Love that is truly real and God's design for sexual intimacy!
|The love of God is the only way to truly love another human being! The first video below features 11-year- old Bianca Ryan singing with the words to "I believe I can fly". The second is a scene from the movie: "A walk to Remember" which features the song "My Only Hope" sung by Mandy Moore.|
Bianca ryan Sings "I believe I can fly"
He loves me, He loves me not, He loves me!
There are four Greek words for love in the bible: (Here is the list as defined by Code-of-Ethics.org )1) Agape: This is love that one person shows to another like God shows love to us. It is an unconditional love that knows no boundaries. This love extends to all mankind whether we know them personally or not.
2) Philia: This is unconditional love expressed from one close friend to another. The term is reserved for people that do in fact know each other and hold each other in high esteem.
3) Storge: This is unconditional love expressed from a parent to a child. It is reserved for blood relatives.
4) Eros: This is unconditional love expressed from one spouse to another. It implies a sexual or erotic relationship between a male and a female. Same sex relationships are against any laws from biblical times and therefore do not apply.
While we will discuss these forms of love, let's start off by looking at Agape Love as it is contrasted with its opposite:
1 John 4:7 : (Agape Example)"7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love."
There are really two standards of human love, the world's and God's. Today we will find that apart from a mother's love, only Godly (or Agape Love), a willfull love expressed unselfishly is what God intended and that the counterfeit is an attitude of selfish, prideful, superficialiality. What you are about to read is the "1 Corinthians 13 Litmus Test". This test will help you determine where you stand. How real is your love?
We start off reading in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 4 Love is patient; love is kind. Love does not envy; is not boastful; is not conceited; 5 does not act improperly; is not selfish; is not provoked; does not keep a record of wrongs; 6 finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. This is a pure, selfless, giving, forgiving kind of love that focuses on the other person. This is truly a Godly Love.
Everyone thinks that hate is the complete oposite of love, but as we will see, the counterfeit is Lust. Not just sexual lusts but every aspect that involves selfishness. See what happens if we take out the word Love and replace it with lust and reverse the meanings. The contrast is very striking.
We then re-read with the reverse to reveal the nature of lust. (Not necessarily sexual, but lusts of every kind. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 (reversed) 4 Lust is very impatient; Lust can be very unkind. Lust is envious of others and their accomplishments; lust loves to boasts; its very conceited; 5 acts innapropriately at times; is very selfish; easily provoked; keeps a grudge record of every wrong (Unforgiveness); 6 Lust often finds joy in the misfortune of others and gets upset when it cannot get away with its lies. 7 does not have the strenghth to bear all things, believes only in itself , lacks hope (very pessemistic), lacks the capacity to endure through every circumstance. 8 Lust is very temporary. This is a sample of an impure, selflship, stingy, unforgiving kind of counterfeit for love that focuses on the me, me , me and what is in it for me attitude. (See Real Answers Chart Love)
As we will learn, we are designed to connect to othere through Phileo, Storge, but the ultimate connection is a true love relationship (marriage) where Agape and Eros flow freely. In the Song of Solomon is where we begin to learn that this kind of relationship is shadow of our future relationship with God in eternity. Like a marriage, the Christian body of belivers in Christ are as a bride bethrowed. At the appointed time, the bridegroom, Christ Himself, will come and take us to His wedding feast in Heaven.
Agape love with Eros in a marriage covenant is designed for bonding. Erotic experience or Eros outside of God's design is lust of the flesh which puts people in bondage.
We live in a sexually charged culture. From music, movies, and advertising our society bombards use with messages that the enemy uses to ensnare people from all walks of life, including christians. It is very alarming that recent reports from various sources now believe that someone in 80 percent of all marriages will have an affair at one time or another. There are many reasons that people have affairs. The problem can not only stem from feeling neglected from their spouses, but also the selfishness of the adulterers themselves. Whether we are talking about the adulterer or someone who is having relations outside of marriage, those behaviors can only lead to bondage. Ecclesiastes 7:26 "I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare." The wrong kind of relationship will put you into a world of hurt, it has the capacity to leave you high and dry. Lust is very temporary but Love is eternal. Song of Solomon 8:6 "Place me like a seal over your heart,like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame." Why is it more powerfull than death? Agape! It transcends this life and prepares us for the next, remember, "God is love."
Pearl of Great Price
Matthew 13:45-46 "45Again the kingdom of heaven is like a man who is a dealer in search of fine and precious pearls, 46Who, on finding a single pearl of great price, went and sold all he had and bought it".The kingdom of God is likened to a pearl of great price. Earlier we read that "God is Love". There is only one kind of love that is real and can withstand the test of time, the "eternal unfailing love of God".
In a true marriage covenant there is a sacred trust bestowed on the participants. The covenant is Tri-fold, the union consists of a man, a woman, and God. Both the man and the woman a have to understand that is no ordinary union. In this covenent they enter into a solemn agreement of a life-binding promise to walk together under seal by God Himself. There is a cup of blessing and curses for those who would choose to follow or not to follow God's model.
The greatest marriages are built on the understanding that not one person on this earth could possibly meet all of our emotional needs and or match up with the perpetuity of God's unfailing love. Human beings cannot possess that kind of love with out being firmly grounded in God. No human being will ever represent the safe haven and the security that only God can provide; Therefore, it is unreasonable to delude ourselves into believing that "mr" or "miss right" is the answer to all our prayers. God takes imperfect humans, who through a desire to serve God, learn to do that by serving each other. The moment we are in it for ourselves we are headed for disaster, for it causes us to do the opposite of what God desires. Those in marriage or contemplating marriage need to know that we must look to God, not each other for what we need. It is out of the abundance of God's provision to us that enables us to then share that with our mate. A true christian marriage is made secure by being trully established within the kingdom of God. If both the man and the woman uphold God enthroned above their marriage, there will be peace, safety, and security therein. Proverbs 20:28
Marriage is not something enter into lightly. One or the other partner having the wrong attitude can create an unstable relationship. The bible clearly states that we should not be "unequally yoked". The devil loves to set us up for failure. It is his desire that we jump the gun and make decisions based on impulse and what we might be feeling at a particular moment in time. Infatuation is an emtional illusion that gives you the sense that you have found love when it is in actuality it is just an attraction to what is being percieved of that person. This perception is not always based on reality. As human beings we must guard our hearts and trust in God on whether to get involved with a particular person. Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do." It is then very important that the end result of a relationship be, the pulling together and striving to do the will of God. Someone who is not as committed to God in the same way as you will with no doubt pull you in other directions. One would be wise to consult God in choosing a mate. What does God want in a Godly Spouse?
. (To be continued) (soon to come - "How to find true love" and "Anatomy of a Divorce")
Netgrace.org - A SITE devoted to the understanding and help for the church in sexual child abuse.
Marriage in trouble or even divorcing? See what God did for this Canadian Couple!
Powerful Testimony of a Resurrected Marriage—10 Years Later, Pastor and Wife Enjoy Relationship Marked by "Mutuality, Respect and Care" Broken vows: Death and Resurrection of a Marriage Part 1 and Part 2
Why is there such an epidemic of divorce right now? click on the "The Tragedy of Divorce in the Church"
Marriage Preservation Resources: Knowing God Program with Greg Laurie. The video clips of this program will offer you a unique opportunity to see Greg Laurie, the husband, as he and his wife, Cathe, share with us how to have a strong marriage. (Watch)
Marriage Preservation Resources:
Knowing God Program with Greg Laurie. The video clips of this program will offer you a unique opportunity to see Greg Laurie, the husband, as he and his wife, Cathe, share with us how to have a strong marriage. (Watch)
Deep Secrets of Sexuality by
Copyright, Grantley Morris, 2002
Nagging deep within us is an incessant craving to find completion by becoming one flesh with another human. Sexual intimacy is a significant part of this, but there is more. We would sell ourselves short – frighteningly so – if we did not realize that the cry from our innermost being extends far beyond craving orgasms. And yet our world is so disturbingly superficial that millions slip into the quicksand of supposing they can reduce the height of human intimacy almost to an animal act without damaging their very humanity. Once we fall for this mentality, the more desperately we struggle to satisfy ourselves, the quicker we sink.
So astonishingly powerful is sex that it is divinely designed to superglue you to one person for the rest of your life. God entrusted this treasure to you to empower you to maintain exclusive intimacy with the one person you are selflessly committed to for life. To use sex for any other purpose is to take the road to ever-increasing frustration and gnawing emptiness. Whether it be in thought or action, to fritter away your sexuality on someone you are not committed to for life is to become like someone who enjoys burning hundred dollar notes and can’t figure why he is continually impoverished.
It is common for us to dangerously misinterpret our own cravings. Sexually, we tend to be like children who suppose all they need is an endless supply of candy, when the real nourishment their bodies are crying out for is much more complex. Anyone is sentencing himself to long-term problems who thinks he can satisfy his bodily needs with candy alone. Slowly he would begin experiencing numerous unpleasant and ultimately life-threatening illnesses, few of which would feel as if they are related to his food intake. Likewise, we have a whole range of complex needs that we tend to naively suppose can be met by raw sex alone. And the consequences of this mistake can be catastrophic.
Before focusing on our God-given desires for human closeness, let’s lift our eyes for a moment. Many of our needs that feel like a craving for human companionship are actually yearnings that can only be satisfied by intimacy with God. This surprising, vitally important, rarely understood subject is explored in a link at the end of this page. The height of intimacy between two humans, as deep and fulfilling as it is, is superficial, relative to our desperate need to become one spirit with the most astounding Person in the universe.
Even within the human realm, however, we frequently get things horribly confused. Many of us rob ourselves by trying to reduce to shallow sensations our yearning for an experience so profound that it is truly best thought of as becoming one flesh with another human being. To be one flesh means that if your head feels fine but another part of your body hurts, your head reels in pain and does everything it can to comfort the hurting part. It means that if your head is neutral but another part of your body feels pleasure, your head is neither jealous nor disinterested, but it delights in that pleasure. Selfishness is incompatible with oneness. To be one flesh is to experience a union in which one’s greatest joy is found in the happiness of the other. You have fulfilled your craving to be one flesh with a person to the extent that you would as soon consider breaking the union (divorce) as you would consider ripping off your own head.
Using sex for something less than no-holds-barred selfless permanence might seem to offer the mirage of satisfaction but in reality it is a tragic loss. You can try to cheat yourself out of the fulfillment you were born for, through selfish or superficial sex. To do so, however, is to keep tormenting the craving within you, teasing it to infuriating levels.
Of course, many people, through no fault of their own, miss out on sexual fulfillment. Whether these people are to be pitied, depends on the spiritual dimension to their lives. Pitying anyone without considering this dimension could be like pitying soaring eagles because they cannot run as fast as ostriches. There is incomprehensibly more to everlasting life than we can currently see. Feeling sorry for someone who is celibate or has a poor sexual partner, could therefore be like feeling sorry for the athlete pounding the track or a student toiling at his books. They are currently missing out on fun that others enjoy but their present hardship could end up achieving for them glory that others can only envy.
Singles can stir up their frustration, letting it rage to soul-destroying levels. They can turn to porn or fantasy or solo sex or one-night stands or other shadows that offer a high as pathetic as a drug. Soon the craving for a fix returns with even greater fury. Or singles can turn their back on that futility and use a different tack. They can stop inflaming the desire; allowing it to gradually subside, and so find both a measure of contentment and divine approval. It is the promiscuous, not these, who are to be pitied.
Whenever we enter into sexual intercourse with selfish motives, we are even more alone than we were before. The loneliness increases our appetite for the union, which is usually translated into a need for more sexual intercourse. Lust is a self-perpetuating cycle that becomes more intense as it continues. (Source)
That quote is from a man I deeply admire for his ability to receive from God profound, Bible-based truth. The instant I read his words, I recognized them as finding staggering and unexpected confirmation from a secular source. In their book, Lonely all the time: Recognizing, Understanding and Overcoming Sex Addiction, (New York, 1989, page 23) psychologists Dr. R. Earle and Dr G. Crow write, “Believe it or not, the driving force behind most sex addicts’ compulsion is a desperate need for love.”
We cannot rid ourselves of aloneness and isolation by cheapening ourselves. Reducing sex to a biological act reduces us. Our one hope is a permanent union in which our highest happiness is found in the pleasure of the other partner. When sex is perverted from the expression of a sacred, lifelong fusion of a man and woman into a temporary, self-centered convenience, our clawing for fulfillment will die in bitter frustration. Ultimately, degrading oneself this way will merely aggravate one’s craving for the oneness that can only be achieved in a unique, exclusive and loving union.
In God’s eyes, sex is the sealing of a lifelong contract. You are bound, not by the giving of your word, but by the giving of your very body. The consequences of casual sex cannot be undone. To suppose that it is harmless is like sexually violating someone and then thinking if you say you didn’t mean it, it will cease to be a crime.
Infinitely better than the world’s best parent, Father God has our best interests at heart. When it comes to relationships, we too often respond to his loving guidance like spoiled brats asked to eat their vegetables. We are sure we know better than our Maker about what will ultimately fulfill us. Like a lazy tennis player constantly blaming his racket instead of his lack of practice, we blame our partner rather than our failure to keep practicing selfless love until we finally master the art.
We haven’t begun to live until discovering that it is more blessed to give than to receive; more blessed to serve than to be served; more blessed to love than be loved; more blessed to lay down our lives as an offering, to turn the other cheek, to love our enemies.
We were made to be lovers. Lovers are givers not takers. Takers eventually end up supposing they need to change partners. They are parasites who take all they can and then have to move to another victim. They are worse than a zero. They are an empty space sucking the life out of everything around them. The sole value that takers have is that they still have the potential to be transformed into givers, if they let God have his beautiful way in their lives.
Givers are people of honor. They are godlike, because God alone keeps giving and giving, and never runs dry. Most of us shrink from giving because we are acutely conscious that unlike God, we are not a bottomless source. The only value that takers have is that they can let God change into givers.
Takers are stagnant water. Sentenced to getting only what is natural, they can only grasp after things that are limited and dying. In glorious contrast, givers are living rivers. Their source is supernatural. Flowing through them is that which is boundless and eternal. Givers find astounding fulfillment because the more they muster the courage to give, the more God keeps pumping new life and love and joy into them. Givers are people of faith. They know that under God they can give away what they desperately need because their God delights in continually giving them even more than they had before. They can thrive in the midst of rejection and persecution because their Source is divine. Like Jesus expressing his love on the cross, givers endure tough times because they know that through their union with the divine they are destined for greatness and eternal fulfillment.