Life After Adultery (Pt. 1)
Can a marriage recover from the devastation of adultery?Â This is the pervading question that is pondered by the adulterous couple as well as the counselor who is tasked with assisting them.Â How does a couple whose heart’s desire is for the pain to disappear proceed?Â How does a couple obtain the courage to venture into their heartache in order to salvage the rubble from the aftermath of the betrayal and emotional chaos?Â Once the reality and impact of adultery hit, the only remaining question is how to continue living life?
Following the realization of adultery are insurmountable emotional, mental and physical aches and pains that become life’s daily reminders of the breech of trust.Â In addition to the inner anguish is the on-going presence of the person who has inflicted this pain.Â Instead of choosing to escape from the inflictor of pain, one is now left with the confusion of whether to ever trust their spouse again.
Enjoy the Pleasure of Kissing?
Christianet recently came out with their staggering poll results related to kissing – (Click Here) – Kissing Is Acceptable While Dating. The poll revealed that 134 out of 271 respondents said that it was acceptable to kiss during dating.Â Of the other 137, seventy-one said “no” and 66 were unsure.Â Is it really that shocking?Â Sex is pervasive and bannered everywhere for our convenient indulgence.Â Who cares if a passionate kiss takes me into fornication with someone I’m not married to?Â Or on the other hand, what’s wrong with expressing my love and care for my boyfriend or girlfriend?Â I can control myself and make the necessary decisions to prevent dishonoring God by fornicating.
My purpose in blogging on this is not to bound singles in legalism or accentuate liberalism.Â Stimulating the reason why and the impulses that drive us into how we make decisions is my intent.Â Do we do what we do based upon tradition, culture,Â preference,Â and feelingsÂ or based upon true biblical anthropology and natural God-design sexuality?Â Passionate kissing physiologically drives humans towards the culmination of fulfillment in sexual intercourse.Â Is there a place for it in “cultural dating?”
Single Journey into Grace
Something just hit me.Â I rarely see books published about the raw journey of waiting on your soul mate.Â One would think that this would be the hottest topic in Christian circles especially since we are known for waiting… and waiting… and waiting for God’s Hot Pick for us.Â Hmm… Could it be that no one is writing about this topic offering encouragement because no one is waiting?Â AreÂ Christian singlesÂ running out of patience for the delivery of God’s Knight or “Knightess” in shining armor?Â Too often I hear the horror stories of my sisters and brothers not enduring and waiting on God’s best for their lives.Â It’s hard, I’ve been thereÂ and experienced that but trust me, it’s harder when we don’t wait…
How should our Christ-filled singles endure and wait?Â What if our dreams never come true?Â I am reminded by Paul’s encouraging words – “You then, my child, be strengthened by the GRACE that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (2 Tim 2:1).”Â Simple verse but yet dripping with so much truth.Â I remember my life as a single Christian man.Â Seizing every opportunity on my own to discover who was God’s queen for me, I stumbled into some mess, some lust and something I thought was God but yet was a trap.Â I didn’t rely on the grace of God… Better yet, I didn’t know what grace really meant.Â I thought I deserved “my best”Â and didn’t understand what God’s best looked like.Â Also, I didn’t realize that I wasn’t entitled to a mate.Â I didn’t understand that if it came, it was because of God’s grace… You see, when we think we deserve something, we tend to step outside of God’s timing, plan and best in order to please ourselves.Â Looking back on those years, I didn’t get my queen until I stopped pursuing my will and learned to rest in God’s will and grace.Â Let me flesh it out real quick – don’t live life as if you deserve a life-long companion… live life recognizing that whatever God’s grace has to give you is enough.
This passage also reminds me the power and responsibility of spreading truth.Â If you are experiencing victory in your single pursuit of being enthralled by God’s grace then share your story with someone else.Â The single years can be some of the loneliest times of your life if you aren’t surrounding yourself with truth (the truth about God’s love for you and the truth about yourself).Â Huddle with like-minded folks who aspire after the heart of God and share your life with them… When I was in college, my saving grace wasn’t college but it was the likeminded community that God brought around me.Â I wouldn’t have made it without them… Keep enduring and waiting, God’s grace is real!Â Praying for you…
His Sovereign Choice
We have been experiencing an overwhelmingly rich time on Mondays, navigating through the book of Romans.Â Particularly, we have beenÂ convicted and soberedÂ by chapter 9.Â This is one of the most difficult chapters I’ve ever tried to exegete but rising to the surfaceÂ has been a clear viewÂ ofÂ the Sovereignty of God as it relates toÂ his love for theÂ elect.Â He chooses to have mercy on those he desires to have mercy and compassion on those who he desires to have compassion.Â What really has busted up my heart is the lengths that God goes through in order for his glory to be seen in my life.Â He will patiently allow the vessels of wrath (the enemies of God) to exist in order for the vessels of mercy (the elect) to reveal the glory of God.Â I am so humbled at God’s choices on my behalf.Â Â Understanding this has really settled my heart with a restful trust in Him.Â How can you rest in God’s Sovereignty?Â (1)Â Recognize that God really doesn’t need your help to provide the best for you; (2)Â Allow God the right to be God; (3)Â Know that His choices ultimatelyÂ are for your good; (4)Â Resting requires faith; (5)Â God sovereignly chose you to be hisÂ child before the earth was created; (6)Â Even your enemies are under God’s control; and (7)Â God loves you!
As we’ve been walking through Romans, I’ve been convicted and enlightened about Paul’s teachings in ch.2.Â Before we as Christ followers can get the “big-head” about not being under the judgment of God, he reminds us to re-examine our hearts.Â He holds no punches in saying, “Who do you think you are..?Â Judging the unrighteous when you yourselves do some of the same wicked and selfish things.”Â For some reason deep within, we think that somehow we are going to escape “judgment” and consequential accountability from God… How cocky it is for us to thrust all the emphasis of judgment on the unrighteous when we have a judgment coming of our own?Â No, God hasn’t “given us over” or damned us to Hell but he will judge us according to our works.Â Paul says, “We areÂ NOT EXEMPTÂ from judgment just because we have been declared righteous.”Â
Paul’s emphasis and point is to implore us to repent of partiality.Â He is saying, partiality can’tÂ remain in the heart of a missionary called toÂ reach people with the gospel.Â If it did, we would arrogantly pick and choose who “deserves” the gospel and who doesn’t.Â As well, we can’t co-exist in community with those who are not like us, if we are partial.Â Remember, Paul’s audience was mostly Gentile and partly Jew.Â Â Can aÂ “high-minded”Â Jew really co-exist with a Gentile if he doesn’t deal withÂ partiality in his own heart?Â What about ethnic integration?Â Could thisÂ be whyÂ 11:00AM isÂ still the most segregatedÂ hour in America?Â Could thereÂ be more ethnically diverse ministries, if partiality was truly exposed, addressed and repentedÂ of?Â I tell you what, it’s on my radar and I’m staying clear of it… It’sÂ damaging, divisive, destructive, arrogant, degrading and grievous toÂ the heart of God among other things.Â Â Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts – exposing our biases, attitudes,Â stereotypes and motivationsÂ so that weÂ can repent.Â Â