Tag Archive: marriage


We Are Not Married Yet!

Most of us know that marriage is a covenant.  We do not become married by being faithful . . . or by loving, honoring, and cherishing the other person.  To become married, we must enter into a covenant.

Likewise, becoming a Christian is entering into a covenant with God–a blood covenant.  We do not become a Christian by faithfully serving God, being devoted wholly to Him, or keeping His commandments.  We become a Christian by repenting and accepting Jesus’ blood, that was shed on our behalf.

But few would argue, that although we do not become married through faithfulness, or loving, honoring, and cherishing our spouse, that is how we remain married!  If we fail to do the things we have promised, we make the covenant of no effect.  The Scriptures make it clear that if we are not faithful to our spouse, unless they choose to forgive us and give us another chance, we have irretrievably broken the marriage covenant.

Likewise, although we do not become a Christian by faithfulness, and obedience to God’s commandments, that is how we remain in covenant with Him.  Although He hates divorce . . . although He is longsuffering and forgiving . . . if we break His covenant and fail to repent, we eventually reach the end of His grace.

Although a couple is not considered married until the covenant is entered through the proper ritual and before witnesses, from the time that a woman accepts the man’s proposal of marriage, the covenant is entered into, and its standards are expected to be upheld.  The engagement period is a probationary period, so to speak.

What wise person would proceed to marry someone who was unfaithful to them during the engagement period . . . or who became neglectful or abusive?  But, if they loved the other person very much, and had hopes that their behavior would change, they would postpone the marriage until they were certain that the other person had matured enough in character to be able to uphold the covenant.

If a wise and forgiving man loved a harlot very much, and wanted to have her as a loving, faithful wife, he would have a long engagement and would work with her (or have someone else work with her) to bring her to repentance, and to train her in the ways of faithfulness and love.

We are very much like that harlot, and the Lord is like a forgiving man who loves us very much.  But He is wise.  He knows that for us to have a marriage of love, faithfulness, and contentment, someone is going to have to work with us, to train us in the ways of righteousness and faithfulness.

While we are here on Earth, in these mortal bodies, we are engaged to our Lord.  When we become a Christian, we  have accepted His marriage proposal.  We know that He is longsuffering and forgiving . . . that He is committed to us . . . that He will do whatever He can do to mold us into a faithful, loving bride (but we have a role to play too).  But He is wise enough to know, that if we will not commit to being faithful and obedient to Him, there can not be an eternity of peace and love together.  If we prefer others to Him, we will not be content to be in covenant with Him alone for eternity.  If we do not share the same values . . . if we are not willing to be obedient to Him and accept His standards . . . then for us, an eternal covenant would be a prison.

The role of the Holy Spirit is to prepare us, during this engagement period.  He works in us daily, to bring us to repentance when we sin . . . to sanctify us  . . . to teach us to set ourselves apart in holiness for the Lord.  He works in us to teach us the ways of righteousness . . . to mold us, and to conform us to the image of God . . . that we might be a fitting bride for His Son.

‘ . . . even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.’  (Ephesians 5:25-27)

If we submit to the Holy Spirit, if we allow Him to work in us, He will see to it that we are ready . . . spotless and blameless . . . a beautiful bride who is prepared for her husband-to-be . . . when the wedding day arrives.

‘ . . . be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.’  (2 Peter 3:14)

People who believe that we are eternally saved the moment we profess our faith do not understand this essential process.  Although we are expected to uphold the covenant and live by obedience during our earthly ‘engagement’ period, we are not married yet.  To believe that we are now married to a perfect God, yet can live any way we please, is utter foolishness!  God is wise–He will not allow Himself to be unequally yoked!  Jesus is in no hurry.  There will be no wedding until the bride has been prepared!

If, rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us . . .  we begin resisting Him and fighting against Him . . . if we cease to uphold the covenant despite repeated pleading and warning from Him . . . we will eventually exceed the grace of God.  We will prove ourselves unfit to be His bride, and we will find ourselves on the outside, looking in, when the wedding takes place.

I’m sorry, but you can’t be a follower of Jesus and have sex outside of marriage.

Sex outside of marriage is called fornication–adultery if one or both of the people involved are married.

A lot of people won’t tell you this, because they are afraid they’ll offend you and you won’t go to their church.  But–this is what the Bible says, over and over again.

God has a very special and specific plan for marriage, between one man and one woman, and sex plays a beautiful and important part in that relationship.  This is the ONLY context in which sex is permitted, for the people of God.

A lot of people want to push it to the limit, debate over what is considered ‘sex’, and talk about ‘gray areas’ in regards to God’s rules for us.  If that’s you, consider this:  when we step outside of God’s perfect will, into His permissive will, we are one step closer to sin.

People talk about degrees of sin, or big sins and little sins–the way I see it, sin is a progression . . . you step out of God’s perfect will into His permissive will, a couple more steps and you are into sin.  Each further step draws you deeper into more and more vile sin.  BE ASSURED, you will continue walking, or being pulled, in one direction or the other!

Righteousness and sin each have a pull–like gravity, if you will.  If you cannot resist the pull towards sin when you are close to God, how do you think you will resist the pull deeper into sin once you’ve taken a few steps further away from God?

Sin will pull you towards it, but God expects you to WALK towards Him.  He will not pull you.  You demonstrate your will by your action.  But He WILL meet you half-way!  You can’t fight sin on your own!

My advice, and where I think is the best place to draw the line?  Anything that is going to arouse a feeling of desire is going too far. Whether that’s fantasies, touches, kisses, what you look at, what you listen to, where you go . . . whatever!  It is much ‘easier’ (not that resisting this is ever easy) to stop before you ever start!!

If you have already gone too far and want to stop–STOP!!  And be prepared for the fight of your life.  This is a temptation you will have to battle every day, from now on, unless God supernaturally sets you free from your biological programming.  Just because we are ‘made that way’ doesn’t mean it’s ok to live that way!

God calls upon His followers to set themselves apart . . . to demonstrate to the world that we live by a higher standard (not as animals do) and that Christians are imbued with spiritual power (from Him) that gives us extraordinary abilities and makes us overcomers!

Don’t play with sin, don’t give in to temptation!  Turn away from temptation and run to God!  You don’t know what you’re messing with!

There are no ‘little sins’ and ‘big sins’.  Sin is just an outward expression of   ‘where your heart is at’, of your will.   Are you walking towards God, or away from Him?  That is the real issue.  All sins lead to the same destination–because God doesn’t judge our sins, He judges our hearts.

You cannot sample sin and not be drawn in!  Tempting is the bait that draws you into the web of sin, but its sticky, invisible threads will bind you tightly. Then the forces of evil will come and feast upon you, injecting poisonous deception, anger, and rebellion and sucking out of you every last drop of your innocence, goodness, love and sanity.

If you don’t believe me–talk to someone else who has been there.  Once you sin, you will never be the same again.  God can heal you, but you will always bear the scars, and suffer the consequences, of the choices you make.

Only One Way?  How Intolerant!

Homosexuality: Why Is It Such A Big Deal?

It’s too much to expect people, who haven’t yielded themselves to the authority of Christ, to accept ‘because God says so’ as a reason.  But, ultimately that IS the reason.  I’ll try to shed a bit of light on why God says that homosexuality is wrong.

God made the world, and all that is in it, and it belongs to Him.  He gets to make the rules and set the boundaries.  Some of you aren’t going to read any farther than this–and THAT is your problem.  You don’t accept the authority of God.

Unlike the culture that we live in, that defines people’s worth by their position, wealth and accomplishments, the kingdom of God is open to all.  God does not seek to hide His truth, revealing it to only a few chosen individuals with a title and capital letters following their name.  He has made it simple enough that a child, or a mentally challenged person can understand.  He has written His story all over creation.

When God speaks, there are layers of meaning in His words.  Beyond that, He speaks to us through the natural world, and through patterns and foreshadowings.  This universe is His creation, His work of art, and all of it is imbued with a message.  Over and over again, in harmony, His creation speaks of Him and His nature, so that everyone will have an awareness and an understanding of His presence, His character, and the unspoken rules of how to live in harmony with Him.

Satan was not pleased with the nature of God and thought himself better than his creator.  So, he set himself in rebellion against God, to try to remake God’s creation in his image.  Wherever Satan has been, the wondrous masterpiece of God has been blurred, smeared, marred and painted over, in his attempt to silence God’s communication with man, and make his own message preemminent.

Satan, unlike man, has no power of creation within him.  All he is able to do is pervert what God has created.  Everywhere he has influence, the creation and purposes of God have been perverted.

God’s plan for our sexuality must be very sacred, and powerful, because it is an area that Satan targets most often, and that seems to yield him the most power through its perversion. So, we probably have to look beyond the message Satan has painted over the surface, and beneath the smudges and smears where he has tried to obliterate God’s plan, to get a glimpse of what may lie beneath.  I believe his plan has been two-pronged: to downplay the power and sanctity of sexuality as God created it, and to play up the ‘merits’ of his version of perverted sexuality.

God’s design was for sex to be between a man and his wife–only.  If that’s all it is, for a lifetime, then we must not be experiencing the depth of what He intended for us.

Having grown up promiscuous, I can only guess at what the love life of a deeply committed, monogamous, married couple, who were virgins on their wedding night must be like.

Marriage is a symbol of Jesus’ relationship to Christians.  The relationship between a believer and Jesus is one of deep caring, sacrificial love, lifelong loyalty and fidelity, honesty, tenderhearted devotion, patience, protection, forgiveness, kindness, humility, respect, trust and complete acceptance. This kind of a relationship gives birth to a depth of intimacy that heals the soul, provides health, security, peace and joy.  Outside of this kind of love, no one will ever reach their full potential.

Besides a person’s relationship to Jesus, marriage is the only other environment where a relationship of such depth could exist.  This environment, with such a depth of love and commitment, is necessary for people to bring forth children and raise them in such a way that they can reach their full potential, and go on to create the same kind of relationship upon which they build their own family.  A community, built of families such as this, is what God had planned for mankind.

Into this framework, God wove his design for human sexuality.  I believe that sex between a man and wife was to be a kind of superglue that could permeate every space between them and bond them firmly together in unity–a means of complete connection, a deep form of communication, a continuous affirmation.  I think it was meant to provide a level of satisfaction that we can no longer come close to understanding.  We are so far from what God created for us, because of sin–in ourselves, our culture, and our world–that it must seem like a fairy tale to imagine it.

When two wounded people come together, especially if there has been promiscuity on the part of one or the other, it is nearly impossible to attain the level of loyalty, fidelity, honesty, devotion, patience, forgiveness, kindness, humiliy, respect, trust and complete acceptance that form the sturdy structure in which such a profound intimacy can thrive.  I believe, without this depth of intimacy, that sex cannot completely
fulfill the purpose God intended.

You’d have to understand my history to know that I am in no way judging.  I am a broken, wounded person myself.  I was never able to sustain a successful marriage and my own children grew up in a ‘broken home’.

I also am not intending to add to anyone’s despair, because when the intimacy and sexuality of a couple are not filling the spaces between them, as God intended, it can be DEVASTATINGLY painful.

Nor am I saying that it is a lost cause, if this describes your relationship, because God can redeem all things.  Perhaps this will give you an understanding of how to pray, and help you to understand that it is not outside your marriage where you will find satisfaction.  Rather, it is through a supernatural work of God to renovate the structure of the relationship between you and your spouse, that the environment can be created where this kind of intimacy and sex can be birthed and grow to maturity.

Another aspect that is important to understand, is that God didn’t intended it to be about the sex itself.  Not about the sex act, the orgasm, or the measure of ‘sexual satisfaction’ achieved.  It IS about the depth of feeling, love, vulnerability and connection between you and your spouse.  It is like the difference between

  • listening to the words someone is saying, taking into account their volume and tone, to understand the message they are trying to convey or
  • only listening to the volume and tone, thereby completely missing the message

Please forgive me for being explicit, but it’s not about focusing on the technique or position, but rather holding each other, looking into each others eyes and talking to each other about things that are deeply personal, as you make love.

So much has blurred what God created our sexuality to be, and the context in which He intended it, that few of us find it.  Then it becomes easy to be dissatisfied with what we have and look elsewhere.

Here is something I observed, as homosexuality made its way into the mainstream.  It seemed to start first with the wounded souls who had been living a secret life of homosexuality.  Then, as time went on, a number of older men joined up.  I could be wrong, but I sense that these men were heterosexuals who had not been satisfied in their marriage, had sex outside of marriage and didn’t find fulfillment there, and were seeking something new.

This is the problem inherent with focusing on the sex act, outside of the full context that God intended–it doesn’t fulfill us, and we grow bored.  First we try to spice things up with our spouse–new positions, toys, pornography.  Then we’re tempted to look outside the marriage, then on to the next thing . . .  and we come to the conclusion that what we had is all that God intended, and that it just isn’t enough.  (But we haven’t really had what He intended!!)

Not surprisingly, it’s easy for Satan to paint his version over top of God’s original design, and we’re ready to try it–whatever the ‘flavor of the day’ is*–believing it will bring the satisfaction we crave.

Perhaps now you can see why homosexuality, or sex outside of marriage, isn’t what God intended.  And you may be of the impression now that homosexuality isn’t God’s best, but is still acceptable as a consolation prize for those who are not blessed enough to have found the ‘real thing’. To be honest, I probably haven’t said enough to actually convince you that there is anything wrong with homosexuality.

Here’s the thing, I’ll lay it out for you, but it may very well not convince you.  Our culture is so perverse and depraved now, that purity seems ridiculous and old fashioned.  I’m not going to contrast homosexuality with heterosexuality, or even with a monogamous marriage.  I believe American heterosexuality is now so far from what God intended, that it is a mere ‘skip and a jump’ from there to homosexuality.  Instead, I will contrast homosexuality with what God created for mankind in the first place.

First of all, physically, homosexuality is a filthy practice.  The amount of disease causing organisms you are exposed to during the act, and the manner in which those organisms are transported around, leaves you vulnerable to every sort of disease and infection, throughout your entire body.

While we don’t adhere to the laws in the Biblical book of Leviticus, at the very least they should serve as good guidelines for sanitary living.   (To get an idea of what I’m talking about, you can read Leviticus 15.)  Leviticus was written in a period of time before modern medicine.  Good hygiene and sanitation were vital to keeping sickness at bay. What may now seem like extreme measures, were in fact necessary to ensure that a community of people, living in close contact, could remain healthy.

  • So, one of the reasons God declared it to be sin is that it affects your health, and that of your family and your community.

Leviticus also reveals to us that certain acts or events rendered a person unclean in a way that an atonement had to be made.  Because God actually lived among them, a person could literally drop dead when near Him, if they were unclean.

  • Thus, another reason is for your own protection–that the physical presence of God wouldn’t literally knock you dead.  Also, for your family and community, so that God wouldn’t have to withdraw His presence from them because of your sin.

Beyond that were actions so displeasing to God, so dishonorable and/or perverse, that the person committing them was to be cut off from their community, by capital punishment.  Homosexuality is listed among those actions.  (If it doesn’t seem like that big a deal, it’s because we are already very corrupt sexually, and can no longer discern it.)

  • This was to protect the community/society.  It is based on the understanding that corruption spreads, and that all things reproduce in their own image.  Left unchecked, sinful behaviors will be accepted and adopted by an entire community.

From a purely logical point of view, and given the description above (of the kind of communities and families God intends), it is easy to see that homosexuality would displace male-female marriages and eat into the very foundation upon which society is based.

There are two more reasons I’ll cover, and they are the most important ones.  But, I’ve listed the reasons in reverse order, because most people who are held captive by sin are going to see their importance in reverse order.  When we are in bondage to sin, our first concern is ourself–and our last concern is the authority of God.

As I explained at the beginning of the post, God speaks to us through the natural world and through patterns and foreshadowings.  This universe is His creation, His work of art, and all of it is imbued with a message. In harmony, His creation speaks of Him and His nature, so that everyone will have an awareness and an understanding of His presence, His character, and the unspoken rules of how to live in harmony with Him.

Homosexuality is one of the things that perverts the picture.  It erases the message of how Jesus is related to the believer (husband and wife), and it replaces the message of cleanliness & holiness with one of filth & depravity.  It obscures the pattern God has laid out for the family and society.

That God is concerned with the picture, the pattern and the unspoken message, is reflected in his condemnation of other behaviors too.  In and of itself, it does not seem like a big deal for a woman to dress as a man, or a man as a woman, but ‘cross dressing’ is forbidden.  So is planting a field with two kinds of seed, or wearing clothing woven of two kinds of material. (If someone can show me a logical reason for this, please do!)  These things reflect a pattern that God wants to convey, and wants to have repeated.  His desire is for everything in His creation to be cohesive and give forth a harmonious, consistent message.

And that sums up the most important reason–HE is the creator, and HE gets to make the rules!  That’s the way He wants it, so that’s the way it shall be!

What great artist, upon finding his masterpiece painting vandalized and corrupted, would go ahead and exhibit it anyway?  Wouldn’t he instead be furious that his message had been lost?  Would he honor the one who erased his message by displaying their message instead?

Satan is the author of all perversion.  God will not shrug and walk away, and let Satan obliterate His message and replace it with an unholy one that flows from his heart full of hatred and rebellion.  Not as long as there is still one living soul left on earth whose heart is open to knowing God and knowing the truth.

It isn’t homosexuality, per se, that separates a person from God.  We were all born into sin and are destined to be separated from God, unless we accept the atoning death of Jesus Christ on our behalf.

But, although I can understand WHY homosexuals indulge in this sin, I can’t have an attitude of tolerance to it, and here’s why:  When a person sins, it is like a rock being dropped into a still lake–ripples move outwards from the impact, in all directions, eventually  impacting distant shores.  Although it is the person who practices the sin that faces judgment for it, countless other people are affected, to varying degrees, by their actions.

To those of you who say ‘that’s not fair, God made me this way’–I have to disagree.  Very few of you are hermaphrodites.  God would not establish homosexuality as a sin, then create you to be homosexual.

It is apparent to me that there are some sins that have a definite spiritual dimension to them.  When one engages in these sins they open the door to demonic oppression and/or possession.  Until one is ‘delivered’ from the demonic influences that accompany these sins, they will be continuously tempted and tormented.  Among these sins, I believe, are serial murder, homosexuality, pedophilia, incest, and bestiality, among others.

BUT, even if I am mistaken about demonic involvement, and mistaken about someone being ‘born that way’, consider this:  It is not unfair for God to require that a homosexual not engage in homosexuality anymore!

Adulterers are required not to commit adultery anymore!  We are all forbidden to have sex outside of marriage!  Thieves are required to stop stealing!  Murderers are required to stop murdering!  We are all commanded to stop lying!  The whole sum of the matter is that we are to yield ourselves to the authority of God and live by His rules.

When we accept Jesus’ death on our behalf, we must REPENT of our sins (all of us, every form of sin).  We must renounce our sins and turn away from them, living as images of Him.  By His grace and mercy He did not crush us while we were in our sins, but instead He provided a way that we could be forgiven and made righteous.  But, we must die to our former way of life.

There is a particular hardness of heart towards God, and an unwillingness to repent of the sin, among homosexuals.  This is because:

‘ . . . they neither glorified Him as God, nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.’

‘They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator . . .

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.  Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.  In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.  Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.’

* On the heels of homosexuality going mainstream, acceptance of pedophilia is in the works.  Then we have bestiality and incest trailing not far behind.  Hollywood is now in the process of beginning to desensitize us to both, as it did with homosexuality before it fully emerged.  I’m not yet ready to lay odds on which one will be accepted first.

This may sound extreme, but watch.  It is the natural progression when a culture turns its back on God and walks the other way.




Abortion, Are You SURE You Have The Right?

If This Is True, We’d Better Not Yield To The Temptation