Wednesday, December 2, 2015

"On Fire": If You Really Love 'Him', You Won't Accept 'Half a Man'


"Then the king said, 'Let’s get the facts straight. Both of you claim the living child is yours, and each says that the dead one belongs to the other. All right, bring me a sword.' So a sword was brought to the king.
Then he said, 'Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other!'
Then the woman who was the real mother of the living child, and who loved him very much, cried out, 'Oh no, my lord! Give her the child—please do not kill him!'

But the other woman said, 'All right, he will be neither yours nor mine; divide him between us!'
Then the king said, 'Do not kill the child, but give him to the woman who wants him to live, for she is his mother!'"---I Kings 3:23-27(NLT)

Yeah, this one is going to be interesting...

I'm pretty sure that at least some of you know that for the past year or so, there has been a sufficient amount of media addressing the fact that in America, there are more singles than ever. You can read a lot about it if you check out "Marriage Statistics: Are Americans Giving Up on Marriage?". Two things that it reveals is 1) although data continues to prove that it is actually healthier to be married, 2) "In 2010, research indicated that 61% of never-married adults would like to eventually marry someday, while in 2012, that percentage dropped to just 53%."

That wouldn't send up a red flag to me quite as much if I could take this to mean that singles are doing what singles are biblically instructed to do, which is this: "An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him...a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit" (I Corinthians 7:32-34-NLT). However, this world, including a lot of the straight up wordliness that's going on in the Church, is way too lust-filled, prideful (I John 2:16) and selfish (Philippians 2:16) for me to believe that the so-called "singleness evolution" is due to an influx of people who have a heart for God and desire to remain sexually pure until death (Hebrews 13:4).

Purity, Christian dating, godly relationship, Christ centered, pure love:

Besides, let's not forget that marriage was and continues to be God's idea. It's also the first relationship that we're introduced to in the Word (Genesis 2:18-25). Also Christ, a single divine man, echoed the importance of marriage itself. The Message Version translates this stance/resolve here:

"But Jesus said, 'Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone. Some, from birth seemingly, never give marriage a thought. Others never get asked---or accepted. And some decide not to get married for kingdom reasons. But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.'"---Matthew 19:11-12(Message)

Gee. If we take this, just as it's presented, someone could post an article on singleness in America with a title that says something like "America has become more spiritually immature than ever. Aptitude and grace are lacking in record numbers which makes so many incapable of growing into the largeness of marriage." (Hebrews 5:12-14) Because again, there's nothing wrong with being single. Christ and Paul led single lives. There is something wrong with thinking/feeling/believing that being single means you can receive the benefits that are *only for marriage*. That's a straight up demonic lie (Matthew 24:4). If you're going to be single, this means you're going to be abstinent. That cannot be stressed enough...until more of us become clear about God's expectation concerning this reality. *Fornication is a sin*. No way around that (I Corinthians 6:9-10, Revelation 21:8).


As I was processing all of this, I thought about some of my single male friends. Many of them are attractive, ambitious, smart, funny and, in general, pretty cool people to know. And do you know what else they have in common? *They've got waaaaaaaay too many options* when it comes to women who will "act like wives" without actually "becoming joined by God" (Matthew 19:6). As a result, a lot of my male friends are actually quite...lazy is the word that comes to mind as it relates to even preparing for marriage. One reason is yes, they have some spiritual maturing to do (no doubt about it because spiritual maturity says not to take advantage of women who clearly don't know their worth...yet). Another is because the women who make themselves so...desperately available to them are not doing so out of love. Even if they are telling themselves that it is.

They are doing it out of a counterfeit version of devotion...
Why do I say that? Because when you're willing to accept half a man, you don't love him. Or yourself.

The purpose of a godly relationship and potential marriage is not about you, it’s about how you and that other person can serve in the Kingdom. - Sabrina Gonzalez:

And this is where the familiar biblical account of King Solomon and the two prostitutes comes in...

When I was praying about, a few things, earlier this morning (Psalm 46:5), I must admit that I was surprised when I was led to that story. You remember, right? Two prostitutes were arguing over who was the rightful mother of a particular baby. When King Solomon recommended that the baby be cut in half so that both could have a part of him, the lying woman was fine with that resolve. In her twisted and diabolical mind, it was better that neither had him if she couldn't. Oh, but the true mother had a totally different perspective. She would rather *sacrifice* her baby than for him to lose his life.


I say this because something that, unfortunately, far too many people are getting away from (and maybe it's because the Word tells us that in the last days, people will be lovers of themselves--2 Timothy 3:1-9), is understanding that *real love requires some sort of self sacrifice*. We know this, in part, thanks to the anchor text of Christianity:  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16-NKJV)

So what does this have to do with the title of the message?

Some of the single men I know, I see how women pine after them, social media (passive aggressively) compete for them, darn near be at their beck and call (physically and otherwise) for them when these men have shown straight-up fruit (Matthew 12:33) of not being suitable husbands (or even boyfriends, if that's your thing). At least, not yet. They would rather have (catch it) *half a man* than none at all!

Oh, I could take it further and say that it's a "prostitute mentality" to think that way because a prostitute is not only defined as being a woman who has sex for money but "a person who willingly uses his or her talent or ability in a base and unworthy way". I'll keep going, though.

And how could having half a man be a blessing to these fractionated women?
Or to the...half men?

Women who keep giving men what God did *not* grant them permission to are broken women.
Men who take advantage of these women brokenness are not whole themselves.

And so, like the two women who stood before King Solomon, women are fighting over men before the ultimate King, staking claims and even being willing to settle for a "piece of a man". So what if that means not really having much of one at all? So what if that means that it could impede their growth as well as his? *So what?!?* Just so long as one woman does not get to have ALL of him.

Meanwhile, a woman who *really and truly* loves a man will be willing to sacrifice her own desires in order for him to not be a part of her own emotional tug of war. She would rather have him whole, based on God's definition of wholeness (James 1:4), or not at all. One, because she wants a healthy relationship and not just a man's attention. Two, because she understands that intimate male/female relationships are about building God's kingdom; she desires to have that with someone. And three, because she embraces that "half a man" is really...not much of one at all. She would rather release who she desires, so that he can be free to grow in the Lord, than subject herself to dealing with the consequences that comes with greed, impatience, fear, competitiveness, lust and any other emotion that would cause her to settle (Jeremiah 17:9).

So, is there someone you care deeply for? Possibly even love?
If you were to stand before God right now (and technically, we always are), which woman would you be?

Would you want a man so badly that a fractionated, broken and immature version of him is enough?
Or would you say "God, I so desire this man. But he needs to be whole. I'll surrender the desire for that to happen, no matter what the cost"? Because him being whole is what's most important. To you.

Just like King Solomon saw who the true mother was...
By putting wholeness before desire, God will see who a true lover is as well.

That doesn't guarantee that you and the guy will end up together...
But it does assure a reward for your sacrifice (Hebrews 10:35 & 11:6)...
Believe that!

The title makes sense now, right?
If you love him...
Act like it.

Don't share him.
Don't fight over him.
Don't settle for half a man.

Release that he can be made whole.



1 comment:

  1. As always, well written and thought provoking. I enjoyed reading this and renewed my convictions such topics. Thanks Shellie and God bless!