When I was a kid, maybe 8 or 9 years old, one of my favorite games was kickball. And you may not believe me, but I was good, I mean really good. That’s probably one of the reasons I loved playing kickball so much, because I knew that I was good. How did I get so good you ask? Well, my dad would always roll me the kickball and just let me kick it away to my heart’s content. If I missed the ball he was quick to say, “No big deal! Just try again – you can have a “redo!” That was the beauty of kickball – there were plenty of chances to make up for the times when I missed. If I made a mistake I could always take another shot at it and get a better result. Ahhh… those were the days.

You know what though, when it comes sex, the rules are a little bit different. God has provided for the times when we miss and make mistakes by atoning for our sins on the Cross. We can rest assured that our mistakes, when covered with Christ’s blood, do not follow us to the grave. But, I’m sad to say, we still have to face certain consequences for our mistakes. Yes, sin that is forgiven still has a way of haunting us. And sexual sin is perhaps the worst. I speak from first-hand experience because I made horrible, wretched decisions when I was a teenager. I did not fight against the pressure to have sex and I decided to cave in rather than stick to God’s plan. Am I forgiven? Yes. Do I have regrets? You better believe it. I sometimes wish life could be a little more like kickball, I sometimes wish I could have a true “redo.”

No doubt there is an immense pressure to go all the way, especially during Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air and everyone is feeling so romantic! You have friends in your classes or on your teams that have been having sex for a while now and they talk about it all the time. Also you may have extra pressure from your boyfriend or girlfriend. Perhaps you’ve been dating for a little while and they have been really wanting to take the relationship “to the next level.” You have conflicting feelings too, which complicates matters even more. You’re having sexual urges and sometimes you think you’d really love to act on those urges. Yeah, the pressure is mounting to say the least! So that begs the question… what are you going to do? Are you thinking that you might just go ahead and “go all the way” this Valentine’s Day? Don’t.

Do you remember a teenager in the Bible named Joseph? He was an attractive guy with a great head on his shoulders and people took notice of him. Joseph experienced the same kind of sexual pressure that we often feel in our lives (Genesis 39:6-12). He had a woman literally beg him daily for secret sex! For many, they would have caved in after the first request, but not Joseph. He was wise and self-controlled. He knew that the stakes were high and there was no turning back. So he did everything in his power to avoid the woman at all cost. Then things got really amped up. Joseph was cornered by this sex-crazed woman and she ripped off his clothes demanding that he lie with her in bed! Talk about pressure! How did Joseph react?! He ran as far and as fast as he could! The woman was left standing with his clothes in her hands, but Joseph made a dash for it and escaped!

Joseph realized that in life, especially when it comes to sex, you don’t get a redo. Once you cross the line and go all the way you can never go back. So if you’re wrestling with whether or not you should give in to the pressure and just have sex, remember the example of Joseph. He has shown that even when the pressure seems too high to overcome there is always a way of escape. Go ahead now and resolve in your heart to avoid sex, even if you have to run away from the situation entirely! It may be a difficult conversation, but you would be wise to discuss your desire for purity with the person you’re dating. That way there’s no mystery as to where you truly stand on the issue. You may even ask for your Valentine’s present to be a night of fun where they promise to not pressure you for sexual activity. Having sex may seem like the right thing to do in the heat of the moment, but that’s not the best plan, it’s not God’s plan. God has made you to have sex with your spouse and no other. Honor God and yourself by making a commitment to purity – both of you are worth it.