A 16-year-old newspaper reader wrote Billy Graham a letter, asking him why he shouldn’t follow his friends who are sexually active and having a good time. “You’ll probably tell me that God wants me to say no, but doesn’t he want us to enjoy life?” the young man asked.

The world-renowned evangelist replied, saying that God truly wants His children to enjoy life, and this is precisely why He placed “fences” or boundaries around their sexuality.

“He knows that without them, we’ll end up harming not only ourselves but also those around us, sometimes in very serious ways. The Bible says, ‘Flee from sexual immorality. Honour God with your bodies’ (1 Corinthians 6:18, 20),” Graham wrote for The Kansas City Star.

One important reason why God commands Christians to avoid sexual impurity is because He knows the dangers people face when they fall into immorality. Some of these dangers are physical, such as unexpected pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases. But other dangers are of the emotional and spiritual kind — people might face guilt, conflict, and even depression.

“Never forget: God gave us the gift of our sexuality, and He meant for it to be a joyous expression of love between a husband and wife,” he said. “When practiced outside of marriage, however, sex becomes selfish and even manipulative — the opposite of true, self-giving love.”

Graham understands that the pressures people face in today’s society are great. Temptation is lurking at every corner, and Christians are jeered at every time they choose to uphold their values. However, he reminded Christians that God has something far greater in store for their lives if they follow His will.

For those who have committed to abstain from sex before marriage, Graham has an encouraging advice for them: “You are facing one of the most important decisions you will ever make, and I pray you won’t choose the wrong path.

But you’re facing an even greater decision, and that is who will be the Lord of your life. By a simple prayer of faith commit your life to Jesus Christ, and make it your goal to follow Him. He loves you, and His way is always best.”

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