Friday, January 1, 2010

Consequences of a moral fall … for teens by Dr. David Holt & Lisa Grant

Recently I (David) put Randy Alcorn’s article from an old Leadership magazine titled “Consequences of a Moral Fall” on my blog. In this article, Alcorn gives a long list of possible consequences if he were to have an affair. He said he found it helpful to review this list any time he felt particularly vulnerable or tempted to sin.

After reading my blog, Lisa Grant (who has her own blog for parents of teens) asked if I knew of such a list for teens who struggle with sexual temptation. I told her I did not, but we should come up with one together. Thus, this blog that Lisa and I are writing together.


Every day, teens must manage the transition from childhood impulsivity to adult self-control. Raging hormones and societal or peer pressure only add fuel to the fire in the area of sexual temptation.

When I (Lisa) counsel young Christian women, I advise them to develop a list of standards before they begin dating. This might include situations to avoid, how far they will go, and how they plan to keep themselves accountable. The list below would be additionally helpful to carry on a date, serving as reminders of the potential fallout of giving in to temptation.

If I have premarital sex or go too far with someone, here are some possible consequences of that act:

1. Possible pregnancy and all the responsibilities that come with having a child, as well as possibly affecting my future education and career.
2. Experiencing a guilty conscience.
3. Weight of responsibility for causing another to sin.
4. Having a difficult time erasing the sin from my memory. God forgives and forgets my sin, but I will never forget.
5. Developing a “soul tie” (an unhealthy emotional and spiritual attachment) with the person I am intimate with. It’s like giving away a piece of my heart, and I will never get it back.
6. The danger of giving myself to someone who has not made a life-long commitment to me.
7. Probably needing to tell my future spouse at the time of engagement and the embarrassment that comes from this.
8. The possibility of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease, which, if not cured, could be passed on to anyone else I have relations with, including my future spouse. Remember, when I have sex with someone, it is as if I am having sex with everyone they have had sex with.
9. The loss of a special wedding night.
10. Once married, the regret that I was with someone other than my spouse.
11. The poor example and possible cause of hindrance to all my friends who learn about this. There may even be a loss of friendships.
12. Causing disappointment and shame to my parents, as well as loss of trust.
13. Damaging my credibility with younger siblings or others who look up to me.
14. Loss of dignity and regard for self.
15. Most importantly, it will hinder my relationship with God – as all sin does.

Let us be very clear - if you have already fallen into sexual sin, there is forgiveness and healing available through the blood of Jesus Christ. He, and He alone, can cleanse at the deepest level. “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive our sin and to cleanse of all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “He who conceals his sin shall not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes it shall find mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

There will still be consequences for your sin, but your relationship with God can be fully restored, and you can be given a fresh start. Often, it is additionally helpful to share your struggle with a trusted friend who can help you through the healing process. “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16).

Finally, as you seek to move beyond your sin, remember that you cannot do it in your own power. You need to be filled with the Holy Spirit each and every day if you want to live in obedience to God and resist the many temptations that will come your way.

May God bless you as you remain in the one true love, the love of Jesus Christ.