Monday, November 9, 2009

Pure.

What will you bring to your marriage?  Regrets and moral downfalls?  Past impurity?  Guilt?  Do you realize how these things can affect the marriage relationship - even when both parties are now fully submitted the Lord's leading in their lives?  Even if you've seen it "work" in such situations, uphold a high standard for yourself.  The marriage relationship is a wonderful thing -- but not if it's entered into with distrust and insecurity.  Is this what you want for your life?  Is that what God wants for your life?

This morning, I was reading through some notes on Facebook and saw that one of my friends posted this excerpt from a book by Michael and Debi Pearl called, "Jumping Ship: What to do so Your Children Don't Jump Ship to the World When They Get Older".  This excerpt is written by the Pearl's daughter and son-in-law.

(To the Youth -- Becka Pearl Anast:)

You are the future. I won't tell you that waiting for your mate isn't hard. It is. I have wondered a million times why God gave teenagers such powerful, raging hormones. Why couldn't He have placed that hormonal curse on the old folks that have all the patience and discipline in the world? It’s hard just to keep your thoughts straight, sometimes. But if you knew what is waiting for you . . . if you only knew how good it could be! You would never accept a toy car in the place of a real, shiny red Porsche.

Don't listen to the disillusioned and bitter couples who talk about how hard marriage is, struggling to get along and trying to make it work. If they talk like that, you can bet they messed up somewhere in the past and have no idea what marriage was intended to be. They think their broken product is the way all marriages are constituted. They are wrong. Out of dozens of marriages (good marriages, but not trouble free), we know of only three that came from pure pasts on both sides, neither of them bringing into the marriage any regrets or moral downfalls. Those three marriages were fantastic from the start.

The Bible says, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” If you sow trouble with your flesh before marriage, you'll reap trouble later on. If you sow purity - oh, yes! It can be soooooo good! Take it from us (my husband and I): a pure youth makes for a fantastic marriage, without regrets, without heartache, and without fear. Nether one of us has had second thoughts, and we never will. Be assured: waiting is so worth it!

A few weeks after I married Gabe, he told me something funny. He said one of the things he most valued about me was that I wasn’t an “accidental” virgin. He said he had met conservative homeschooled youth from a dozen families who were virgins just by happenstance. They hadn't personally made a choice to be pure. The parents had made that choice for them - which is good - but the kids had never made that choice for themselves. He said there was no telling how many of them would have given away their virginity if they had been placed in new circumstances and allowed to do whatever they pleased. Have you made a choice yet? Are you doing as much as you can get away with in the confines of your parents' ruling, or are you personally walking after the Spirit of God? Do your convictions change with the crowd you're in, or do you know who you are?

Even the Bible College for missionary kids that I attended taught a watered-down form of righteousness for the single person. They discussed whether or not dating, holding hands, kissing, sexual deviances, etc., were okay. Everyone had different standards. One day a frustrated student called out, “Why didn't God just tell us what we ought to do? Why didn't He just give us a list of dos and don’ts?'' The professor couldn't answer him. At that time, I didn't know the answer either. I felt just like that student. Why couldn't there be a list of rules to go by? But he gave us something much better - his most HOLY Spirit.

(Gabriel Anast:)

God was actually specific. The word “fornication'” in the Scriptures is sexual activity outside the confines of marriage. That means, any activity or thought that you pursue for sexual pleasure. This law of God allows for different standards for different people. A thirteen-year-old boy won’t be able to look at or do things that a sixty-year-old lady could, with a clear conscience.

Sexual highs are meant to be enjoyed by one man and one woman in a context that is sacred and safe from the intrusion of other people. But in order for marriage to be holy, those who enter into it must themselves be holy.

Imagine a couple standing at the altar in their wedding finery both of them having slept around, more recently with each other. What does the “holy bonds of matrimony” mean to them? What privileged act of pleasure are they going to receive now that they are married? What could have been is now spoiled and gone. They have the same stolen goods they took before their vows, plus doubt, mistrust, and a nagging sense of discontentment and shame. There is no elation or joy in the perfect gift of physical union. There is no gift at all; only spoiled stolen goods.

Sex is not just a pleasurable act of procreation. It is an act of kindness, care, and generosity. For a woman, it is like an act of worship; for a man, it is an act of joy in the blessings and gifts of his wife. Those highs are righteous, glorious, and a pure. God gave us these intense feelings and pleasures as a gift to be enjoyed. He also gave us boundaries to protect that gift, boundaries to ensure maximum enjoyment and freedom, and boundaries that prevent guilt, shame, regret, and ultimately the destruction of that gift. When the boundary of sexual purity before marriage is disregarded and violated, the enjoyment of His gift is lessened and corrupted. Persistent violation of those safe perimeters will eventually replace all enjoyment with shame and fear. Many couples get married only to discover one or both of them is broken in the area of enjoyment due to the violation of boundaries in the past. God, in His grace and mercy, can mend the broken pieces, but…oh, the joy of having no broken pieces to begin with!

Maybe your parents have a marriage that you admire and desire for yourself; but maybe they don't. If they are working through their past mistakes and are making a go of it, I'd say their efforts are admirable, to say the least; I wish more couples had that fortitude. But don't take their example, however good or bad, and aim for the same. Aim for higher, better, purer, and more glorious examples! Make a decision within yourself to stay pure for the spouse God is preparing for you. There are some folks who need a list of rules; but the highest standard flows out of a sincere love for God. He will show you by His Spirit and with your own conscience when to draw the line. Believe that it is worth it. Be a virgin at your marriage by choice.

2 comments:

Sherri said...

This is definitely some food for thought. A little late for me, though.

Anonymous said...

Nobody does the right things anymore.