Imagine eating a candy with the wrapper. Pretty tasteless, isn’t it? Why would anyone want to eat candy without removing the wrapper first? Well, yesterday we learned that many times that is how we treat relationships when we skip steps and try to get ahead of God. We simply cannot enjoy the full benefits of what that relationship has to offer when we do things our way with little regard for what God has to say about it.
Lucas made the following four points about marriage based on Genesis 2:23-25.
1. 1. Unity - Once you are married, it is no longer about "I" but it is now about "us". He said there were benefits to marriage such as it being good for your finances, providing physical comfort to the couple, making it easier to defend each other, and so forth. However great these things are in and of themselves, our marriage is still susceptible to outside interference. If we are to have a strong marriage, it must be centered around Christ. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Paul outlines the benefits of marriage and goes on to say that a cord of three strings is not easily broken. It is as we grow together towards Christ that we are better able to love one another and consequently our relationship with our spouse is strengthened.
2. 2. Priority - When we are married, our relationship with our spouse is our priority and we should go to great lengths to preserve this relationship. He shared Hebrews 13:4 which says that "the marriage bed should be kept undefiled." In other words, nothing should come between a husband and wife. From the very beginning, Lucas and I decided to set radical boundaries. We made a commitment to never be alone with someone of the opposite sex and agreed that he would never counsel a woman alone. We wanted to make sure to close all doors to temptation because we knew how subtly they can sneak in to destroy a marriage.
3. 3. Intimacy – Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and without cure, who can understand it?” If we are to look back at the many times we "fell in love" when we were younger, it is evident that our emotions were quite unstable and misleading. In Song of Solomon 2:7 we are cautioned not to arouse or awaken love until it so desires; there is a time for everything. That is why it is important to save sex until after marriage. God created this gift for married couples as a gift and a glue to hold a marriage together. When we follow God's instructions for sex it comes without guilt before, during and after sex.
4. Sincerity - The bible says that Adam and Eve were naked and felt no shame. It was so funny when Lucas said that it was easy not to be embarrassed considering how perfect they were (no love handles or cellulite…ha!). However the concept of feeling no shame did not end there. They had no secrets from each other unlike the infamous Chilean miner who had two families. I don’t know about you but in my relationship with my husband, he is probably the one person who knows more about me than anyone else. He knows things that I would be terribly hesitant to share with others because they are embarrassing however I know that I can trust him. We have taken vows before God to stick with each other for better and for worse.
The truth is all of us carry something shameful from our past with us. Things that if others found it, we would cringe. However, it is with Christ that the old things pass away and all things are made new. Christ is the one that offers "redemption for your past, forgiveness for your present, and purpose for your future". I can relate so much to those words because I think they describe my walk with God to the tee.
I I don't know where you stand today but I pray that God would begin the transforming work in your life as you wholeheartedly pursue the one who has been waiting patiently for you to return to Him.
Next week Lucas will be addressing “The Fall of Man”. If you’re in the Miami area and would like to join us feel free to send me a message or check out our church’s website here.