Tuesday, February 11, 2014
An Ounce of Prevention: (BONUS) QUOTE OF THE DAY: 'Sexual Distance Leads to Sexual Closeness'
As I'm researching a particular topic for the devotional that I'm penning tomorrow, I read an article on Jewish engagements (yes, I dig Judaism; Christ was a Jew, after all-Matthew 27:11) that I really, *really*, liked:
The Distance Which Leads to Closeness
The engagement period is always emotionally challenging for the bride and groom. Aside for the anxiety which intensifies as the wedding day approaches ever closer, it is natural for the bride and groom to struggle with the urge to express their feelings for each other in manners which are inappropriate outside of the context of marriage.
If you have finally met the most special person, the person you respect, adore, and with whom you wish to spend your life, there's all the more reason to postpone all intimate behavior. You may have had flings before, but this is the person with whom you wish to share a holy and meaningful relationship. Your goal is to merge souls, rather than merely the flesh. Refraining from engaging in intimacy indicates how much you treasure the relationship. It is creating a temporary distance which will lead to an unparalleled closeness.
The feeling of standing beneath the chupah [wedding canopy/covering] with the deep satisfaction which stems from knowing that this marriage is the beginning of your shared sacred journey is indescribable.
Even one who has been intimate with their fiancé beforehand should take a hiatus during the engagement period. With the commitment to marry comes the ability to take the relationship to an altogether higher level. The first step in this "new" relationship is the commitment to reserving intimacy for married life.
Rinse and repeat:
You may have had flings before, but this is the person with whom you wish to share a holy and meaningful relationship. Your goal is to merge souls, rather than merely the flesh. Refraining from engaging in intimacy indicates how much you treasure the relationship. It is creating a temporary distance which will lead to an unparalleled closeness.
I have watched/talked to/counseled a lot of married couples in my day and one thing that has always remained true is if there was a sexual violation before marriage, they tend to have some serious "cracks in their foundation" that take a lot of work to repair.
A big part of it is because when two people know that God's intention for sex is within the confines of marriage (Hebrews 13:4, I Corinthians 6:16-20-Message) and that is trespassed upon, whether the two individuals immediately realize it or not, there is a mutual breach of trust. The man has uncovered the woman and so a part of her questions if she can fully trust him to lead and the woman, as the helper, didn't help the man to be stronger; she partook in an act that actually made him weaker. As I often say, women are made to help: either they will help a man to heaven or they will help him to hell (Ecclesiastes 7:26).
Now, I'm not saying that some couples don't survive fornication (or oral sex or mutual masturbation or...), although I would like to do my own survey and ask how many divorced couples had sex before marriage. No, what I'm saying is *God meant it* when he said not to mock him and what we sow, we'll reap (Galatians 6:7-8). I'm saying that forgiveness (I John 9:10-11) does not always, automatically or necessarily absolve consequences (think David when he lost his son *even after repenting* and fasting for him-2 Samuel 12:1-19) and since adultery is the one act that makes divorce permissible (not encouraged, but permitted-Matthew 19:1-12), then that should give us all deeper insight into just how powerful sex is. Therefore, we should acknowledge just how much it should be respected. We should use it just as we are instructed, by the Word (John 1:1).
Case in point: There were some *solid* friendships that transitioned into relationships that I had with men that I don't have them anymore. Guess what all of them had in common? SEX. It's simply not made to work outside of marriage. Fornication is a counterfeit form of God's gift.
Whether you're dating...
In a serious relationship...
Or on the verge of engagement...
Think about what the article said. If you really treasure your relationship---and the guy you're in it with treasures you---sexual intimacy will be refrained from until it's right. And "right" is when the both of you are married. To one another.