Hopeful Hearts and Seasoned Souls

She’s engaged!

Is it your best friend? Your sister? Or is it you? Now that a ring is on your finger, you’re realizing that you’re life is about to change and you can’t wait another second to say “I do.” You think about all you’ve been through and your mind can’t help but go back to the beginning; when you first met the man that would one day become your husband.
So what’s one of the first things you want to do when you suddenly become someone’s fiance? Perhaps it’s safe to say that you want to run and tell your mom! After all of the joy, excitement and maybe even a few tears, a wise woman would ask her mother (if she hadn’t asked already) all that she needs to know before she gets any closer to the alter.
So here’s the burning question: If your mother is divorced, never married, or unhappily married, can she give you what she doesn’t have?
It’s true, some of the best advice comes from people that have gone through pain, fears and disappointments. Even those who haven’t quite reached their goal, they’re still persevering with plenty of lessons under their belt. But what if the perception of your mother toward marriage is deep bitterness and a lack of forgiveness? How will you receive the insight and encouragement from your mother then?
Okay, let’s take a deep breath. Yes, it’s a blessing if one has parents who have a loving, successful marriage that spans decades. But what about the women who don’t? What do they have to look to in order to know what being a husband or wife means?
Family curses are what come into play here. Cycles of bad habits, skewed mentalities and most detrimental, homes lacking the presence of Christ.
It’s truly about getting back to basics. When some little girls are twirling around in their tutus and “playing purse,” their mothers may be teaching them about who God is, if they don’t already know at that toddler age. Throughout their childhood years any lessons a girl’s mom shares is usually remembered if reiterated as she grows older.
“I have to tell you like my mother told me. Be independent, even in marriage-and have your own money,” said Elizabeth. She has been married for over 30 years. Unhappily. She reflects on some of the things she told her daughter when she was growing up regarding men and marriage. “Education first.” She emphasized this throughout her daughter’s life. Elizabeth said that education gives you the freedom to do what you want. To have a more well-rounded life. You realize the more education you get, the more education you want.” So what did she tell her daughter about marriage? That you don’t have to tell men everything. Elizabeth’s reasoning is that as the woman, you believe that marriage is about unity, but the man is all for himself.
This is a mother who has been scarred by her years as an unhappy wife.
From a family of eight, she grew up in a home filled with siblings and two loving parents. She’s the baby, so her parents were well into their forties when she came along. While her mother took Elizabeth and her brothers and sisters to church, she was never consistently taught what having a relationship with Christ is all about.
She remembers the one day when her father went to church with them. After this memory came to her mind, she said that it’s possible that she never really knew what the characteristics of a man with a heart for Lord looked like.
It all comes down to one decision. That one decision to fall in love with Jesus. No matter how much someone else can try to teach and preach, you have to feel and hear God for yourself in order to surrender your life.
Elizabeth’s mother couldn’t do any more than what she did because it was up to Elizabeth all along to seek what the Lord wanted for her and wants for her today. Praying for her husband before he came along- doing the same for her children. Seek God in all of the decisions that you make.
Elizabeth has an experienced soul. She’s experienced a lot of pain from a marriage that was built on the wrong things. She admits that she wants to develop a relationship with Christ. Only then can she possess a forgiving heart.
So what about the hopeful heart? That’s the thing about Jesus—when you know Him before you make choices all on your own, you have the ability to live a life of hope, excitement and fearlessness.
You take a seasoned soul’s lessons and God’s principles and see whether they line up. You can take heed to what an older woman has been through, but don’t let it paralyze you and make you fearful of marriage. God has called you to be fearless!
When you know God, when you have fallen in love with Jesus Christ, when you live a praying life, when you read and practice the Word, not only can you avoid a broken marriage and bitterness, but you can bless another woman with your spirit. Even one who has an experienced soul.

Chateaux-Capri “CC” Sirmans

FROM www.hisbeautymagazine.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

Your hand will guide me

Psalm 139:7-10 Guidance

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:9-10

I leased a car in Fairbanks, Alaska where I’d lived for 14 years. My marriage of 10 years dissolved, I’d decided to move back to the lower 48; to flee from the pain, shame, and the anger toward my God. I drove out of Fairbanks that morning through pouring rain. I put a Country Western CD in, cranked up the tunes blocking out everything around me. I tried to keep my mind on the songs but, on that long winding road to Wisconsin, God touched my heart. The Lord found me and the rain that was on the outside came inside, and I found myself crying over my loss marriage.

On this broken road I tried to escape from his love and I accidentally ran right into his arms. I laid my heart bare before God that day and the freedom of crying before God filled a void that carries me through to this day. I am not alone. He loves me with a Father’s love. If I settle on the far side of the sea he is there to guide and hold me.

Prayer: Abba Father your hand will guide me through each day. Help me to let go of the pain that holds me and keeps me away. Help me to let it rain. I pray. Amen.

Did God made marriage union as one flesh or multiple flesh?

Bible says that God’s original intention was for one man to be married to only one woman. Marriage was instituted by God as a lifelong commitment (Genesis 2:18-24, Matthew 19:3-61, 1 Timothy 4:1-5). Marriage means first that we must LEAVE our families of origin, then we must CLEAVE to one another in a commitment to the permanence of the relationship.

Experiential marriage by its obvious numbers doing it has become quite accepted now which are ignoring Gods laws. They just do not realize that this situation does not at all serve as a good ‘trial’ marriage. Divorce is a genuine tragedy. It often leaves the marriage partners embittered and disillusioned. It robs the children of the love and security of a healthy family and denies them a good role model for their own future marriages. A real marriage is secure while experimental marriage is defined by its temporariness.

1.One man to be married to only one woman: The Bible says that God’s original intention was for one man to be married to only one woman: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife [not wives], and they will become one flesh [not fleshes]” (Genesis 2:24). Ephesians 5:22-33 speaks of the relationship between husbands and wives. When referring to a husband (singular), it always also refers to a wife (singular). “For the husband is the head of the wife [singular] … He who loves his wife [singular] loves himself. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife [singular], and the two will become one flesh….Each one of you also must love his wife [singular] as he loves himself, and the wife [singular] must respect her husband [singular].” If polygamy were allowable, the entire illustration of Christ’s relationship with His body (the church) and the husband-wife relationship falls apart. Divorce laws in America are so lax that almost anyone can dissolve a marriage and remarry at any time for any reason. od made one man for one woman, indicating He did not intend for either to marry anyone else. He said they should cleave to one another and the two become one. God joins the man and woman, no human has the right to break that bond. Divine law opposes divorce and remarriage.

2.God hates divorcé: we see many marriages of today are filled with serial adulterers. In God’s eyes, divorce is violence directed against our own family; it is violence against our own flesh and blood, violence against our husband or wife, violence against our children. God hates the suffering of the children involved in divorces. God hates it when a home is broken and a family shattered. God hates it when children are deprived of father or mother by divorce. God loathes the heartbreak of the children, and the loneliness experienced by the divorced husband and wife. It is not good for man to be alone and divorce results in loneliness. It is not good for children to be deserted by their parents, and divorce results in deserted children. It is unthinkable that God could have any other attitude to divorce. The message of Malachi is that God hates divorce.

3. Reconcillation: Although divorce is permitted for marital unfaithfulness, the Bible teaches that we should do all we can to achieve reconciliation. The unfaithful partner bears a terrible responsibility for they have sinned against God, against their marriage partner, against their children and against their family. They should repent of their foolish action, change their behaviour and ask for forgiveness from all concerned. Adultery is not the unforgivable sin, and God is able to restore the relationship if there is a true change of heart. True reconciliation requires a change of behaviour on the part of the unfaithful partner, and that the one who has been sinned against should be willing to forgive and be reconciled. Although this may take a long time to achieve, and sometimes is not possible because of the unrepentant heart of the unfaithful partner, the faithful partner should aim at this rather than allowing their marriage to be broken by divorce. Even after divorce, the possibility of reconciliation should be left open, and, if at all possible, it should be sought actively and encouraged. God’s guidance for those who face the possibility of a divorce because of marital unfaithfulness is that they should do all in their power to save their marriage. They should be like Hosea and again show their love to their unfaithful partner, doing everything possible to achieve reconciliation.

4.Divine law opposes divorce and remarriage: .Jesus has spoken about divorce because it is sometimes allowed because of adultery. It is not encouraged. God says, “I hate divorce!” Divorce is a genuine tragedy. It often leaves the marriage partners embittered and disillusioned. It robs the children of the love and security of a healthy family and denies them a good role model for their own future marriages.

5.Our society: In America, over 90% of single-parents are single-moms. Women and children are more adversely affected by the erosion of the marriage bond. The American family is falling apart. Consider the following statistics. In 1950, about one out of every 20 children born in this country was born to an unmarried woman — and there were very few abortions. By 1990, more than one out of every 4 children was born to an unmarried woman — and hundreds of thousands more were aborted. Approximately half of all marriages that take place this year in the U.S. will end in divorce.

The downfall of the family unit in society is one of the most tragic things facing mankind. The destruction of the family unit all begins with the destruction of what starts a family – the marriage of a man and a woman. It is hard to find people who have not been divorced and remarried at least once these days. Why? Because, the institution of marriage and family is generally not held in the esteem that God meant for it to be.

The family was God’s first institution, but today man seems to think it is the worst institution. In the beginning, God created man and woman and joined them together for life. He said in Genesis 3:24, “Therefore man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” In these words God, instituted the marriage relationship and ordained the family unit. Later, after their transgression, Adam and Eve had children which completed the family unit in its simplest sense. The problem today is that many want marriage and even children, but when things get difficult (even barely difficult) – they want out. This is why divorce rates have skyrocketed over the last 30 years. Irreconcilable differences, money, children, infidelity, and “not what they expected” are all justifications men and women use to end marriages. Ultimately, they amount to a long list of excuses and center around one person, “me.” Selfishness is the biggest destroyer of marriages. In turn, the family unit has for the most part come to mean nothing. Children in turmoil and confusion are the consequences of such thinking. They get wrapped up in a vicious cycle of broken homes that only they can choose to break. That is, the average child of a divorced couple will inevitably divorce unless they consciously and determinably choose not to fall prey to the same thing their parents did. This is shameful.

Today, if a Christian wants a divorce, they twist the scriptures to fit their desire or they hear a prophecy, or a voice that says, “God doesn’t want you to suffer anymore.” They try to justify their decision to others because they KNOW they’re guilty. These fine Christian people, ministers, pastors, prophets, and evangelists come up with all sorts of wild ideas why it’s okay to divorce. But, there truly are few good reasons to divorce.

We marry “until death us do part” – binding our bodies, our flesh, together while those bodies live. The commitment then, is generally envisaged to end on death, and not until then. There is no marriage in heaven. The “one flesh” that the Bible describes is figurative of the union between Christ and the Church, and shows that a husband must love his wife as Christ loves the Church, and that a wife must submit to her husband as the Church must submit to Christ

6. The “One Flesh” scriptures and the duty of marriage: Every sexual liaison, whether within marriage or not, carries with it that mysterious deep bonding process of becoming “one flesh” with the other person. (Divorce is terribly painful partly because of the violent ripping apart of this “one flesh” bond– a tearing apart which goes to the core of one’s being).

Genesis 2 vv 21-24 21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Matthew 19 : 4-6 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Mark 10 6-9 6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

1 Corinthians 6 : 15-17 15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

1 Corinthians 7 : 2-5 2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

Ephesians 5 : 22-33 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

But being one flesh can include more than sex, the physical act of intercourse. It means the sharing of life, not just bodies and material possessions, but thoughts and dreams, joys and sufferings, hopes and fears, successes and failures. In short, it’s being one soul as well as one body.

The husband who loves his wife loves himself, nourishing and cherishing her as he would his own flesh. This is what it means to be one flesh.

7.The Biblical concept of “one fleshness” comes up again in the New Testament.:In 1 Corinthians Paul writes,

Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”

But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 5:13-20)

The New Testament’s several warnings about this are all equally strong–these are matters of life and death as far as Christians are concerned:

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, must not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.

But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:1-17)

Societies are built around stable family structures–it’s how God designed things. (1) When young people lack role models for manhood and womanhood and marriage, how can they be expected to build a stable next-generation?

God’s Word warns us not to fall for these man-made standards of living.

8. God’s Word has not changed: God is today and has always been against His children participating in pre-marital sex! God wants us to have sexual relations with our husband or wife only. 1 Corinthians 7:2 reads “To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

God’s commands are not always easy to follow. Being an obedient child of God in this area requires you to see this sin the way God sees it. You cannot think of sex as just something exciting and fun to do. You must learn to treasure and respect your body as something that is beautiful and special, a work of art that is only to be shared with one person under God’s conditions.

You must go to God in prayer and ask for the strength you need to not give in to the temptations of the flesh. You will need to make it a point to not put yourself in situations where you are likely to stumble. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, you will be able to resist the temptation to take part in pre-marital sex.

2 Peter 2:9 tells us, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.”

So if you truly are a born-again follower of Christ, do as we read in Colossians 3:1-3,5: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Mortify (restrain) your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”

When you are intimate with someone in a sexual way, you are actually becoming one with that person on a deep spiritual level that goes far beyond just temporary thrills. Corinthians 6:15-16 reads, “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid. What! Know ye not that he which is joined to a harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh.”

So, again, every time you casually have sexual relations with someone who you are not married to, a little bit of your soul dies in a way. You have given to a stranger something that is valuable and precious. You have allowed this person to steal your wealth, to take away your honor.

And Romans 13:12b-14, “Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying: but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

These commands are important and we should live according to them because God commanded us to, and because we show our love to Christ by being obedient. In John 14:15 Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” And 1 John 2:3-5 reads, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. ”

If you say that you are a follower of Christ, yet you are out in the world fornicating and carrying on like all of the lost people of the world, than just maybe you are fooling yourself and you are not really a child of God’s!

9: God never desired these things for the family: Malachi 2:13-16 says…

And this is the second thing you do: you cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and crying; so He does not regard the offering anymore, nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. 14 Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. 16 “For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,” says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”

It is easy to see why God despises divorce. He stands on high looking down on the destruction of His first institution! He sees children suffering greatly and shedding many tears at the hands of selfish adults who cannot fulfill vows and work out problems! He sees His children break His commands and His children’s children learn to do the same! He sees treachery! It is both a wonder and wonderful, that God sent His Son to die for such a sinful and rebellious people.

Now look at what the Lord said of marriage in Matthew 5:31-32.

Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say unto you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality (fornication, jlp) causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.”

That’s right! The Lord said that we are not to give our wives (spouses, for that matter – God holds no double standard between man and woman – see Mark 10:12) a certificate of divorce! If we do, we cause them to commit adultery. In other words, we cause them to sin and will be personally held accountable (Matthew 18:6-8). Furthermore, anyone who marries someone who is unscripturally divorced, commits adultery.

There is only one exception given to this rule, and that is when one is sexually unfaithful (commits fornication outside the marriage relationship) to their spouse. The innocent party who has put their spouse away can remarry, but the guilty party cannot. Notice Matthew 19:3-10.
The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.”And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”

The Lord said it very plainly and simply. What is tolerated today was not so from the beginning and will not be tolerated in the judgment. If we divorce our spouse for any reason except sexual immortality (fornication), and then remarry – we commit adultery! If we marry one who has been divorced and remarried for any reason save sexual immorality – we commit adultery! We know from Galatians 5:19-21, that no adulterer will inherit the kingdom of God! It is that simple! Marriage, while not existing in eternity (Mark 12:25), has eternal consequences.

Notice the statement made by those who heard this teaching. They said, “…it was better not to marry.” The Lord did not disagree, but knew that some could not keep this saying – so marriage, when properly esteemed is left honorable in the sight of God and man (Hebrews 13:4). Overall, what this says is that the marital commitment is a serious one and is never to be taken lightly. It is a life-long commitment (Romans 7:1-3)!

When two people are lawfully married, God recognizes that union and joins them together (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Ephesians 5:31). In Matthew 19:6, the Lord said, “Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” This is a command of the Lord given in regards to marriage. Nevertheless, God joins two together in the marital relationship and they stay bound until death do them part (Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:39) or until they lawfully end the marriage (because of sexual immorality – fornication – Matthew 19:9), in which case only the innocent party can remarry. Consider what John the Baptist said to Herod, who was, in the sight of God, unlawfully married to his brother’s wife, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife” (Mark 6:17). Why did he say this? Because she was still bound to Philip, and could not lawfully be married to Herod. These words were as unpopular then as they are today. Then, it cost John the Baptist his head. Today, many a soul will despise another for teaching the truth. Nevertheless, this is clearly what scripture says we must do if we are in an unlawful relationship.

Consider also the example of the woman of Samaria whom Jesus spoke with at Jacob’s well (read John 4:15-18). She had been married five times, yet according to the Lord, had no husband. Why is this? Because our ways are not God’s ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). Because what we sometimes recognize as a marriage, God recognizes as unlawful. Notice, the Samaritan women knew the error of her way without the Lord’s prompting. Once again, what does the scripture say?

10. Those today who are committing adultery: Those today who are committing adultery by living in an unlawful relationship – that is, a marital relationship that God considers adulterous? What must they do to make it right with God? Put simply – repent (Acts 3:19; Acts 8:22; Acts 17:30)!

How does one repent of an unlawful marriage? Two ways are revealed in scripture. The first, and ultimately best way, whenever it is possible, is to end the unlawful marriage in the sight of men, and be reconciled to the one whom God knows you are still joined to in His sight (your first lawful marriage – 1 Corinthians 7:10-11). Whenever the first way becomes impossible, because the first spouse does not want to be reconciled, we are left only one choice. We must become a eunuch for the kingdom of heaven’s sake (remain unmarried and do not commit fornication – Matthew 19:12; 1 Corinthians 7:11).

What if children are involved? This is where things get very emotional and messy, but do not change the law of God. Read the following passages and consider who must come first – God or man: Luke 14:26, Mark 10:29-30 and Matthew 10:37-39. Obviously the children cannot and should not be abandoned, but the unlawful relationship must end if repentance is to prevail!

To despise vows made before God and to fulfill the desire of the flesh by living in an unlawful relationship bears serious consequences – the loss of our salvation. In the end, we’ll reap the reward of our lives here. Unfortunately, for many, the choice is to reap their reward now in this life and deny the glory awaiting them in heaven. Hopefully, all who find themselves in an unlawful marriage relationship will repent before the everlasting too late!

11:Living together is for married life not before Marriage:God’s plan for a successful marriage is that it should be an exclusive sexual relationship with one person, for life. Genesis 2:18-25 describes marriage as a divine institution. God presented Adam with Eve and established the first marriage. Some of God’s purposes for marriage as stated in the Bible are companionship(Genesis 2:18) ,procreation(Genesis 1:28), mutual and undefiled pleasure ( 1 Corinthians 7:4-5,Proverbs 5:18-19 Song of Solomon; Hebrews 13:4), prevention of immorality (1 Corinthians 7:2,5), the serving of Christ as a whole and properly representing the spiritual relationship between Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:22-33), and the raising of godly descendants (Malachi 2:13-16). The bond of marriage when respected leads to the good of not only the couple and their children, but also to the good of the society as a whole, for the family unit is the building block of any society and nation.

Many people in our society live together before marriage to see if they are compatible as they don’t want to divorce. This is definitely a sin of fornication in Gods eyes but not in worlds view. Living together is wrong: it is against God’s law, and is morally indefensible. Living together shows a total lack of trust, faith and obedience in God and a failure to commit to Him the choosing of a life mate. Living together is nothing but trial and error marriage method. Its like experimenting the relationships. The fact is about 60% of marriages in the US end up in a divorce. Most of the western countries live together in relationship and has been accepted and encouraged in their society. That is why they have highest divorce rates, violence, crimes, broken families, life of promiscuity and drugs, loneliness ,sexual sins, high rates of legal abortion, higher rates of sexually transmitted disease, Neurotic disorders, health risks and many people never marry because they can not find Mr. and Ms Right and Perfect. Directly or indirectly it has contributed for single Parents/families with no Man as a spiritual and family leader to protect their families.

Many researchers say that Couples who move in together before marriage hare two times more likely to divorce than couples who marry before living together.

• Couples who lived together before marriage tend to have poorer-quality marriages than couples who did not cohabitate before marriage.

• Couples who cohabitate before marriage tend to be less committed to their spouse and less likely to remain faithful than couples who did not cohabitate.

• Men who cohabit are especially less likely to ever commit to marriage.

• Couples who cohabitate tend to have less traditional views about marriage which, among other things, tends to weaken their faith and belief in God.
• Children who live with their parents in cohabitation arrangements tend to have more emotional and/or academic problems than children who live with two married parents.

• Children whose parents modeled cohabitation are more likely to do the same than children whose parents modeled marriage first.

12.Sex before marriage: is just as wrong as adultery and other forms of sexual immorality, because they all involve having sex with someone you are not married to. Premarital sex is repeatedly condemned in Scripture, along with all other forms of sexual immorality (Acts 15:20; Romans 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13, 18; 7:2; 10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Jude 7). The Bible promotes complete abstinence outside of (and before) marriage. The Bible tells us over and over again to avoid, flee from, run from temptation – especially sexual immorality. By living with someone of the opposite sex you set yourself up for temptation

The Bible tells us to avoid the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22; Ephesians 5:3), to flee from immorality, and not to cause anyone to stumble or be offended.

“Observe and obey all this words which I command you, that it may go well with you and your children forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 12:28)

We need to delight in the Lord by finding pleasure in knowing Him and trusting that He will delight us in return. “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). We need to pray to God day and night with praise and Thanks giving and with supplication and prayers to find a suitable life mate for us.

Proverbs 3:6 tells us, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Marriage, in a Christian’s life, should be based on a decision directed by the Holy Spirit. If we will totally commit to do His will we will never be disappointed in the one He sends into our lives. God will bring him/her into our lives as we are in the process of looking, according to His perfect will and timing. If we pray, God will lead us to the person He has for us. If we wait for His timing, we will be given the person who fits best with our background, personality, and desires. We have to trust in Him and His timing (Proverbs 3:5), even when His timing is not our timing. God’s timing is perfect, and with faith and patience, we will receive His promises (Hebrews 6:12). If we maintain close fellowship with God, He will lead us and guide us. If a person is walking with the Lord and truly seeking His will, God will lead that person to the spouse He intends. God will lead us to our “soul mate” if we submit to Him and follow Him.

Final word we have to be Godly examples in everything. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

May God give us the grace and strength to serve him by serving our families.

Living together before marriage: Does it help? Should a couple live together before marriage?

Especially with today’s much more mobile society, where people don’t have as much time to know each toher, many couples consider living together before marriage – which some studies say doesn’t increase the divorce rate much. However, others say it does..

Instead of looking at studies which go back and forth, can be read any way one wants, and can be flawed, it’s better to look at the truth. After all, if I have a rule that says I get the last cookie for some reason, and you have a rule that says you get the last cookie for a different reason, we can’t both get the last cookie. God’s Word, however, has spelled out rules that we can live by, however, for our benefit, so there is peace. That’s far better than all the drama and bickering of today’s world.

There are people, of course, who take the extreme that it’s just a euphemism for fornication. However, that isn’t necessarily the case. The Bible clearly says intercourse is to be only between a husband and a wife in marriage. They should treasure and enjoy sex only with each other.

There are people who have strong enough will power to avoid it. Such people will always make sure one leaves the bathroom before the other enters. They will avoid seeing each other in the buff or anything else that will tempt them to have sex with each other, and so on. They will do whatever they need to avoid the temptation to have sex before marriage, including, of course, having separate bedrooms. I know people look back longingly to “Leave it to Beaver” and other shows where a married couple had separate beds, but I believe this hurt the notion of family. A married couple should be shown enjoying each other, though it doesn’t need to be the intimacy level of “The Cosby Show.” And, even it wonderfully taught the idea “One man, one woman, one life,” especially with something like that the final line in one special episode. But, that’s another topic, and I can understand others’ views on married couples on TV, too.

Or, is it another topic? A couple that is living together before marriage, even if they do all of the above, and pretend to be like Ward and June Cleaver except not married, is still going against other rules, rules which God established to help us.

There are good reasons not to do it, not counting what the Bible says, but here are 4 good Biblical reasons why the Bible says it’s wrong, even if living arrangements aren’t specifically mentioned:

1. We should *never* tempt a weaker brother to sin. (1 Corinthians 8 ) Paul writes speaking of eating meat sacrificed to idols, but let’s put this in a omdern context. Person gets saved from a life of alcoholism. She can’t go into a restaurant with a bar in it without being tempted to go back into her former lifestyle. Her friends may be able to go to such a place easily, but if they drag her in there, they are sinning. Why, she is a weaker sister. (This is a true story of a woman I know who taught Sunday School 44 years after being saved, and never went into a restaurant with a bar, for the reason given.)

If a weaker couple, who can’t avoid giving in to their hormones, sees a stronger couple living together before marriage, they may try it. Unwatned pregnancies can result, or STDs, or just very broken hearts, because they were tempted to do what they saw that stronger couple do. When that stronger couple should have avoided living together to show a good example.

1.5 Yes, kids, adults must also show a good example, too. This reason is especially important because we are being watched by our children all the time. While this could have been listed as a separate reason, it is here because children are looking at our lives.

Children need to see consistency. Anytime they see people moving in and out, it creates more chaos, which leads to problems, as noted in <a href=”“>this blog, also linked above.

2. Living together tempts God. Jesus says that it is writtent hat we shouldn’t tempt the Lord to let us go off into our sinful lifestyle. And, as much as a strong couple tries, just one slip can lead to that sin of fornication. Look at King David with he just saw Bathsheba bathing one night. Instead of turning away, he just let his desires get the best of him.

3. We should abstain from all appearances of evil. Instead of being like the world’s system, which says to do our own thing, we should strive for individuality within the rules. Because, we are all unique, and have special traits, but these traits should be used to help others, not for our own selfish reasons. They should be used to help us accept each other in the things which aren’t important (like leaving the toilet seat up) while striving to follow those absolute truths which God created for our benefit.

This uniqueness leads to my final point:

4. We must put our faith in God, not in ourselves.

Let’s face it – feelings change all the time. A couple should put their whole trust in God, including for the right mate. Living together to see if it works means you trust your changeable feelings. Trusting only in your own thoughts and feelings is also false pride. We can feel we love someone one minute and not the next.

Indeed, we can feel we love someone’s looks one minute, and in 50 years, they’re all wrinkled up like prunes, they have serious medical issues, and we may have to go so far as to stay home and provide around the clock care.

When you look at your crush, you need to ask yourself, is this really someone you can see being with your whole life, even if they’re old, fat, and ugly? If you’re caringfor them around the clock?

Couples who stay together despite these obstacles do so becuase they are such close friends they’ve discussed all their ins and outs. They have no secrets. They know they’re the only one for each other; they wouldn’t accept *any* other, no matter how lovely.

They let their love for each other grow once they marry if they missed one of those little things – if one squeezes the toothpaste tube from the center all the time, for instance.

that’s where faith in God comes in. The above would actually make pretty much sense int he secular world, too, but think about it. God has a plan for your life. A plan which may or may not include a perfect mate. But, He has provided that perfect one for you becuase he loves you more than you can imagine. He wants you to experience that joy that comes from someone who truly completes you. That’s why Eve was taken from Adam’s side. A true mate should complete us. Until that time, we should trust God to do that for us. And, even afterward, God must be at the head of a marriage for it to work perfectly.

If we trust in ourselves, though, we can easily find ourselves witht he wrong partner. Yes, it’s more difficult in a more mobile society, if we go by man’s reasoning. But, not if we go by God’s. Because, god knows everything, and knows all about you. He knows what each of us needs; He just wants us to be humble enough to accept we can’t do it on our own.

Of course, the biggest thing that humbling ourselves must be with is our own sin. See, we all sin, and come short of the glory of God. His perfect love is mingled with His perfect justic, which says He must punish sin. The wages of sin is death – eternal separation from God forever in a place called Hell. but, the gift of God is eternal life through jesus Christ our Lord.

It’s a free gift. It’s one He wants you to have. And, you only have to receive it by faith. For while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

How do you do that? Simply believe ont he Lord Jesus Christ – heart knowledge – and thou shalt be saved. that means to put your whole turst that Christ died for your sins, taking your punishment, according tot he Scriptures, that He was buried,a dn that He rose again the third day, according tot he Scriptures.

He did that for you. He paid the whole price to not only get you to His perfect Heaven, but also to let you have a great life with Him on earth. He will live inside you once you receive Him as your Savior and turn from your sins, inviting Him into your heart. he lives in you through the Holy Spirit, guiding you lovingly in the right way. Including, possibly, to that one true love. And, He will provide everything you need to now that mate without having to live together to do it. Just seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.