The Bible gives us many life lessons, including how to handle some uncomfortable discussions regarding sexual integrity. Below are some examples from the Bible with lessons for today.
Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife (Genesis 39)
The Story: In this story, a young Joseph has been sold into slavery and works in Potiphar’s house. Potiphar’s wife tries to get Joseph to come to bed with her multiple times, but Joseph denies her. But he said no.
“My master has put me in charge,” he told her. “Now he doesn’t have to worry about anything in the house. He trusts me to take care of everything he owns. No one in this house is in a higher position than I am. My master hasn’t held anything back from me, except you. You are his wife. So how could I do an evil thing like that? How could I sin against God?”
The wife refused to give up, and one day she manages to grab his coat but Joseph escapes. She then makes up a story to tell the others and convinces them that Joseph came onto her and gets Joseph thrown into jail.
The Lesson: Joseph knew that to lie with another man’s wife was a sin against God. God’s grace gives you power when Satan tries to tempt you. Hebrews 4:16 says, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” When you are faced with a temptation that would compromise your sexual integrity, ask God for the grace to say no to the situation.
David and Bathsheba
The Story: We begin with David being where he isn’t supposed to be.
Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. (2 Samuel: 11)
From here, David wakes up in the late afternoon and watches a very beautiful woman (Bathsheba) bathing. David then takes her to his bed and lies with her. Once they are done, Bathsheba leaves. She later comes back to David with the news that she is pregnant. Immediately David tries to cover up his sin and shift the responsibility back to Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband by asking him to return to his own house immediately after battle. David hopes they will have sex and they can pass the baby off as Uriah’s. However, David doesn’t account for Uriah’s loyalty, as he refuses to experience the comforts of home when his fellow soldiers don’t have that luxury. David orders the commander of the army to put Uriah in a place where he would be killed. David’s plan is successful and Bathsheba mourns for her husband. Then, as a gesture of “nobility”, David takes Uriah’s widow in as one of his wives.
David thinks his mistake is completely covered, but he overlooked one small detail: you can’t hide your heart from God. The Lord sent Nathan to David, who tells him a parable that was a close parallel to what he had done and covered up. This convinces David to admit how he had sinned against God, and Nathan reminds David of the power of God’s forgiveness.
The Lesson: Men have weaknesses, even those after God’s heart as David was. God is not ashamed to share the stories of his followers who have faltered. From this story we can learn many things including the consequences of sin and the power of God’s forgiveness. Psalm 51 is David’s plea of forgiveness. In it, he displays a genuine deep, heartfelt plea of forgiveness rather than just saying “I’ll try to do better next time.”
All of these stories teach us important things about sexual integrity. Joseph reminds us to ask for God’s grace in a difficult situation. David reminds us that all men, even those after God’s own heart, can sin against him. The story of the concubine gives us a path to discuss the impact of rape, and reminds us to advocate for the weak. At Proven Men, we want to help those who are experiencing trials. If you are currently struggling with a pornography or sex addiction and would like help, or you would like to help others who are struggling, we can help you on that walk with our encouragement email series.