Philippians 4:8: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue,… More
I have a story to tell But I don't believe anyone wants to hear, I can tell by the scrutiny on their faces How unfamiliar the things that come out when I share They tell me, "That's impossible" They tell me, "That's not people-friendly" But what they are really saying It's not necessary to be unashamedly me , All except one I admit, I agree with them Maybe I should take it down a bit Have 'normal' interests, so others can comprehend Not to think so deep Not to be so 'sensitive' I have wished to be somebody everyone wants to keep So, I tried copying their tastes To find my place I could have pulled it off too, They believed it to be true All except one I didn't recognize me anymore My real smile was absent, My thoughts forgotten, And my feelings, well, dead. My 'me-mess', hidden in a box, Yet, I was 'normal' The voice with the story still managed to speak, In the hollow parts of my cheek I tried, hard, to keep the mask. Yet the cracks kept appearing No they didn't ask, they never ask When I was alone, I tried hard to convince myself, this was enough for All except one It took rejection for me to see, Even if I was someone else They still wouldn’t have chosen me. Person after person, friend after friend, They denied the one thing I sought. I remember the nights when with my soul I fought To be rejected because of who you are, Are the heights of pain, Something I cannot explain. Maybe that’s why I haven’t told my story. Maybe that’s why it’s hidden Because they wouldn’t understand And myself I couldn’t have forgiven Of course, all this is unknown to All except one To embrace me took a lot from that one, I couldn’t find the strength I didn’t have the courage to be myself I just wanted to pretend But I had run out of options to put on the shelf Slowly, he gave me a shovel I began digging for my mind, for my life To my surprise, I found it but didn’t love it How could he choose this for his wife? It was worse than before, bitter, hurt, ashamed and condemning It became my enemy like All except one Wounded, I open my heart to the one who gave his all Little by little, I made him get closer, Until he was in the middle of my mess And instead of running or requesting I get a 'helper' He took up a broom and started cleaning I stood clueless. Surely, there must be something I should do He read my mind and replied, ‘No, that’s why I died.’ Yet they didn’t see, they never see, All except one There is still mess But he hasn’t left Teaching me his truth is the only thing I need to profess I started loving me because he does Embracing my uniqueness because he saw them as good He tells me, I am worthy of celebration as any creation would I couldn’t tell this story because nobody would believe me, All except one
That’s how I started the year. This was the only way I could truly express my state of heart. My lifeline was the approval of men and if I didn’t get it, I would squirm in a corner, destitute, starving, burdened. But, to be pursued of God even like that is the best experience in the world! Guess what? He’s pursuing you too. Isn’t that amazing?
I listened this week “The Pursuit of God” by A. W. Tozer and fam, I was constantly draped. (I recently realized books were on Youtube! I know, I am late to that discovery but it doesn’t matter, I know now!) The ninth chapter was the most significant to me, it drove a wedge right into my heart.
“All I Need Is God”
A hundred pounds lifted from my back instantly. All I needed to do was to rest in God? I didn’t need to prove anything to anyone? You mean I can relax in public because I didn’t need to over filter anything? Whew. I’ve heard it before but when the dross clears from your heart, its secret places get discovered. You should spend some time meditating on that passage, paying special attention to ‘self-love‘. I trust you can see my error in the poem and perhaps in you.
To think when I wrote it tears smeared my screen and now, I have this ridiculous smile, feels beautifully strange. Even last time I was at a low, feeling estranged from God, turns out my idols stood between us. Idols of self and people pleasing. It’s amazing the power of the word, chastenings, fellowship, fasting and prayer. It’s amazing how the roads have led me here, seven months into the year. To be able to say, “All I need is God,” is no ‘hurry come up’ declaration or emotional stance. I realize that even when I don’t feel it and it helps me obey his commandments.
I don’t want you to be bound like me in pretense I nurtured. It becomes an unwanted vine, suffocating everything in its path. It blinded my eyes to all the love and acceptance around me. You don’t need seven months, you need a thirst. A thirst for rest and a weariness of the burdens you carry. Believe Him when He says,
How do You Live in that Rest?
Take up his yoke, deny yourself, take up the cross, do His will. Then learn of Him, get into his word, pray, fellowship with other believers. Then, anticipate the temptations to return to vines outside of God. Ensure you have a counter thought, promise or truth, look for the way of escape that’s provided. Precious, may we become meek, may we be ourselves, may we be bold enough to share our mess and imperfections, to seek only God’s approval and accept it, to be real with God and man.
Lastly, honour God in all things. Chapter 10 had these main point:
That means, every moment I spend should be used glorifying God, whether on whatsapp, Facebook, netflix, quiet time, group outings, posts, everything. I don’t want you to think I have perfected this. Trust me, it’s a daily battle, but now, I am not fighting against me or God, we are fighting the sinful nature together.
Other than more non-fiction posts, the long awaited Engraved Series continues next Friday! I have been musing on it and we are in for a treat. I can’t wait to see who picks up on the clues ! Yassss! I’m excited! Read Engraved: Doubts to refresh yourself on what happened last. Thanks to those who reached out to me, it has given me exxxtra motivation.
P.S. You are really a good listener, I hope to return the favour, reach out, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you liked this post and would like to receive more, sign up below! Remember, you are precious.
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Sexual purity is not discarded at the altar, it is as much relevant for married couples as it is for singles.
Scriptures teach time and again that it is God’s plan for one man and one woman to come together in sexual union in marriage. So important is this institution that it is likened to the love that God has for the church.
Growing up and reading this verse often made me wonder who had the greater charge – the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church, or the wife to submit to her own husband and honour him? When you look around though it seems that husbands tend to shrug off this commandment while wives seem to wrestle with submission.
It is needful for husbands and wives to remind themselves of these Godly principles regularly to guard against sexual immorality. When this pure love is not exercised and experienced by both parties, it becomes the soil for the seed of immorality to set in. Many marriages have failed because one or both stopped loving as Christ does.
When you love your spouse as Christ does: you resist the sexual temptations of all others, you do not turn to someone else when your spouse causes you some hurt, you do not deprive or spite your spouse by withholding sexual pleasure, you simply do nothing to grieve their heart.
Marriage is the most sacred place of expression of sexual purity. Let us maintain the highest standard in marriage.
Song of Solomon 2:4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
A part of what makes for a successful marriage is the time spent understanding what true intimacy is. It is not just sexual, it is emotional, intellectual and spiritual. When you recognize that there is more to marriage than sex, you prepare yourself to reap all the benefits of sex.
It’s easy to fantasize about how good you will feel when you reach a sexual high. But it is almost impossible to predict you will react if that high is not reached, or if for whatever reason the body parts don’t function like they are supposed to. What do you do when the man has challenges having an erection, or the wife has challenges having an orgasm? Do you just call it quits, pack them back up and go back to the store for a refund?
Truthfully, you have no control over what sexual challenges may arise in marriage between you and your spouse. However, the right view of intimacy will prevent and resolve most or all of those engine failures. On the other hand, the grip of lust and sexual immorality will lead the unsatisfied spouse into adultery and unfaithfulness.
Intimacy is the bed upon which the best sex happens in marriage. It is the knot that ties man and wife together after they have tied the knot. So spend time learning how to build intimacy and you can prevent the evil tentacles of sexual immorality from raising its head in your marriage.
1Kings 11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
Your sexual relationship is closely linked to the God or gods you serve.
Abraham warned his servant, “Don’t take a wife from this idolatrous nation for my son!” Isaac gave the same charge to Jacob. We see these two men becoming patriarchs of Israel and serving the One True God. However, on the contrary were Ishmael and Esau, they blatantly ignored this admonition and took wives of the heathen nations for themselves. We see how they went into idolatry and became fathers of wicked nations.
King Solomon’s legacy with women teaches us that we can have all the wisdom in the world and still choose the wrong partner. As soon as he went after strange (idolatrous) women, his heart soon started following after strange gods (idols).
Choosing the right partner must be done prayerfully and with guidance from elders and counsellors. If you seek with your eyes and with your ears you will end up just like Solomon. Instead seek with the Spirit of God. Let Him be your matchmaker and find you the right one who will please you all the days of your life while keeping you in His will.
Beware also, because an ungodly sexual relationship will bear children. No, these are not the children which are an heritage unto the Lord. These are the fruits of bitterness, hurt, depression, and suicidal thoughts to which you can be driven by opening up yourself to the wrong person. And no matter how much you think you’ve gotten over the past relationships, you’ll be surprised how many “Ammonites” will spring up repeatedly if you persist in the wrong way. The best way to avoid this experience is to avoid an ungodly sexual relationship. However, we will look at how to rebound righteously after sexual failure for those who may have faltered already.
Today, consider how that romantic relationship will help you to serve God better and help you to remain pure before Him.
Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
Many young Christians think that marriage is the ultimate escape from sexual immorality. After all, you and your spouse can now have all the sex you want without guilt right?
The sad truth though is – that mindset sets a number of traps for those seeking marriage as the escape from their sexual urges. Blinded by the pursuit of fulfillment of this desire, one may ignore obvious warning signs that indicate this person is not the right one for you. You may even be so enamored with this person that you fail to realise that spiritually the relationship is already draining you. But it’s better to be alone than to be spiritually trapped. The need for sex should not be the main driving force behind one’s desire for marriage. Instead, let God’s purpose for your life guide your decision to pursue marriage or not, and guide to whom you choose to commit your life.
If you are caught up thinking only about the physical in regards to marriage, maybe this is your chance to shake things up. Get yourself to a quiet place and pray. Ask God what is His plan for the marriage you want to pursue. Do your utmost to ensure God is with you in this. It is the most important decision you will make in your adult life. And God wants you to get it right in all areas.
Prayer StarterI want to be led to the right person you have for me Jesus. Let me not look only with my physical senses, but follow the Spirit’s leading throughout this process. Even if it hurts me, Lord help me continually abide in your will.
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
So you’ve found the one whom your soul longs for. You find that their voice is as lovely as the chimes of a skilled musician upon the harp. You are just about ready to sweep away or be swept away. You feel like you could just fly.
Next you want to just hold hands a little longer. You want that hug to linger. Your hands feel like they want to start to wander… *SCREEEECH!!* Hold up young sir! Hold up young lady! Hit the breaks!
You’re not married yet!
It seems sexual urges are harder to control the closer you get to that wedding day. After all, you’ve spent months and even years waiting to be one with this person, and the day is finally almost here. One must never forget though that until that marriage is solemnized your body does not belong to your spouse-to-be.
So how does one tame the flames of affection and passion during engagement or courtship?
“Watch the temperature. Don’t turn up the heat too hot too early!” Those were the words of my father to me when I was pursuing marriage with my wife. And I am thankful for those words every day. So how did my wife and I monitor the sexual thermostat? For one, we both agreed that we would not kiss at all, so our first kiss was at the altar. Next, every now and again we would remind each other that we didn’t belong to each other as yet. And we kept our physical boundaries to a safe distance. “How safe is safe?” you may ask. I think “six feet apart” has been trending!
Patience is key. Yes, there are sins that can easily beset you while you are courting and during engagement. There are sexual weights which can hamper your walk and tarnish your purity. But as my mother-in-law would often warn us, “Don’t lose your testimony.” You must be prepared to ward off the deceptive whisper of emotions which comes to make you fall. The mindset that your body does not belong to that person until you tie the knot will help save you from much regret.
Hold out until the end.
Prayer StarterGod, give me the strength to preserve my sexual purity always. I commit my body to your keeping again and my heart into your hands. Watch over me gentle Shepherd, lest I go astray blindly.
Proverbs 18:22 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.
Many are called to a life of singleness. But I wasn’t. Now I am happily married to my “good thing”. My time as a single young adult however, were most crucial in preparing me for this stage of the journey. And so too is yours.
Even before I found a wife, the first thing I had to find was myself. For how could I love another human being and expect her to love me back unconditionally if I had no clue who I was in God. And I find that this blunder is one which many make while waiting for marriage. They forget to get to know the one human being they can never get away from – themselves.
And so many of those identity issues show themselves up in marriage. Marriage is like the glass that shows you who you truly are. If you were harbouring thoughts of sexual perversion then in marriage that may manifest in infidelity. If you thought pornography was a light thing while single then in marriage you may find your spouse sexually unattractive because of the lies you’ve been fed. A false sense of who you are as a sexual being – one built on worldly principles – will contribute to much hurt and lack of intimacy in marriage.
To find a good thing, you must also be a good thing. Instead of asking God why it is taking so long to be “free from singleness”, why don’t you take the time to be free in singleness?
Singleness is a precious time. Use it wisely!
Prayer StarterLord, help me to find your will in every season. I will wait on your timing and delight myself in You while I wait. The world may portray a false sense of bliss in immoral living but I trust in You God.
Day 22: Why Wait?
Ten Reasons to Wait Until Marriage to Have Sex
- Your soul is more important than sex
Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
- Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit
1Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
- You will have to give account to God why you disobeyed Him.
Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
- Once you get started, it’s hard to stop and it cascades into deeper sin.
James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
- Virginity is what brings the honey to the moon.
Proverbs 5:18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.
- You avoid the risk of pregnancy with someone who has no intention of a lifelong relationship.
Lamentations 5:3 We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows.
- The pleasures of sex will not expire before your wedding day.
1Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
- It’s the Bible way from the beginning.
Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
- You avoid the baggage of previous sexual encounters and failed sexual relationships.
1Kings 11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites
- What the world has told or shown you about sex is laced with lies.
Genesis 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Prayer StarterThey that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. Jesus, I know your word promises strength to those who wait on You. Teach my heart to wait on you in this walk of sexual purity.
Proverbs 5:3 For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: 4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.
Sadly, not all will recover from sexual failure even though we all have the opportunity to, through repentance. For example, while witnessing to one young man on campus he told me, “once you get started fornicating it’s hard to ever stop!” I’m not saying God cannot deliver the worst of sinners. But I do warn that sex can be one of those “snares and cares of the world” that steals away the word of God planted in one’s heart. This represents one instance in which it is even more important to abstain. Prevention is the best cure for these situations.
For me, throughout university I felt like if I gave even an inch to the devil’s lusts I would become so wrapped up in sexual perversion that it would forever take me over. So for me, avoidance was key. I avoided all the parties on campus and all the fetes. When it was carnival time I found myself off campus or around my Christian friends. I tried to avoid everything that looked immoral even to the point that I got to thinking that maybe I’d have to walk with my eyes looking up the heavens to avoid seeing the skimpily dressed females.
Yet, try as you or I might, the sexual immorality all around us will show itself to us. This is called temptation. The way you respond to that temptation determines the outcome of your story.
Here is wisdom, if you will receive it. Turn not into the way of sexual lust for the end is bitter. It leads down to death and binds the one taken by it in the jaws of hell. Who knows how many chances you have been afforded to recover from a fall? Who knows even if the Lord will put in His appearing right after a foolish act of disobedience and failure?
Let us not go the way of sinful man. Instead, let us maintain the sanctity of our souls.
Prayer StarterLord, how can I maintain my garments spotless and white as you require? How do I gain that consistency to always resist sexual lust, resisting even to death? Show me how today.
Proverbs 15:3: The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
It is a puzzling, mysterious and marvelous fact that God is all-knowing and present everywhere in a world so full of wickedness. It should tell us certain things – firstly, that God is extremely merciful in the way He does not always exact judgement the moment you sin, and that we may not ever fully understand the depths of His love that He took the punishment of all these wrongs upon Himself in order to save us – the wrong doers.
The important thing to know is that even though we aren’t always aware of His presence, God IS ALWAYS there. God is there present in the bathroom, in your room at 2AM in the morning. He is there when you have the house all to yourself. He is there when you’re locked into the screen of your phone or TV. And He is always there!
God’s longsuffering is what allows Him to delay a just judgement in favour of offering the opportunity for repentance. This must never be taken for granted! Soon enough, if you do not take the time to make it right with God, His righteous hand will show up in judgement and you will have no defense in that day.
To embrace God’s love will mean you do what is pleasing Him every day, whether or not you are consciously aware of His presence. However, we must endeavour as youth to develop that constant God-consciousness that allows us to say when we are by ourselves in a sticky spot, “How can I do this thing and sin against my God?!!”
It’s time to pray.
Prayer StarterJehovah Shamma – the Lord is there. Even though we cannot comprehend your long-suffering at times, Lord we have to thank you for your mercy. God, we want to please you and make our hearts right with you before you appear to judge this world. Help us Jesus to bow before You each and every day.
Judges 16:20: And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.
God is not unaccustomed to dealing with sexual failures among his servants. Samson and David are two famous figures we must look at when considering how you and I must respond after sexual failure.
Unlike Joseph who from the outset thought “how can I do this thing and sin against God?”, Samson and David seemed to have dropped their guard when they went astray. Today, many of us look on and say, “How could such righteous men do such a wicked thing?!”
It seems Samson did not make one correct choice with women, though he received Godly counsel time and again. David, on the other hand, was doing a good job at it then it seems he found himself outside of God’s presence and will for a period. What these two men lacked, you have an opportunity to assess yourself if you have it right now – and that is an absolute conviction of the truth of God’s word.
They were both surrounded by Godly advisors. Yet, sometimes we find even ourselves pursuing the wrong thing even though our leaders warn us directly against it. If you are like that, now is an opportunity to change your thoughts toward this. Failure to heed both the Word of God and those who minister the word to you will lead you down a treacherous path.
At the end of it, they both faced dire consequences. For Samson it was his life and the freedom of the nation of Israel. For David, the consequences of his actions are so heart-rending sometimes it pains to think about – death of a faithful soldier and husband, death of the child that came from that encounter, his own son rising up against him in rebellion – a whole lot of tragedy that could have been prevented.
For you also, there are consequences for sexual failures of all sorts. Despite this, the last point of their story teaches how merciful and forgiving our God is. They were both forgiven when they came to a place of repentance. Even so, you must also come to a place of repentance and receive freely the forgiveness of the Lord.
Let us pray…
Prayer StarterGod you have given us great examples how to live sexually pure lives. You have also shown us how we must return to you after failing. Help us to walk more perfectly day by day by your grace.