preaching, churches must also embrace ministry approaches that both champion and give agency to healthy relationships from youth, young adulthood and deep into the married life. Christian parents and churches must take a more effective approach on marriage alternatives such as cohabitation, and sexual choices including premarital sex and pornography," wrote De Gance.
"Church leaders must also find ways to balance the gender gap within the pews. Among the never married, there are 42% more women than men in churches. While many women may prefer Christian marriage to the available counterfeits, a lack of marriageable men, faithful to the gospel's view of sex inside of marriage, remains a real and substantive obstacle to the cornerstone model of marriage," he adds.
If not, the data shows that biblical principles will continue to erode from both society and the church.
Christians must take a stand and preach the unedited, unadulterated, Word of God and allow the Holy Spirit to take control and move within their lives as they struggle against the systems of the world.
James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.
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