Sidebar: This is an email discussion that one of my mother's "love daughters" sent her. GREAT FOOD FOR THOUGHT here and after she also shared a link to a piece re: Christians having as much, if not more, premarital sex and abortions as non-Christians these days...although it's not, unfortunately, shocking to hear/read, it does serve as a blaring reminder that we're called to be *set apart* and to do things...*differently*.
Hi Aunt Gail...
I knew you would love that idea of worship. It is profound when I think of worship as complete submission in mind, soul and body. It makes perfect sense, yet overlooked when we concentrate on the performance of worship (i.e. corporate worship at church... ).
Well after speaking with you, I could hear certain things in your voice. And I spoke to my husband about your concerns. I want to share what he said to me because I think it is enlightening and holds deep truths. He said to me that when we were dating, and I wanted to change my life, he did not really want to change his. He was not at the same place as I was spiritually and when I would tell him things that God was sharing with me, through his Word and the voice of the Holy Spirit, he would simply not get it. He said sin had made him hard to the truths of the Gospel. And yet, if you saw him, you would've seen a performance of church at that time. We were now going to church every week and had even stopped partying yet we were not transformed.
Anyway, I remember a particular time in our lives, we were living together and I wanted to now be in separate rooms, he respected my decision but did not see the "big deal." He used to say, "We are going to get married anyway..."and before that statement would have settled things for me and I would have continued on as usual. But he noticed that it was plaguing me and how I would be filled with guilt and it would even cause anger in our relationship--we were fighting more than ever before. But he did not see it as the Holy Spirit wrestling with us. He did not understand the spiritual implications at the time and so even though I wanted to abstain, many a times it would only take a couple days before we were intimate again---living together was wrong in the first place and just led to all kinds of frustrations. And intimacy is not just sex---Sandton [a church in South Africa] young people know this to be true but they are trying to rationalize sin. (A kiss can be one of the most intimate things...so to be completely plain, it is crap when they try to ask about oral sex before marriage. I personally would not dignify that spirit of defiance with a response. Forgive me if I am being harsh.) There is one thing to be engaging in a lifestyle of sin and knowing that it is wrong, but then when we are in sin and justify it...we are far removed from the Spirit of God and this leads to grievances of the Holy Spirit. Dangerous place.
Anyway, I left South Africa, the end of 2006--without knowing if I was to come back. As Tatenda took me to the airport that day, I will never forget. He had tears in his eyes because he saw it as me leaving him, and I said, "I cannot stay here like this and I will not be coming back for this. If I return then God has to be pleased." It was clear as day for me, our relationship was leading me straight to hell. Because now the Holy Spirit was opening my eyes. I saw what I was doing to T, I saw what he was doing to me and neither one of us was leading the other to heaven. I left not knowing where would end up, but I knew I had to leave. 2007 October, we got married. It took 10 months for me to repent and be reconciled with Christ. But that does not mean that I did not feel the mistakes even after we got married. T likes to say that I was more spiritual than him, but to be honest, it wasn't necessarily so.Yes, I had acknowledged sooner than he that I needed God but I believed that we were on the same path--I knew that he knew who his God was and would submit to him someday---I took that risk. (And what I have seen is the power of marriage in that when one is down spiritually, the other is there to pray and intercede. My husband was a deep intercessor for me last year and continues to be.) Nevertheless, there were serious remnants of pain after we got married--- that God has taken time to heal.
2011 was a year of deep healing for the both of us. But in that 10 months in 2007, I was alone with God. I will never forget that time. God sobered me up. I was in the Word and in prayer constantly. I knew that I wanted to be with T, but I did not trust my heart or mind to make that decision to be with him forever---I was hung over from the drunken years together; I had given so much to him that the thought of moving on seemed harder than staying because I would leave pieces of myself with him... But still that was not reason enough to stay with him, I had to get to a place where I could give him up completely for the sake of my salvation. And I did. The same as last year, I had to get to a place where I could give up my desires of wanting to be home during this time and I even gave up my professional desires and said to God, if I am to have any of these things I want it to be a blessing to my entire family not just to me. When we can give it up, that is when God trusts us enough to give us the desires of our heart. Otherwise we will put these same things we pray for before Him---we will worship them.
I knew that I had to really love God with all my heart before being able to be someone's wife. The process was not perfect but it was amazing. And I am not perfect but now I am convicted that I belong to Jesus before I belong to T. If T messes up. I am OK. When he disappoints me, I am OK. I can even pray and forgive---God's way is so much better than our way. And I pray that T forgives me when I wrong him. I see T as a human being---not my Savior. I still crave my alone time with God. And when I don't get it, I am not good to anyone. I depend on God---alone. Of course I hold T responsible as my husband but before I gave my life to Christ, I placed him in a position he did not belong and could not handle. Sex before marriage (without the blessing of God) puts the other person before God. I could not function without T because I gave him my mind and soul. I wanted to give my life to Christ in early 2006 and as a result, 2006 was one of my most painful years to date! Because there was a war for my life. God was fighting with ME. It was not T's fault, I gave myself willingly to T and so God was fighting for my life and I was in the way. I could go on and on Aunt Gail. My marriage is my testimony. I have seen how my submission to Christ has changed my life and how it has changed T. I can be better to him and for him, he was far from God and I contributed to that distance and I prayed to contribute to him choosing Christ. If only we could understand the gravity of what unconsecrated intimacy does to the other person. We basically say, "I am more important than God---give your soul to me" It is that deep. But sin desensitizes us and hardens our hearts, and so we trivialize this thing and we give our selves to anyone who seems able to quench that thirst in our souls.
What I am trying to say through all of this is that your plea with the young people will fall on deaf ears unless they allow the Holy Spirit to soften their hearts (Ezekiel 36:26). PRAY for your young people, Aunt Gail.We need more prayer and less programs and sermons. I have close ones to me this side who are also consumed right now by sex---my generation is taking longer to marry but we are engaging in marital behavior and we forfeit the amazing blessings of obedience. It is an addiction. What's worse is that we think God is being hard when He asks us to abstain. We don't see the benefit of abstinence. And I always pray to God to help T and I be an example even though we started off wrong. I do not want people to think that you can make grave mistakes like that and "everything will turn out fine." People may see that all is well in our world, but they do not know the struggle and the war that has taken place. The enemy wanted our souls--it's as simple as that.
As I said I have paid the price of disobedience (not completely, because of the grace of God) but I have felt pain that I could not see through. My husband and I have had to go through what I believe to be unnecessary strife because of our disobedience. Even though God heals and definitely restores, there are certain things that we will carry for this life as a reminder---scars---to be a warning to ourselves and others. I would warn the young people: do not play with the grace of God because what a man soweth he will reap. It's not a threat, its a fact of life. And I know that some of them are personally feeling the pain of disobedience. When we ask God, "why me?" and act as if its God's fault why our life is mess and nothing seems to be working out, ask the Holy Spirit, "what was my contribution to my present state? (the law again of reaping and sowing)" instead of blaming or being disappointed with God. God has shown me how my recklessness has contributed to delayed and even forfeited blessings.
Sex before marriage leads to a drunken soul and life...
Rochelle Davidson Mhonde