Deceptions in dating.

People lie for several reasons but just because they do it doesn’t mean it is acceptable. Ina relationship, you are likely to find two kinds of liars.

  1. Those that lie out of guilt, shame , fear of conflict or the loss of love. They lie while in reality it is easier to actually tell the truth. hey really want to be honest but they cannot pull it off. This is primarily because they fear they will lose the other person’s love. They have never been in a relationship where they really felt safe. While their motive may seem “pure” your work is not rehabilitate them. They should this in their own personal spaces and correct this kind of behavior. One doesn’t become complete by having a person with them. They should be able to be whole and have a high self esteem before they get in to love.
  2. Those that lie as a way of operation. They deceive for their own selfish gains. These are the no go zone people. If you happen to be in a relationship with such a person, you’d better say bye and leave. They are not ready for a relationship and they can never commit.

Truth must be an essential boundary that you desire not only in relationships but in everything else.

Incase of lying,

1. You confront the person concerning the lie.

2. Hear the response and see the sorrow and ownership and sorrow for lying.

3. Try figure what the lie means for the relationship.

4. Look at the level of repentance and change. Is there a pursuit for holiness and motivation to get better?

5. Note if the change been sustained or it is just for a time. Is it a pretense?

6. Also ask what was the motivation for lying.

Even a s you pursue or desire honesty in your relationship, you must be an honest person as well. You attract the depth of your pursuit.

DATING RIGHT SIDE UP.

Your relationship with God is the deepest, most profound and most important part of your soul. Therefore, even as you choose to settle down with someone, you must be able to agree on the issues of spirituality early enough. You must put in mind this principle: you partner should not make you cold or lukewarm in your faith and neither should you. For any relationship to thrive, the parties in it must be willing to work out their own faith even as they grow each other’s faith in the relationship. The apostle Paul actually tells us so.

Philippians 2:12, KJV: “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” … Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.”

The issue of faith must therefore be a personal issue in the relationship before it becomes corporate. There are several questions that you must address in the effort to keep growing in faith. They are:

  • Is this the person God meant for me?

I have intentionally used the word mean tin the place of created because I believe God did not create a specific spouse for you and I. As crazy as it may sound, God only gives “advice and counsel” on the choice of your mate. Out of a population of 9 billion people, anyone could be your mate. Therefore, the question you should ask is, “Does God approve of this relationship?” And we must be careful here because who we think is the best choice for us may not necessarily be the best.

Here’s the secret; good is not necessarily God’s best. And just because s/he is good doesn’t mean s/he was meant for you. Discern!

  • Are we spiritually compatible?

You must be able to ask yourself, can we exist together in our faith. Will the issue of faith bring conflict and problems? Here, you address the issues of denominations if you are from different denominations and the issues of the belief system. We serve the same God as Christians, I agree, but the issues of methodology and practicality is different. Are we able to harmonize such? If not then you must make a conscious choice to stay or leave.

  • How do I “bring” God into the relationship the “right” way?

Note the words in quotes. I used them that way because I believe it is not about you bringing God into the picture but more of you taking the relationship to God. So how are you able to apply faith the right way without going out of God’s bracket? There are things that may seem right in this period when we are blind in love but are they an enough cause for you to divorce God and marry this potential mate? How is God’s supreme power exercise in your relationship?

  • How do we relate spiritually?

This points us back to the issue of being lukewarm or alive in the spirit. You must be able to ask yourself this, “Is my mate able to challenge me to become a better person in my faith or are they the cause for my spiritual downfall?” Your mate must challenge you to be better.

My personal motto for relationships is “growmance before romance.” We must be able to grow all-round even as we anticipate taking our relationship to the next level.

  • What if we disagree spiritually?

You must always be prepared for anything. You may have loved this lady or gent but you find that you can never agree on spiritual matters. The hard question must be asked. What do you do? My conclusion as Bp Mwangi is that you must not continue any further into the relationship until this is resolved. Never comprise on faith.

  • Am I in denial about the spiritual conflicts?

One of the worst things you can do is to assume whatever you are seeing in the relationship. If there are conflicts, address them and depending on what you agree or disagree on, you can either quit or continue. Don’t assume you can change people’s faith if they are not willing to change themselves. Only the Holy Spirit can change people.

Therefore, the first thing you must deal with is an appropriate stance on dating and your spiritual life. Why? This will help you solve many problems and questions from the onset of the relationship.

Remember, the issue is not how to fit our spiritual life into our dating life, rather it how to fit our dating life into our spiritual life. Trying to interpret God in the context of dating is an upside down way to look at reality.

Love and life are God’s gifts to us and therefore we must bring dating before God and ask for His guidance. Her is a truth we must grasp: The more our lives are surrendered to God, the more He’s able to fashion our lives as we were meant to be.

Acts 17:28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’

As we wind up on this post we must also ask ourselves this question: “What is the fruit of the dating relationship in regards to our spiritual lives?”

Here are several questions we should ask ourselves to find out the fruit of our relationships.

  1. Are you drawn to God through that person?
  2. Do you have an alliance with the other person in your spiritual walk?
  3. Do you experience spiritual growth from interacting with the person?
  4. Does the other person challenge you spiritually, rather than you being the impetus?
  5. Is the spiritual connection based on reality and authenticity?
  6. Is the relationship a place of mutual vulnerability about sin and weakness?

And we also must differentiate between dating a religious person and a Christian. All religious people are not Christians.

Now this is dating right side up!

DEAR FUTURE WIFE,

Hi darling,

Heavens knows how eagerly I am waiting to call you mine. Truth is, I can’t fathom the feeling of being your husband. The thought of it makes me leap with love [you know that feeling where your body just vibrates to the thought of someone? I know you do] and at the same time the uncertainty around it makes me weak: but that is probably because you will be my weakness, literally. Oh how I wish the future was a definite period! The wait is killing me.

I really don’t know how you will see and receive me the first time we cross eyes  and lock paths, or how do we say it? ………  I am just playing……… or maybe we already have but I didn’t realize it.  I can’t fathom the qualities and characteristics you have penned down concerning me. I am actually laughing at the thought of it. Good thing is, I already have met the first characteristics of your list because I am tall dark and handsome. No need to worry about that. The other characteristics shall be worked ot as we go by.

I really don’t know what you expect of me but I will give you a taste of it. I am a young man that is broken; broken by times, situations, circumstances and people. I am so poor at relating wit people that I am afraid I might lose you at some point.  That is my biggest worry. As I write this letter to you, uncertainty crowds my mind regarding the issues that are taking place in my life at the moment.

Dear future wife, I am broken. I won’t lie to you that I am complete. I trusted people, gave my all and at the end they broke my heart. I regret why I had ever done so. My heart is in pieces. Pieces I am recollecting everyday trying to restore each to its original place. I wish I had been more careful: careful on whom I loved and who I made friendships with. Though broken, my heart feels like a stone. It feels so hard to get through to me. At one point the term love seemed like a huge four letter lie.  As hard as it is to admit, some of the pieces are so broken I can’t find their place. I have been broken by circumstances, especially those when I felt God was a far off from my side. There are emotional deserts I had to wade through and swamps I had to crawl though. Those valleys of emotional and physical breaking were discouraging but I came out alive.

Dear wife, my emotions. Yes my emotions. Should I say I am an emotional wreck?  Probably so! My emotions fail me. I don’t understand them too. They rise and fall unpredictably. I don’t hate people but I feel them draining my strength, often.  I feel irritated when I stay for long in crowds. Most of the times I like being alone but that is something I will have to compromise when I find you. I have had my issues with self esteem growing up. There are times I thought I was not good enough. My self image was far from glorious. I loved my personal space growing up.  This is a war I am constantly winning one day at a time and hopefully it will be over soon.

Did I say I am affected by words? Yes and guess what? My primary love language is “Words of affirmation.”  I love those sweet nothings. I know you will whisper them to me always. I love those words of praise, those that boost my persona. As often as thou will, baby whisper them to me and let them music to my ears.  And talking of music, I don’t know what your taste s but I love Rhumba, lingala,  mostly because of the beats and vocals, RnBs and reggae too, mostly the lovers rock kind of songs. My favorite song is “Ye Oyo” and I can’t wait to see you walk queenly down the aisle with the song playing in the background to your king. Baby, we are going to rock it. The lyrics are just what my heart exclaims.

Ye Oyo (Here she is)

Ya kobokola na ye bana (The one with whom to raise children)

Moto ya ba principes (The one with principles)

Motema elingi (The one my heart loves)

Aza wapi? (Where is she?)

Ye oyo liboso nanga (Here she is before me)

Aleki bango nionso (She is the best of all)

We will dance a lot and even though I am no good dancer, we will move to the rhythm that we will create with our heartbeats.   I will be your heart and you will be my beat and together we shall dance to out tune, our own song, our own rhythm, our own melody.

I will shed tears I know. But they will be tears of finally finding someone who appreciates me for I am even as I progressively become a better me. And guess what, we shall drown in love.

Baby, here is the best part of this story. I don’t come alone. I bring my husband in this relationship. Relax! It is not what you are thinking about. I am a bride to Christ even as I continually become your groom. This man has loved me and shown me the true meaning of love and this I seek to experience with you. Remember the broken pieces I tried recollecting? This man came and told me He could create a new heart within me. And yes he did. He got me covered.

Darling, I love poetry. Yes I do and I actually write my own. My desire is that the vows we will exchange on that wedding day will not be the obvious one. Trust me to play with words and bring out the love groove out. You know I will. I hope you love poetry too. My favorite poem is “Lapobo.” You should check this one out. The writer must have been thinking of you on my behalf. I love reading books too. They keep me knowledgeable and I find it fun too.

Darling, I already have the picture of those Kodak moments we shall enjoy. Those moments by lake as we chill and enjoy the breeze, holding each other in our arms. The birds will be chirping cheering us to grow deeper in love; the trees will be swinging to and fro waving at us celebrating our love: the wind will be hushing us calming us to love even the more. Baby, the swoosh of the waters coming onshore will rise and fall as if in a manner to bow to our love. How beautiful will that be!

Dear wifey, I love swimming too even though I am no fish. It is therapy to me. I love going into the open spaces on the countryside and just breathe in the fresh air, meditating on life. I love my ‘me time’. I love being alone at times just to refill my cup, re strategize and to rethink.  I love writing. Yes. Just writing whatever I have in my mind. This is my primary way of expression. Hopefully we can co-write a book mostly on love.

Did I say my favorite colors are maroon, purple and pink? I know it is weird but that is it. This can assure you already that we are going to make our love story colorful.  And food? I triple love chapatti. Is there an English term for that? I don’t know. I could eat them anytime any day. If by any chance you don’t know how to cook them, which is a crime [haha], then we will have to learn together how to make them.

Babey, I want o be the male version of Ruth to you.  I plan not to leave thee save in death, which is no time soon. I want your people to be my people. Where you go baby we shall go together. I want to love you so ‘ruthlessly’ the world will have to know. The beautiful ones they say are not yet born but I know it is because they never met you. We will grow young in love and we shall live to celebrate our love story.

One more thing darling; When I find you, I will call you coffee. You know why? It is because you will be definitely hot!

I love you!

Yours sealed in love,

BP Mwangi.

ILLUSION? LET’S RESET.

Luke 7

24 After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 25 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. 26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is the one about whom it is written:

“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way before you.’[b]

28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

29 (All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. 30 But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)

31 Jesus went on to say, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:

“‘We played the pipe for you,
    and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
    and you did not cry.’

33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ 35 But wisdom is proved right by all her children.”

I love the way God is able to speak through His people from the same Scripture but yet reveal different messages. I remember teaching from this same scripture in one of my classes and to be honest I took the Word at face value. However later on in our opening services during the revival meetings we are having at church in the course of this week, the pastor preaching quoted this same scripture and I was amazed at how God really is intentional in speaking and revealing Himself through His Word.

Prior to this, John the Baptist had sent his disciples to Jesus to ask Him if He was the one who people expected or there was another. Jesus performs miracles and sends John’s disciples back to Him to go and give a report of what they had seen. Jesus to affirm John the Baptist’s work speaks to the crowd that was Him and asked them what they had gone to see in the wilderness.  He affirms that indeed John was the prophet and not just a prophet, but the great prophet that they had gone to see. He was greater than all those that had gone before him. Yet, even though he was the greatest, Jesus was greater than Him despite being the least in the kingdom of God.

Verse 30 and those that follow of interest to me because they really speak to me at a personal level. The Bible says that the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law did not believe what Jesus said because they had a different picture of not only the Messiah but he who would be His forerunner. Actually, these same fellows were never baptized by John. Jesus goes ahead and compares this generation to those people who neither danced to the pipe nor cried to the dirges; People who never embraced John the Baptist and people who never received the Messiah.

As the man of God preached he pointed us to the place of asking ourselves this question; when we accepted Jesus, what did we expect to find? And it really provoked on me a personal level. What did I expect to find? And I was looking at the response of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law. They rejected both John and Jesus because they did not match up to what they expected. They had a pre-conceived idea of this glorious king that would come and save them from the Roman rule. They expected a strong warrior. But here is the sad thing though: All of the glorious prophecies about the forerunner and the Messiah were all unfolding right in front of their eyes but because there is what they expected to see or find, they denied the manifestations of God in their days.

And this struck me hard because honestly, when I got saved, I had an imagery of the Savior I would find. There is what I expected God to do for me. There is how I expected to relate with God. There is what I thought heaven would like. There is how I thought I would relate with the church. There is how I thought I would relate with the society. While honestly it is logic to have expectations, it is also truer that they can be limiting factors towards experiencing the wondrous and glorious manifestations of God in our lives and in our days.

As you pray even now, is there a way you expect God to answer your prayers?

Is the image you had of God now a limiting factor toward experiencing His love?

Listen to this child of God. Ephesians 3:20 says  that, Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

God is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. Let Him reveal himself to you afresh every day. Don’t ever let the testimony or success of yesterday hinder from experiencing the grace, love, mercies and successes of today. Don’t let the image of yesterday’s glory limit your receiving of today’s glory.

Just because you did not meet what you expected doesn’t disqualify God. Were you, like the Pharisees, expecting a glorious king or a powerful prophet but found two meek people who never resembled what you thought of?

Could you be missing out on the present manifestations of God over your life because they don’t look like what you expected?

I will leave you with this question,: what did you expect to find when you received Christ and how is that affecting your walk with Him today?

God bless you!

THERE IS HOPE!

As a teacher, one among the many roles I play apart from teaching is that being of a mentor to the students I teach. While teaching the form 2 class today, a students raises his hand and asks me whether there’s hope for a person that has engaged in so much of sexual sin.


And I know some of us may share the same question.

Here is my response to the question.


Upon receiving Christ and allowing Him to be Lord of your life, transformation takes place. What Christ offers you at this moment is what is called secondary virginity.


He makes you as good as new.


I referred with the students the passage in Luke 7:36-50 where Jesus restores a sinful woman who comes and falls at His feet and anoints them with expensive oil and washes His feet with her tears.


You may have engaged in sexual sin for so long that you fell for the lie that you would never come out of it. But here is the truth, God offers you freedom from any kind of slavery. He makes you brand new.

Jesus told this woman that her sins had been forgiven.


Are you looking for forgiveness? Guess what? Christ offers you more. He offers you restoration and liberty.

Lay all that baggage at his feet and receive His love. You are never a lost course. God loves you and He desires to work in you and through you to spread His word and Love.


Why don’t you let him in?

Pray this prayer with me.

Father in the name of Jesus, today I entrust my sexuality to you. I realize I have wandered away looking for love where I would never find it. I now realize how much you love me. I want to trust in you to help me live a sexually pure life. I denounce my association with sin and as from this moment onward, I choose to love righteously. I pray that you send me the Holy Spirit to constantly remind me that my body is His Temple. Forgive me for my past sin and help me to be a witness of your love to those still living in sin.


This is my prayer in Jesus name. Amen!!


If you made that prayer, your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more.

Go spread the love of Christ to others!

LOVE DEMANDS FRUIT

One of the greatest marks of our relationship with God is that of producing fruit. We cannot claim to love God and yet not produce fruit like He expects us to. Here is what Matthew says in chapter 7

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

One of the most identifiable characteristics that we are Christians should be the fruit we bear. Our relationship with God should be evident all round in our lives. A parallel story to that in Mathew is found in Luke 6:45. In this story, Jesus was primarily saying that whatever fruit one produces is an evidence of where they have laid their trust. if a person has a bad fruit, it is a manifestation of what is happening within. One of the areas where our fruit has really been sour is in the area of our speech.

Luke 6:45 states that “The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.”

Whatever is manifested on the outside of a person is a reflection of the much that is stored in the heart of a person. We must never be cheated that a bad tree can produce a good fruit. Bad trees produce bad fruit and good trees produce good fruit. Never be cheated by words. Character which is fruit speaks volumes.

Your fruit shows where you have placed your love.

Christ has called us to a place of bearing fruit and nit just any fruit but good fruit.

Here is what Jesus says in John 15

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes  so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

Any Christian that does not bear fruit will be cut off. Our relationship with him demands that we bear fruit that is a reflection of our relationships with Him.

This reminds me of the story when Jesus wanted a fruit from a certain fig tree that did not posses any. He looked at i t and cursed it in Mark 11:12. This what happens to us if we do not bear fruit.

We must work therefore towards showing to the world the fruit of our salvation.

Love demands fruit.

HAPPY NEW YEAR😇

Hi fam.

Can you believe we are in the year 2021? Oh yes we are! God has been an amazing God and surely we are here because of Him.

It has been a while since I wrote on my platform. Since last year to be precise. Seems like so long ago.

I however believe and trust that you have been keeping safe and that the Lord has been good to you and your households.

I want to wish you all a happy new year full of love and care from the Lord. May He order your lives and may His presence take residence in you always.

This year I have a lot of content lined up for us and I am confident that the Lord will minister to us greatly. We have been called to be fishers of men and I will keep doing that through the various giftings I have received from the Lord and major among them is writing.

Happy new year fam!

God bless you.

SIN UPDATE V21: THE ABUSE OF GRACE IN THE 21st CENTURY

One of the least understood yet most important foundational concept of new birth and teaching on salvation in our times is the grace of God. One of the most basic points we must note is that God’s grace is what makes possible the plan of salvation. Salvation comes from the grace of God that has already been expressed through the atoning work of Christ. This is something that he had planned in eternity but put it into effect in time.

God expressed grace in this form: He, for no logical reason, decided to extend mercy towards undeserving people by forgiving their sins through the death of His son Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

We did not deserve it yet He gave us grace anyway. Paying the penalty by taking the punishment for someone else is a way of showing what the Bible calls grace. It was far greater love that moved God to give His son to take the penalty for us. Where we deserved death, Christ took it upon himself and died for us.

Grace simply defined is: Unmerited favor. In our salvation, grace is God’s goodness that moves Him to extend favor to undeserving people. This grace is simple and pure and is illustrated in this: whereas all sinners deserved only judgment and punishment, God sent His Son into world to die in their place. In love, He sent Jesus to pay the penalty for their sin, free them from its control and to regard them as if they never sinned.

John 3:16-17
[16]“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
[17]God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

What we have failed to realize or we have known but intentionally ignored is that although this grace is amazing, it does not mean that God overlooks or excuses sin. The Bible clearly states that the ‘wages of sin is death’ (Romans 6:23). Here’s what we must note: God doesn’t, can’t and won’t set aside His righteous attitude toward sin and His judgment of it. However, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross fully satisfied the righteousness of God and paid the penalty to breaking His Law. And since, this righteousness is satisfied, God wouldn’t starve it. We must work towards being like He is through the atoning work of Christ.

Grace doesn’t overlook sin instead grace removes it.

Grace has its origin in God and it proceeds in a surplus unending from Him and through His favor, He has chosen to extend it to every person.

In God’s relationships with His people, there are two kinds of grace: the common grace and the saving grace.

Common grace is the kindness that God extends to all people even though they are sinners. This kind of grace restrains people from committing evil acts and it encourages them to do what is lawful and right. This grace helps everyone to behave somewhat decent and enables members of the community to live together in some degree of social harmony. It is God’s grace that provides the blessings of the natural world such as sunshine, rain, food and other blessings in the natural realm.

Common grace also provides blessings in the spiritual realm. For instance, it is because of common grace that we have the Bible, the Holy Spirit and the church. Although common grace alone is not enough to salvation, it reveals the goodness of God to people and makes them aware of all He has provided for them. Through this, it creates a basis for further revelation and makes them ready for salvation. It also gives the sinner the ability to respond favorably to God. Through this grace, God makes a way for am to be saved.

Common grace enables a person to respond favorably to God. However, it is saving grace that actually draws a person to God.

John 6:44
[44]For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up.

This saving grace also renews one’s heart and frees him from sin. We see the best example of saving grace in Christ whom God gave for the salvation of all people. John states in his Gospel that “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17)

John 1:17
[17]For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.

Note that this doesn’t mean that grace did not exist even before Christ came down. We know that God accepted all the righteous people of the Old Testament times on the basis of their faith in His provision and their obedience to His commandments. John simply means that Christ is the full and final revelation of saving grace: He is the only One through Whom people receive saving grace since He came.

What we are experiencing in our times is honestly the latter days prophesied in the Scriptures. People are living their lives without the conviction and urgency to lead righteous lives.

Having looked at that brief introduction of grace, we must realize that our lives are held intact only by God’s grace. We really don’t play a part in sustaining ourselves.

Sadly, we have denied and abused this very form of grave that God has poured selflessly to us. It is very sad when I see people in my circles sin with the excuse that ‘God’s grace is sufficient’ or ‘Jesus died for my sins past, present and future.’ Whereas all that is true, we must acknowledge that God’s grace doesn’t call us to a place of sin rather it calls us to a place of righteousness. Christ did not die on the cross so that we can sin expecting forgiveness. No! He died on the Cross so that we could lead Holy lives.

One of the reasons why people have abused the grace of God so much is ..

“…Because of the increase of wickedness, (that leads to) the love of most (growing) cold..” (Matthew 24:12).

Doesn’t it worry you that wickedness has been in the rise in our times? Listen in to the news and you will be.

Let us look at a passage of Scripture and parallel it to our days.

Romans 1:21-32
[21]Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.
[22]Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.
[23]And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.
[24]So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies.
[25]They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.
[26]That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.
[27]And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.
[28]Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done.
[29]Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.
[30]They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents.
[31]They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy.
[32]They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.

Does that ring a bell to you? Are we living in this same times? Yes and even worse. There has been an increase in wickedness and its advocacy. People have turned their affection from the Creator Himself and started looking to creation only what the Creator would give them. The desire to prosper has overtaken many and they would do anything just to get the material. The humanistic ideology has taken over the minds of many and it all about self. God has been reduced to a filler performer in our lives. Think for a moment with me: How has this approach to life affected your personal life? Has the desire the acquire wealth and be the best among the best overtaken you to the extent that you’ve forgotten that it’s neither the sower nor the one that waters is anything, but the Lord who makes all things grow? (1 Corinthians 3:7)

Has the pursuit of the material led you to a point where grace has been reduced to a name rather than a Person?

We live in days where people continually invent evil. We have continually elevated self and belittled God. We sin with the assumption that we can bribe God by having two hours of religious worship whereas through grace we should be cultivating a daily walk with Him.

Greed has overtaken many. Don’t you know that grace teaches us to be content? The greed for the material has caused many to trade the immaterial blessings for the temporal seeable blessings. We can see it in the corruption of self and of the world.

In that course, we do what we know we shouldn’t do and don’t do what we know we should do.

Allow me to address three areas I believe the grace of God has been substantially abused. They are sex, fame and money.

In matters sex, it is a shame what our world has become. There has been an increased advocacy for all the sexual immoralities. Starting from the movies being released, literature being printed, campaigns being pushed and even the sexual constitutional amendments all point to how perverted our generation is. Lust has taken over even in our churches. I was even surprised to find that there are gay Christians. Really? Gay Christians? Look at the clergy that are found to be cheating on their spouses. Adultery in the church and out of the church has become a norm. Have we talked about the increased rate of sexual activity within our children, teens and youths? The rate of pornography watching has been increasing within the years. We have even had constitutional amendments to make gayism and lesbianism and even abortion legal.

The youth in the church are cohabiting living as if they were married whereas they were not, fornicating day in day out. Look at how commercialized sex has become. What of the issue of young women having illegal relationships with old men and young men having illegal relationships with old women in the name of sponsors? It has become a norm.

Do we know these things are wrong? Yes we do. Yet we just do it anyway.

I could go on and on and on.

In our quest for fame, how far have we gone? In my generation, we willing to lose our souls at any cost. Are we not stripping in front of those cameras and posting so that we can trend? At we not willing to screw our way up?

Are we not killing to get there? Are we not willing to squash anyone or anything that’s on our way to fame? We have become so obsessed with fame that we have forgotten that grace calls us to a place of effectiveness.

What of money? Has the love of money caused us to corrupt our ways? Look at what we are doing just to make sure we have money! Is money bad? No. But the love of it has become the root of evil. Has the love if it pushed us far away from grace?

It hurts me that we commit all these sins thinking that somehow God will forgive us. We are daily looking for an upgrade of sin.

Have we not known that grace is not an escape route for sin but an empowerment avenue for righteous living?

2 Peter 1:3
[3]By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.

God has given us all we need to lead holy lives.

However we have intentionally fallen from grace and this has led to separation from God and even fellow men. We have become totally evil. We have been intellectually, emotionally and willfully corrupted.

In conclusion, let us look at the brevity of life using an example and a warning from Scripture. The book of Ecclesiastes introduces us to the Teacher who is believed to be Solomon son of David and King of Israel. His opening words show a man who was regretful in life.

Ecclesiastes 1:1-4
[1]THE WORDS of the Preacher, the son of David and king in Jerusalem.
[2]Vapor of vapors and futility of futilities, says the Preacher. Vapor of vapors and futility of futilities! All is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and vainglory). [Rom. 8:20.]
[3]What profit does man have left from all his toil at which he toils under the sun? [Is life worth living?]
[4]One generation goes and another generation comes, but the earth remains forever. [Ps. 119:90.]

Solomon was one man that was gifted enormously by God. He was the wisest and the wealthiest man alive and up to date, a match for him is yet to be found. Yet it is believed that while he wrote this book, he was drunk and regretful. At the end of his life, he had everything else other than the joy and peace of God.

He had everything that you’d desire. No one in the present has been able to get to the level of his wealth. His fame was known allover to the extent that the then world that Queen Sheba traveled all the way to listen to his wisdom. His success was known allover. Yet he do not live a fulfilled life. In this book Ecclesiastes he preaches four sermons that show the futility of life. In the first sermon he speaks of the futility of human wisdom, in the second he appreciates the laws that govern human life, in the third he notes that there’s not fulfillment in any earthly pleasures or wealth and in the fourth he notes that the meaning of life can only be understood through eternity.

When humanity loses the bigger picture of eternity, it will not fulfill life as God planned it for us.

These sermons from Solomon are worth pondering on. And probably you’re asking yourself how all these relates to grace. Solomon had been chosen as king and God had laid out patterns that were to be followed by those that occupied tho kingly office. (Read Deuteronomy 17:14-20)

Here are the characteristics in pictorial form borrowed from heworldmayknow.com.

Among the characteristics that God mentioned, Solomon failed in all apart from the fact that he was an Israelite. God was very clear in his guidelines yet Solomon acquired wealth for himself contrary to God’s will. Do you know that he took longer to build his house than he took to build God’s Temple? This goes a long Way to show you where his heart was. He married many wives contrary to God’s law and these same wives pulled him away from the grace of God. I believe he even forgot of God’s Torah when he build gods to please his wives.

From Solomon’s story, we learn that there’s more to life than just prosperity. Solomon failed to realize that what kept him and caused him to thrive was not his wisdom or wealth, it was the grace of God. The same grace that he encountered while he asked for wisdom was the Same grace that would sustain him through life. But in his quest to be the best and to please his many wives he fell from grace.

Note this: your pursuit for more can cause you to compromise and lead you away from grace.

Here’s what we can borrow from Solomon, we are not here forever but we must operate with an eternity mindset. Our lives here on earth are limited. We must therefore reciprocate God’s grace and live righteous lives. Solomon did it all. He slept with more women than you probably could in your lifetime. He had wealth you could only dream of. His fame was allover yet at the end of it all, he said this;

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
[13]All has been heard; the end of the matter is: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God’s providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man.
[14]For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it is good or evil. [Matt. 12:36; Acts 17:30, 31; Rom. 2:16; I Cor. 4:5.]

In other words what he was saying is that we seek and pursue this grace and continually live under it. He had seen how far he had wandered from grace and Ecclesiastes is a letter to his audience asking them to follow the right path because at the end of the day judgment waiteth. We must live with an eternity framed mind. Unfortunately for my generation, we live in the now and then with philosophies such as Y.O.L.O – You Only Live Once that seem to warrant us to do anything we want. The grace of God teaches us to seek that which is far more than the temporal. In chasing vanity many have gone astray.

Solomon is a warning.

An example I would implore us to examine that lived under grace and lived a fulfilled life was Paul. In writing to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, he writes;

2 Timothy 4:7-8
[7]I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith.
[8][As to what remains] henceforth there is laid up for me the [victor’s] crown of righteousness [for being right with God and doing right], which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that [great] day–and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and yearned for and welcomed His appearing (His return).

These are words we love reading so much and especially in our burial ceremonies but do those words really reflect our lives? Can we confidently say we have fought the good fight like Paul did. He lived under grace even though times got hard on him. As he wrote this letter to Paul, he was writing it in a jail and was awaiting execution. He knew his time was drawing near. Yet, looking back at his life,he was bold enough to write that the grace that saved him, he had stuck by it in all the reasons he went through.

This was a man who was flogged twice,beaten up by mob justice, a man who had a thorn in his flesh, a man who went through the persecution of the day, a man who was considered a Jewish rebel yet in all these things, he was obedient unto grace. By the time he’s writing these verses, he is awaiting execution yet he never complained. He served the faith even unto death.

He lived with an eternal mentality. That’s why instead of forsaking the faith, he said he awaits the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge would award him.

Have you been through half of what Paul went through as a believer? How comes we are so quick to leave the faith when things don’t serve our interests?

Let us learn from Paul. God’s grace is limitless but its power is limited to those who persist in Him.

Here’s the question I want to wrap this article with: Are you going to be like the servant whom the Master told “You good and faithful servant” or are you going to be like the one he told, “you lazy and evil servant, depart from me?”

And remember……Titus 2:11-14
[11]For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind.
[12]It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world,
[13]Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, the realization of our] blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One),
[14]Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people [to be peculiarly His own, people who are] eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good and filled with] beneficial deeds.

THE FINAL STEP


At one time, maybe these lovely words from Song of Solomon (at the end of the lat article) described your marriage, but today they seem as
foreign as Greek or Latin. As for the purposes of God in your marriage, perhaps you haven’t even considered them in a while. Maybe you’re experiencing a semblance of peace at home? After all, if the garage is fairly well organized, the bills are getting
paid, and you’re able to play a round of golf from time to time, why question things too much? Well, you should, because a great marriage is more than those kinds of things. Are you bored with your marriage?
Do you have a truce in your marital relationship but no deep oneness? Does male leadership in marriage confuse you and frustrate your wife? Is your wife failing to fulfill
you sexually? Great marriages may seem rare these days, but God
didn’t intend it that way. By God’s way of thinking, a vibrant, cherishing relationship is quite normal and should be quite common because, believe it or not, you already have what it takes to walk faithfully like Uriah:

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of
him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them
you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Peter 1:3-4)

You and your wife already have what it takes to sculpt a glorious image of Christ’s relationship to the church, a
masterpiece so lovely it will draw men and women to Christ simply by their looking at the two of you together. Five hundred years ago, when Michelangelo was lauded
for his famous sculptural masterpiece David, he refused the praise, replying that he had really done nothing at all. He said that the image of David was in that rock from the time of creation—that his hands were merely the tools to chip away the excess stone that revealed the beauty placed there
by God eons ago. Like Michelangelo, you must chip away the stony “flesh”
and attitudes that overlay your marriage and block the beauty God placed there when you were married.
Sadly, too often much of the excess stone overlays the husband’s part of the sculpture, leaving the wife to struggle with less than she’d been promised in both the marriage
bed and her home. Perhaps the husband’s false intimacy found in pornography and masturbation has pushed out the true intimacy that should have been in the marriage from the beginning.

Has your guilt stunted the development of a prayer life
together? Has your guilt kept you from seeking God’s face and searching through the convicting Word of God? Perhaps such guilt has left you grumpy, and your relationship with God has wilted like dry prairie grass
under a broiling late-August sun. If so, your marriage probably hasn’t fared much better. Like many guys, your
marital problems may not stop at your sexual sin.

If sexual sin is not your only issue, you may be hurting your wife in a myriad of ways, from ignoring her pleas to telling her to shut up—and this can hurt your battle for
sexual purity. These sins have consequences, too. For instance, you may get your sexual sin under control and find your sexual desire for your wife increasing, only then to find that her desire for you is DOA because of the many times you’ve trampled her heart over the years.

Relationships can be complicated, and everything is not cut and dried. It doesn’t help that we men are ill-equipped to understand women and relationships— even when we think we understand and we think we are doing well. Having said that, I want you to know that you are a
warrior of the Lord God Almighty. The battle for purity lies before you, and victory is yours for the taking. God is with you, and make no mistake, together you stand as a formidable duo on the battlefield. You can—and will—win this battle. But what happens next? You’ll need a comrade standing at your shoulder as you build true intimacy into your marriage. That person must be your wife, your helpmate. You love her. We know you want to cherish your wife
and want her to feel cherished. You want her to become everything you ever dreamed she could be. We also know that, deep down, you’re suspecting that if you could just lead right and cherish her well, she would
truly blossom in your home and help cement your victory over sexual sin for the rest of your life.

CARRY THE HONOR!


We’ve been talking about cherishing our wives, treating them with tenderness and holding them dear, despite our feelings. Let this article be a reminder to experience the wonder at what she’s given you and the enormous honor it is to carry her baton. Carry the honor nobly

Your wife gave up her freedom for you. She relinquished her rights to seek happiness elsewhere. She exchanged this freedom for something she considered more valuable: your love and your word. Her dreams are tied up in you, dreams of sharing and communication and oneness.
She’s pledged to be yours sexually. Her sexuality is her most guarded possession, her secret garden. She trusted you would be worthy of this gift, but you have cavalierly viewed sensual garbage, polluting and littering her garden. She deserves more, and you must honor that.
You must also cherish your wife because she shares her deepest secrets and longings with you.

Have you given less? Your wife risked much and traded much to marry you. Was it a good bargain for her?

You must protect her beauty and grace and spotlessness. You must honor your wife with a cherishing heart. God loved Uriah’s love for Bathsheba. Does God love my love
for Brenda? Does God love your love for your wife? It doesn’t matter what our wives look like, what they have or haven’t done, or whether life has unfolded differently than we expected. We must honor and cherish
them.

Our final word for you: If cherishing is anything, it’s loving your wife for who she is this day, not some other day down the line. It’s making allowances for all the surprises and inconsistencies that were hidden until life spun her in its new direction. Your wife has a heart that still beats like a little lamb’s heart, a heart that still skips through meadows of hope and desire, longing for love. It may be difficult to see. Maybe her father was an alcoholic or an abuser who didn’t protect her. Maybe she isn’t much of a Christian. Maybe she was promiscuous before meeting you.
Maybe so. But we know some other things are also true. In trust to you, she did forsake her individual freedom, believing you would provide love and protection. She’s God’s little ewe lambregardless of the pain and sin she’s been through, and He has entrusted her to you. Can you see into her soul? Does your heart warm to the task? Is there anything more noble than making a solemn promise to cherish your one and only? Be content with the wife of your youth. If she isn’t all you’d hoped for, remember that God graced you with this ewe lamb. Can you make a commitment to cherish her today? If so, let your mind be transformed by the Word. Let your song be Solomon’s Song:

How beautiful you are, my darling.
Oh, how beautiful!
Your eyes behind your veil are doves…
Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon, your mouth is lovely…
All beautiful you are, my darling;
there is no flaw in you…
You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;
you have stolen my heart
with one glance of your eyes…
How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!…
Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel.
Your hair is like royal tapestry;
the king is held captive by its tresses.
How beautiful you are and how pleasing, O love,
with your delights.
(Song of Songs 4:1,3,7,9-10; 7:5-6)

PART THREE: VICTORY WITH YOUR HEART.

CHERISHING YOUR ONE AND ONLY

Your outer defense perimeters—protecting your eyes and your mind—will defend against sexual impurities, guaranteeing that your wife remains beyond compare in your eyes. Now let’s talk about a third perimeter, your innermost perimeter, which is about being consumed with God’s purpose to cherish your wife.

If Christians were consumed by God’s purposes, it would first be reflected in our marriages. But the rates of divorce, adultery, and marital dissatisfaction in the Christian church reveal our hearts. Very few men are consumed by their marriages, and fewer still consumed by purity, but both are God’s desire for you. God’s purpose for your marriage is that it parallels Christ’s relationship to His church, that you be one with your wife. But what does the standard of Christ’s relationship to His church have to do with our sexual purity? In our hearts, we often have selfish attitudes and expectations regarding our wives. When these expectations aren’t met, we become grumpy and frustrated. Our will to maintain our outer defense perimeters is eroded. Well, if this is how she’s going to be, why should I go through all the effort of being pure? She doesn’t deserve it. We retaliate by withdrawing from
our own responsibilities, but cherishing our wives includes
being sexually pure. If this inner defense fails, the outer perimeters of the eyes and mind can also fail—and quite quickly. Perhaps you’re finding it difficult to cherish your one and only. We understand that sentiment. To cherish means to treat with tenderness and to hold dear, and you want to feel the romantic urge to do those things. But what if you don’t feel like it? Something with such ramifications upon your sexual purity and upon the very strength of your
marriage cannot be left to feelings alone.

Just how does cherishing feel? Does your wife feel cherished? For centuries the Song of Solomon has often been viewed as an allegory of how Christ feels for His bride and how she feels in return. Keep that interpretation in mind as you read the portions below (condensed from
chapters 4–7).

Look first at Jesus’ feelings toward His bride:

How beautiful you are, my darling!
Oh, how beautiful!
Your eyes behind your veil are doves.…
Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon;
Your mouth is lovely.…
All beautiful you are, my darling;
there is no flaw in you.…
You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;
you have stolen my heart
with one glance of your eyes.…
How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!…
Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel.
Your hair is like royal tapestry;
the king is held captive by its tresses.
How beautiful you are and how pleasing, O love,
with your delights.
(Song of Songs 4:1,3,7,9-10; 7:5-6)

Now observe the church’s feelings toward Jesus:

My lover [husband] is radiant and ruddy,
outstanding among ten thousand.
His head is purest gold;
his hair is wavy
and black as a raven.…
His mouth is sweetness itself;
he is altogether lovely.
This is my lover, this is my friend.
I belong to my lover,
and his desire is for me.…
Let us go early to the vineyards…
there I will give you my love.
The mandrakes send out their fragrance, and at
our door is every delicacy, both new and old,
that I have stored up for you, my lover.
(Song of Songs 5:10-11,16; 7:10,12-13)

Do you sense Jesus’ desire for you as part of His Bride? In return, does your heart yearn for Him like this? Because our marriage relationships should parallel Christ’s relationship to the church, our feelings for our wives should parallel these passages. What a great reminder of how exciting love can be, especially when channeled toward the one God intended for
us to have.

Let us direct our attention now to a man in the Bible who liked his place and loved God’s purposes. All men
should be as faithful as he was, cherishing both their King and their wives. This man’s name was Uriah.
In 1 Chronicles 11 we see Uriah listed as one of David’s “mighty men”—the men who “gave his kingship strong
support to extend it over the whole land, as the LORD had promised” (11:10). Uriah was clearly consumed with the purposes of his
king, David. He was also consumed with the purposes of God. Uriah was by David’s side in the caves when Saul hounded their heels. He cried with David as their homes burned at Ziklag. He cheered himself hoarse at David’s coronation, and he fearlessly fought to extend David’s kingdom over the whole land. Swearing his life to the purposes of God, Uriah stood in harm’s way for David’s throne. Sound familiar? You swore your life to someone, didn’t you? You swore before family and friends to honor and cherish your wife, abandoning all others. You promised she would have more from marriage than she would have as a single woman. Are you consumed by this commitment?
Consumed enough to live faithfully and to cherish her completely Consumed enough to stand in harm’s way and to eat gravel until God’s purposes and your promises are
finally established in your land?
Uriah was that consumed. His faithfulness was complete, but alas, David’s faithfulness wasn’t. He went to bed with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife. When she became pregnant, he had a mess on his hands. As always, Uriah was out fighting David’s battles. Bathsheba’s pregnancy could mean only one thing: David—not Uriah—was the father. David addressed the situation by fabricating a ruse. He
ordered Uriah back from the front lines. David’s plan was to send Uriah quickly home to a warm, cuddly night with Bathsheba. If David moved quickly enough, people would
naturally assume the unborn child was Uriah’s. Tragically, Uriah’s faithfulness to the king was so complete that David’s plan didn’t work:

David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. But Uriah
slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house. When David was told, “Uriah did not go home,” he asked him, “Haven’t you just come from a distance? Why didn’t you go home?” Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my master Joab
and my lord’s men are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!” Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So
Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home. (2 Samuel 11:8-13)

Look at Uriah! He was so consumed by the purposes of God that he refused to go to his house even to wash his feet. His faithfulness was so strong that, even when drunk, he didn’t waver from his commitment and zeal. His purity of soul was so great that no treacherous trick formed against him could stand. God wouldn’t allow David’s simple deception to cover his great sin against God and against God’s choice servant Uriah. God loved Uriah, and
God loved Uriah’s love for Bathsheba.
Uriah knew his place. He was satisfied to be part of God’s purposes, to fill his role. To be like Uriah, we must know our place and be content with it.

What does it mean to cherish? We needn’t look further than Uriah’s example, because his cherishing heart toward Bathsheba was transforming.
After David arranged for Uriah to be killed in battle, God sent His prophet Nathan to confront David with his sin. He used a word-picture story that revealed Uriah’s cherishing, loving heart toward Bathsheba:

The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man
had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up
with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own
sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” (2 Samuel 12:1-4)

The rich man in the story represented David, who saw Bathsheba only as someone he could devour to satisfy his sexual longings, but Uriah, “the poor man,” saw his “lamb” as the joy of his life, his pet to cherish, to sleep in his arms. Uriah had only one wife; a faithful man like him could have only one. His ewe lamb, Bathsheba, bounced and pranced and frolicked and laughed with him, bringing
him great joy. The lamb “was like a daughter to him,” the passage says.
Do you have daughters? If so, you know what the Lord conveys here. A love for a daughter is special, and
daughters are easy to cherish. They speak of Beanie Babies or Barbies or some girl at school with lice in her hair or some boy who spits in the schoolyard. When they smile, their eyes sparkle. We love to protect them and to tease them. We love to walk by the river, arm in arm, just to be with them. We love it most when they fall asleep in our arms. We cherish their very essence. Is your wife your little ewe lamb? You may feel uncomfortable with that imagery, and
maybe it sounds chauvinistic to you. We’re certainly not using it to describe relative levels of strength or ability.

The Bible uses the term to capture a heavenly message. As Bathsheba was precious to Uriah, your wife is your precious one, your only one. She lives with you and lies in your arms. She’s to be cherished, not because of what she does for you, but because of her essence, her value to God as a child born in His image. You’ve been entrusted with the priceless essence of another human soul, so precious to
God that at the foundation of the world He planned to pay His dearest price to buy her back again. Regardless of the current rubble in your marriage or the list of unmet conditions, you owe God to cherish that essence. When you look deeply enough into your wife’s eyes, past the pain and hurts and fights, you can still find that little ewe lamb gazing back, hoping all things and trusting all things.

God entrusted your wife to you, and she placed herself in trust to you. How can we entrust such a valuable gift to
some concept of cherishing based alone on wispy feelings? Christians like to say, “Love is not a feeling, it’s a commitment.” Well, this is the time to heed those words. We owe that love, despite our feelings. In our society, we have “sensitivity training” and “cross-cultural enrichment” classes. We believe if we can only teach people the “right” feelings, they’ll act correctly. In the Bible, however, God tells us the opposite: We’re to first
act correctly, and then right feelings will follow. If you don’t feel like cherishing, cherish anyway. Your
right feelings will arrive soon enough.
Remember, the Bible says that God loved us while we were yet sinners. Clearly, loving the unlovely is a foundation of God’s character, and cherishing the unlovely is its bedrock. Since Christ died for the church—the
unlovely—and since our marriages should parallel Christ’s relationship to the church, we have no excuse when we don’t cherish our wives. God loved us before we were worthy; we can do nothing less for our wives.

EVERY MAN’S BATTLE: APPROACHING YOUR CORRAL.

Here’s another helpful way of analyzing the “live”attractions in your life and what they mean for your mental defense perimeter. Let’s think about two types of women who will approach your corral:

  1. Women you find attractive.
  2. Women who find you attractive.

Both categories have similar defenses, each designed to starve the attractions until she trots off toward the horizon. Here’s a closer look.

1.WOMEN YOU FIND ATTRACTIVE.
If you find someone attractive, your first line of defense is a proper mind-set, which is this: “This attraction threatens everything I hold dear.”It may not appear threatening early in the attraction, when everything seems innocent. Remember, though, that attractions grow quickly and can destroy your marriage. Even if your marriage manages to survive, for the married, at the very least the lurking will weaken the foundation of your marriage and rob your wife of your full captivation.

Your second line of defense is to declare, “I have no right to think these things.” State this to yourself clearly, decisively, and often. You don’t even know this woman; who are you to be attracted to her? Didn’t your Master give you your wife?

The third line of defense is to heighten your alert. What do you normally do when you feel threatened? You take off your jacket and breathe deeply. You ready yourself for what’s coming.
Suppose you are a bouncer at a dance club, checking I.D.s and tickets, joking with the customers. One night, five
men in black leather loudly roar up on motorcycles, looking surly and arrogant. Would you relax and back
away from the door? Not on your life. Without hesitation, you’d step up to the door and stand erect, ready to confront the threat.

With your mind-set transformed, you won’t let her near the corral. The attraction will begin to starve, and she’ll drift back toward the horizon.
How can you make sure that will happen?

(a) Bounce your eyes.You saw her passing your corral, and you were physically attracted to her. Starve this attraction by bouncing your eyes. Don’t dwell on her beauty by stealing glances. Do this with zeal.

(b)Avoid her. Sometimes this isn’t possible, but do it when you can. If she works with you, and the two of you are assigned to the same project, don’t ask her to eat lunch with you or offer her a ride home. Avoid opportunities that create positive experiences with her until the attraction phase dies. If she asks you to do something with her, excuse yourself.

(c) When you’re in her company, play the dweeb.

A dweeb is the opposite of a player. In relationships, players send and receive social signals smoothly. Dweebs do not. When a player wants to send attraction signals, there are certain things he’ll do. He’ll flirt. He’ll banter. He’ll smile with a knowing look. He’ll talk about hip things. In short, he’ll be cool. You were a player at one time. You knew how to feed attractions. You spent your whole adolescence learning how.

As a married man, however, a little social suicide is very much in order. Always play the dweeb. Players flirt …
learn to un-flirt. Players banter … learn to un-banter. If a woman smiles with a knowing look, learn to smile with a slightly confused look, to un-smile. If she talks about things
that are hip, talk about things that are un-hip to her, like your wife and kids. She’ll find you pleasant enough but
rather bland and uninteresting. Perfect!

Sometimes a woman’s attractiveness to you will be mental rather than physical. This is common in work environments as you work with women on projects that interest you both. In business it’s common to spend more hours per day with female coworkers than with your wife. You talk with them about common goals and achieving
success, while all you and your wife talk about are the kids’ discipline problems, who’s going to change the dirty diapers, and bills, bills, bills.
As with physically attractive women, you must understand that if your shields aren’t up, and if you don’t recognize the threat to your marriage, you’re flirting with danger.

To summarize: If you’re attracted to a woman, it doesn’t mean you may never again have any sort of relationship or friendship with her. It only means you must enact your
defense perimeters. Once you’ve starved the attractions and she’s a safe distance away, you can have a proper relationship, one that is honoring to your wife and to the Lord.

2. WOMEN WHO FIND YOU ATTRACTIVE
No matter what our age (or our waistlines), we’re still capable of saying preposterous things like, “Finally, here is a woman who clearly has good taste and knows ‘handsome’
when she sees it. I simply must get to know her better.” Yes, guys still make those statements.

But we must be very careful when it comes to such women and our first line of defense is that we must make sure that they are aware of your stand on sexual purity.

Your second line of defense is using your shield of rights. “I have no right to think these thoughts, and I have no right to return these signals!” Jesus died a bloody death on the cross to purchase you. He has all the rights here. You have none. Speak this out loudly to yourself again and again; it
breaks and reins in the mustang mind

When a woman approaches your corral, you don’t know what her intentions are. Maybe you’re misreading her bright, outgoing personality, and she isn’t attracted to you at all. Maybe she greets everyone that way. Maybe not. There may be an enemy on that ship. Get your shields up and ask questions later. Don’t pay that dear price.

What do you do when someone ɹnds you attractive? How do you starve these attractions? Here are some
guidelines:
(a) Spend absolutely no time alone with this woman, even in public places. The reason is simple. You don’t want to feed her attractions. Make it obvious you aren’t returning her
interest in you.
(b)Flee from her. Don’t smile knowingly at her. Don’t join her prayer group. Don’t join her worship team. Avoid working with her on a committee. Don’t be anywhere that
she can be further impressed with you. Do this consciously and methodically.

(c)Prepare with “war game” simulations. What will you say
if she calls you at work? What will you do if she invites
you to lunch?

Josh McDowell tells teens to decide what they’ll do in the backseat of the car before they ever get to the backseat of the car. Otherwise passion rules, and reasoning isn’t clear. As adults, we applaud his advice to
teenagers. Why not follow Josh’s words ourselves?

(d) Send absolutely no return attraction signals. Don’t answer the call. Let them eat static! Play the dweeb. Help her out. Show her that her initial attraction to you was a ridiculous mistake. Choose to be
boring, and do it fastidiously. Later, when she’s no longer attracted to you, you can be your normal, interesting self again.

PART THREE

EVERY MAN’S BATTLE: VICTORY WITH YOUR MIND.

1. YOUR MUSTANG MIND

As you build the outer defense perimeters, you’ll find that the perimeter of the eyes goes up much faster than the perimeter of the mind.

Why?

First, the mind is far more crafty than your eyes and more difficult to corral. Second, you really can’t rein in the
mind effectively until the defense perimeter of the eyes is in place. Knowing this, you shouldn’t be discouraged if your mind responds more slowly than your eyes. The great news is that the defense perimeter of the eyes works with you to build the perimeter of the mind. The mind needs an object for its lust, so when the eyes view sexual images, the mind has plenty to dance with. Without
those images, the mind has an empty dance card. By starving the eyes, you starve the mind as well. Although
this alone is not enough—the mind can still create its own lust objects using memories of movies or pictures you saw years ago or by generating fantasies about old girlfriends or
the women with whom you work—at least with your eyes under control you won’t be overwhelmed by a continuing flood of fresh lust objects as you struggle to learn to control
your mind.

Currently, your brain moves nimbly to lust and to the little pleasure-high it brings. Your brain’s “world-view” has
always included lustful thinking. Double entendres, daydreams, and other creative forms of sexual thinking are approved pathways, so your mind feels free to run on these
paths to pleasure. But your mind is orderly, and your world-view colors
what comes through it. The mind will allow these impure thoughts only if they “fit” the way you look at the world. As you set up the perimeter of defense for your mind, your brain’s world-view will be transformed by a new matrix of allowed thoughts, or “allowables.” Within the old matrix of your thinking, lust fit perfectly
and in that sense was “orderly.” But with a new, purer matrix firmly in place, lustful thoughts will bring disorder. Your brain, acting as a responsible policeman, nabs these
lustful thoughts even before they rise to consciousness. Essentially the brain begins cleaning itself, so elusive enemies like double entendres and daydreams, which are hard to control on the conscious level, simply vanish on their own. This transformation of the mind takes some time as you
wait for the old sexual pollution to be washed away. It’s much like living near a creek that becomes polluted when a sewer main breaks upstream. After repair crews replace the
cracked sewage pipe, it will still take some time for the waterdownstream to clear. In transforming your mind, you’ll be taking an active, conscious role in capturing rogue thoughts, but in the long run, the mind will wash itself and will begin to work naturally for you and your purity by capturing such thoughts. With the eyes bouncing away from sexual images
and the mind policing itself, your defenses will grow incredibly strong.

As we’ve seen, most sexual impurity is generated from women you don’t even know. You essentially view them in passing. Models, actresses, receptionists, and pinups are everywhere. But they’re strangers. You don’t live with them, so training the eyes defends against them.
But bouncing your eyes cannot screen out these “live” attractions, attractions from your interactions with women. These women aren’t strangers. You live and work in close proximity with them, even worshiping with them on Sundays. Impure thoughts and attractions may arise. Since the defense perimeter of the eyes can’t stop them, you need
another defense.

“What am I supposed to do?” you say. “Those thoughts come on their own. I can’t help them.”

That certainly seems true, since controlling the mind can seem bizarre. Even in church, a daydream may suddenly transpire about some woman at work. Where do these thoughts come from? The mind is like a wild mustang, running free, one thought triggering another in no real order. Still, the Bible says we must control not just our eyes, but our whole bodies:

You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
(1Corinthians 6:19-20)

And not just our bodies, but our minds as well. The Holy Spirit, through Paul, is clear on this:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
(2 Corinthians 10:5)

This is a jarring verse. Reading it, it’s easy to wonder, Take every thought captive? Is that really possible?

All impure thoughts generate from processing both visual
and live attractions through your senses. Viewing women on the beach. Flirting with the new woman at work. Remembering an old girlfriend. During improper processing, our minds can get carried away in impurity. However, by properly processing these attractions, we can
capture or eliminate impure thoughts.
We’ve already discussed one form of proper processing called bouncing the eyes. It processes visual attractions by
training the eyes to bounce and then starving them. When it’s effectively established, your defense perimeter of the eyes has the nature of the old Berlin Wall. No visual entry visas are ever granted for any reason. But the defense perimeter of the mind is less like a wall and more like a customs area in an international airport. Customs departments are filters, preventing dangerous elements from entering a country such as drugs, Mediterranean fruit flies, terrorists, and other harmful agents. Similarly, the defense perimeter of the mind properly processes attractive women into your “country,” filtering out the alien seeds of attraction before the impure thoughts are even generated. This perimeter “stops the lurking in sin.”

We said earlier that our minds are like wild mustangs running free. Mustangs have two characteristics that resemble male brains.

First, the mustang runs where he
wills. Second, the mustang mates where he wills and with whom he chooses. There are mares everywhere! And if a mustang doesn’t happen to see one nearby, he’ll sniff the wind and, sensing the mare over the horizon, he’ll run over there and mate. This trait is similar to the wild donkey that God talked about through the prophet Jeremiah:

A wild donkey accustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her craving— in her heat who can restrain her? Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves;
at mating time they will find her. (Jeremiah 2:24)

Can you control the mustang? Can you run him down on foot or simply wag your finger and admonish him? No, of course not. Then how do you keep him from running and mating where he wills?

With a corral.

Currently, your mind runs like a mustang. What’s more, your mind “mates” where it wills with attractive, sensual women. They’re everywhere. With a mustang mind, how do you stop the running and the mating?

With a corral around your mind.

Let’s expand a bit on this metaphor to help you better understand our goal of reining in our roving minds.
Once, you were a proud mustang, wild and free. Sleek and rippling, you ranged the hills and valleys, running and mating where you willed, master of your destiny. God, owner of a large local ranch, noticed you from a distance as He worked His herd. Though you took no notice of Him,
He loved you and desired to make you His own. He sought you in many ways, but you ran from Him again and again. One day He found you trapped in a deep, dark canyon,
with no way out. With the lariat of salvation, He gently drew you near, and you became one of His own. He
desired to break you, that you might be useful to Him and bring Him further joy. But knowing your natural ways and how you loved to run free with the mares, He set a fence
around you. This corral was the perimeter of the eyes. It stopped the running and kept you from sniffing the winds and running wildly over the horizon. While the corral stopped the running, it hasn’t yet stopped the mating. You mate in your mind, through attractions, thoughts, and fantasy, flirting and neighing lustily at the mares inside or near your corral. You must be broken.

In light of this picture,let’s look at four categories of attractions that have come or will come your way. The first category is your visual attraction to the strangers we spoke of earlier: the joggers, receptionists, and pinups. Because we’ve established a defense perimeter of the eyes—our corral—these are now over the horizon.
We can’t run there anymore. They no longer create attractions. But there are still plenty of attractions within range of the corral. Categories two through four include the women
who are not strangers, the women you interact with in life —the “live” attractions.

In the second category are the women who aren’t attractive to you and don’t generate impure thoughts. They
can include your friends, acquaintances, coworkers, and church members. Your friend may notice someone and say, “Wow,
look at her! She’s hot!” You respond in mild surprise, saying, “I guess so. I’ve worked with her so long I don’t
even think of her in those terms. She’s just a friend.” Your defense against this category of women is a simple
monitoring, to make sure you notice early if one of them takes a step toward your corral.

The third category is likely the most dangerous of all. These are the women you know and interact with and who hit your attractions buttons, like Rachel, your new coworker, or maybe the new worship leader who thrills your soul with her keyboard and worshipful heart. You neigh, drawing them toward your corral, if only in your mind. Perhaps one of them has noticed you as well. Attracted to you, she trots purposefully toward your corral.
Flattered, you snort majestically and stomp your foot and toss your head. Looking at her brings much pleasure. Pushing the boundaries, you stretch your head over the fence, nuzzling a bit through private lunches and close
conversations. Worst of all, your mustang mind can do something a real mustang could never do—open the gate of the corral. And not just mentally You might say you could never open the gate of your corral to someone in the way Duane’s cousin did. But look at statistics for the church, friend. Our divorce rates are no different from the world’s. Christians everywhere are separating or recovering from adulterous aʃairs born of men who opened the corral of their minds. Without defenses, it could happen to you. The last category includes those women who are already inside your mental corral. Your first thought may be that only your wife is in this category, but thereare others whom God has placed close to you. This category can
include the wife of your close friend. You’ll share restaurant
tables with them, create joyful memories with them, and pray earnestly with them. Emotionally, you’ll be close. But you must not lurk .

The perimeter of the mind processes the live attractions that canter up over the horizon and pass our corrals. By starving the attractions, these women retreat to safety zones of “friendship” or “acquaintance,” where they no longer threaten our purity. Most women won’t hit any attraction buttons at all, of course. As they enter your life, they simply trot past your corral toward the horizon. You don’t notice them, and they
don’t notice you. They are and will be merely friends, acquaintances, and coworkers, somewhere of on the
horizon. But those who do attract you and do approach your corral must not be given any reason to come closer or even approach the gate, where you just might, in a moment of weakness, let her in.

A LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF.

Hi guys.

It has been a while since I wrote. There comes a time when you just take an intentional break and refill your cup so that it doesn’t run dry.

While on the break, my good friend Ms Kavata who is a blogger, requested me to be part of a series she was doing titled ‘A letter to my younger self.’

That was thought provoking for me and took me back to my life experiences growing up and what I should have done better.

This is a letter to my younger self. Kindly read it on my friends blog through this link.

https://misskavata.blogspot.com/2020/09/dear-younger-me-listen-boy.html

If you were to write a letter to your younger self, how would it look like?

EVERY MAN’S BATLLE: VICTORY WITH YOUR EYES

3. YOUR SWORD AND SHIELD

These strategies for bouncing and starving the eyes may sound rather simple. Maybe even easy to do. But they aren’t. Satan fights you with lies, while your body fights you with the desires and strength of deeply entrenched bad habits. To win, you need a sword and a shield. Of all the parts of your battle plan, this is likely the most important.

YOUR SWORD.
You’ll need a good Bible verse to use as a sword and a rallying point.

Just one?

It may be useful to memorize several verses of Scripture about purity, as they work to eventually transform and wash the mind. But in the cold-turkey, day-to-day fight against impurity, having several memory
verses might be as cumbersome as strapping on a hundreds pound backpack to engage in hand-to-hand combat. You aren’t agile enough.
That’s why a single “attack verse,” would do and it better be quick. A workable suggestion is the opening line of Job 31:

” I have made a covenant with my eyes.”

When you fail and look at a jogger, say sharply, “No, I’ve made a covenant with my eyes. I can’t do that!”

When you look at a busty billboard, say, “No, I’ve made a covenant with my eyes. I can’t do that!” This action will be a quick dagger to the heart of your enemy.

YOUR SHIELD
Your shield—a protective verse that you can reflect on and draw strength from even when you aren’t in the direct heat of battle—may be even more important than your sword,
because it places temptation out of earshot.

A workable solution is selecting this verse as your shield:

“Flee from sexual immorality.… You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)”

A shield such as this will help you think rightly about the real issues involved as you face temptation in your fight for purity. Satan’s power of temptation lies in your supposed right to make decisions regarding your behavior. If you didn’t believe you had that right, no tempting power
could touch you.

Okay, you’ve made a covenant with your eyes to starve them and to train them to bounce. Maybe you’ve defined your weak areas, creating a custom defense for each one, and have picked up your sword and shield. What can you expect to happen over the next few weeks, even years?

Here’s a bit of the time line that unfolded for me as my perimeters went up.

Short-term results:
The first two weeks were largely
failure after failure for me. Your eyes simply will not fall in line and bounce away from the sexual. Your shields from Satan’s lies are still weak, but you have to keep plodding ahead in faith, knowing God is with you in this.

Eventually you’ll starting winning this battle. You’ll have consistency and what was once a thorn will start disappearing.

Long term Results.
As you keep living purely, the hedge
of protection from temptation grows thicker around you. If you’re diligent, it becomes a much longer throw for Satan to lob temptation grenades into your living quarters. In the long term, do you still have to monitor your eyes? Yes, because the natural bent of your eyes is to sin, and you’ll return to bad habits if you’re careless. But with only the slightest effort, good habits are permanent.

After a year or so though it may take longer—nearly all major skirmishes will stop. Bouncing your eyes will
become deeply entrenched. Your brain, now policing itself tightly, will rarely slip anymore, having given up long ago on its chances to return to the old days of pornographic pleasure highs.

Looking back at the details of this plan, it all sounds slightly crazy. Defenses, brain tricks, bouncing your eyes, forfeiting rights. Man! I wonder if even Job would be a bit startled.
On the other hand, maybe we should expect a sound plan to look this way. Consider all the men who are called
to purity, yet so few seem to know how to do it. What’s the bottom line? It may take all your resources and
creativity to destroy the old habits and every inch of freedom in Christ to walk free from sin. Maybe you have been owned by these habits for years, taking whatever women you desire with your eyes.

Freedom from sin is worth dying for, according to Jesus. Here’s the other side … it’s also worth living for!

EVERY MAN’S BATTLE: THE BOOK

At this juncture, I really would want to remind us that the content in this series has heavily been borrowed from the book Every Man’s Battle by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker.

I have actually borrowed word for word on most of the articles in this series only adding notes that I felt also ought to have been included in the text.

I would encourage all of us to read the rich content filled book so that we can learn from the best. What I have left out in this articles are the stories that have been shared by the authors which I promise you are worth reading through because they really reflect the life of the ordinary man.

Ladies, this is a book you should read too so that you can understand a man’s struggle in overcoming the sexual sin. It will help you be supportive to your husband and also the men in your circle who could be struggling with sexual sin.

This has been the best practical book on overcoming sexual sin for me.

Kindly read through. You won’t regret it.

EVERY MAN’S BATTLE: VICTORY WITH THE EYES2. STARVE THE EYES.

As you set up your defense perimeter with your eyes, a further strategic approach is to think of starving the eyes. Remember again our definition for sexual purity: You are sexually pure when no sexual gratification comes from anyone or anything but your wife. Our battle centers on our
sexual gratification.

Let’s picture that gratification in another way. As a man, you need a certain amount of food and water to live. The amounts differ for each of us, based upon genetics, metabolism, and activity. It’s even possible to suspend these needs for a while, as when fasting or limiting your food intake to lose weight. Similarly, you require a certain amount of sexual
gratification. Your sex drive may be suspended by God with a gift of abstinence. And you can adjust the required volume of sexual gratification to some extent. By
controlling the sexual images entering your eyes and mind, your system may become used to living on less, but in the end, you still have a certain volume of sexual gratification you need to fill.

Unfortunately, there’s no unit of measure for sexual gratification, like liters or inches. So let’s make
one up, and we’ll call them “bowls.” Imagine that your current level of sexual hunger requires ten bowls of sexual gratification per week. These bowls of gratification should be filled from your single legitimate vessel, the wife whom God provided for you. But because males soak up sexual gratification through the eyes, we can effortlessly fill our bowls from other sources. Our sensualized culture pours sexual imagery freely with
the potential to fill our bowls continually and forever. Our eyes can feast away! If your sexual need is ten bowls a week, you can easily draw five bowls from the culture, while drawing only five from your wife. (That’s not the same as having intercourse five times a week, because we can draw sexual gratification from our wives in many
ways.) While this “bowls” imagery oversimplifies the details, it clarifies the process involved in our sexual gratification.

To attain sexual purity as we deɹned it, we must starve our eyes of the bowls of sexual gratification that come from outside our marriage. When you starve your eyes and
eliminate “junk sex” from your life, you’ll deeply crave “real food”—your wife. And no wonder. She’s the only
thing in the cupboard, and you’re hungry! This newfound hunger will shock her. She has been accustomed to providing you five bowls a week, primarily through physical foreplay and sexual intercourse. Things were at equilibrium. Suddenly you need an extra five bowls from her. For no apparent reason, you come calling for intercourse twice as often. If this were all there was to it, it wouldn’t seem so
mysterious. To women, men always want more sex than they’re getting! But there’s more to it. Since your visual gratification now pours only from her, she’s looking very good to you. Perhaps you haven’t looked at her quite like this since you were newlyweds. While this sensation is
vaguely pleasant to her, it can also be a tad jarring. She doesn’t quite know what to do, except to send you outside to play with the kids while she undresses in the master bathroom.
And it’s not just the looking. Once you’re winning the battle, you’ll be saying things you haven’t uttered for years like, “I can’t wait for tonight, baby.” All your imaginative creativity now blossoms upon your marriage bed, not in some fantasy world. You’ll be fully enamored with her! Again, this is vaguely pleasant to her, but she’s also troubled. Where are these new ideas coming from? she may
wonder. Has he been having an affair? What’s going on? She’ll probably ask you what’s going on, and once she learns what’s cooking, you’ll both need to find a new asexual a equilibrium. The extra five bowls from outside the marriage must now be provided from inside the marriage.

The magazines at the supermarket checkout might say,
“Fantasize to a Better Sex Life.” The talk shows may say, “Let variety improve your sex life—adultery can be good!” But in God’s kingdom, obedience always ends in joy, peace, and in this case, thrills. You can count on a sexual payoff from obedience.
Whether your wife is wide or narrow or lumpy or smooth, when you focus your full attention on “your fountain,”
she’ll become ever more beautiful to you. Her weak points will become sexy because they’re yours and yours alone. They’re all you have, and you can cherish them and let them fulfill you. Maybe this shouldn’t surprise us so much. After all, standards of beauty are not fixed. In centuries past, the
great master painters depicted heavy, rounded women as the ultimate beauty. In the 1920s, thin, flat-chested women reigned. In the 1960s, the full-breasted, voluptuous girls
were queen. In the 1980s and 1990s, muscled, glistening athletic women ignited us. Men adapt to each time period, their tastes formed by what they view, and the same will happen in this new millennium. If you limit your eyes to your wife only, your own tastes will adapt to what you’re viewing. Your wife’s strengths and weaknesses will become your tastes. Eventually, she’ll be beyond comparison in your eyes.

For the singles, we must abstain till God gets us to marriage. We will always get tempted to satisfy our sexual desires through porn, masturbation, lustful thoughts and other forms of sexual sin (that keep on evolving) but we must resist.

We must pursue purity!

EVERY MAN’S BATTLE: VICTORY WITH YOUR EYES.1. BOUNCING YOUR EYES

To set up your first defense perimeter with your eyes, youwant to employ the strategies of bouncing your eyes and starving your eyes as well as the tactic of taking up a “sword” and a “shield.”

Let’s first consider bouncing. You can win this battle by training your eyes to “bounce” away from sights of pretty women and sensual images. If you “bounce your eyes” for six weeks, you can win this war. The problem is that our eyes have always bounced
toward the sexual, and we’ve made no attempt to end this habit. To combat it, you need to build a reflex action by
training your eyes to immediately bounce away from the sexual, like the jerk of your hand away from a hot stove.

Let’s repeat that, for emphasis: When your eyes bounce toward a woman, they must bounce away immediately. But why must the bounce be immediate? After all, you might argue, a glance isn’t the same as lusting. If we define “lusting” as staring open-mouthed until
drool pools at your feet, then a glance isn’t the same as lusting. But if we define lusting as any look that creates that little chemical high, that little pop, then we have something a bit more difficult to measure. This chemical high happens more quickly than you realize. Drawing the line at “immediate” is clean and easy for the mind and eyes to understand. This
“line in the sand” seems to work effectively.

So how do we train this new bouncing reflex?

For openers, the habit of what your eyes look at is no different from any other habit. Since experts say that
anything done consistently for twenty-one days becomes a new habit, you must find some way to consistently bounce your eyes over time.

What are your tactics?

When you start bouncing your eyes, your body will fight against you in peculiar, unexpected ways. Sexual sin has an addictive nature, and your body will not want to give up
on its pleasures. You’ll have to creatively respond in your quest for purity, and you do that through these two logical steps:

  1. Study yourself. How and where are you attacked most?
  2. Define your defense for each of the greatest enemies you’ve identified.

Your first step is listing your own “greatest enemies.”

What are the most obvious and prolific sources of sensual images? Where do you look most often? Where are you weakest?

Whatever your weak spots are, they needn’t be targeted if you train your
eyes to bounce and eliminate the visual stimuli. With no food for the mental fancies, the sexual fever that draws your mind to sin in these situations will be broken. These situations will lose their power naturally.

What parameters should you set with technology?

Needless to say, technology has become the biggest undoing of our generation. Everything is ready and available anytime you need it. How then do we make sure that we don’t fall into sin while dealing with technology that advances every day.

Consider these six guidelines.

  1. Hot conversation, whether by phone or by text or by computer, gets your mind racing and puts your body in the lead. Since this talk takes you from one level of arousal to the next, it’s not “sophisticated” or just “harmless fun.” It’s foreplay, and it works on
    the pleasure centers of the brain exactly like porn.
  2. When the next new technology comes along and you wonder if what you’re doing is right, ask these questions: Does it drive me from one level of arousal to the next? Am I driven to do it again and again? If so, call it what it is—sex outside of marriage. Remember, you don’t have to be with someone to have sex. We call it phone sex because we get the
    same kick and the same high as other forms of sex, whether we’re in her presence or not.
  3. It’s none of your business what turns her on unless you’ve entered into a covenant relationship with her in marriage. Ever.
  4. When it comes to any form of text messages (cell phones, e-mails, Facebook, Instagram, twitter, tinder and so on), don’t type anything that you wouldn’t want someone—like your wife (for the married) or your pastor—to read or hear you say in person.
  5. The fastest way to put a stop to text messages with inappropriate language or innuendos is to simply
    not respond. Let the other person eat static.
  6. If you’re married, you have no business texting her, e-mailing her, or calling her at all. If you must
    contact a married woman, communicate through her
    husband.

A picture is worth a thousand words.
Never, ever create sexual photos, videos, e-mails, text messages, or anything else that someone could keep and share in the future.

LOVE ON AIR

What do the first four words of the Bible mean to you?

Are they just the first four words of the Bible or are they the foundation on which you base your life’s success?

Listen in to @edwin_maina and I as we get to see how these four words should form the basis of successful relationships.

Click on the link below:
https://youtu.be/26UYhvZ3YTM

EVERY MAN’S BATTLE: THE BATTLE PLAN.

Let’s say you’re in the landing craft ready to attack your sexual sin. You’ve made your decision. You’ve decided to
follow your leaders as you storm the beach. The landingcraft ramp falls open. With a shout, you step courageously into the fray. But, unknown to you, the deceptive ocean
currents have flushed a deep hole on the ocean floor right in front of the landing craft. You have no idea what’s
happened, but you’re suddenly in water over your head, and the weight of your pack is sending you to the bottom.

You’re drowning.

Your battle is over before you even took a second step. Satan’s greatest weapon against you is just such
deception. He knows Jesus has already purchased your freedom. He also knows that once you see the simplicity of this battle, you’ll win in short order, so he deceives and confuses. He tricks you into thinking you’re a helpless victim, someone who’ll need years of group therapy. He tells you that sexual sin is just part of being a man, and there’s nothing you can do about it. He tells you all about sexual addiction and makes you believe that you’re not a sex addict, that you’re off the hook, that you don’t need an obedient life. And such deception is only one of the ways that he tries to beat you.

This article will remove the mystery surrounding the enemy as you launch into battle. Defined in here is your actual objective in practical terms, and a description of some critical attributes of your sexual sin. Pay close attention to these details, because once you step into the fray, you want
to come out of this victorious.

YOUR OBJECTIVE IN THIS WAR.
Your goal is sexual purity. Here’s a good working definition of it—good because of its simplicity: You are sexually pure when no sexual gratiɹcation comes from anyone or anything but your wife. Purity means stopping sexual gratiɹcation that comes to us from outside our marriage.

But how to do we stop it?

We’re able to draw outside sexual gratification from only two places: the eyes and the mind. Therefore, to be
successful in the battle for our sexual perimeter, we must blockade the “shipping lanes” of the eyes and mind.
Beyond that, we also want to make sure that we have healthy, positive affections and attitudes in our relationships with our wives. In other words, we want our hearts to be right.
That means your objective in the war against lust is to build three perimeters of defense into your life:

  1. With your eyes.
  2. In your mind.
  3. In your heart.

Think of the first perimeter (your eyes) as your outermost defense, a wall with “Keep Out” signs around it.
It defends your eyes by covenant (as Job did: “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl”), and you do that by training your eyes to bounce from objects of lust. Your eyes must bounce from the sensual, something they aren’t currently doing.

With the second perimeter (your mind), you don’t so much block out the objects of lust, but you evaluate and capture them. A key verse to support you here is 2 Corinthians 10:5: “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” You must train your mind to take thoughts captive, something it doesn’t currently do.

Your third objective is to build your innermost defense perimeter—in your heart. This perimeter is built by strengthening your affections for
your wife and your commitment to the promises and debts you owe her. Your marriage can die from within if you neglect your promise to love, honor, and cherish your wife. Honoring and cherishing are your key actions in establishing this defense perimeter. And this applies even
if you’re single: You want to honor and cherish every date, just as you hope every guy is honoring and cherishing your future wife when he goes out with her.

So there’s your battle plan. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Setting up defense perimeters and choosing
not to sin. You’ll have freedom from sexual impurity as soon as those defense perimeters are in place. Sexually, your outer life will finally match the inner life God created
in you. Because of your long struggle with sexual impurity, this attack plan may seem too simple to be effective. No matter. As you study the attributes of your enemy, you’ll realize that simplicity is more than sufficient.

So before we move on to how to build the three defense perimeters, let’s remove the mystery surrounding sexual sin by gaining a better understanding of the enemy, that we
might not be deceived.

IMPURITY IS A HABIT.
Some may think that impurity is genetic, like the color of our eyes.

“I’m male, so I’ll have impure eyes and an impure mind.”

But we can’t blame our roving eyes on genetics, even though men are definitely more visually oriented than
women. Some men see themselves as victims of impure eyes and thoughts, as if that excuse absolved them from all responsibility.

The simple truth?

Impurity is a habit. It lives like a habit.

When some hot-looking babe walks in, your eyes have the bad habit of bouncing toward her, sliding up and down. When some glistening jogger runs past you, your eyes habitually run away with her.

The fact that impurity is merely a habit comes as a surprise to many men. It’s like discovering that the big
bully has a glass chin and that you don’t have to cower anymore.If impurity were genetic or some victimizing spell, you’d be helpless. But since impurity is a habit, it can be
changed. You have hope, because if it lives like a habit, it can die like a habit.

This is great news since habit-breaking is familiar ground, hardly mysterious. We’ve all dealt with bad habits. What do you do with them? You simply replace them with new and better ones. That’s it. If you can practice this new habit with great focus for a month to six weeks, soon the old habit will seem unnatural.

Sexual impurity is not a “sickness” or “imbalance” for most men. Our eyes love the sexual, and our bad habits
arise from our maleness. We have the bad habit of seeking cheap thrills from any dark corner we stumble into. We’ve habitually chosen the wrong way, and now we must habitually choose the right way.

WORKING LIKE A HABIT
Impurity not only lives like a habit, it also works like a habit. The same is also true for purity; it works like a habit. What does this mean?
Once we set a habit in concrete, we can forget about it. The habit will take care of business with little conscious
thought, enabling us to focus our attention on other things. For example, we all have a habitual way of getting up in the morning. We don’t even have to think about it. We could do our morning routine in our sleep, and we usually do!

While sexual impurity works like a bad habit, sexual purity works like a good habit. This should be encouraging to you. As you enter the
fight against impurity, the exhausting battle might have you saying to yourself, “I can’t work this hard at purity the rest of my life.” But if you can just hang in there a little longer, the habit of purity will get a foothold and fight for you, requiring much less conscious effort. Currently, your impure habits claw and clutch; you sin without even thinking. For instance, your eyes bounce to
any short skirt that moseys by. Without thinking, your bad
habits start kicking in. But with the habit of purity in place, when a woman’s dress flies up on a windy day, you’ll look away automatically without even thinking. If you wanted to peek, you’d have to force your eyes to do so.

IMPURITY FIGHTS LIKE AN ADDICTION
Impurity of the eyes and mind lives like a habit but fights like an addiction. Many habits are addictive. Smokers get the urge to smoke. Drug users “get a jones.” Alcoholics get
the shakes. For overcoming some addictions, the addictive source
can be gradually reduced. For others, the best method is cold turkey. What works best with sexual impurity? Cold turkey. You cannot just taper down. We tried. It didn’t work, because we found our minds and eyes were too tricky and deceitful. With tapering, whatever impurity you
do allow seems to multiply in its impact, and the habit won’t break. Besides, tapering down also brings with it the possibility of sexual binges that might go on for days. Binges crush your spirit.

Cold turkey it must be. But how? By totally starving your eyes of all things sensual besides your wife. For
singles, this means starving your eyes of all things sensual. This will help you overcome the desire for premarital sex with the women you date. If you starve your eyes just like the married guys, you’ll see your date as a person and not an object.

SPIRITUAL POSSESSION AND OPPRESSION
Now that we’ve touched on Satan’s part in our battle
against impurity, let’s focus on whether sexual impurity represents some form of demon possession.
You aren’t possessed by the devil when impurity runs
rampant in your life, and you don’t need an exorcism.
Although it sometimes feels like an evil gremlin inside you
is driving you to sin, these are merely the compulsions of
your bad habits and hormones. You’re simply out of control and must bring them all back under the control of
your regenerated spirit.

While there’s no spiritual possession involved, there
could be an element of spiritual oppression.

PURITY ALWAYS BRINGS SPIRITUAL OPPOSITION
While there may not be spiritual oppression involved in your battle, there’ll always be spiritual opposition. The enemy is constantly near your ear. He doesn’t want you to win this fight, and he knows the lies that so often break men’s confidence and their will to win. Expect to hear lies
and plenty of them. What you’ve read is the truth. There is peace and tranquillity for you on the other side of this war. There is immeasurable spiritual gain. The deceiver will tell you that this is all a lie, and that you’ll
soon be crazy to believe it.

To help you recognize Satan’s lies when you hear them, here’s a list of some of them. (After each lie, stated is the actual truth.)

Satan: “You’re the only one dealing with this problem. If anyone ever finds out, you’ll be the laughing stock of the church!”
The truth: Most men deal with this problem, so no one will laugh.

Satan: “You failed again. You’ll never be able to train your eyes. It’s impossible.”
The truth: It isn’t impossible. Job trained his eyes, didn’t he? He was a man just like you.

Satan: “You’re being so legalistic! The law is dead and only brings death.”
The truth: God still has standards of behavior for us, and you’re responsible to live purely by His standards.

Satan: “Oh, c’mon! Don’t be such a moron. This ‘habit- changing’ plan will never work.”
The truth: The plan will work, because for most men the
problem of sexual impurity is nothing more than bad
choices evolving into bad habits.

Satan: “Why ɹght this costly battle when the costs of your impurity are so minimal?”
The truth: You can’t always see them, but the costs of your sin are greater than you think.

MASTURBATION: A SYMPTOM, NOT THE ROOT
If your sexual impurity includes masturbation, as it does for many men, then some further deceptive tactics from the enemy that you may encounter would include the argument that masturbation is the root of your problem or that it’s
caused by some psychological pain from your past. Let’s tackle these issues head-on.

Let us say it clearly: Masturbation is a symptom of uncontrolled eyes and free-racing thoughts. When you create the new habits of bouncing your eyes and taking thoughts captive, masturbation will cease. Until then, it won’t. There’s no sense in targeting masturbation itself, because you won’t be attacking the real source of the problem. Target the eyes and mind instead.

Scripture is silent on the topic of masturbation. Some might even make a case that isolated instances of masturbation to relieve sexual tension are okay, if you’re focusing on your wife, not some supermodel, during periods of separation or illness. Wanton masturbation, tied to pornography or whatever gets your motor running, is always sin, putting distance between you and God. If you desire holiness, you must stop masturbating. Becoming sexually charged from images other than your wife isn’t right. If you want freedom from masturbation, you must put the ax to the roots.

What are the roots?

That you’re
stopping short of God’s standard, accepting (through your
eyes and your mind) more than a hint of immorality in
your life.

ACCOUNTABILITY AND YOUR WIFE.
For many men who are
willing to fight for sexual purity, an important step is
finding accountability support in a men’s Bible study
group, in a smaller group of one or two other men serving
as accountability partners, or by going into counseling.

For an accountability partner, enlist a male friend,
perhaps someone older and well respected in the church, to encourage you in the heat of battle. The men’s Minis try at
your church can also help you find someone who can pray
for you and ask you the tough questions.

Accountability however only works only when coupled with a firm
commitment to win.
Let us caution you, however, from enlisting your wife as
your accountability partner. There’s no way most guys will
get real with their spouses in something as starkly personal
as one’s thought life and masturbation habits.

RELEASE FOR SINGLES
As a final point, let’s explore how the battle plan works in particular for singles. One reason singles can get tripped up in their quest for purity is that they feel overmatched. That’s why they’re quick to say, “It’s easy for you to talk about sexual purity—you’re married!” In an earlier Article, we dismissed marriage as an adequate answer to purity problems, but the question for singles remains: What are you going to do with the sexual pressure you sometimes feel?

First of all, you have to take by faith that once you get your eyes and mind under control, the sexual pressure will drop off dramatically. You bring most of the sexual pressure onto yourself through visual sensual stimulation and mental fantasy. Even so, there remains the male seventy-two-hour cycle of sperm production. Without the impurity of the eyes, the pressure generated by lust is gone, but there’s still a natural physical pressure for release, though much weaker.

“What am I going to do about that?” you might ask.

“How will I get release?”

God has supplied the way of release, something with which you’re familiar.

Clinically it’s called “nocturnal
emissions.” But somewhere in a dank, smelly football locker room, some kid decided to call it a “wet dream,”
and that name stuck.

The good news for singles is that
nocturnal emissions can work for you in your quest for purity. (They also can work for married guys who aren’t as sexually active as they would like to be.)

You may wonder how such dreams will work toward purity. After all, some of these dreams are pretty hot and heavy! But those hot and heavy aspects arise from what you’re putting into your mind each day. The same pure eyes and mind that keep you from actively seeking release
during the day will limit the impurity that your mind can use in dreams at night. Even these dreams will be dramatically purer in scope and content.

YOUR GOAL FROM HERE
Now that you’ve made your decision for sexual purity, you can see more than ever why failing to eliminate every hint of sexual immorality from your life is dangerous. The visual sensuality of immodest dress, movies, commercials, and all the rest will feed your eyes and ignite you sexually. The addictive nature of the chemical responses in your brain’s pleasure centers spin tight cords of bondage. To break those cords, you must cut off the sensual images through your eyes and mind.

Level your sights on the enemy, brother.

It’s time.

EVERY MAN’S BATTLE: RECLAIMING WHAT WAS LOST.

Okay, so you’ve decided it’s time to fight. And you realize that your battle for sexual purity will cost you something. It will require sacrifice, intensity, and honor.

But let’s get something else in clear view: What can you expect to gain by choosing manhood and the purity that goes with it?

By winning this war, your life will be blessed in tremendous ways. Your victory will recover what was lost
through sin.

Victory will help you…

  1. regain and revitalize your relationship with God.
  2. regain and revitalize your relationship with your
    wife (for the married)
  3. regain and revitalize your relationship with your
    children.
  4. regain and revitalize your relationship to your
    ministry.

Sin keeps us from self introspection. Facing who we really are. While God loves us unconditionally, He does not unconditionally approve of our behaviour. When Jesus knocks, He
wants freedom to enter every room in your house. In every part of your life, He wants to be welcome and comfortable. Is He locked out of any room in your house?

How is your sex chamber? Is it tightly locked away from God’s eyes? Are you a fake and a hypocrite who keeps it secret? Whenever you sin, it is your relationship with God that suffers.

Are you like that prodigal eating old cobs of corn left in a pigsty. To restore your relationship with God the Father, you have to get up out of the mud and start walking home. You don’t have to clean yourself up first, but you have to make that first step.
On the road ahead, the Father is waiting with a ring, a robe, shoes, and everything else an honored son was
meant to have. But first you have to come to your senses and take your first step towards home—toward purity—by making that covenant
with your eyes.

Coming back to the Father brings a lightness and a new light in our souls. Our sexual sin brings a darkness so deep and smothering that when it vanishes, the difference is so real we can practically touch it. Like the prodigal son, we feel loved and approved by God.

The peace that comes with this love not only affects of inner life but that of our daily activities.

And like him(the prodigal son) we have to let go of those have secret compartments labeled Old Girlfriends or Pornography or Favorite Web Sites. You must forsake these private, secret compartments, because they’re harmful to our sexual purity.

Your sexual purity will also mean regaining your relationship to your friends. You must have friends who challenge you to be pure sexually. Friends who take the war against sexual sin very serious.

In your relationships with your children, the knowledge that you could break patterns of generational sin is wondrous.

Consider what the psalmist wrote:

As for man, his days are like grass…
But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,and his righteousness with their children’s children. (Psalm 103:15,17)

God is obviously interested in saving you as an individual. After all, He sent His son to die for you— personally. But He’s equally interested in you as a link in an important chain because God knows that a Christian legacy, when passed on, has the power to change generations for the good.
Likewise, sin can affect families for generation. You might have come from a family in which the men loved sex and pornography and ditched their wives or were caught up in affairs.

You may have followed in their footsteps but the Lord and you can still win, and the generational sin be broken.

If you’re coming out of generational sin, you must continue to fight the good fight—for your children and for
your children’s children.

A man once said to D. L. Moody, “The world has not yet seen what God can do with a man fully devoted to Him.”
Moody responded, “I am that man!” Unlike Moody, young men today are spending so much of their spiritual energy fighting off sexual fevers. What if your son were kept free
from this draining fever in the first place, and all of his spiritual energy could be spent on God’s call in His
kingdom?

It can be done.

The world has not yet seen what God can do with an army of young men free of sexual fevers. If you’re a father, have you worked hard enough to keep your son pure so that he might qualify for such an army? Can
you yourself answer as Moody did, “I am that man”?

Its time.
God is waiting to bless you.
Your wife needs you to step up.
Your kids need you to break generational sin.Your church needs you to serve. Do you agree it’s time?

Good. Let’s put together a battle plan. The landing-craft ramps are falling open, and it’s time to hit the beach.

EVERY MAN’S BATTLE: ITS NOW OR NEVER

In your struggle with sexual impurity, isn’t it time? Sure, fighting back will be hard. It is for everyone. You might take a beating at first. Your sin might humble you. But how much do you want that victory? Your life is under a withering barrage of machine-gun sexuality that rakes the landscape mercilessly. Right now you’re in a landing craft, inching closer to shore
and a showdown. God has given you the weapons and trained you for battle. You can’t stay in the landing craft forever. Sooner or later, the ramp will drop, and then it will be your time to run bravely into the teeth of battle. God will run with you,
but He won’t run for you. It’s time to plunge ahead and go like a man.

This is a battle and you mist choose not to give up; you mist choose victory.

We’ve known those who have failed in their battle for sexual purity, and we know some who have won. The
difference? Those who won hated their impurity. They were going to war and were going to win—or die trying. Every resource was leveled upon the foe.

There will be no victory in this area of your life until you choose manhood with all your might.

Leading up to a decisive choice for sexual purity, we must make some hard choices and answer some hard questions:


1.How long do I intend to stay ensnared?

  1. For married men, ask yourself; How long must my family wait?
  2. How long before I can look God in the eye?

In the arena of sexual purity, you’re at your own point of decision.

Admit it:

You love your sexual highs, but slavery engulfs you.

Is the love worth the loathing?

Is stopping short of God’s standards right?

Look in the mirror.

Are you proud of your sexual
fantasizing?

Or do you feel degraded after viewing lingerie ads or sex scenes in films?

Sexually speaking, you have a low-grade sexual fever.

It doesn’t disable you, but you aren’t healthy either. You can sort of function normally, but you can’t really push hard.

Basically, you just get by. And if this fever doesn’t break, you’ll never fully function as a Christian. Like the prodigal, you need to come to your senses and make a decision.

THIS IS YOUR MOMENT
Consider the example of Eleazar, one of David’s “three mighty men,” in this brief record of a tough battle against
the Philistines:

“Then the men of Israel retreated, but he stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The LORD brought about a great victory that day. (2 Samuel 23:9-10)

Eleazar refused to be ensnared anymore. Everyone else was running from the enemy, but he put his foot down and said, “I’ve had it with this running. I’m going to fight until I drop dead or until I drop to the field in victorious exhaustion. This is my moment to live or die.”

Have you had it with the running?

How long will you allow the Philistines to chase you? Are you motivated instead to fight?

As the basis for your victory, did you know that God has provided you with everything you need for a life of purity? And it’s better than a state-of-the-art GPS navigational
system. At Calvary, He purchased for you the freedom and authority to live in purity. That freedom and that authority are His gift to you through the presence of His Spirit, who took up residence within you when you gave your life to Christ. The freedom and authority are wrapped up in our
new inner connection to His divine nature, which is the link that gives us His power and the fulfillment of His
promises:

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of
him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them
you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil
desires. (2 Peter 1:3-4)

It’s like the situation facing Joshua and the people of Israel as they prepared to cross the Jordan River and possess the Promised Land.

What did God say to Joshua?

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terriɹed; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

He’d given the Israelites all they needed. They merely had to cross the river. Regarding sexual purity, God knows the provision He’s made for us. We aren’t short on power or authority, but what we lack is urgency. We must choose to be strong and courageous to walk into purity. In the millisecond it takes to make that choice, the Holy Spirit will start guiding you and walking through the struggle with you.

Each one of us has been manipulated by our sexual culture; each of us has made choices to sin. To varying degrees, each of us became ensnared by these choices, but we can overcome this affliction. Far too often, however, we ignore our own responsibility in this.

We complain, “Well, of course I want to be free from impurity! I’ve been to the altar 433 times about it, haven’t I? It just doesn’t seem to be God’s will to free me.”

Not God’s will? That’s an offense to the character of God.

Don’t blame God. God’s will is for you to have sexual purity, though you
may not think so since this hasn’t been your constant experience. But He has made a provision for that purity.

Listen to these scriptures:

Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. (Romans 6:11-14)

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6:18)

God is waiting for you. But He is not waiting by the altar, hoping you’ll drop by and talk for a while. He is
waiting for you to rise up and engage in the battle. We have power through the Lord to overcome every level of
sexual immorality, but if we don’t utilize that power, we’ll never break free of the habit.

You see, sexual impurity isn’t like a tumor growing out of control inside us. We treat it that way when our prayers focus on deliverance, as we plead for someone to come remove it. Actually, sexual impurity is a series of bad decisions on our part—a result of immature character—and deliverance won’t deliver you into instant maturity. Character work needs to be done.

Holiness is not some nebulous thing. It’s a series of right choices. You needn’t wait for some holy cloud to form around you. You’ll be holy when you choose not to sin.

You’re already free from the power of sexual immorality; you are not yet free from the habit of sexual immorality, until you choose to be—until you say, “That’s enough! I’m
choosing to live purely!

EVERY MAN’S BATTLE:CHOOSING TRUE MANHOOD.

You stand before an important battle. You’ve decided that the slavery of sexual sin isn’t worth your love of sexual sin. You’re committed to removing every hint of it. But how?
Your maleness looms as your own worse enemy. You got into this mess by being male; you’ll get out by being a man.

What will true manhood mean, for example, in how we deal with our eyes or hands? What are the issues?

Here is an example from our Saviour Jesus Christ. Jesus’ hands never touched a woman with dishonor. Yet He also said that lusting with the eyes is the same as touching. Given that
Jesus is sinless, He not only never touched a woman with dishonor, He never even looked at a woman in dishonor. Could you and I say that?

Jesus, having never looked on a woman with dishonor nor touched one inappropriately, is clearly our role model.

“Well, sure! But He was God. It’s unfair to expect me to live like Him!” So you might think.

Maybe.

But if, because of His deity, Jesus’ personal standard seems unattainable to you, let’s look at another manhood role model from Scripture in the area of sexual purity.

JOB.
In the book of the Bible that tells his story, we see God bragging about Job to Satan:

“Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 1:8)

Was God proud of Job You bet He was! He applauded His servant’s faithfulness in words of highest praise. And if you walked in purity, blameless and upright, He would speak just as proudly of you. Joy would abound in His heart. You
already have the freedom and authority to walk purely. You don’t need further counselling. You don’t need further deliverance.

In Job 31:1, we see Job making this startling revelation:

“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.”

A covenant with his eyes! You mean he made a promise with his eyes to not gaze upon a young woman? It’s not possible! It can’t be true! Yet Job was successful; otherwise, he wouldn’t have made this promise:

“If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door, then may my wife grind another man’s grain, and may other men sleep with her.” (31:9)

Job had been totally successful, or he could not have made this statement from his heart. He knew he had lived
right, and he knew his eyes and mind were pure. He swore to it upon his wife and marriage before God and man.

Let’s go back to the beginning of the story and read the opening verse of the book of Job:

“In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.”

Job was just a man! As you realize that, these precious words should gloriously flood your soul:

“If he can do it, so can I.”

God wants you to know that in your manhood as He created it, you, too, can rise above sexual impurity.

Just like Job, we can make a covenant with our eyes and build on it block by block.

Choose to rise above your male tendencies..

This step may still seem odd to you. But remember, acts of obedience will often appear strange, even illogical.

We’ve sometimes been challenged with the words, “Who in their
right mind would ever make a covenant with their eyes like
this? It seems crazy.”

To answer that objection, let’s look at the story of the man we’ll call the greatest sissy in the Bible. His name was Zedekiah, and he was reigning as king in Jerusalem at a time when the Babylonians were threatening to capture and destroy the city and bring an end to the nation of Judah. Zedekiah’s lack of manhood rose to the surface in the events described in Jeremiah 38. Jeremiah himself, as
God’s prophet, knew what the outcome of the Babylonian invasion would be, and he made it known:
Jeremiah was telling all the people…

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague, but whoever goes over to the Babylonians will live. He will escape with his life; he will live.’ And this is what the LORD says: ‘This city will certainly be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon, who will capture it.’” (38:1-3)

When Zedekiah heard about this, he let his officials throw Jeremiah into a deep cistern to shut him up. He later
ordered his servants to lift the prophet out, but he still kept Jeremiah under arrest. Then one day, with Jerusalem under siege, the king summoned Jeremiah to a secret meeting.

Jeremiah told the king what to do.

“This is what the LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you surrender to the officers of the
king of Babylon, your life will be spared and this city will not be burned down; you and your family will live. But if you will not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be handed over to the Babylonians and they will burn it down; you yourself will not escape from their hands.’” (38:17-18)

Surrender! God, through Jeremiah, was asking the king to do something very difficult, something that made no
sense. Who in their right mind would ever leave the fortress and go over to the enemy? It seemed crazy. Still, God’s Word was clear. The city would fall whether they stayed or left.

Zedekiah expressed his fear, but Jeremiah remained firm:

“Obey the LORD by doing what I tell you. Then it will go well with you, and your life will be spared.” (38:20)

But Zedekiah, indecisive and fearful, failed to obey. The right thing to do was too illogical, too costly. The results for himself, his family, and his nation were tragic.

When it comes down to it, God’s definition of real manhood is pretty simple: It means hearing His Word and doing it. That’s God’s only definition of manhood—a doer of
the Word. And God’s definition of a sissy is someone who hears the Word of God and doesn’t do it.

When God looks around, He’s not looking for a man’s man but for “God’s
man.” His definition of a man someone who hears His Word and acts upon it—is tough, but at least it’s clear. Meanwhile, the results of failing to be a man according to God’s definition are always tragic. The fact is, as Galatians 6:7-8 tells us, God is not mocked: You do reap what you sow, both to the good and to the bad.

By now you understand God’s command that you should eliminate every hint of sexual immorality from your life. If you do that, as Job did through his covenant with his eyes,
then you’re God’s man. If you don’t eliminate every hint, are you a sissy? Maybe so. Earlier in the book of Jeremiah we read these desperate
words spoken by the prophet to the people:

“How long will you be unclean?” (13:27).

That’s the question for you as well: How long will you choose to be sexually unclean?

Without resolute manhood girding your desire to stick to your covenant, nothing happens. Talking isn’t the same as doing.

Make a decision then follow it up. We are male but we can choose to be men.

Will you make that choice?

EVERY MAN’S BATTLE:HOW DID WE GET HERE? #3: BY BEING MALE

Do you know that being male is an enough cause for the sexual prevalence among men?

One, men are rebellious in nature.

When Paul explained to Timothy that “Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” (1 Timothy 2:14), he was noting that Adam wasn’t being tricked when he ate of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Adam knew it was wrong, but he ate it anyway. In the millennia since then, all of Adam’s sons tend to be just as rebellious.

Our maleness brings a natural, uniquely male form of rebelliousness. This natural tendency gives us the arrogance needed to stop short of God’s standards. As men, we’ll often choose sin simply because we like our own way.

Two, the straight life is dull for men.

They want to experience with fun. This often gets them out of God’s ways.

While our natural rebelliousness provides the arrogance necessary to stop short of God’s standards, our natural dislike of the straight life gives us the desire to stop short and to instead experience the temporary pleasure’s of sin.

Our mixed standards provide a relief from our dulling responsibilities.

Thirdly, Men have a high sex drive.

While this drive maynot be satisfied especially before marriage, this pressure men experience does not justify seeking release through pornography or masturbation. The body has built-in mechanisms of release (including nocturnal emissions and overflow into the urine) that ease the pressure.

Men, by consistently keeping
their eyes and minds pure of sensual things, won’t have sex or masturbate for years. The pressure “dries up.”

As a man, you should know that your body isn’t reliable for any spiritual battle, much less the battle for sexual purity and obedience. We easily
identify with Paul through these Scriptures,
“When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am!” (Romans 7:21-24)

Your body often breaks ranks, engaging in battle against you. This traitorous tendency pushes our sexual drive to ignore God’s standards. When this sexual drive combines with our natural male arrogance and our natural male desire to drift from the straight life, we’re primed and
fueled for sexual captivity. The means of ignition, meanwhile, comes from the fourth of our natural male tendencies—and the most deadly.

This is the visual sexual gratification.

Our eyes give men the means to sin broadly and at will. We don’t need a date or a mistress. We don’t ever need to wait. We have our eyes and can draw sexual gratification through them at any time. We’re turned on by female nudity in any way, shape, or form.

We aren’t picky. It can come in a photograph of a nude stranger just as easily as in a romantic interlude with a wife. We have a visual ignition switch when it comes to viewing the female anatomy.

Visual sexual gratiɹcation is no laughing matter in your fight for sexual purity. Given what the sight of nudity does to the pleasure centers of our brain, and these days it’s pretty easy to see many naked or near-naked women, it’s no wonder our eyes and mind resist control.

For males, impurity of the eyes
is sexual foreplay.

That’s right.

Just like stroking an inner thigh or rubbing a breast. Because foreplay is any sexual action that naturally takes us down the road to intercourse. Foreplay ignites passions, rocketing us by stages until we go all the way.

From God’s viewpoint, sex is more than being inside a woman. What acts constitute foreplay? Clearly, “caressing the breasts” is foreplay. Why? Intercourse is sure to follow. If
not with her tonight, then at least with masturbation later back home. If not with her tonight, then maybe tomorrow night when her will has weakened.

Masturbation while fantasizing about another woman besides your wife or “fantasy intercourse” while dreaming
is the same as doing it. Remember the standard Jesus set?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28).

If we get into sexual sin naturally—just by being male—then how do we get out? We can’t eliminate our maleness, and we’re sure we don’t want to.

In its proper place, maleness is wonderful. Yet our maleness is a major root of sexual sin. So what
do we do?

We must choose to be more than male. We must choose manhood.

When our fathers admonished us to “be a man about it,” they were encouraging us to rise up to a standard of manhood they already understood. They wanted us to fulfill
our potential, to rise above our natural tendencies to take the easy way out. When our fathers said, “Be a man,” they were asking us to be like them. Our heavenly Father also exhorts us to be men. He wants
us to be like Him. When He calls us to “be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect,” He’s asking us to rise above our natural tendencies to impure eyes, fanciful minds, and
wandering hearts. His standard of purity doesn’t come naturally to us. He calls us to rise up, by the power of His indwelling presence, and get the job done.

Before an important battle for the army he commanded, Joab said to the troops of Israel, “Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people” (2 Samuel 10:12, KJV).

In short, he was saying, “We know God’s plan for us. Let’s rise up as men, and set our hearts and minds to get it done!”Regarding sexual integrity, God wants you to rise up and get it done.

EVERY MAN’S BATTLE:HOW DID WE GET HERE?2: GOING FOR MERE EXCELLENCE ABOVE OBEDIENCE

In the last article, we looked at how mixing standards can get us in the wrong. Today, we continue that conversation and we look at how mere excellence can affect our purity.

Tolerating mixed standards in other areas of our lives can lead to us mixing the standards of sexual purity.

Let’s us ask ourselves this question;

What’s your aim in life—excellence or
obedience?

Is there a difference?

To aim for obedience is to aim for
perfection, not for “excellence,” which is actually something less.

Excellence and obedience appear to be the same but they’re not.

Mere excellence allows room for a mixture. In most arenas, excellence is
not a fixed standard at all.

It’s a mixed standard.

Excellence makes us prone to a snare after because it allows room for mixing of standards.

The search for obedience or perfection does not.

Excellence is a mixed standard, while obedience is a fixed standard.

We must shoot for the fixed standard.

When we get Satisfied with mere
excellence, we stop short of God’s standards.

In so many areas, we’re often sitting together on the middle ground of excellence, a good distance from God. When challenged by His higher standards, we’re comforted that we don’t look too different from those around us.

Trouble is, we don’t look much different from non-Christians either.

As young (or old) Christians, we’re often indistinguishable from our non Christian peers as we share the same activities, music, jokes, and attitudes about premarital sex.

We have faked the Christian walk a long while. We take drugs, drink alcohol, party and are having sex in the church than those in the world.

Have we gone blind? What can we expect from our across-the-board commitment to the middle ground?

Don’t we realize that our recent converts to Christianity will
become just like us? Will it be a comfort to see them just as
lazy regarding their personal devotion to Jesus as we are?

And don’t we realize what our slack standards are costing us in our witness to the world?

How should we respond?

Israel’s King Josiah was only twenty-six years of age when
he faced a similar situation of neglect for God’s standards.

In 2 Chronicles 34 we read how a copy of God’s Law—long forgotten—had been found during a large-scale renovation of the temple. Then he listened as this Law was read aloud
to him bringing inescapably to his attention God’s standards and the people’s failure to live up to them.

Josiah didn’t say, “Oh come on, we’ve lived this way for years. Let’s not get legalistic about all this!”

No, he was horrified.

He tore his robes as a sign of grief and despair. “Great is the Lord’s anger,” he said as he immediately acknowledged his people’s negligence and sought God’s further guidance.

God quickly answered with these words about Josiah’s reaction:

“Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard what he spoke against this place and its people,
and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD. (34:27)

Josiah then led the people in a thorough obedience to God’s standards.

There was no mixture there.

Knowing that God’s standard is the
standard of true life, Josiah rose up and tore down everything that was in opposition to God.

And what about you? Now that you’ve heard about God’s standard of sexual purity, are you willing, in the spirit of
Josiah, to make a covenant to hold to that standard with all your heart and soul? Will you tear down every sexual thing that stands in opposition to God?

Can you see that you’ve been living the mixed standards of mere excellence? Stopping short but still looking Christian enough?

Or have you aimed for obedience and perfection, where you’re truly called to go?

How will you know?

By the costs you’re willing to pay.

What’s your Christian life costing you?

There must be a cost to pay.

It costs something to learn about Christ.

It costs a lot to live like Christ.

So where do you stand?

Are you comfortable? Do you have a broad tolerance of sin in your behavior?

Has your approach to God led to a high level of mixture in your life?

If so, you likely have mixture in your sexual standards, and you likely have at least a hint of sexual impurity in
your life.

You won’t pay the price of true obedience—like avoiding the sensuality found in many Hollywood Films.
Like avoiding thoughts of old girlfriends and the flirtatious
woman at work. Like training your eyes to look away from string bikinis, full-busted sweaters, slick spandex, and the women who wear them.

God is your Father and expects obedience. Having given you the Holy Spirit as your power source, He believes His command should be enough for you. Trouble is, we aren’t in search of obedience. We’re in
search of mere excellence, and His command is not enough.

We have countless churches filled with countless men encumbered by sexual sin, weakened by low-grade sexual fevers—men happy enough to go to Promise Keepers but too sickly to be promise keepers.

A spiritual battle for purity is going on in every heart and soul. The costs are real. Obedience is hard, requiring
humility and meekness, very rare elements indeed.

Sexual impurity has become rampant in the church because we’ve ignored the costly work of obedience to God’s standards as individuals, asking too often, “How far can I go and still be called a Christian?”

We’ve crafted an image and may even seem sexually pure while permitting our eyes to play freely when no one is around, avoiding the hard work of being sexually pure.

Who are you, really?

A search for mere excellence is an inadequate approach to God, leaving us vulnerable to snare after snare.

Our only hope is obedience.

If we don’t kill every hint of immorality, we’ll be captured by our tendency as males to draw sexual
gratification and chemical highs through our eyes.

But we can’t deal with our maleness until we first reject our right to mix
standards.

As we ask “How holy can I be?” we must pray and commit to a new relationship with God, fully aligned
with His call to obedience.

EVERY MAN’S BATTLE: HOW DID WE GET HERE?1.MIXING STANDARDS.

I am excited to be back. It has been quite a break..almost two weeks or even more.

I am really excited we’re on this series because it’s one that touches on my personal life. Having been a slave to pornography, I am really grateful to God that He was able to get me out of it and now I can help someone else get out of the same pit.

If you’re yet to read my story, kindly visit my previous post and read through it. It is a journey of how I got into porn, how I got addicted and how God mercifully got me out.

Today, I want us to discuss how we get to the point of being an addict not only to sexual sin but also other forms of sexual sin.

Just a reminder, this series is heavily borrowing from Steve’s and Fred’s book ‘Every Man’s Battle.’ The plot and content is just like that of the book itself. I would plead that we all get to read the book whether male or female.

Another point that is worth noting is that, while this series is for the men, it doesn’t mean that the ladies should not engage in the conversation. It will help the women too to note where the men in their lives are weak and what their contribution could be towards making them overcome sexual temptation.

So, how does one get to being an addict to sexual sin?

The first reason that we’re going to look at as a cause for sexual sin is mixing God’s standards with those of the world.

God has been very clear in His Word concerning sexual purity. In a verse I have quoted before, God says that He expects even no hint of sexual impurity from His children.

Ephesians 5:3
[3]Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. (NLT).

However, the world has its standards too. And truth be told, since we’re in the world, we will always be tempted to go out of God’s way but His word remains clear.

One of the most common lies that we have held close to our minds is that marriage is somehow a cure for our addictions. I have repetitively said it before and I’ll say it again today that marriage is not a rehabilitation center. Marriage is not a Creator of problems, it only reveals them.

So, even when dealing with sexual addictions, we must never buy the lie that marriage will heal us. As a matter of fact, it reveals how much of an addict you’re since what you expected is probably not what you’re going to find.

Some times people get into marriage and find that what they expected cannot be met. Your partner could get sick and sex may not be often as you thought; your spouse could have structural deficiencies that could make sex impossible unless corrected, some spouses maybe more interested in pursuing their careers over sex and sex has different meanings for men and women.

In this cases, does God expect less of you in terms of sexual purity?

No. He expects you to remain sexually pure.

God holds you responsible, and if you don’t gain control before your wedding day, you can expect it to crop up after the honeymoon.

If you’re single and watching
sensual R-rated movies, wedded bliss won’t change this habit.

If your eyes lock on passing babes, they’ll still roam after you say “I do.” You’re masturbating now? Putting that ring on your finger won’t keep your hands off yourself.

Freedom from sexual sin rarely comes through
marriage or the passage of time and the phrase “dirty old
man” should tell us something about that.

So if you’re tired of sexual impurity and of the mediocre, distant relationship with God that results from it, quit waiting for marriage or some hormone drop to save the day.

If you want to change, recognize that you’re impure because you’ve diluted God’s standard of sexual purity with
your own.

Which is this standard that we’re talking about?

That there should be no hint of sexual immorality.

If we followed this standard, we would never see sexual bondage.

God knows we’re Christians and that we can choose to be pure.

So why don’t we?
We’ve simply chosen to mix in our own standards of sexual conduct with God’s standard.

Since we found God’s standard too difficult, we created a mixture something new, something comfortable, something
mediocre.

Why do we so easily mix in our own standards with God’s?

Why are we so soft in our choices regarding sexual sin?

It is because of these three reasons. One, we’re naive, secondly we’re rebellious and thirdly we are careless.

We’re too naive and since everyone’s doing it, we also do it.

We’re at times rebellious of God’s standards. We know what’s right but we do the wrong anyway.

We also are just careless. We think ridiculously of God’s standards and we engage in sin anyway.

Whether you’ve been naive, rebellious, or foolishly
negligent in taking God’s standard seriously, mixing in your own standards leads to being ensnared and even worse.

Because our own standards on sexual purity have been so mixed with God’s, and since many Christians don’t read
their Bibles very often, many men have no clue about God’s
standard for sexual purity.

Did you know that we’re commanded to avoid sexual impurity in nearly every book of the New Testament?

Read through the following passages.

Matthew 5:28, Mark 7:21-23, Acts 15:19, Romans 13:12-13, 1 Corinthians 5:11, 1 Corinthians 6:13, 18, 2 Corinthians 12:21, Galatians 5:16-19, Ephesians 5:3-4, Colossians 3:5-6, Revelation 21:8.

Drawing from these passages, let’s summarize God’s standard for sexual purity:

  1. Sexual immorality begins with the lustful attitudes of our sinful natures. It is rooted in the darkness within us. Therefore sexual immorality, like other sins that enslave unbelievers, will incur God’s wrath.

2.Our bodies were not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, who has both created us and called
us to live in sexual purity.

His will is that every Christian be sexually pure—in his thoughts and his
words as well as in his actions.

  1. Therefore it is holy and honorable to completely avoid sexual immorality—to repent of it, to flee
    from it, and to put it to death in our lives, as we live by the Spirit. We’ve spent enough time living like pagans in passionate lust.
  2. We should not be in close association with another
    Christian who persists in sexual immorality.

If you entice others to sexual immorality (maybe in the backseat or back room), Jesus Himself has
something against you!

Clearly, God does expect us to live according to His standard. In fact, in 1 Thessalonians 4:3 the Bible flatly
states that this is God’s will.

So take His command seriously—Flee sexual immorality!

EVERY MAN’S BATTLE: A CONVERSATION ON WINNING THE WAR ON SEXUAL TEMPTATION.THIS IS MY STORY.

I am so excited we’re starting a new series within this new month.

I have a confession to make. I have tried writing this article for a whole week now and I can’t seem to get it right and even as I post it today, I felt it is too sketchy and I have not been able to bring the message out as I wanted to.

My passion is towards my generation. My vision is to build my ministry Penzi to be a worldwide ministry that will represent Jesus Christ in His fullness. God is love as recorded in 1 John 4:8 and this is the love I desire to spread to everyone.

There’s a story behind every vision and this is where I share mine.

Penzi is a ministry I felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to begin to sensitize the young people especially, on loving right and more importantly God’s way.

For my international audience, Penzi is a Swahili word for ‘Love’. I decided to call this ministry so because the name fit so effortlessly.

Growing up as a kid, my parents introduced me to the church and taught me in its ways. As a child I always enjoyed the Sunday Schools classes a lot. We used to memorize Bible verses and compete to see who was the best.

I honestly can say I looked forward to Sundays.

Allow me to fast forward to where the mess all started. In Kenya, we had an education system dubbed the 8-4-4.(A new one has been implemented and is now taking shape). We had to pass through eight years of primary education, four years of secondary education and four years of university studies.

I was privileged to complete my primary education and moved on to secondary education.

This is where all the trouble was brewed. I remember being enrolled in my first year of Hugh school and I had these super big dreams. I purposed to study hard to become a lawyer. That was the big dream. I actually still have a notebook where I had written this goal and the grades I had hoped to score to take me there.

I had given my life to Christ while I was still in primary school at the age of twelve years at a Sunday school rally and I hoped to be a Christian Union chairman at sometime.

Contrary to the expectations, life took a different twist for me and us as a family.

I am an introvert and in my family, I am the most quiet child. I was and never have been outgoing like my young sister and brother. I find peace from within. I love time alone. I just love my personal space.

I must admit that this was and till is a limitation for me.

High school years were the hardest years for me. They turned out to be nothing like i expected. I struggled fitting in and I was bullied by fellow students, some of whom we shared the same class. I didn’t involve myself in sports. I always thought I wasn’t good enough to be on any school team. The only time I actually tried sports was when I became a ball boy for the tennis team. You know the guy who carries the bats and the balls? Yeah that was me.

I really didnt have a lot of friends outside our classroom and I avoided crowds.

In wasn’t able to express myself.

This even made it harder.

I however thank God for my class teacher Mrs Lilian Chege who took me as a son. She’d often call me and would talk to me as a mother would talk to a son. She always encouraged me and that gave me hope.

Being an introvert is a limitation as it could be a blessing. Growing up, I felt some form of rejection. Not that it was so but I felt unaccepted. My parents gave me love a child would ever ask for . I really can’t tell what prompted to that feelong of being less sufficient; could be because of my personality.

This feeling quickened in these high school years and I became accepting the fact that i wasn’t good enough.

I can never forget what happened in my fourth year of high school life. Somehow, a DVD cover happened to find its way to school and specifically our classroom. It started going round the classroom and since everybody was looking at it, I decoded that I would look at it too. When I looked at it, I was surprised to find it was a pornographic DVD cover. I couldn’t believe it. How on earth did this find it’s way in school?

This opened a door I never thought would be opened in my life. Growing up I was watching movies that had these ‘hot scenes’ but as I was trained, I would fast forward and skip such scenes. I had never been exposed to raw pornography I was that day.

I passed the cover to my classmates sitting behind me and it continued doing its rounds.Later that year, the Kenyan teachers happened to go on strike for a couple of weeks and we were sent home. When the strike was called off, we were asked to return to school. I happened to report back a day earlier and my friend happened to see me and asked me why I had to report a day earlier than the rest. He suggested I go sleep over at his parents house and then we would go back to school together the next day. That made sense and I agreed.

Later that night when we went to bed, my friend had a phone and he asked me if I had ever watched porn. I said no. He googled, and for the first time in my life, I watched a pornographic video. It was yuck at first. But I keep watching anyway.

I didn’t realize the side effects this would have on my life.

I can’t recall how long we watched porn that night.

We reported to school the following day and these images kept resurfacing in my mind. Remember the DVD cover I mentioned earlier, it continued doing rounds in our classroom and every time it’d get to Me, I didn’t want to let it go.

We finally came to the end of the year and I did final exams in high school.

This marked the start of a path I wished I had never taken.

Life on the outside of school was different. There was freedom. You’d do as you pleased.

After all, the parents didn’t have to know because they were not always there.

Later, our parents bought us a phone to ease communication when they were away. Since my siblings were in high school and primary school respectively, I had priority over the phone.

I remember, the first thing I ever googled over that phone was pornographic. Remember the seed that had been planted never died. It started growing.

Fortunately after some time, the ohone could no longer access the internet and I can’t explain why.

I later got to join campus and here I found a breed of comrades that was poison to the mind, spirit and flesh. I met a friend who’d sleep around with every girl he’d find. I really felt the pressure to engage in this immoral act. He’d actually give me a count and even show me the ladies he had slept with. It is in this period that my addiction grew. By then I had managed to buy a smartphone and there was free WiFi.

I could access whatever I wanted on whatever site I pleased. I would download, watch and re watch scenes day in day out. Before I knew it I was an addict.

I almost messed. I chased several girls. All this time God’s grace, now I know, was chasing me. I remember I went after a Christian girl and she was so hard on me. She was a no nonsense lady. She was an usher in the Christian Union in my campus. She helped redirect me to right course.

I had a very close friend too who we went in my first week of campus and he’d always keep me accountable.

Grace was still chasing me down.

After the first year of campus I had to stall in my studies and this led to the peak of my addiction. Self hate crept in and I felt unloved by God and by my parents. I wondered why God would me to drop out of school and allow my mates to continue.

I felt unimportant and unwanted. During this period of time, I felt porn was an escape route. This was quickened by the fact that I had a girlfriend at this moment and whenever she’d brush me off, I’d ran back to porn.

I met some friends who’d sell me blue movies and all that dirty stuff. Peer pressure crowded and the desire to sin even more kept knocking at the door.

Fast forward to my deliverance.

I thought baptism would cure my addiction but it didn’t. I had to deal with the root of my addiction.

And for me, the root was self hate and low self esteem.

The moment I loved my self more, the more the path to recovery became clearer.

I started loving myself and appreciating who I was and how God had made me.

I started blocking the lies of the enemy who kept whispering to me that I was unimportant.

I had to cut off the relationship I had with my girlfriend because it was more of pain than it was a blessing.

I learnt of my personalities. Started appreciating my strengths and worked on my weaknesses.

I started grooming my walk with God. I asked God to take control because what I was trying so hard to deal on my own failed.

I can confidently say I am clean of watching porn.

I know I have not captured the entire story well but this is a journey I want us to undertake together.

I know it is tailor made for the men but there’s been an increase in the number of ladies watching porn today.

I want us to walk this journey of receiving freedom in Christ Jesus.

In the next few weeks this is what we’re going to study and ask God to help us understand and overcome.

We will borrow heavily from a book with the title of this series “Every Man’s Battle” by Arteburn Stephen and Fred Stoeker, a book I highly recommend you read.

If you please, let’s walk together.

#series.ARE YOU READY FOR MARRIAGE? LESSONS FROM GENESIS 24.LESSON 11: DON’T INVEST BEFORE YOU COMMIT.

Genesis 24:50-54
[50]Then Laban and Bethuel answered, The thing comes forth from the Lord; we cannot speak bad or good to you.
[51]Rebekah is before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has said.
[52]And when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the ground before the Lord.
[53]And the servant brought out jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and garments and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave precious things to her brother and her mother.
[54]Then they ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and stayed there all night. And in the morning they arose, and he said. Send me away to my master. [AMP]

We wind up this series today and we do it on a (really-don’t-know-how-to-describe-it-note).

Do not invest in your relationship so much, until you’re sure he or she is the one.

Yes I said it.

Don’t invest too much until you’re sure of the relationship.

I love this chapter because as I said earlier, it offers practical lessons that we can apply in our relationships.

Eliezer only gave Rebekah jewelry of silver and gold and clothes after he was sure and Rebekah had agreed to go with him.

I have seen breakups that were so ugly because either party invested so much emotionally, financially and psychologically that they’re unable to get past it.

I said in one of my earlier posts that breakups don’t be have to be ugly and we looked at Abraham’s and Hagar’s ‘breakup.’

But they do when we get attached too much.

Have you considered why divorce is never an easy thing?

It is because so much investing has been done that starting all over again seems impossible.

I have also seen relationships turn ugly because one party invested too much and there was no reciprocation.

Allow me to remind or share with you a sad story that unfolded in our country a while back.

If my mind serves me right and as the story is narrated, a  young man dated a young lady, took her to medical school in one of the best universities, bought her a car to ease transport and possibly do all he could for her.

Later, the lady tells this young man that she no longer loved him and she wanted to move on .

Out of anger and frustration, the young man stabbed her several tikes to death.

What a sad story!

It only makes sense not to get attached until you’re sure of marriage!

It saves you a lot of pain and grief later should the relationship fail.

Will dating be romantic without these?

Yes it will.

Take her out to interesting places, buy her lunch, dinner or coffee and do all that entails right dating.

However, until you’re sure, let it be no more than that.

If you have to ‘invest’, do it with love out of the equation.

Can I buy him/her gifts?

Yes but with moderation.

Don’t overdo it.

Why? Because you’ll feel hurt should the relationship fail.

Don’t put yourself in that position.

Be like Eliezer, don’t get that gold and silver before you know its him or her!

Some will be there for your gifts and when they’re finished, they leave!

Be wise.

#seriesARE YOU READY FOR MARRIAGE? LESSONS FROM GENESIS 24.LESSON 10: DATING IS NOT A DESTINATION; IT’S TRANSPORTATION.

Genesis 24:54-59
[54]Then they ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and stayed there all night. And in the morning they arose, and he said. Send me away to my master.
[55]But [Rebekah’s] brother and mother said, Let the girl stay with us a few days–at least ten; then she may go.
[56]But [the servant] said to them, Do not hinder and delay me, seeing that the Lord has caused me to go prosperously on my way. Send me away, that I may go to my master.
[57]And they said, We will call the girl and ask her [what is] her desire.
[58]So they called Rebekah and said to her, Will you go with this man? And she said, I will go.
[59]So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse [Deborah] and Abraham’s servant and his men.

This chapter keeps getting interesting for me. The lessons from this chapter are worth taking time to meditate on and even pray about.

Today I want us to look at an issue that really comes to me as a shock.

But before then, looking at the Scriptures above, it goes to show us that dating should never be a place you stay.

After Eliezer had identified that Rebekah was the one and he had talked it with the family and Rebekah agreed to go with him, there was nothing left but to go.

Rebekah’s family requests that she however be allowed to stay another ten days then She’d leave.

Eliezer asked the family not to delay him in this quest.

It is from this that I want us to borrow a principle that we should apply in our dating life.

I don’t want to contradict myself here but we must date with urgency.

I know I have said it in my previous post that we must not be so quick to date. I still affirm that.

We must not run into dating for the sake.

However whenever we decide to date, we must not stay there for long.

Here’s the principle:
Dating is not a destination, rather it is a transportation to your destination.

Rebekah, I believe knew that the fact that she was found a wife, did not mean she was to stay in that place.

It amazes me today when people tell me they have dated five ,seven or even ten years.

“Wait, what!”

“Ten years?”

That’s a reaaaallly long time to date one person.

Here’s what I subscribe to; As Christians, we engage in intentional dating. This means, we date with the aim of identifying someone we can spend the rest of our lives with.

We’re not doing it for fun. Therefore, as we date, our goal is to use the dating platform as a means to getting us to us marriage.

If you’ve been dating long enough to know each other and feel like you’re
right for each other long term, then move beyond dating.

You are delaying what God would have for you.

This dating thing is not supposed
to be the place where we stay.

It’s supposed to be the place that takes us to marriage.

It’s supposed to take us to covenant.

When you date too long, you are putting yourself in a position
to sit down in a place that was supposed to just be transportation.

When you do that, it will be uncomfortable because you were
never meant to stay there.

God wants you to arrive at the intended destination or get off.

It’s that simple..

Don’t get on the bus if you’re not going!

Consider this, you’re flying to the USA from Kenya but in between, the plane has to get to Britain first for a stopover.

Maybe you need to get off whenever the plane lands in Britain and get an alternative plane or means of travel if you’re not comfortable.

This could be the same case in your dating relationship.

Just say, “This is not for me. I don’t
need to be here anymore. I don’t need to be surrounded in this company. I’ll get off and I’ll walk.”

I know that means you’re back to looking for somebody else to date.

That’s okay.

Really.

In fact, taking the alternative route sometimes builds stamina in you that will produce what you really need.

You may not find the one you’re supposed to be with while riding the dating train with the same person endlessly.

In fact, it may just be that when you get off the thing and start walking, you finally find your true destination.

That being said, I believe you now know where I stand, don’t date for too long. If you ask me, six months to one year is enough to know if the person you’re dating is capable of being the wife or husband you envision.

Dating for so long is wasting time and delaying God’s blessing for you.

God bless you.

seriesARE YOU READY FOR MARRIAGE? LESSONS FROM GENESIS 24.LESSON 9: WHAT NEXT?WHEN TO CONTINUE A RELATIONSHIP AND WHEN TO BREAK IT OFF.

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Genesis 24:49
[49]And now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master [showing faithfulness to him], tell me; and if not, tell me, that I may turn to the right or to the left. [AMP]

In the last post, we discussed on the issue of making your intentions known. Today we look at what follows when you receive feedback. Whenever you approach a person and you make your intentions known there are three answers you are likely to get; no, wait or yes.

So what should you do when you receive any if those answers?

I am really loving Genesis 24 because it is a very practical chapter with very relevant principles in our times concerning the journey towards marriage.

Eliezer, after he had made his intentions known, wanted to know what Rebekah’s answer would be so that he could make the next step.

If it was a no, probably he’d have moved on to seek God’s will again.

Luckily for him, Rebekah’s answer was a yes.

When both of you mutually agree to enter into marriage, you begin the steps that will lead to it.

You enter the courtship or engagement period and in this season, you get to introduce each other to your families, you start attending the premarital classes where you get counsel on the institution of marriage, you start planning for marriage and you even seek accountability persons especially married couples and your mentors to keep you accountable in your relationship.

The involvement level increases since you have to include both of your families, the church and friends.

In essence, you start preparing for your marriage life.

This period is the engagement period.

Biblical engagement was a binding arrangement, a contractual covenant that could only be broken by divorce. It is the first stage of marriage and people already engaged were treated as married though without living together and without sex.

Do you now see why it was so hard for Joseph to leave Mary and why he planned to do it with other people unawares?

This was a time when both families decided and prepared to release their children to go start their own.

According to God, He views engagement and marriage as the same and the penatlies for violating both are the same. See Deuteronomy 22:23-29.

What we need to understand even today is that engaged couples are singularly and exclusively to one another APART FROM sexual relations.

As long as you have agreed and are now engaged, you have a commitment to remain faithful to your fiancee as if she were your spouse already.

When you get to this stage, you must treat it with the seriousness God does. Here you deepen your friendship and spiritual oneness that was develop while you were yet dating.

It is also a time where you must grow the practical, mental and emotional areas of life.

You’re not testing waters here. Remember you’re engaged and that’s more like marriage.

During this season, you also should secure the stability that will be required for marriage.

A Key thing to note here is that engagement is not a time for prepraring for the WEDDING but for your MARRIAGE.

Talking about your goals and objectives, dreams, desires and your futures. Develop a 50 year plan. Ask yourself these questions;

  1. Where are you going?
  2. What do you want to do?
  3. What do you want to become?

Focus on the spiritual foundation economic stability, educational goals, parenting, philosophy and sexual standards.

A. SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION.
You must lay a strong, solid, spiritual foundation for marriage. Agree on whether you should move to his church or her church or you should both get a neutral church where you should worship.

This is for the spiritual harmony of the home and to prevent spiritual confusion among the kids.

Spiritual foundation also means understanding your God given roles as a husband or a wife. See Ephesians 5:21-33.

Both of you must commit to building a Strong Christian home as required in Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Finally both if you must be believers. We talked about this on a previous article where we said we MUST marry from the fold that is the Christian family. See 2 Corinthians 6:14

All this is required for spiritual harmony which is the glue that holds the relationship together.

B. ECONOMIC STABILITY.
You must enter marriage with a financial plan. Settle any misunderstandings before marriage and have a plan of how you’ll pay the bills. Settle the issues of whether you should go for employment or start a business or whether you should buy a house or a rent and on the shared responsibility of paying bills.

Discuss also on the issue of an investment plan and retirement plans.

Agree mutually on how you’ll be spending your money. Allocate a percentage to every area.

And remember in marriage there’s no ‘mine’, it is ‘ours.’

C. EDUCATIONAL GOALS.
Lay down your personal and professional goals and commit yourself to achieveing them. You can weigh and see to it that if your graduation is only a year away, you could postpone the wedding so that you can complete your education first.

As a couple, you must plan for success for in engagement you establish a plan and in marriage you execute it.

D. PARENTING PHILOSOPHY.
Agree on the following questions.

  1. Do we want children?
  2. If so, how many?
  3. When will we start a family?
  4. How will we raise and discipline our children?

These will be answered through the Lens of economic status and capability. Children deserve an environment that is emotionally, spiritually and financially stable.

Discuss how you’ll discipline your children. Understand each others preference and work out a mutual philosophy of how to do it.

Never leave parenting to chance.

E. SEXUAL DESIRES.
As you grow spiritually and emotionally, the desires of the physical also grow.

Have a some standards in regards to sexual activity and expression. See 1 Co 6:18-20.

It is in this season that a couples sexual standards either fall or stand firm. This is where the greatest test lies.

Handling sexual temptation reveals maturity, integrity, faithfulness and self control.

Make sure you honor your bodies in this season.

You could also be told to wait as an answer. This is a gray area especially when the person you’re dating says you have to wait and this period is not defined. Something I refer to as the UDP; Undefined Dating Period.

That’s a term to refer to when the the answer wait is not defined or made clear.

For instance, should I approach a lady I am dating and she tells me to wait, she should tell me for how long and maybe state her reasons as to why she thinks we should wait longer.

Waiting as an answer is not a wrong or a bad answer. However it becomes a gray area when you are not clear what waiting really means.

Don’t be afraid to share your reasons for wanting to wait longer. And should you be on the receiving end of the answer, take it with a positive mentality. Waiting doesn’t mean unwanted. It simply means that there are probably issues that need to be worked out before you continue the relationship or end it.

You’d rather wait long to be sure than just run into a relationship that you’re not sure about.

If you decide to wait, say for how long, maybe ninety days. Maintain the friendship, take stock and after the set time is expired, sit together, talk your issues out and share your mind, then decide if you want to quit or go on.

Let me also point out that waiting again doesn’t mean you go MIA (Missing in Action) from each other.

In this period, share your fears in the relationship if at all there are any, set boundaries so as to protect each others hearts and also have meaningful conversations.

Also in this waiting period, pay attention to patterns and not potential. Most people are potential mates but you have to ask yourself if the patterns that really don’t please you are worth tolerating should you decide to move on.

A third answer that one could receive is no. And this one is not always well received, something that I really fail to understand.

Most breakups are usually painful but this should not necessarily be the case.

I want us to dwell here for a while. If you recall, I put up a statement in my earlier post that dating doesn’t guarantee marriage. So should you come to the point where things can no longer work, how do you leave the relationship?

I want us to borrow content from Michael Todd’s new and first book Relationship Goals in how we should do this.

But first, have you read the story of Abraham and Hagar?

A short context to the story is that God had promised Abraham a son. Read Genesis 15. However, as time went by Sara his wife lost hope and he convinced Abraham to go to bed with her maidservant Hagar. Read Genesis 16.He does so and Ishmael is born. Later, Sarah gets pregnant and she too gets a son. Read Genesis 21:1-7.

The question now arises, what do we do with Hagar?

Sarah, the mind behind the idea of Abraham getting a son with Hagar, decides that Hagar has to be chased away. Genesis 21:8

It is from this story that I want us to get some lessons as written by Michael Todd.

Here’s the except from his book. Words in brackets are my addition.

“…Father Abraham may not have been so wise in starting his
relationship with Hagar in the first place, but when it came to
ending it, he did it right.

This whole part of the story happens in
one verse, but it’s a verse that can teach us a lot about how to
break up:

“Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food
and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar’s shoulders.
Then he sent her away with their son.” (Genesis 21:14).

(It could be you’re in a toxic relationship, a relationship that’s not necessarily toxic but one that is not leading to marriage, or a relationship that just needs to end. How do you end it?)

  1. End It Quickly

First, notice that “Abraham got up early the next morning.” Now,
if Abraham wasn’t committed to ending the relationship like God
had told him, he would have slept in that day.

( I know you’re probably laughing at yourself).

But God had agreed
with Sarah’s demand that Hagar and Ishmael should be sent away.

So Abraham ended it quickly.
You might be hanging on to a relationship you know isn’t good (or helpful). You might be telling yourself it’s worth trying to work things out.

Or you might be waiting for the “right time” to end it. There will never be a right time. You need to end it, and you need to end it fast.

  1. End It Kindly

(Really? Yes… Really).

Abraham “prepared food and a container of water, and strapped
them on Hagar’s shoulders.” He didn’t even have a servant pack the supplies. He went and did it himself. He was going to end this relationship quickly, but he wasn’t going to be mean and nasty (Like many of us) about it. He was going to do it with blessings.
If the character of God is developing in you, then you should end a (bad) relationship generously, like Abraham. Even if he or she’s
done you wrong, even if he or she’s bad-mouthed you to others, end it
with blessing. (Sounds so hard right?) Have a final talk for some closure.

Give back the stuff she gave you. (Especially those hoods😅). Be thankful and wish the other person well.

The exception is if the situation has been abusive and a face-to face breakup would be dangerous for you.

Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (NIV).

If it is possible. As far as it depends on you. Let’s be honest—some people are crazy. If you’re hooked up with somebody like that, then maybe it’s better to send a text like “Don’t ever call me again” and block him. But if you can be a blessing on the way out, do it.

“Then he sent her away with their son” (Genesis 21:14). I get the impression Abraham didn’t stop to say, “Do you remember when…?” or “Oh, I don’t know about this,” or “Maybe it’s just for a while.”

  1. End It Cleanly.

Abraham said, “You got to go.” I bet that was hard, but Abraham ended it intentionally, definitively, cleanly.

Many people are ending relationships very vaguely.

They’re saying stuff like, “You know, it’s just for the season. I just think
we’re supposed to take a break.” (Especially the “we’re taking a break” part). That leaves an open door for people and issues to come back.

Remember, you’re ending this relationship because it’s robbing
your promise or blocking your purpose. (Or even both). Don’t go and be passive about this.

You can be kind and still say clearly, “It’s over. This is it. You’ve got to go…”

Breaking up is not a hard thing to do but how we go about it makes it hard, hurtful and painful.

I really believe this article had been an eye opener for you as much as it has been for me.

I bet this is my best article thus far in to this series.

God bless you. Now you know what to do.

Share this word everywhere.

#series.ARE YOU READY FOR MARRIAGE? LESSONS FROM GENESIS 24.LESSON 8: MAKING YOUR INTENTIONS KNOWN.

Genesis 24:33
[33]A meal was set before him, but he said, I will not eat until I have told of my errand. And [Laban] said, Speak on. [AMP].

While dating, it is really important to know why are you dating. The goal of dating is to identify a potential mate to be your husband or wife.

That should never leave your mind.

Once you have identified someone you see potential to settle with, make your intentions known.

This is clearly shown in the verse above.

Eliezer could not even eat what he had been served until he had said why he was there and what he really wanted.

One of the fatal mistakes we make is thinking the person we’re dating has the same feelings or the same level of love or emotional attachment as we have towards them.

This is directed especially for the young men because I believe they should take the lead role in the dating relationship; make your intentions known. Communication is the only way you can know where you stand with your date.

Never assume your date can read your mind or see through your actions. Just because you’re dating so well doesn’t mean feelings are mutual. That is why I encourage people to speak up on what they feel and where it is they see themselves going.

Guys, just because you buy her presents, take her out on dates, pay for her house or even pay her school fees doesn’t mean she loves you back. Don’t confuse your charity for her love. If you have never sat down and discussed what you mean to each other, never assume anything.

Ladies, dear ladies, if he has never told you he loves you and has never shown any intentions yet of marrying you or wanting to take it a notch higher, please consider him as a brother in Christ. Don’t also confuse his generosity for love. Some people are way too generous by nature. If he has never made it clear he wants you to be his girlfriend, don’t assume you are.

Take stock as often as you can in your dating relationship to avoid being hurt.

As you move along you can ask, “What are we in our relationship?”

And maybe I should point this out here; dating doesn’t guarantee marriage.

Some people realize within the dating period that they’re better of friends than mates. Others realize that are a match.

Make your intentions known so that you can make the necessary steps to either carry on or break it off.

It was after Eliezer had made his intentions known that Rebekah had to make a choice of going with him.

She had a choice of saying no.

He could have assumed that the warm reception by the Rebekah’s brother and the good food were all signs that Rebekah was already his master’s son wife.

And even though God has already fulfilled his sign, he still had to be double sure by making his intetnions known.

Never assume anything.

If it has never being said, it is because most likely it doesn’t exist.

In the next post we will discuss on what to do after you’ve made your intentions known and you have received feedback; either a yes or a no.

#seriesARE YOU READY FOR MARRIAGE? LESSONS FROM GENESIS 24.LESSON 7: LET GOD.

Genesis 24:31
[31]He cried, Come in, you blessed of the Lord! Why do you stand outside? For I have made the house ready and have prepared a place for the camels.

Is it not amazing how God orchestrates our lives of we allow Him to?

After Eliezer had identified Rebekah as the wife to his master’s son, God on the other side was preparing Bethuel’s household on his behalf.

Is it a coincidence that Laban, Rebekah’s brother had made the house ready and prepared a place for the camels?

Is it a coincidence that there was enough straw to feed the ten camels that were with Eliezer?

If there’s a principle that God has taught me is that He has the best interests for our lives always.

Jeremiah 29:11-13
[11]For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.
[12]Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.
[13]Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. [Deut. 4:29-30.] [AMP]

Isn’t that an amazing word from God?

He knows what, who, , when and who we need.

Why is it then that most of us miss out on the plan from God?

It is because we’re not willing to let Him take control even over choosing our spouses.

When we get born again, we not only accept Christ as our Savior but also our Lord.

Here’s how John Bevere puts it:

It’s important to point out that from Romans 10:9-10 we must confess the Lord Jesus, not the Savior Jesus.

Romans 10:9-10
[9]Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
[10]For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation. [AMP].

The word lord is the Greek word kurios, which means “master, owner, supreme in authority.”

To confess Jesus as merely Savior doesn’t bring freedom or new life.

The word savior is found 36 times in the Bible. The word lord occurs over
7,800 times.

Where do you think God places the emphasis?

Lord declares the position He holds in our life, whereas Savior describes the work He’s done for us.

We cannot partake of the benefit of His work unless we come under His position as Lord and King.

Is that not powerful and eye opening?

Even in our mate selection process, Christ must be Lord.

He must take center stage. That’s why, the first step to having a thriving relationship with fellow men, is having a thriving relationship first and foremost with God.

Most of us don’t want to involve God in the process yet they expect God’s best!

Sadly that is not how God works.

Do you mind reading Jeremiah 29:13-11. Yeah try read it backwards and see the sense in it.

It is as you seek God that His thoughts and plans, which are for welfare and peace, will be revealed unto you.

I have repetitively said this, but allow Me to mention it one more time that God gives the best to those who leave Him the chance.

Trying to have a relationship that will lead to Marriage without God is committing relational suicide.

Eliezer at the beginning of the journey prayed to God to give Him success. How often do you pray to God to guide you in your dating life?

Do you go looking for potential mates without involving God and bring them to Him hoping He’ll approve them?

Why don’t you let God guide you?

Seek His will and see His plan manifest in your life.

He has already orchestrated how it should be.

The question is: Are you willing to let Him?

#series.ARE YOU READY FOR MARRIAGE? LESSONS FROM GENESIS 24.LESSON 6: PATIENCE

Patience.

Genesis 24:21
[21]The man stood gazing at her IN SILENCE, WAITING to know if the Lord had made his trip prosperous.

We live in a microwave generation where everything to us must be instant.

We don’t have the fruit of the Holy Spirit called patience.

We want to complete studies today, get hired tomorrow, build an empire the following day, marry the day after next and become billionaires all in a snap of a finger.

We are so impatient we’d do anything to make our desires real overnight.

What we really need to understand is that there is a process before the promise. A process we must be willing to go through.

We must be willing to be like that clay in the Porter’s hands. We must be willing to be molded into the best version of ourselves.

Eliezer was in no hurry to take Rebecca home. He wanted to be sure she was the right person for his master’s son. He took time and observed her.; how she was behaving and how she’d treat him.

Patience is a key virtue especially when finding a spouse.

The goal is not to just marry but to marry right.

You’d rather wait long than marry wrong.

Never be in a hurry.

Take time to know your partner. Their backgrounds, character, wants and desires in life, ideologies, belief systems, views on family and marriage. You want to marry somebody you know. This takes time.

A mentor of mine defined patience to me as doing something worthwhile in the meantime.

While waiting, learn.

Don’t do something about your singlehood, do something constructive with it.

Be patient. Learn.Pray. Watch!

#seriesARE YOU READY FOR MARRIAGE? LESSONS FROM GENESIS 24.LESSON 5: THE PARENTAL BLESSING

Genesis 24:58-61
[58]So they called Rebekah. “Are you willing to go with this man?” they asked her.And she replied, “Yes, I will go.”
[59]So they said good-bye to Rebekah and sent her away with Abraham’s servant and his men. The woman who had been Rebekah’s childhood nurse went along with her.
[60]They gave her this blessing as she parted:
“Our sister, may you become the mother of many millions!
May your descendants be strong and conquer the cities of their enemies.”
[61]Then Rebekah and her servant girls mounted the camels and followed the man. So Abraham’s servant took Rebekah and went on his way. [NLT].

Our parents play a huge role in our preparation journey for marriage.

Right from the beginning of the chapter, we see the great interest a parent has in regards to the daughter or son getting married.

Abraham took interest in seeing that his son had a wife. Our parents wish us well and would do almost anything to make sure we have the right partners as our spouses.

While contexts have changed and parents do not necessarily get to choose our partners, though it applies in some cultures, the parental blessing is of importance.

Towards the end of the chapter after Rebekah had agreed to return with Eliezer, we wee her family blessing her.

Allow me to point this out here: we do not ask our parents permission to marry, we ask for their consent.

It is in the consent that they give us their blessing.

The parental blessing often echoes that of God when He created man in Genesis 1:26-28

[26]Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”
[27]So God created human beings in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.
[28]Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” [NLT]

We see the same blessing being pronounced on Rebekah as she leaves home.

The parental blessing is often two fold. It has to do with multiplication and dominion.

Genesis 24:60
[60]They gave her this blessing as she parted:
“Our sister, may you become
    the mother of many millions! …”

God desires us to multiply. And this is all around in life. We should thrive in our marriages. We should have children if God so allows. He desires to see nations being born out of us.

Secondly, He desires to see us have dominion.

Genesis 24:60b
…and let your posterity possess the gate of their enemies.

This is the second blessing that was pronounced on Rebekah.

Her descendants were to be conquerers like their ancestor Abraham. They were to win in life.

We have been called to have dominion too here on earth.

The role of the parents is bless and to affirm God’s blessing to you and your generations.

Never despise the role of your parents. Some of us have this don’t care attitude where we think our parents have in part to play in our marriage journey. I’d think twice if I were you.

Should you see them have an issue with your prospective mate, probably it is because they see something that is off. You should look into it.

Manoah and the wife had an issue with Samson marrying a Phillistine woman. It is not because she wasn’t good , it was because she wasn’t right for him.

Good is not necessarily God.

The parental blessing is very important.

The story of Esau and Jacob is very important to prove this thought.

In Genesis 27, Jacob with the mother plot to steal Esau’s blessing. Esau had to literally beg his father to pronounce just one blessing on him.

We can never assume that parental blessing!

#seriesARE YOU READY FOR MARRIAGE? LESSONS FROM GENESIS 24.LESSON 4: CULTIVATING CHARACTER BEFORE MARRIAGE.

Gen 24:16 The girl was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever lain with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again. (NIV)

Today we look at lesson number four in this series and this one I have deep interest for because it is about character.

Verse 16 gives a briefly worded yet richly detailed description of Rebekah.

She’s described not only as being beautiful but also a virgin.

The Bible is very intentional in its wording and from this verse we are led to the knowledge of two issues that really affect the choice of our future spouses.

The Bible says that she was beautiful, this is in regards to her looks and she was also a virgin, this refers to her character.

For her to be a virgin with all her looks, it means she had intentionally worked towards remaining a virgin till she got married.

As I read this portion of Scripture, I was reminded of the story where Samuel goes into Jesse’s house to anoint a King. He looks at the outward but here’s what God tells him,

1 Samuel 16:7
[7]But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his appearance or at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. (AMP)

It hit me that we’re are like Samuel in our everyday activities and we focus on what is seen and take little time to know of what we see not.

As Christians, we must cultivate a godly character of sexual purity even as we await our helpers.

In a world where men and women alike are going for look enhancements through plastic surgeries and the likes, we must focus on building our inner man.

I wrote recently in a previous post that beauty is a depreciating asset. We get “uglier” every day that passes.

While I am not saying that we neglect our looks and our bodies, what I mean is that we must put more effort in character building.

While looking for a wife or husband, let his/her character play the largest part of your decision making.

Most of us are beautiful and handsome but our character is foul.

Beauty and looks are deceiving but character cannot be faked.

We’re more obsessed with looking good and having round body organs than the other.

What if we enhanced our inner beauty more than anything else?

What made Rebekah pass the test was not her looks but her character. One, she was a virgin and secondly, she had a servants attitude.

Allow me to speak on the issue of sexual purity in our times.

The media and pop culture, with the devils help, have really corrupted God’s message on being chaste before marriage.

Where fornication, adultery, homosexuality and all other forms of sexual sin were considered as they are, an abomination to the Lord, today these have become accepted standards in society.

We live in a society with more sex and less love as Michael Todd would put it.

Back here in our country Kenya, there was an advert while I was growing up that was dubbed “Tumechill that advocated for abstinence. Fifteen years or so down the line, we have an advert dubbed “Chukua selfie” that advocates for safe sex.

Who changed? God or us? As far as I am concerned, God’s Word has remained the same over the ages.

We have forgetten that safe sex really isn’t safe and there’s no condom for the soul.

Have you watched the movies being released of late? They have a continuous advocacy for homosexuality, fornication and even adultery.

In the midst of all these, we must be very intentional in building our character to be like that of God.

Romans 12:1-2
[1]I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.
[2]Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. (AMP)

While beauty attracts your mate, it is your character that will keep them.

Keep that marriage bed pure!

Let your character reflect God in your life.

Work on your attitude, flaws, strengths, weaknesses.

Make sure that when you look at your life, God would have no problem entrusting you with one of His sons or daughters.

Philippians 4:8
[8]For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. [AMP]

series.ARE YOU READY FOR MARRIAGE? LESSONS FROM GENESIS 24.LESSON 3: THE POWER OF PRAYER IN THE MATE SELECTION PROCESS.

Prayer, we have been taught as Christ’s followers, is very powerful. But how many of us really believe this?

Do our actions show how of little faith we are?

Jesus, our Perfect Example, took prayer to heart and actually spent a lot of His time praying before going out for ministry.

Here’s a reference of several scriptures that prove this; Lk 3:21, 5:16, 6:12, 9:18, Mt 14:23, 26:36, 26:39, Mark 1:35, 6:46, 14:32, 14:35, John 17:20.

The reason why He was so successful in driving out demons, healing the sick and raising the dead with few sentence prayers is because most of the prep work had been done in long hours prayers either in the early morning or evenings.

Let’s pause there for a while and ask ,” How is my prayer life as a Christian?”

I am challenged as well.

Verse 12-15 of Genesis 24 just show how important prayer is.

Genesis 24:12-15
[12]And he said, O Lord, God of my master Abraham, I PRAY You, cause me to meet with good success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.
[13]See, I stand here by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming to draw water.
[14]And let it so be that the girl to whom I say, I pray you, let down your jar that I may drink, and she replies, Drink, and I will give your camels drink also–let her be the one whom You have selected and appointed and indicated for Your servant Isaac [to be a wife to him]; and by it I shall know that You have shown kindness and faithfulness to my master.
[15]Before he had finished speaking, behold, out came Rebekah, who was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, who was the wife of Nahor the brother of Abraham, with her water jar on her shoulder. (AMP)

Eliezer knew that he would not find a wife for his Master’s son without the Lord’s favor. He therefore makes this prayer and asks God for success in his quest.

I love the Scriptures because every word is written intentionally.

Before even mentioning the qualifications he would want to find in the lady, He invited God in his plans.

Isn’t crazy how we have a list of self made, selfish (at most times) characteristics we would want in a mate and bring them to God expecting that somehow He will approve them?

What if we involved God right from the start of the quest?

Eliezer realized the weight of the task at hand and would not leave room for failure.

He asked the Lord for a sign. While anybody would have given him water at the well, he went a little further and told the Lord that if the Lady he asked not only gave him water but also watered his camels, then she would be the one.

Actually, it was required that the women at the well were to offer water to weary travelers.

So Eliezer did not ask out of the ordinary hospitality of the day.

However, he was looking for a lady that would go beyond the obvious. The women were not required to water the travelers animals but Eliezer was looking for someone who would go beyond the ordinary requirements of hospitality of the time. He was looking for a young woman with servants attitude.

A camel drinks roughly 95liters of water after a weeks journey. So to fetch such a large amount of water for ten Camels portrayed a servant attitude. This was found in Rebekah.

Verse 15 amazes me because it states that even BEFORE he had finished praying, Rebekah comes down to the well.

And as he had prayed unto the Lord God, this young woman did exactly what he had prayed for.

The word BEFORE is of interest to me because it goes to show how quick and powerful our prayers are.

In other words, while he was yet praying, God granted his request and a wife for Isaac was found.

James 5:16 tells us that,
“The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” [AMP]

How powerful is that verse?

In the mate selection process, we MUST involve God if all is to go well.

One of the major mistakes we young people make is that we never involve God while choosing our future spouses. As a matter of fact, God comes last when we want to seek approval from Him.

I have seen couples who married wrong and only turned to God when the marriage went sour.

They fail to realize that God only sustains what He orders or where He provides.

If you did not involve God while dating, why should you involve Him when your date/spouse turns out to be a monster?

God is faithful to fullfil His promises for us but only if we allow Him to.

Philippians 4:6 tells us
[6]Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE AND EVERYTHING, by PRAYER AND PETITION (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. [AMP]

Read that verse aloud and highlight the words in capital.

We are told that in everything and in every circumstance, prayer must be at the center.

If you want a wife, ask for her in prayer.

If you want a husband, ask for her in prayer.

You want to date right, do it in prayer.

Do not get worried time is running out. Do not get worried because you peers are married already and have kids. Do not get worried because of the pressure from your parents.

Pray about it.

Whatever would have taken Eliezer days, months or even years to accomplish, God did it for him promptly.

Prayer unlocks doors we thought were impossible to open.

If God could grant Eliezers prayer, that goes to show you that He is able to do it for you too.

You want to marry right, let God be at the center of it.

Seek His will and counsel and you will never go wrong.

Psalm 37:4 asks us to
[4]Delight (ourselves) also in the Lord, and He will give (us) the desires and secret petitions of (our) heart.

We falsely interpret this scripture to mean that God will give us what, or who in this case, we want.

What this scripture means is that as we delight in God through prayer and our worship, He will give our hearts what to want.

As you seek for His will, He will direct you to your mate.

Wait in prayer.

#seriesARE YOU READY FOR MARRIAGE? LESSONS FROM GENESIS 24.LESSON 2: POSITION YOURSELF STRATEGICALLY

The second lesson that we derive from this beautiful portion of scripture is in verses 11.

Genesis 24:10-11
[10]And the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking some of all his master’s treasures with him; thus he journeyed to Mesopotamia [between the Tigris and the Euphrates], to the city of Nahor [Abraham’s brother].
[11]And he made his camels to kneel down outside the city by a well of water at the time of the evening when women go out to draw water. (AMP)

Eliezer must have been a wise man.

He knew the place he’d locate a “wife material” as we commonly put it.

He stopped by the well at the time women went to fetch water. How wise!

Scriptures say that he made the camels to kneel down. This was a posture of rest.

In other words, when Eliezer had strategically taken position, he rested and waited.

What’s the Principle from this portion of scripture?

We must strategically position ourselves whenever we’re getting ready for marriage.

Position could have several meanings in this regard but today I want us to look at the most critical of them all.

That is, we must position ourselves in Christ.

This is the most important position we could take. I have noted this in my past posts that the best thing you can bring into a relationship is a thriving walk with God.

If you’ve read my previous article on the “THE M633 CODE OF DATING”, you’ll see the truth to this.

This code is Matthew 6:33 which states that,

[33]But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. (AMP)

What is your place in the Kingdom of God?

How is your relationship with God?

As we shall see in the next post, Eliezer knew his position and even prayed that God would grant him success.

When you seek the Kingdom of God FIRST, ALL other things will be added unto you. This includes that beautiful marriage you so desire.

Whereas we should build ourselves financially, relationally, career wise etc, we will miss the point if we do not have Christ as our first priority.

Psalm 127:1
[1]EXCEPT THE Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; except the Lord keeps the city, the watchman wakes but in vain. Ps. 121:1, 3, 5.

You have read the story of the wise and foolish builder. Right? If you haven’t read Matthew 7:24-27

It was matters of position that caused the wise man’s house to withstand the storm while the foolish man’s house got destroyed.

While kne build on a rock the other build on sand.

On what ground would you want your marriage to be build on?

Position yourself in Christ and your marriage will stand.

An example from Scripture that really builds on this is the story of Ruth and Boaz in Ruth chapters 2-4.

A little bit of context to this story.

Elimelech, Naomi’s husband had died and ten years following this, her two sons also died. They had married Ruth and Orpah. After her sons’ death, she asks her daughters in law to go back to their families but Ruth sticks to her position as a daughter in law and returns with Naomi to Bethlehem.

In chapter 2, Ruth decides to go harvest grains left behind by the harvesters in the field. Again, a matter of position.

She is noticed by Boaz and in chapter 3, as adviced by Naomi, she takes position at the feet of Boaz feet. The rest is is a beautiful story.

What I am trying to drive home is that the positions we take in life determine the outcome of that which we seek.

Ruth 3:3-4
[3]Now do as I tell you—take a bath and put on perfume and dress in your nicest clothes. Then go to the threshing floor, but don’t let Boaz see you until he has finished eating and drinking.
[4]Be sure to notice where he lies down; then go and uncover his feet and lie down there. He will tell you what to do.”

God bless Naomi!

She knew a thing or two about positions.

Verse 3 is of interest to me because what it implies to us is that we should be growing and discovering ourselves as we wait.

I really don’t want to over spiritualize matters here but bathing is an act of removing dirt from our bodies. As for us, we should be getting rid of those old habits, those negative energies, unforgiveness, pervasiveness and anything that could be “dirt” in our relationships.

Secondly Ruth is told to put on a a good perfume. We should be busy building our character, we shall see this in a future post, and putting on the new man.

Finally she was asked to dress in her nicest clothes. Bring your A-game. Don’t hold back. Be at your best. Grow yourself. Grow yourself careerwise in matters kf knowldege and especially Scripture, your walk with God and all those good things.Don’t wait to be married to be better. Start bettering yourself now while yet single.

What next?

Take position like Ruth did at the feet of Boaz and WAIT!

Eliezer too took his position and WAITED!

Don’t be in a hurry!

God has His best in store for you.

God gives His best to those who are in total surrender of His Will.

Wait and see your beautiful love story unfold!

Position yourself in Him and let Him write your story.

#NewSeriesARE YOU READY FOR MARRIAGE? LESSONS FROM GENESIS 24.LESSON #1: MARRY FROM THE FOLD

I am super excited we are starting this series. I hope you’ve read through Genesis 24 as noted in my alert update and if you have not please do. It’ll be much much easier of we are on the same page. Literally😊.

A little bit of a background on the chapter.

Abraham had grieved the death of his wife who had died and been buried in the previous chapter and he is now old. He perceives the need for his son Isaac to have a wife for himself.

He therefore calls his servant Eliezer and sends him on an errand.

This is where we get our first lesson.

Let’s look deeply at Genesis 24:2-4

[2]And Abraham said to the eldest servant of his house [Eliezer of Damascus], who ruled over all that he had, I beg of you, put your hand under my thigh; [Gen. 15:2.]
[3]And you shall swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I have settled,
[4]But you shall go to my country and to my relatives and take a wife for my son Isaac. (AMP)

While there were other beautiful women in Canaan, Abraham insisted that Eliezer must get a wife for Isaac from his kin.

Just as a take away, when it comes to interpretation of the Bible, we borrow principles because some of the context in which the original text was written may not apply to us.

Therefore, in this context, while Abraham was referring to his people, the principle as Christians that we must borrow is that we marry from the Christian family and not necessarily our color or tribe.

Do I mean that it would be wrong to marry from your race, or tribe or clan?

No. That’s not the case.

Actually in most cases, we marry from our own races or tribes.

One of the questions we believers ask ourselves, is “Should I marry an unbeliever?”

One thing we must realize is that whenever we find ourselves asking this question, it is from a place of defending a compromise.

You want to marry an unbeliever but you want to justify it by hoping there’s not such a big deal out of it if you do so.

The Scriptures are very clear concerning this issue.

2 Corinthians 6:14-15
[14]Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers [do not make mismated alliances with them or come under a different yoke with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership have right living and right standing with God with iniquity and lawlessness? Or how can light have fellowship with darkness?
[15]What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial [the devil]? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? (AMP)

We must marry from the fold.

The common argument among people who ask this question is that they will change the person.

However, we must realize we are marrying people not projects.

I have commonly said it and will continuing referring to it that, marriage doesn’t change people, it exposes who they are. Marriage is not a rehabilitation center.

It’s not within us to change people.

No! That’s the work of the Holy Spirit.

What has the unbeliever in common with the unbeliever?

Nothing!

Inasmuch as you have feelings for them, the fact that they do not have a right Standing with God disqualifies them.

Do I mean you cannot be friends with them?

Not so. You can be friends with unbelievers but you must know their place.

One Bible character who learned this the hard way was Samson.

You can read his story in Judges from chapter 13 through 16.

In chapter 14, Samson lays his eyes on a Phillistine girl and he wanted to marry her.

However the parents objected.

Judges 14:1-4
[1]One day when Samson was in Timnah, one of the Philistine women caught his eye. [2]When he returned home, he told his father and mother, “A young Philistine woman in Timnah caught my eye. I want to marry her. Get her for me.”
[3]His father and mother objected. “Isn’t there even one woman in our tribe or among all the Israelites you could marry?” they asked. “Why must you go to the pagan Philistines to find a wife?”But Samson told his father, “Get her for me! She looks good to me.”
[4]His father and mother didn’t realize the lord was at work in this, creating an opportunity to work against the Philistines, who ruled over Israel at that time.(NLT)

They try to convince him there were other beautiful girls from his own tribe and country. There was no need to marry a pagan Phillistine woman.

But like most of us, he went ahead and married her anyway!

Later, we see this same woman coming to betray Samson in the same chapter after she revealed the answer Samson had given her to a riddle he had asked his groomsmen.

What is even shocking is that after all these, the wife was given as wife to his best man.

Oh yes! You read that right. His best man!

Judges 14:20
[20]So his wife was given in marriage to the man who had been Samson’s best man at the wedding.

Crazy! I know! I can’t fathom it as well.

What’s even surprising is that Samson didn’t learn. Again, like most of us.

Later in chapter 16, Samson falls in love again with Delilah, a Philistine woman.

Does this sound familiar to you? It does to me.

Delilah becomes the reason for Samson’s fall.

If this is not enough proof that we should marry from the fold, I really don’t know what is.

Let me offer this as an advice, the Kingdom of God has not fallen short of beautiful ladies and handsome men. Never has!

You do not have to go looking elsewhere.

Here’s a principle you should live by; God gives the best to those who leave the chance to Him!

Where is God’s best found, in His presence.

Do not be deceived. Learn from Samson’s example.

As a Christian, you have to marry a Christian as well.

You would argue that you know people who have married unbelievers and they have good marriages.

I have seen and know them too.

But good is not God’s best.

And exceptions are not rules.

Just because their marriage is good doesn’t mean yours will be good too.

You want to marry right, marry from the fold.

I had written an earlier article regarding this topic and you could read it by clicking here: https://penzi.home.blog/2020/04/12/can-i-marry-an-unbeliever/

NEXT UP!

Hello fam! I am honored to be walking this journey with you.

I never thought that by sharing what God has been teaching me from His Word and from other books would be received this warmly. Thank you so walking with me.

So what’s next?

We’ve just concluded a nine part series of what I was calling “THE CAUSES OF UNSUCCESSFUL DATING.” and we looked at eight reasons why dating in our times is failing and we wrapped it up with an article in which we pointed out if we’re ready to date.

Beginning tomorrow, that’s in a few hours, we begin a new series entitled “ARE YOU READY FOR MARRIAGE?: LESSONS FROM GENESIS 24”, which will be a six part series.

I particularly love this chapter becuase it has rich lessons on matters to do with the pre-marriage period.

In your own time, read the scripture and let’s learn together.

HOW TO DATE.

When your goal in dating is finding someone to marry, you should go about dating in a
way that helps you accomplish that goal.

The whole point, in other words, is to get to know the person well enough to make a decision:either yes, we should get married, or no, we should not.

Some people call this “dating intentionally,” because you are dating with a purpose anda goal.

Of course, some people have “goals” in dating that don’t include marriage, but people who talk about “dating intentionally” usually mean dating toward marriage.

Besides having a goal of marriage, an important part of dating intentionally is to be clear about your objective.

Dating always involves two people, one of whom is not you.

The key word here is intentional, not intense.

So, you’re going to have to communicate to let the other person know what your intentions are.

Being intentional doesn’t mean discussing your upcoming marriage on the first date.

That’s a bit weird and really isn’t appropriate; it could either set up false expectations or rightfully scare them away.

Remember, the goal of a first date is to get to know them and see whether you want to pursue the relationship further.

Actually, that’s not just the goal of the first date; that’s the goal of every date.

If you don’t want to pursue the relationship further, you should end it.

It’s like driving down a street with traffic lights at every intersection; if the light is green, you keep going for
another block. If they all stay green, then eventually you can be confident you have the green light to marry.

But if you come up to a red light—some clear reason why you shouldn’t marry each other—the relationship stops.

You end the relationship and seek out
a new street instead.

Men have a bigger responsibility when it comes to being clear in dating.

Men are called to be leaders within marriage (Eph. 5:23; 1 Cor. 11:3), so it makes sense to practice that in a dating relationship.

Ephesians 5:23
[23]For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body.

1 Corinthians 11:3
[3]But I want you to know and realize that Christ is the Head of every man, the head of a woman is her husband, and the Head of Christ is God.

Leaders provide direction and remove confusion.

Men, you can do a good job of this by;

  1. Making it obvious that it is, in fact, a date. Girls, if a guy asks you out, one-on-one,
    has no business-related agenda, focuses the conversation on learning about you, and
    pays the bill, that should be enough evidence that it is a date.

If he calls soon after to
ask you out again, that’s a sign he thought it went well.

Right?

  1. If things are going well, ask her out regularly, like once a week.

That is way more
clear than, say, going on one date in July and then calling her up again after Christmas.

It shows that you are interested in her and that you’re serious about building a
relationship.

  1. Defining the relationship. This is such a key part of dating that it’s commonly
    referred to in shorthand slang as “DTR.”

Defining the relationship may not need to be
a specific event, but if in doubt (or if she seems to be in doubt), clarify your
intentions and where you stand.

  1. If you decide that it’s not going to work out, you’re going to have to let her know. If
    you’ve only been on one date, simply not asking her for a second date should make it
    clear.

But if you’ve already gone on several dates or have been together for a while, you’ll need to say something.

Don’t just stop asking her out or start ignoring her calls
and hope she’ll eventually figure it out.

Be gentle but clear.

If things go well, you’ll face the decision of of whether to get married.

Before making those vows, go through premarital counseling at your church or through some other Christian marriage ministry.

Marriage is the biggest commitment you can make to another person, and I want you to be clear about what you’re agreeing to and have realistic expectations.

A good premarital program will also help you think through and talk
through important aspects of marriage, such as any plans for raising kids, how you’ll manage your combined finances, and how you will handle different household chores.

Deciding such things before getting married can save you a lot of potential stress, disagreement, or disappointment after marriage.

Date right, marry right, enjoy marriage.

READY TO DATE?

If you have read my previous eight posts, I have taken time to discuss the causes of unsuccessful dating in our times. ( If you haven’t, kindly spare time and have a look at them). If you have to get dating right, then you have to distance yourself from the mentioned causes.

You could be asking, “How therefore, do i get dating right?”

Here are some tips that can really help you in preparation for your dating season.

First and foremost, while you are single, make the most of being single. Being single is not a curse; never has it ever been! It’s not a disease to be cured. You’re not in some holding pattern where you can’t do anything worthwhile until you get married.

The time you spend single—which
may be a temporary life stage or could be your whole life—is actually a gift, if you treat it as such.

Being single gives you more free time; no matter how busy you think you may be, you’re still less busy than you would be with a spouse and kids to take up your time.

You also have more freedom in how you use that free time, since you don’t have another person’s schedule to work around.

Want to take a spontaneous road trip with your buddies or spend a year doing mission work in another continent?

Do it now, while there’s nothing stopping you.

Use your free time as a single person to prepare for marriage.

The most loving thing you can do for your future spouse, before you even start dating him or her, is to work on yourself first.

Break those bad habits that would cause problems within marriage.

Recover from past hurts or from mistakes you’ve made.

Start doing the things now that will make you a better spouse in the future.

You won’t become perfect, so you should not wait until you are perfect before pursuing marriage. But get yourself in a good place, where you’re not carrying major baggage with you down the wedding aisle.

You shouldn’t date if you aren’t ready for marriage.

However, if you have checked your
baggage and you are ready for marriage, the next step is figuring out whom to pursue.

For the single guys, find the most godly single woman you know and ask her out. (Not “the most beautiful single woman you know,” or even “the most beautiful woman who is at least a little bit godly,” but the one who is the godliest.)

And if you’re a girl who is ready to pursue marriage, and a godly guy does ask you out on a date, say yes.

Even if it’s not that one guy you’ve been secretly pining for, or he’s not as tall or dark or handsome as you imagined.

With all this talk about dating intentionally for marriage, some might feel the pressure to not waste time with someone until they know they are going to marry.

But it’s not wasting time if you are both God-fearing people trying to get to know each other better.

The pressure’s off.

You’re not deciding whether to get married to each other; it’s just one
date.

Give them a chance, and get to know a little bit more about them other than just how they look on the outside.

If you’re not interested after one date, there doesn’t have to be a second.

But you might just be surprised to find that this person is really who you were looking for.

CAUSES OF UNSUCCESSFUL DATING. #8: LOOKING FOR “THE ONE”

If your definition of “the one” is that one and only person who was created and is perfect for you, then I am sorry. That person doesn’t exist.

Fact is, there are a number of
people who could make a good spouse for you, and you for them.

In a world of approximately 7B people, anyone can be your spouse.

Thinking that you do have a perfect soul mate can lead to some real problems in dating and marriage. In dating, it can keep you single far longer than you need to be—maybe forever. If you’re looking for someone who doesn’t exist, needless to say you’re going to have a really hard time finding them.

It can cause you to be too picky, seeing a tiny flaw or minor difference as proof that they’re not “the one” for you.

It can also work the other way, causing you to rush into things or stay with someone longer than you should.

If you become convinced that someone actually is your soul mate,
then you tend to overlook red flags—even major ones.

After all, you’re meant to be together, right?

No, you’re not.

That’s where the warnings about being “madly” in love and not listening to wise counsel come into play.

The idea of a perfect soul mate can also cause problems within marriage.

It can cause people to look elsewhere when marriage gets hard, because supposedly if your spouse were “the one,” marriage wouldn’t require so much work.

No matter how awesome your spouse may be, they’re still not going to be perfect.

As months and years go by, there will be times when they don’t inspire a magical feeling within you.

So when you meet someone new, and different, and therefore exciting, there may be a temptation to think that this person is your soul mate.

That you somehow got it wrong when you married, and you were meant to end up with this new person instead.

And that’s wrong.

Verifiably wrong, since studies show that people who divorce and then marry someone else don’t end up any happier in their new marriage.

Here’s how you should look at this concept of there being one person in the whole world who you’re meant to be with: the person you marry is “the one” for you.

But you don’t marry them because they’re “the one.”

They become “the one” because you’re married to them. They’re the one you’ve committed to love for the rest of your life, and the two of you together become one (Mark 10:7–8).

They are still the one when they gain
weight, lose weight, lose their job, get cancer, or make mistakes.

Because that’s what true love is.

It’s not loving someone because they are perfect; that would be easy. It’s taking someone who is not perfect and loving them anyway, because that’s what you’ve sworn to do.

CAUSES OF UNSUCCESSFUL DATING. #7: THE THOUGHT THAT MARRIAGE IS A CURE FOR ALL PROBLEMS.

Single people often see marriage as this end-game accomplishment.

They think, once you get married, you’re done. You’re complete. You’ve fixed all the problems of singleness.

Except you haven’t.

Married people have just as many problems as single people.

God’s Word actually promises that we’ll have problems: 1 Corinthians 7:28 says that “those who marry will face many troubles in this life.”

Oh wow!

Most of these troubles are not new problems, though. There are really
no “married people problems,” there are just “single people problems” that are brought with you into marriage.

Marriage amplifies those problems and brings them into clearer focus.

If you’re selfish, you’ll still be selfish after marriage.

If you’re unfaithful as a single person, you’ll probably be unfaithful once you’re married.

If you’re addicted to pornography, getting married won’t cure you.

Marriage just makes the consequences more obvious and pronounced.

If people think that getting married will solve their problems, then they’ll go into marriage with a lot of problems.

They won’t work on their issues while they’re single, because they see marriage itself as the solution. They, and the people unfortunate enough
to marry them, are in for a very rude awakening.

Marriage is not a rehabilitation center! Neither does it create problems, it just exposes them!

CAUSES OF UNSUCCESSFUL DATING: #6: NEVER ASKING.

One complaint particularly from single Christian women, is that they never get asked out on a date. They may be great, godly women, and know some great, godly guys, but then those guys never make a move to ask anyone out.

Guys it’s one thing to not date because you’re not yet ready for marriage.

That’s understandable.

But if you are otherwise ready for a relationship and the only thing holding you back is fear of rejection—well, welcome to manhood.

Initiating things and taking risks is part of being a man. Contrary to popular belief, most girls are not waiting around to laugh in your face when you ask them out. They don’t typically respond by turning into a flame-breathing monster who will kill you just for asking.

Usually, the worst thing that could happen is that they will say no.

That might hurt your ego, sure.

But they’re just about as likely to say
yes.

You’ll never know which one it is until you ask. If it is a no, you can move on and find someone else to ask.

It’s better to move on than to always be left wondering.

CAUSES OF UNSUCCESSFUL DATING: #5: TREATING LOVE AS A FEELING.

Love is more of an action and a commitment than it is a feeling.

You can never really base your relationship on a feeling. Feelings change.

You can feel in love with someone today and tomorrow you have feelings for another.

God’s Word talks more about love as an action, not a feeling.

For example, we’re given
commands to love others (Mark 12:30–31; John 13:34; Eph. 5:25).

You can’t command someone to feel a certain way; you can only command them to do something.

Love is also described this way:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Cor. 13:4–7)

Feelings would sometimes fail, but since love is an action, you can
always love someone regardless of how you might feel at the moment.

All of those are things you do, not things you feel. And that’s why verse 8 says that “Love never fails.”

Should you have strong feelings for your future spouse?

Absolutely yes.

Should you base your choice of a marriage partner based on feelings?

Not at all.

Feelings are real—but they’re not reliable.

You can feel madly in love with someone who would be a terrible choice for a spouse.

(In fact, the very term “madly” in love implies that you’ve gone mad, and that you’re making
decisions while not in your right mind.)🤦🏻‍♂️

Rather than focusing on feelings, let logic guide your decisions. Would this person actually make a good spouse?

Since love is an action, do their actions toward you show that they truly love you? Do they live out 1 Corinthians 13? Or do they say the words “I love you” and then prove by their actions that they don’t? Do they really just love themselves, and therefore love what you can do for them?

You need a community of people that can help you make the right choices and want the best for you.

When you have strong feelings for someone, it can be hard to see them clearly.

You’re biased.

You want to believe the best about them.

Your close friends or family, however, are not in love with the person you’re dating.

They can see clearly. They do love you (in a nonromantic way), meaning that they want the best for you and truly have your best interests at heart.

Involve them in your decision-making
and, most importantly, listen to what they say. If you “love” someone, but your closest friends, guided by wisdom and God’s Word, think that person is wrong for you, don’t ignore their advice.

Feelings are real but not reliable.

CAUSES OF UNSUCCESSFUL DATING: #4: COHABITING.

Living together before marriage is the ultimate in the “try before you buy” mindset, and it’s become so common and so ingrained that it deserves special mention.

Depending on which statistic you look at, about two-thirds of young adults now live together before marriage.

What would have been a foreign concept a couple of generations ago is now more or less the norm.

“Living together before marriage” is
kind of a misnomer, because roughly half of all people who cohabitate break up without ever getting married.

Because they were living as if they were married, these breakups are
quite similar to a divorce, with many of the same hurts and complications. Since about half of those who do get married after living together also get divorced, that’s about a 75 percent failure rate for these “trial marriages.”

Who would want to sign up for those odds? You want to? Be my guest.

Most people who live together before marriage probably think that they’re making a wise decision. After all, it seems like this would be a great way to evaluate whether getting married would be a good idea.

You’re basically living as if you were already married, so if that works for you, surely being married to each other would also work, Right?

There’s one big flaw with that line of reasoning however: it doesn’t work out that way in reality.

Studies have shown for years that people who live together before marriage are actually more likely to divorce after marriage. Such studies also show that married couples who
live together first have less marital happiness, poorer communication, and higher levels of abuse.

And these are just the ones that get into marriage.

Because so many people today do cohabitate before marriage, and they don’t want to admit that it’s a bad idea.

If you want to get married someday and want it to be a happy, successful marriage, one positive step toward that would be to not live together first.

Either you’re ready to get married to each other or you’re not. If you are ready, then just get married; there’s no reason to live together first.

And if you aren’t ready to get married, then you also aren’t ready to “act married” by living together. Society may try to say otherwise, but the facts
don’t lie.

Save your marriage by guarding your single hood.

CAUSES OF UNSUCCESSFUL DATING:3: TEST DRIVE IDEOLOGY

Our culture’s acceptance of premarital sex has caused more problems pain in dating and marriages today than we could have imagined.

The idea that it is okay, or even recommended, for people to have sex outside of
marriage is a very recent strange change.

In the Bible, there was supposed to be no hint of premarital sex within the courting period or within marriage.

Ephesians 5:3,
” But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”

Hard as it is accept, we’re actually living in the first generation—ever—in which premarital sex is treated as a normal, nearly universal thing.

Most people
today expect and assume that singles will have had sex before marriage.

It’s now
considered countercultural when you don’t treat sex as a standard part of dating.

Conversing with my young peers, I often hear an affirmation of this statement.

Some people may even be shocked to hear the suggest that sex shouldn’t be a part of
dating. But know that if you asked almost anyone at almost any point in history before
today, they’d be shocked to hear you suggest that premarital sex is OK.

What has changed? Has premarital sex become harmless? Does it help you make a better choice of a mate?

Let’s pause and ask ourselves this question: Has the worldwide acceptance of premarital sex become God’s standard? Did God really relax His standards?

Did you know that studies show that
people who have premarital sex are more prone to divorce later on. In fact, having even
just one premarital sexual partner makes you about four times more likely to divorce
within the first five years of marriage, and having multiple partners results in a divorce
rate five to six times higher?

God’s intent is for sex to be used only within marriage. Within a marriage, sex brings life, provides guilt-free enjoyment,
and strengthens the bond between husband and wife.

It’s why Jesus talked about marriage as two people becoming “one flesh,” and said that people joined in such a way should not
be separated.

Mark 10:7–9,
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

And it is probably why God’s Word mentions sex outside of
marriage more than most other sins and seems to give it special status (1 Cor. 6:18). It’s
both important and one thing that many people get wrong.

Never use sex to intentionally manipulate and try to
“trap” someone in a relationship. Never!

God is pro-sex. He invented it. He loves it.

He isn’t trying to deprive you of anything or keep you
from having fun. He wants you to fully enjoy sex and all its benefits but that can only
happen within the context of marriage.

You maybe wondering, what if I am guilty of this sin? Is there redemption for me?

The answer is yes.

There’s no sin that God cannot forgive. Have you read the parable of the prodigal son?

Refer to Luke 15:11-32

Here’s how.

  1. Realize that you have messed up like the Prodigal son and see the mess you’re in. You cannot overcome what youre not willing to own up.

Be like David who after sinning by sleeping with Bathsheba and killing her husband saw His mess and wrote in Psalm 51:4 that,
“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.”

  1. Recognize the work of Christ on Calvary. Jesus dies for you and is waiting with arms open wide for you to return home. The prodigal son was recognisant of the fact there was a better life in his father’s house that there was outside in the pigsty.

John 3:16,
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

  1. Repent. This means a total change of lifestyle. Block out anything that could cause you to continue sinning. Let go of those relationships that drag you back to same mess always. Ask God for forgiveness and He will wipe them clean and remember them no more.

Isaiah 43:25
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

If you do so, welcome home! Trust God and involve Him in your dating life and see the difference.

He perfects the life of those who solely trust in Him.

CAUSES OF UNSUCCESSFUL DATING.

2. FOCUSING ON THE PHYSICAL.

In dating, physical beauty is typically the biggest thing people look for.

Right?

While that makes a little sense, you must remember you’re choosing life partner. If your goal in dating is marriage, then you want to pick
someone who will be really good at marriage. How someone looks
is never a guarantee they make a good spouse or not.

When the realities of life
hit, you need someone who can go into battle with me, not a trophy husband or wife.

A pretty face doesn’t pay bills, take care of kids, pay their school fees, clean the houses etc.

Beauty is a depreciating asset. It’s the one thing about your future spouse that is
guaranteed to fade.

People can get smarter, wiser, kinder, and more interesting as decades
pass. They can become a better husband or wife. They cannot, however, become younger
and prettier.

If your reason for dating and marrying someone is because they are physically attractive, then you’ll no longer have a reason to be married to them in a couple of decades when their beauty begins to fade.

And if you win someone’s attention because of your physical looks, you’ll
lose their interest for the same reason.

If your primary reason for marriage is looks it becomes the primary reason for divorce could with other excuses.

Proverbs 31:30 says
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. (NLT)

This is where you shout the Amen! 😅

Though the Scripture mentions women specifically, the fact that
“beauty is fleeting” applies to men too.

Inasmuch as you and I would hate to admit, we’re all getting uglier everyday and with every birthday.

And that’s OK, as long as
you don’t make physical beauty your idol or date people primarily because of how they
look.

Does this mean then that I should date somebody who’s not attractive?

Not so. Date and marry that beautiful young lady or that or TDH (Tall, Dark and Handsome) young man,needless to say, like me.😅😅.

However, that should not be the primary reason for dating or marriage.

Be attracted to your future spouse. But it should be far
more than his or her physical aspects that you find attractive.

As a caution, do not let the pop culture create an image in your mind of your future spouse. We see such in the movies with these built guys and super models.I am not demonizing such people. My point is we should be careful that it doesn’t mess with our choice of mate.

We should seek to see all
people the way that God sees them. “The LORD does not look at the things people look at.
People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7).

CAUSES OF UNSUCCESSFUL DATING. #1. SPORT DATING OR DATING FOR FUN.

Hello my WordPress Family. In the next five or more posts, I want to focus on the factors that contribute to the modern version of dating becoming unsuccessful. Let’s learn together.

1. SPORT DATING OR DATING FOR FUN.

This can also be referred to as recreational dating.

The main reason as to why we date is because we want to get married. That should be the goal.

However, some people do it without having marriage as a goal. They date just for fun. To them it’s recreation, or
perhaps a sport.

If your goal in dating is to have fun, then sometimes you’ll have fun. Sometimes you won’t. Even when you do have fun, though, it won’t last. All dating relationships either end in marriage or just end. And ending a relationship is never fun. In fact, the more fun you have in a relationship, or the longer that relationship lasts before ending, the more painful that breakup becomes. Dating for fun, therefore, ends up not being very fun at all. You don’t always get what you aim for.

Note, dating shouldn’t be fun. If you are spending time with someone you are eventually going to marry, then I would certainly hope you have fun being around them—because you’re going to be around them a lot. The difference is that you have an end goal in mind. Your objective is to determine whether this is the person you are going to marry and spend the rest of your life with. If you decide that this is not the person you are going to marry, then you end the relationship at that point.

There would be no reason to continue dating each other, because it would not get you any closer to your goal.

Never date anyone if you are not ready to be married. If you cannot or are not willing to get married, for whatever reason, then any dating relationship would be doomed to failure. In fact, the better things went, the worse it would be, because it would just make the inevitable breakup more difficult.

Dating is not a sport neither is it a recreational activity. If you are not seriously getting into it to consider marriage, then don’t date. Seriously don’t!

You’re dealing with peoples hearts and feelings. Don’t be so selfish so as to use someone as a tool for your satisfaction.

DEAR YOUNG MEN,

Let’s get a bit raw, real and Godly!

Dear young men, don’t let your life’s direction be controlled by your erection.

Harness your hormones bro!

Keep them in check!

Don’t compromise to enjoy a few seconds of temporal pleasure and trade all that for a long lasting God ordained pleasure in marriage.

Think using your head and not the other head!

One got brains! Use it!

Don’t let the hardening of some body organ (which will always occur) harden your heart to the reality of sexual impurity and the consequences thereof!

Let not the possibility of every man falling be an excuse for sexual sin!

Check out this scripture below!

1Co 10:13
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

Its bearable and common!

There is always a way out for you to conquer it!

So, unless you’re showering or in the urinal , zip up!

Let the only fly thing in your life be your walk with God!

SUITABILITY VERSUS COMPATIBILITY.

Gen 2:18
The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper SUITABLE for him.” (NIV)

Genesis 2:18
[18]Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper MEET (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. (AMP)

Photo courtesy of @bpmwangi and @joanaduretti

From the verse above, God was much more interested in the suitability of the man and woman.

Even today, God is more interested in somebody that is right for you and not just somebody you can livewith.

What makes you suitable for somebody is when you both fit into your purpose.

Remember Eve was a help suitable for Adam.

So it is very important that you discover your purpose and allow God to bring you the man or lady who will be suitable for that purpose.

The English dictionary defines the two words as follows:

SUITABILITY: The word “suitable” means being right or appropriate for a particularpurpose or occasion.

COMPATIBILITY: The ability of people or things to live or exist together without  problems.

You can be compatible with somebody and not be suitable or right for that person.

However, youcan’t be suitable for somebody and not be compatible with that person.

Compatibility doesn’t just happen naturally; it takes work.

The truth that a particular person is right or thewill of God for you will make you to work towards compatibility.

Our upbringing, values and perspectives  may make us different from each other and that is why we must work on them so that we can rhyme.

Dating and courtship help you to work on yourdifferences so that you will be able to work in agreement in marriage after you’ve found your suitable mate.

Who you need is the SUITABLE person for you.

This means meeting the right man or woman at the right time for the right purpose.

However compatible you are, this shouldn’t be used as a yardstick for measuring the right person for you…

A broken relationship today is better than a hurting marriage tomorrow.

If the partner you’re dating is not actively helping you to be like Christ, he/she will not do it when you’re married.

Do not be in a hurry to get married that you overlook important elements of a relationship such as faith and character of a person during the dating period.

Why settle for less?

We must realize that marriage never creates problems, it reveals them.

If you see them now and the partner is unwilling to change, let go.

A broken relationship today is better than a hurting marriage tomorrow.

Christ must be reflected in our dating relationships, so that His love can be mirrored to the world.

Don’t be in a hurry.

As you wait for him/her, Wait patiently on God. He gives the best to those who leave Him the chance.

LADIES, ARE YOU PRETTY OR BEAUTIFUL?

Did you know there’s a big difference between being a beautiful lady and being a pretty girl?

Here’s my take:

Being pretty is how God created a girl but being beautiful is what a girl made out of herself.

Who you are is God’s gift to you, what you do with yourself is your gift to God.

Being pretty is based on looks, charm and charisma, being beautiful on the other hand is based on character, and it’s focus is BEING a beautiful person from the inside rather than appearing to be so.

Being pretty is looking good from the outside only, while being beautiful comes from being whole from the inside out.

It’s not what a girl wears, but who and what she’s clothed with that makes all the difference.

As You Love Yourself.

A good relationship with another person begins with having a good relationship with yourself.
A good relationship with yourself is born out of having a good relationship with God.
God shows you how to love you, so you can love your neighbour as you love yourself.

If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love your neighbour.

God is love and until we find God, we will never find love.

Until you find God, looking for the love of your life is an exercise in futility; because even if you found them, you would soon repell them for trying to squeeze out of them that which only God can supply-internal wholeness.

If you broke up with yourself, you won’t know how to love or be loved by another person.

A healthy love for yourself is one of the most attractive traits you could have.

As a lady when you think you’re worth a lot, you’ll know you’re worth the wait and worth the chase.

Your self portrait will determine your self conduct.

How you perceive yourself is how you conduct yourself.

Men are truly attracted to something that’s worth their best effort.

If as a lady you walk around with low self esteem while hosting a never ending pity party, who you are is who you will attract.

Life has been designed in such a way that you get out of it what you put into it.

Any area that you expect more than what you Invest, you will live in a Perpetual state of Disappointment.

This is especially true when it comes to relationships.

The law of the magnet states ‘who you are, is who you attract.’

If you are not attracted to you, who will?

Is it possible for someone else to have a better relationship with you than you do with yourself?

If you don’t love yourself you will not love your neighbour.

You can only Love your neighbour as you love yourself and you can only love yourself as much as you have allowed God to shower you with His unconditional love.

Many times people who broke up with other people broke up with themselves long before they broke up with their spouse.

Who they are on the inside found expression in what they were on the outside.

How Do You Begin To Love Yourself Like God Loves You?

God is His Word.

When You Say What God Says, You Will Think What God Thinks And As A Man Thinks, So Is He.

You Are As You Think.

You Speak As You Think.

What you say determines what you think, and what you think determines what you say.

Words Create Thoughts.

You Can Fill Your Mind With The Thoughts Of God By Filling Your Mouth With The Word Of God.

Joshua 1:8

{Nkjv}

‘This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.

For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.’

In The Begining Was The Word, The Word Was With God And The Word Was God-John 1:1.

That Same Word Is God Who Became Flesh And He Is The Way, The Truth and The Life.

It is as you grow in love with Jesus that you will learn to love yourself like He loves you.

When you learn to love yourself, instead of looking for someone to make you feel loved, people will look for you so that they can feel loved.

The more you love yourself like God Loves you, the more people will want to be around you, so you can love them as you love yourself.

The more like Jesus you become, the more likeable you’ll be.

You become what you behold.

You behold Jesus by Abiding In His Word.

Matthew 11:28-30

{Message Bible.}

‘Are you tired?

Worn out?

Burned out on religion?

Come to me.

Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.

I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.’

Matthew 11:28-30

{The Passion Translation.}

‘Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden?

Then come to me.

I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis.

Simply join your life with mine.

Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please.

You will find refreshment and rest in me.

For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.’

Matthew 11:28-30

{New Living Translation.}

Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you.

Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’

Nothing we have on the outside can compensate for who we’re not on the inside.

DEAR PRINCESS IN WAITING…

A Princess Must Prepare.

When you picture the perfect man for you, what is your prince like?

Do you see a man devoted to God?

A man of character-teachable, loyal, faithful, gentle, and kind?

What kind of woman do you think this godly man desires to marry-a shallow woman or a woman full of charm who knows how to dress and capture other men’s attention?

Is this the one he imagines he will one day want to spend the rest of his life with-the mother of his heirs?

No way!!

To marry a prince, you must first become a princess.

To marry into royalty, you must be appropriately prepared.

Even Diana, the Princess of Wales, had to go through a period of ‘waiting and preparing’ before marrying Prince Charles.

She had to learn how to properly act, dress, and speak so she would honor the royal family.

Is it any wonder that a heavenly princess must prepare inwardly for the calling to which she will give her
life?

As you set your attention on developing godly character, Christ will change you into the beautiful princess He created you to be.

AWESOME BLOGGER AWARD.

I really wasn’t expecting this but I want to thank https://doriskoki.wordpress.com for the nomination across these three categories.

It is such an honor!

My blogging story is quite crazy. I had began other two blogging accounts with WordPress but I didn’t really follow up with them.

When I began Penzi, I deleted them and decided to run with this one.

There was a period I was inactive but I had to come back. Writing is a love for me and away from Penzi, I write my feelings and emotions as a way out.

Penzi is a Swahili word for Love. Swahili is a language spoken mainly in East Africa and I am Kenyan. I therefore decided to use the word out of love for my country.

I have been a victim of poorly thought out relationships and out of my hurt, I decided to study God’s Word and read books on love so that I could relate better.

Questions:
(1) What is your motivation for blogging?

I mainly write to inform people on matters love. I think we have lost the true meaning of love and that I seek to restore.

(2) Who is your intended audience?

Basically anyone old enough to be in love right from the teens, youths and the married people too.

(3) What is your best memory of this year?

My best moment this year was the re-opening of schools and being able to re-unite my students.

(4) Could you vision yourself doing anything other than blogging?

Yes. I am an active teacher and I also have dreams of publishing books. I have three in mind; Penzi:Loving God’s Way, In His Presence and Process Before Display. I hope they will be completed and published for the world to read.

I could use a lot of motivation on these three projects from y’all friends.

My email is penzi.org@gmail.com 😊

(5) What is your take away from this year 2020?

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of (corona virus), for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you”

(Deuteronomy 31:6).

I substituted the word ‘them’ with corona virus because the Scripture was personal for me.

God will never leave me nor forsake me. That has been my take away this year.

I now wish to nominate the following across the three categories;
Penable Award Nominees,
Awesome Blogger Award Nominees, Brainstorms Award Nominees

  1. Licia
    https://liciahaven.wordpress.com
  2. Jerome’s blog
    https://jerome.wordpress.com
  3. Marie Cook
    https://theartofchristianliving.blog
  4. Cynthia’s War Room
    http://cynthiaswarroom.home.blog
  5. Hope Chilinda
    https://hopechilinda.wordpress.com

The questions for all nominees remain the same as the ones I’ve answered.

Rules:
-Thank the one who nominated you.

-Tag your post with #BrainStormsAward and follow BrainStorms if you are willing, Tag your post with #Penable award and tag the post with #Awesome blogger award.

-Display the brainstorms award logo and display the Penable award logo
Talk a bit about your blog. Why you started it what you write on, and your goal for your blog in brainstorms award.


– Tell us what your writing talent is in the Penable award.


– Answer the five questions you have been asked , answer the three questions you have been asked , and answer the questions you were asked.


– Nominate five other amazing bloggers in brainstorms award, awesome bloggers award , nominate three inspiring people for this Penable award.


-Ask them five new questions in brainstorm award.


-Give them three questions to answer in the Penable award and give them five new questions to answer in the awesome bloggers award.

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