In a very candid interview for Vogue, Justin Bieber explained that he abstained from sex for one year, wanting to get closer to God. He also said that he and his new wife Hailey Baldwin saved sex for marriage, which is one reason they got married so quickly.
Not surprisingly, his interview has generated a torrent of comments, both positive and negative, including an article critical of Bieber’s call to abstinence.
But why get mad at him for encouraging self-control? Why criticize a positive example? Or is his example really positive?
On the conservative Christian side, it’s easy to throw stones. “Justin and Hailey are hardly models of Christian purity! And were they so lacking in self-control that they rushed into marriage?”
I totally understand those concerns and I don’t dispute them. But rather than condemn, how about we encourage?
First, let’s put things in context. A young pop icon like Justin Bieber has more beautiful women throwing themselves at him every day than most of us males will meet in a lifetime (or 100 lifetimes), let alone have these women offer themselves to us.
For him to stop sleeping around is a lot bigger deal than it may seem.
Second, let’s not underestimate the amount of influence he has.
Kids emulate his every move. What he does is cool. Maybe they’ll copy him here too? Even if some young people say to themselves, “If he can do it, I can do it,” that’s positive.
Third, he realized that if he wanted to get serious with God, he could not engage in sexual immorality. (Again, I’m not suggesting we parade him as the ideal model. I’m simply saying we encourage what is positive.)
For many today, “God” can be added to virtually any endeavor, be it gambling or prostitution or fornication or adultery.
Just add “God” in, and He’ll make everything better.
Except He won’t.
He doesn’t mix well with sin, and He certainly doesn’t bless sin.
He does, of course, save from sin, but that’s the whole point. To be saved from sin is to leave it behind. To put it in the rearview mirror without looking back. To be saved is to be changed, even if not perfectly.
Fourth, Paul himself taught it was better to marry than to burn (meaning, with lust; see 1 Corinthians 7:9). So, if this young couple felt they could not control themselves but they did want to spend the rest of their lives together, then marriage was better than fornication.
Would it better to have more self-control and not rush into marriage? Would it better to take more time with godly counselors and work out lots of issues before tying the knot? Sure, that would be the best.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Brown