So. I figure it’s time for a bit more serious of a blog from me. My apologies in advance, but I’ll be writing a long one tonight. So, a few weeks ago, I downloaded a file that was send to me by Boundless.org (one of my favorite websites) called “A Girl’s Guide to Marrying Well”. I had read it on and off a bit, but finally finished it this morning. I highlighted some points, and now I’m going to quote those and tell you why it’s relevant to my relationship with Chris. Or, just why it hit me at all. Or maybe I won’t, and I’ll just tell you the highlighted part is all. Hrmph. Anyways, it was interesting, because looking at the “previews” of the web-book, it looked like it was going to be cheesy. Quite the opposite—it very much affected me and the way I look at parts of our relationship.
In short: Pick a potential dating partner with an eye toward godly manhood and womanhood—with an eye toward who would make a good husband or wife, defined by those characteristics God esteems in His Word.
For only by holding herself in reserve does a woman gain the distance and self-command needed to discern what and whom she truly wants and to insist that the ardent suitor measure up. See, I heard that as, saying that I’ve been single and focusing on God for a while, so basically, it’s given me time enough to figure what I need, and know not to settle.
Whatever your sexual history, the goal remains: Live from today forward like you’re planning to marry—like you’re planning to one day fully enjoy the blessings of sex within a good marriage. For those who have had sex already, true repentance—admitting your sin and turning away—allows you to experience God’s gracious forgiveness and restoration. Dude. Word. This basically screams “second chance!” and shows that if you repent (key!), that you can still have a pure marriage. Encouragement, basically.
Not having sex before marriage is a way of insisting that the most interesting part of your life will take place after marriage. There’s somewhere in this that it says something like, if you have sex before marriage, you’re so worried about how things go, and it’s all about self-pleasure, so it’s no good. But after marriage, it’s all about pleasing the other person while glorifying God. Woah.
(Here’s a sort of long one. I highlighted it in BOLD, so that means basically that it was just really important to me.) The full context of our sexual drive and its purposes is much more significant than we can comprehend in a moment of temptation in a dimly lit room. Living a life of purity is a tremendous challenge in the midst of our hypersexualized culture. But it’s nowhere as challenging as trying to manage all the seen and unseen consequences that come when we reject God’s design. Worse still is trying to grow a good marriage in a garden filled with weeds you’ve planted. It’s well worth the effort to stay pure, or if you’re already fallen, to repent, receive forgiveness, and be pure again.
(Isiah 32:1-4) "Each man will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.”…A holy man is a spiritual force, a “God oasis” in a world that needs spiritually strong people…By their words, actions, and eyes, they affirm what God values most in a woman’s worth. Okay. Seriously, when I read this, I wept (a little) because it really did remind me of Chris. Even more so, now that it’s been a while. I mean, him taking care of me when I’m sick and hurt, being protective of me, that’s all really important.
In short, the sexual aspect of our nature—when released exclusively within the family—produces stability and responsibility that would not otherwise occur.
Sexual intimacy is all about union…In sexual intimacy, we also know a union that is emotional, as our hearts are knit together even as our bodies are. We know a union that is intellectual, as we come to understand and know one another in intimate detail. We know a union that is even spiritual, for as every married couple figures out, the best sex isn’t when I make sure I get what I want, but when I forget about myself, and give myself for the blessing and delight of my spouse. And at that moment, we are very close to the heart of Christ…Bereft of its proper point and context, sexual intimacy outside of marriage does not bring us into the lover’s embrace, but merely exposes us to the stranger’s stare, and reduces us to the means of someone else’s pleasure. See, that’s what I was talking about earlier, how sex after marriage has a different point and different answer.
…because letting in even a hint of immorality causes the heart to become calloused toward God. Thank God for His grace. No matter how far we’ve fallen, we are invited to confess our sins and He is faithful to forgive them. Beyond confession there must also be repentance—a true change of heart. I have had to confess impurity and ask God to help me stick to a higher standard. Not so I can appear righteous but so that I can experience closeness with my Father and His full working in my life.
Nobody really “settles” in a biblical marriage because God has designed marriage as a wonderful gift that gets better with age… Marriage is incredibly fun; it’s also incredibly hard… According to Scripture, marriage is anything but a selfish endeavor. It is a ministry.
Here’s a good list. It’s called “The Real Non-Negotiables” and is basically a standard that you must have as a checklist, that your potential mate has to fit. Chris fits them all. 1) A man must be a believer. 2) He must be able and willing to provide for his family. 3) He must love sacrificially. 4) He must be honest, have a good reputation and strive for the qualities of a spiritual leader.
We should want to marry men who love one person more than they love us—Jesus. And if they love Jesus, they are going to love His bride.
Okay, that’s it. I know it was a lot, and I don’t blame you if you didn’t read it all. It was important to me, so I had to put it down.