Wednesday, March 23, 2016

"On Fire": (VIDEOS) Are You Sure You Have GOD'S PERMISSION?

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So...

First up. What's up with the project from March 11's post?! I get a lot of emails from women talking about all of the things that are "wrong" with themselves. It seems like some of y'all are struggling with saying what is *right*!

Yep. I'm still looking for some more entries about what you believe already makes you a good wife! Remember that I'll be doing some rewarding to those who participate (and thanks to those who already have made the time!).

Anyway, last week I penned a devo entitled "5 Signs and Benefits of Having God's Permission" (hit me up at missnosipho@gmail.com if you're not on the list and would like a copy). Something that helped to inspire it is an article I recently read: "Satan’s Strategy to Destroy Your Marriage Before It Begins". It's from a newlywed couple and they're talking about reasons why abstinence (shoot, even better than that *virginity*) is so important prior to marriage. Click on the link to read all of it. I'm going to include the main points for now:

Satan wants us to make a pattern of obeying our desires instead of God’s direction.

If we learn to do what we want to do when we want to do it before we get married, we’ll carry that pattern into the days that follow our wedding. This is deadly because service and sacrifice is essential to a healthy, Christ-honoring marriage. Love in marriage is shown by a thousand daily decisions to do the dishes when you don’t want to or change a diaper when you don’t want to or watch a movie instead of a basketball game. If your relationship before marriage is characterized by giving into urges of the immediate desire, you’ll most certainly struggle when you get into the nitty-gritty of married life.

Satan wants us to underestimate how susceptible we are to temptation.

Satan wants us to think that we won’t take our sin to the next level. He wants us to think that we’re stronger than we really are. He wants to make us think that we’ll never go “that far.” This is a powerful trick because it plays upon our well-intended desire to honor God and our pride at the same time. Trust me, you’re weaker than you think you are. You can go where you think you won’t go. Sin is like an undercurrent in the ocean, if you play in it, you will be overpowered and carried away into certain destruction...Purity is much more about the posture of our heart than about the position of our body.

Satan wants couples to weaken their trust for each other.

When we compromise sexually we’re showing the other person that we’re willing to use and abuse them to get what makes you happy. Every time we push the boundaries with our fiancée or lead each other into sin we are communicating, even though we don’t mean to, “you can’t trust me because I’m willing to use you and disregard you to get what I want.”

And even worse than that, we show that we care more about our desires than about what God wants from us. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] says “this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality” and that v8 “whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” So when you sin sexually against each other before marriage you are saying, “You can’t trust me because I’m willing to sacrifice both of our relationships with God to do what I want.”

Satan wants to deceive you with the forbidden fruit of lust.

There is a world of difference between pre-marital sex and sex within marriage. One of the reasons for this is that in pre-marital sex the forbidden fruit of lust portrays sex as something that it isn’t always in marriage. Most normally, pre-marital sexual activity is like gas on fire. The passion is high, the feelings are intense, and the drive to go further is fueled by the fact that you know you shouldn’t (Rom. 7:8 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] ).

Sex in marriage is different. There’s still passion and there’s still intense feelings and emotions—but sex in marriage is based primarily on the hot coals of trust, devotion, and sacrifice (1 Cor. 7:1-5 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] ). Couples who built their sexual expectations on the passion that the forbidden fruit provided are often disappointed and confused about why sex is so different in marriage.

Now, to be candid, my wife and I laughed at this idea when our pre-marital counselor told us. We were sure that we were gonna be the exception to the rule. But the reality is, that almost 6 years and 3 children later, he was right. Couples like us can have a strong sex life, but it is fueled by deeper characteristics than fleeting passion. Satan wants couples to get used to running on the caffeine and sugar of lust rather than mature love of service and sacrifice.

This reminds me of a YouTube series that caught my attention this morning because the wife had one entitled "Christian Wedding Night: Wedding Night Survival Guide". Yep. It's literally what it sounds like---and good for her! I know some wives who waited until marriage and frankly had a pretty...rough (physical) experience the first few months of sex because they were ill-prepared and (?!?) no one told them what to expect...and not expect.

She also has this video:




Only four percent of folks are abstinent?!? That means only four percent of folks are being biblically obedient (Hebrews 13:4, I Corinthians 6)... Which means only four percent of folks are *waiting on God* to have his *permission* to have sex!

Permission: authorization granted to do something; formal consent

Synonyms: agreement, approval, endorsement, recognition, freedom, liberty, stamp of approval, sanctification

Sanctification: to make holy; set apart as sacred; consecrate; to purify or free from sin

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is not seeking GOD'S PERMISSION to date someone. They figure so long as they want to be with them that it's all good. Yet let's not overlook what the Word says here:

"But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death."---James 1:14-15(NKJV)

Sometimes, the very thing---or one---you desire is the very thing---or one---that can lead you *into sin* and further away from the Father, his will and his best for your life! So yes, we need God's permission, *including his sanctification*, when it comes to who we date and how. In preparation for marriage!

So, if you're currently in a relationship...
Based on all of the definitions and synonyms of permission...
Ask yourself "Do I *really* have God's permission to do what I'm doing?"

I also watched a couple of marriage proposal videos last night and this morning. There were some lines that each groom-to-be said that really caught my attention as far as the standard that we as women should set.

First video:



In it, the guy said "You've shown me how to RESPONSIBLY love a woman."#awesome


Second video:


In it, the guy shares "Turns out my purpose in life is to love Jenna...You are the best part about being me...our love is my legacy."#nice

Only these couples know if they waited for God's permission to engage in sex. Yet what I do like about these videos is the men praised the women they loved for making them better people. Romans 13:8-10 says that "love does no harm". You can't help someone to sin and really love them. Shoot, you can't be in their life without God's blessing and really be helping them either!

So as you're going through the rest of the week...
Think about if you have God's permission and if you even want it.

Marriage is of God...
It's always best when you approach it his way...
And have *his blessing*!


Proverbs 12:4,

SRW

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