"There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage." ~Martin Luther

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Sexual Purity

A few weeks ago, there was a hot question on Myne’s Blog about Christianity and sex. I read through the comments and was very thrilled and pleased to see that a number of Christians voiced out their opinion against premarital sex. We all know that the subject of premarital sex can be controversial and a lot of people see nothing wrong with it. However more and more young adults are beginning to realise that it is a big deal and it pays to wait till marriage to have sex.
We would not be addressing why premarital sex is wrong today. We already addressed this in the let's talk about sex post. We want to share practical steps on how to avoid falling into the temptation of sexual sin or fornication as the bible puts it when dating/courting.  Many young christians struggle with this issue in their relationships. Society has made us believe it is not possible to abstain from premarital sex or to be sexually pure but that is a lie from the pit of hell. If it were not possible God would not have commanded it. 

These tips are for singles who take sexual purity seriously and want to commit to God, themselves and their future spouse.

Be sure you and your boyfriend are on the same page when it comes to being sexually pure. We don’t believe only the girl in a relationship should be concerned about being sexually pure, both the guy and girl are to be held to the same standards, God's standards. What does sexual purity and sexual sin mean to both of you. Read verses in the bible that talk about sexual immorality and discuss them. Make sure you do this early in the relationship before your emotions start raging high (at this point it will be hard to make any reasonable decisions). If you realise you are both on different pages, then it might be worth reevaluating the purpose of that relationship. Our advice is that you going into a relationship with a fellow christian who is on the same page as you. This will make it easier to overcome sexual sin.

Write out your standards and ask God to help you stick to them. You can make your own purity pledge cards or check google and print one and keep on you. Some singles choose to wear a purity ring or purity necklace or bracelet till they get married. Both of you should be committed to sticking to your pledge however don’t rely on your boyfriend to enforce the standards. If your boyfriend is weak, you have to step up, be strong and nip things in the bud.  
Tell yourself it can happen to you. I think one big problem that dating Christians have is they think it cannot happen to them i.e. falling into sexual sin. As a result, temptation creeps up on them and they are ill prepared. By acknowledging that you are human and you have feelings and that YOU can fall into sexual sin, you can be more prepared and guard yourselves against sin.

Be accountable to others about your relationship. Find a mentor, this could be an older Christian married couple or another Christian dating couple you trust and who takes sexual purity seriously and be accountable to them. When you know you have to report back on your dating affairs to someone that should help keep you in check.

Focus on talking and not on touching. Communication is very essential to the success of a relationship. Talk about anything and everything. The more you talk the more you know about the other person and the more you touch, the less you talk and the less you know about the other person. 
Plan your time together well in advance on activities to do together. Avoid staying indoors for long or in places where you cannot be interrupted. This can be a very conducive atmosphere to fall into temptation. Go out more often, spend time with other dating couples, spend time with family and spend more time in public places. This forces you to do more talking and less touching.  Sleepovers are a no-no or sitting in the car together alone. You are only setting yourselves up for a fall.

This might sound odd but don’t pray together behind closed doors. I have found that praying together makes you feel close and intimate  and could actually lead you to other things you are trying to avoid.

Renew your mind. Sexual purity starts from the mind. What are you feeding your mind on, what books do you read, what TV or Internet programs do you watch, what type of music do you listen to. Feed your mind with the word of God, inspirational books, and edifying materials. I am not saying watching movies is bad but it gets to a point in your christian walk that you find some movies or music unedifying.

Take the relationship sloooooow… When things are moving too fast like a car going out of control, pull the brakes! Ask yourself why the rush, where are we rushing to? Be in control of your relationship and not the relationship in control of you. Time has a way of showing us what really matters. Remember Love is patience

Engaged couples are even more susceptible to premarital sex.  Don’t get engaged till there is a wedding date in sight. Be more on your guard. Avoid tapping into the privileges of marriage before marriage especially sexually. Quarter to marriage is not the same as being married.

If you have fallen into sexual sin, there is still hope for you. The key is not to stay defeated or think oh well, "I might as well continue since I am in it already". No! Repent, ask God to forgive you and restore you back to him. Staying sexually pure is possible. Implement a plan to avoid falling into future temptation, as they will come

God honours sexual purity. A lot of marriages are in trouble today because of the seed of sexual immorality that was sown premarital days. The cost of  sexual impurity is very high and as a child of God do what you must to avoid it.

We would love to hear your tips on staying sexually pure .

God bless

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Can SHE propose?

I’m conservative, old school, probably traditional and most importantly, I base my decisions on God’s word. As a result, I like to think it’s a man’s job to do the asking, it’s the woman’s part to do the answering. I know there might be exceptions to every rule and I’m not even saying this is a rule.

Let’s start from Genesis, God made Adam and then after He had made Adam and given him a job, He made him fall into a deep sleep. He then fashioned a woman out of him. Eve came and then Adam decided she was flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone and called her woman. We can infer that Adam proposed to Eve or well, acknowledged her as his woman.

Go forward a bit in the bible, Abraham told his servant to go and find a wife for his son Isaac among his own people (Gen 24:4). The servant went to Nahor and found Rebecca for Isaac. He then took her back to meet him in Canaan. He did the asking, the woman did the consenting. So many parts of the bible show us how the man asked for the woman’s hand in marriage. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord” Prov 18:22. Note it says HE.

I tend to think the man is the head of the home, even as the word of God says; ‘the man is the head of the woman...’ (in the context of their home) and if he is the leader, he should be bold enough to ask the woman to be his wife. He is the God ordained physical and spiritual leader and if the woman has to start leading before they are married, it might be pointers to the fact that he might find it hard to step up to his leadership roles in marriage. Also, if a woman pops the question out rightly, a man might feel pressured into making a lifetime commitment.

Of course, I think, a woman can give the man hints if the courtship seems be dragging and he is not making any moves towards marriage. A lady can bring up the topic and see what the man’s reaction is to it. Also if the relationship has a solid foundation, both parties should be open to discussing the issue of marriage. Proposals don’t necessarily have to be the traditional; man drops down on one knee, brings out a ring and asks the woman to marry him in the presence of others’.

In my case, my husband and I had agreed from the word go that we would get married. It was only a matter of ‘right timing’ and as we went along, he constantly reminded me that he wanted me to be his wife. At some point in our relationship, he bought me a ring to make it more formal. When we were going to get married, it was more of a discussion as we had agreed to get married and he had proposed to me way before this time.

It is not expressly written in the bible that a man must seek a woman's hand in marriage but several scriptures point to men making the proposal. Culture also appreciates men making the marriage move. In the old days, the man’s family would go to the woman’s to ask for the hand of the woman in marriage. In fact, in those days, the woman didn’t really have much of a say in whatever family her parents and extended family agree to give her in marriage to.

Having said all of the above, I  realise in life that there are any hard and fast rules really and no two relationships are the same. Nothing signifies that a marriage in which the woman did the asking will be problematic.

It would be nice to hear your opinions and contributions. Do you think a woman can or should pop the question? Is it right? Can it affect the relationship or marriage adversely? We look forward to hearing the thoughts of both our male and female readers. If we can get some real life examples, that would also be great.

Ps: It’s great to be back from my sabbatical. Hopefully I will be around here more often from now on.