The Sixth Commandment is “You shall not commit adultery.” And as anyone familiar with the Bible realizes, this injunction certainly includes marital infidelity, but it also encompasses all sexual immorality. The gift of sex is designed by God to be enjoyed by a man and a woman in an exclusive and lifelong bond of marriage. By this gift new life is conceived in the womb, and the man and woman are joined as “one flesh”.
Luther states the meaning of this commandment, “We are to fear and love God so that in matters of sex our words and conduct are pure and honorable, and husband and wife love and respect each other.”
It goes without saying that this commandment has fallen upon hard times in the post 60’s “sexual revolution” in Western culture. It isn’t just that the commandment is often broken. That has been the case throughout history. But it is the fact that the commandment has been either dismissed altogether, or it has been radically redefined. It no long serves as a cultural standard.
So again, my interest in this series is in learning what God’s will is for our lives. And from the Sixth Commandment we learn that it is God’s will that we live chaste lives. Like other bodily appetites, and perhaps stronger than most, the sexual desire in fallen humanity can be voracious, inordinate, and indiscriminate. Contrary to hip psychology, restraint does not result in repressive behavior. It instead results in a healthier lifestyle.
At the same time, chastity is coupled with God’s desire that we honor marriage and the family. In Hebrews chapter 13 we read, “Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”
It is God’s will for us in marriage to be good husbands and wives. We are to be faithful, loving, serving, deferential, obedient, and merciful. And if single, we are to honor other marriages, and if not gifted with celibacy, patiently practice chastity while pursuing the possibility of marriage.
Since You Asked…
What is the purpose and meaning of our Votive Prayer Candles?
To “light a candle for someone” means that you will say a prayer for them. The candle symbolizes your prayers. When we light a candle it is a sign of attentiveness and that we are being purposeful in offering intercessory prayer. It is an important act in which we are involved! To be in prayer is to be spiritually awake and vigilant. And as the candle continues to burn it symbolizes our ongoing prayers. It is a sign to others that prayers are being offered. In such an atmosphere, indeed the darkness gives way to light.