Cleaning Up the Debris…

Week 4, “Tearing Down Lies”

Second of 2 Parts dealing with STD’s and Pornography

When Gary and I were dating, our choice to live apart and abstain from sex until after marriage garnered questions from more than one stranger. Often the conversation would begin with an innocent question such as, “What will you be doing this weekend?”

During that time I loved the challenge this question brought to the table! My eyes would twinkle as I’d respond, “My fiance is driving up for the day, and we are….(fill in the blank with “going to the beach”, “going to the park”, or whatever we were planning).”

Their startled reaction invariably went something like this: “You mean you don’t live together? But you do sleep together, don’t you?” (Yes, total strangers would ask such questions!)

Since my response was, “No, we believe in waiting until after marriage for that.”  The final question would be, “Well, then how will you know…uh…if…uh…things…you know…will work fine between you?”

It brought me pleasure to state truthfully I wasn’t worried, because we serve a big God. Since he brought us together, he would take care of that as well.

On one occasion, as a young man from the car rental agency ferried me from the rental place to my vehicle, we had the above conversation.  But because of time, I was able to also share the beauty of knowing my fiance waited for me, even after having been sexually active 25 years in his prior marriage.  Adding, I was so important he’d willingly forgo his own pleasure to wait until we’d fully committed ourselves before God and friends in marriage made me feel very special.  I shared how that willingness gave me a sense of security, knowing if he’d go that far, he’d also be less likely to cheat on me later if/when things got hard.  That young man having never thought of such things, said he found it important enough he needed to take time to contemplate my ideas further.

What Does the Bible Say?

19 Now, the effects of the corrupt nature are obvious: illicit sex, perversion, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, drug use, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, conflict, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild partying, and similar things. I’ve told you in the past and I’m telling you again that people who do these kinds of things will not inherit God’s kingdom. Galatians 5:19-21 (GW)

18 Stay away from sexual sins. Other sins that people commit don’t affect their bodies the same way sexual sins do. People who sin sexually sin against their own bodies.

1 Corinthians 6:18 (GW)

21 I’m afraid that when I come to you again, my God may humble me. I may have to grieve over many who formerly led sinful lives and have not changed the way they think and act about the perversion, sexual sins, and promiscuity in which they have been involved. 2 Corinthians 12:21 (GW)

But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28 (NLT)

What Should Be Our Response?

As the body of Christ, we have an awesome gift to offer the world.  Today’s culture has no idea they can wait, and that waiting can make for more healthy marriages later on. They’ve never heard that God’s laws regarding sex and marriage are for their own benefit, and that in abiding by them, they will less likely face STD’s, the issues of pornographic addiction, and the heartbreak stemming from repeatedly giving yourself away intimately to those willing to take but never commit.

Rather than blush, thinking of abstinence as “archaic”, we can confidently share the beauty of waiting.  We can  live out the reality of marriage representing Christ and his church. Christ’s grand sacrificial love providing a home,  name,  and heritage to a bride so below him,  and a bride so in love she willingly saves herself for his return and their union. We can also share that within even this perfect union there are at times great struggles and conflicts as we grow in coming to know him more intimately, and as we wait for the full benefits of our relationship.  (Ephesians 5)

Will this still all the waves pounding at our culture? No,  but it will help strengthen two of its greatest foundations – marriage and family. It will also rescue some from being swept away by the pounding lies of our culture.

We as the hands and feet of Jesus have a responsibility to tell the truth, because the truth is what sets men free.

With love and prayers,

Robin <3

Advertisements

Worth the Wait

Gary and I will be married 5 years this Fall.  We’d both been married before – successful, long-lived marriages of over 25 years each.  We’d both learned a thing or two about marriage before we wed.

But like all couples, we’ve had our rough moments since the wedding day.

We are a cross-cultural marriage, Gary having lived in the mountain regions of Kentucky and West Virginia much of his first marriage, where he and his first wife spent their lives together in ministry. I grew up in the Midwestern suburbs, and spent several years of my first marriage traveling the world with my first husband’s job.

Gary a country boy at heart, and I a city girl by experience.

He loves to dress up jeans and a t-shirt with his favorite baseball cap; and I love to wear jeans with a nice blouse, jewelry and sometimes a hat.

But we both love Jesus, knowing he’d brought us together – looking forward to the day we’d serve him side by side.  We’d both lived through loving and being loved by a spouse no matter the cost.  For each of us, the cost was watching our spouses become ill and die. We’d both persevered watching our sons struggle with the death of their other parent.

We’ve both weathered and grown through some pretty harsh life experiences. The experiences we share, are also the experiences that we don’t share – each so similar, yet so different.

Blending our cultures and experiences hasn’t always been easy, and for the first year was especially difficult.  So many misunderstandings between 5 people, and so many new ways of doing things. I’m so glad we were reminded before we married, that all couples, no matter what, go through a time of getting used to the new norm.

As I remember those early days, I revel in the time we now share:

The boys are now out of the home – grown and choosing their own way.  We celebrate their adulthood, and enjoy this new season of life.

Gary and I for the first time in our marriage are alone in the house – and are enjoying it immensely!  We cherish this time together!

I’m so glad we waited for this time, and didn’t give up when things were difficult!  The difficulties we forged through together have only made this time sweeter!

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
    A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
    A time for war and a time for peace.

What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 (NLT) (emphasis mine)

Are you currently in a difficult season, my friend?  Unable to see the end from the beginning?  If your life has been given over to Christ’s lead, then trust and wait.  He never fails to keep a promise.

What is today won’t be forever.

God will make all things beautiful, in their time.  He promises.

While you are waiting through this season, do you have a support system of godly people to uphold and encourage you?  Attending a local church where Jesus is worshiped, and families are made, is so critical to making it through all seasons!

Let me know if I can pray for you.

With love and prayers,

Robin <3