The Mustard Seed
A Case for Sexual Purity
Part 9 -- Waiting for "Christmas"
Remember when you were young, in the middle of December your parents put up a Christmas tree in the living room. Then day by day, wrapped presents appeared under the tree. If you were mischievous, you would look at the name tags to see which gifts had your name on them. But would you sneak open the gifts and play with them before the time designated by your family's tradition -- Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? I have no doubt that some of our readers did just that. How did you feel afterward? And how did you feel about that toy on Christmas Day?
Sex is God's gift which wives and husbands share with each other. It's a lot like a Christmas gift which God intends for us to open on our wedding night. But if we unwrap this gift and play with it before we should, what is suppose to be a joyful surprise becomes clouded with guilt. But if you wait, you will be so glad that you did.
As my wife and I grew in our commitment, we discussed ways we could express our affection for each other while we were engaged. Together we agreed on our limits, our boundaries for physical contact. This agreement lifted a great burden. It made us accountable to each other for our conduct. Since "how far can we go?" was a settled issue, we didn't need to struggle with it every time we were together. We could trust each other, and we could also trust ourselves.
During our courtship and engagement, we learned to be delighted with the little things, the trivial expressions of love, like just holding hands. When you feel that you must get more physical because the little things lose their thrill, what will you do when the "big thing" isn't enough? A thrilling marriage does not depend on how often a couple makes love, but rather on how frequently they express their love to each other in small thoughtful ways.
What can you do if you have already crossed the line? God's grace and forgiveness is big enough. With His help, you can back up, start over, and go at this the right way.
Walter and Ingrid Trobish were Austrian missionaries in Africa. They saw Africa in cultural transition, where tribal traditions conflicted with incoming Western culture, especially in courtship and marriage traditions. Trobishes wrote about a man who came to them for counsel about his love life. The man had once been engaged to a girl several years younger than himself. He had chosen a young mate whom he could treat like a student rather than a partner, so he could train her to become kind of wife he wanted. But then he broke up with her because he discovered that she was not a virgin.
As the man began to learn God's design for marriage, he also learned what grace and forgiveness mean, and he learned how to apply them to marriage. Eventually he did marry a wonderful Christian woman, who prior to her conversion had led the life of a prostitute.
Confession and forgiveness are vital to any relationship, especially for marriage. Early in our engagement, Georganne and I found that we needed to cleanse ourselves and each other of our past. Without being specific, we confessed to each other our past and our sometimes sinful relationships. We forgave each other completely in Christ's name and in His love. We needed to do that so no guilt of the past could hinder our relationship.
My prayer for you as you have followed this series:
We have been asking God to fill you with the knowledge of what he wants. We pray that he will give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. We pray that you will lead a life that is worthy of the Lord. We pray that you will please him in every way. So we want you to bear fruit in every good thing you do. We want you to grow to know God better. We want you to be very strong, in keeping with his glorious power. We want you to be patient. Never give up. Be joyful as you give thanks to the Father. (Colossian 1:9-12 NIRV)
In June -- our final installment...
To view live Signed Sunday morning worship, click here
You are invited to Christ Lutheran Church of the Deaf in Silver Spring
a couple blocks south of the Metro Red Line Forest Glen Station
Sunday Worship: 9:30AM
in Ely 118.
Drop in and introduce yourself!!
Pastor Ron Friedrich