God Loves Us But That’s Not The End

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So I went to coffee with a special friend of mine who is my sister in Christ, spiritual mentor, and just all around loving person and of course we talked about our marriages, our children, where we sometimes feel we’ve failed and then encouraged each other that we aren’t done yet.
But we got onto the subject of “God loves us just the way we are” and if that’s all we teach how does the sinner repent?
It’s been on my mind since and just can’t get it out of my mind so thought I’d put it in writing and see how it goes 😉

So many years ago the churches and religious leaders used to teach mostly fire and brimstone and basically hoped to scare the “hell” out of you and you’d stay scared straight. It worked but not for long. Because when we sinned there wasn’t a consequence right away too often so the scared feeling went away alittle more each time since it’s only a feeling and the feeling won’t keep us from turning away from our sin continually.

So as time passed people were walking away from churches because they felt that they were always condemned and there was no way that they can be better due to only partially teaching what God says.

Then in comes the just say this prayer this way and you’ll be saved… Well this was a start but now we have confusion in the unsaved thinking they are bound for hell because they can’t get anything right because they don’t know how or what prayers to say. So churches are seeing that this isn’t working any longer so let’s change it up a bit…

The last 10 years it’s been about offending people so churches and spiritual leaders have been worried about losing people due to offending them… For instance God clearly says just in the 10 Commandments that lying, stealing, coveting (wanting what someone else has… and this includes spouses or girlfriends/boyfriends) is just as bad as adultery, worshiping idols (includes money, sex, a PhD and any addiction that is placed higher than God), and not loving your neighbor (this reference is to anyone whom is near to you in any way not just your house). Jesus said that the greatest of all commandments is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and he goes on to say that as important as the first is to love your neighbor(others) the same as you love yourself. Matthew 22:36-40 When we love fiercely, we see people are worth much more whether they are in sin or not so we want to protect them.

The problem today is that now many of us are afraid to tell people that even though God fiercely loves them for who they are that we think that this will save them but ultimately this leads people to believe that even though they are still in sin that they do not need to change or repent since God loves them already. We have forgotten to include the part that God loves them so much that He gave a way out of sin but the only way is to repent (ask for forgiveness), confess and turn away from the things that cause you to sin.

You see if we only preach about parts of the Truth we will only see parts of freedom. We need to preach about how God loves you right where you at so you will come to Him then preach about how He made a way to be truly happy through Jesus and can have real freedom from sin so we don’t return and when we do He is there to help us through it. We can’t be afraid of letting someone know that their behavior is causing/will cause them harm or will not fill the void that they will always have that was only made for Jesus because of the separation from God while in sin.

Yes God loves us just the way we are and right where we are at but to me that makes me want to be a better person and not stay in the low place and make excuses to live in sin just because He loves me. I want to be a better me because He loves me. Sin is a terrible place to be because it slowly tears us down little by little until we don’t even recognize ourselves anymore.

Tell the world that God loves them but also tell them their sin will not make them happy for long and in the end it loses its flare and that the real risk is trusting in the Lord but you get so much more!
He doesn’t promise a perfect life but He promises a full and abundant life that is complete!
How about you? We would love to hear your comments!

Christina
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Taking Steps To Improve Your Marriage

Ok so I know that I haven’t blogged in a while but I have a good one today 🙂

"Esposas de Matrimonio" ("Weddi...

   Have you been thinking lately that your marriage is lacking something?

   Or it has become so routine that it seems you and your spouse have a plan/list/time setup for everything including sex and it has just not become fun anymore?

   Have you been praying for something different to come along or some change that might spark it up but nothing has come about?

 

Lets consider something today shall we? What if God what YOU to step out and do something instead of sitting and waiting for something to happen?

Don’t get me wrong here, praying is a top priority but are you listening when you are praying?? Are you stopping to hear what God is telling you to do or are you toning Him out because it is something that is out of your comfort zone or other excuses?

God didn’t make men visual creatures just because He was being funny… There is a reason… And we as women have to be mindful of that. His Word gives us the guidelines to live by, but for the most part many things we question in our relationship is what is great for one marriage might not work for another…. Meaning if I buy a very risque nighty for my hubby thats ok for us but you and your spouse my not want to do that and thats OK!

 

The point I am trying to make here is that if you and your spouse have decent communication you should have an idea of what he or she likes and dislikes. When it comes to “out of the box” thinking just make sure that whatever you do it isn’t making them feel demeaned or ashamed and honors them….. If you aren’t sure about something, talk to them and pray about it. Sometimes me and my husband when we have something planned but don’t want to let the cat out of the bag so to speak, we ask general questions to see how they feel about it. 

What attracted us to our spouses in the first place?? Learning about them, exploring their thoughts, finding out things about them… The whole newness and mysteriousness, trekking out to discover everything about them. When you’ve been together for 20,30,50, 70 years you have to find new things to keep other guessing sometimes. It doesn’t have to be every night or even once a month.

Take time to really listen to what God is saying to you. Read His Word and get the guidelines that He says not to cross, He will tell you. Let Him be your guide in your relationship and marriage. And HAVE FUN! There will always be awkward times where something may not have come out as envisioned so laugh about it and don’t take it too seriously. Don’t be too hard on yourself or your spouse, marriage is a learning journey enjoy the ride!  I have also learned not to focus on my physical flaws so much (it can be a total turn off to mention them all the time) and starting to focus on the things I do like. Of course I am working on improving my health to be better for God and my husband.

Have fun and have a blessed day, in Jesus Name!!

Christina, Three Passions

 

 

What’s ok in our marriage?

I had forgotten to repost this to start the series. So here is the first Day then follow this post up with Day 2 to read the first three things that we are going over in the series. I do ask that if you comment on any of these articles in this series that you keep an open mind and do not ridicule others for the things that they feel differently on. We aren’t here to judge but to learn.

 

Many relationships suffer because most people are either afraid of doing things that may be wrong sexually or are afraid to communicate it to their spouse for fear of being ridiculed or shunned by them.

As you notice the main word in both these statements id FEAR. First things first, lets get one thing straight, FEAR is not of God. It is something that will keep you in bondage and from growing in your relationships, (with God, family, friends, spouse) if it is not dealt with. So before I go any further PLEASE pray about the fear that you have and release it to the Lord and start anew. Now that we have that out of the way lets get started.

When me and my husband weren’t saved there was many things that we had done that would shame the Christian. We were into pornography, considering a threesome, and MUCH comparison with the people that was in the porn. And then when we came to the Lord we truly repented of our sin against Him and then started creating our new life. It was almost an instant transformation in our marriage. But that isn’t to say that there was a new set of problems. We really became obsessed with making sure in every way we were leading a moral life and to us at that time we had really thought very shortsightedly that only certain kinds of lingerie were acceptable, certain positions during sex were acceptable, certain gestures were acceptable, and so on and so on. Eventually our relationship started to suffer because we were so worried about things not being ok that we were no longer having fun and our sex life was nil to none. It really was a growing experience in our marriage. We figured if it wasn’t in the Bible we weren’t gonna do it. But there is a reason why certain things are not in the Bible is because that thing which you may be contemplating in your relationship may just require a mutual consent between you and your spouse. Meaning communication is key! Here is what we learned about what the Bible DOES say:

  • We are to abstain from immoral sex. The Bible tells us the following are sin:
            1. Galatians 5:19, 1 Corinthians 7:2 & 36Fornication/unmarried sex
            2. Exodus 20:14, Matthew 5:27:   Adultery
            3. Leviticus 18:22 , Romans 1:26-27:   Homosexuality
            4. Leviticus 18:23 & 20:15-16:   Bestiality
            5. Leviticus 19:29, Deuteronomy 23:17, Proverbs 23:27, 1 Corinthians 6:15-16:   Prostitution
            6. Leviticus 18:6:   Incest
  • We are to only have sex in marriage;  one man and one woman. (Matthew 19:4-5, 1 Timothy 3:2 & 12)
  • We are expected to lovingly meet the legitimate sexual needs and wants of our spouse (1 Corinthians 7:3-5).

All these above are all direct biblical commands.

In addition there are requirements set out for us as believers (which we also apply to our roles as husbands and wives), which add the following restrictions:

  • Love for our spouse, and respect for the bodies and minds God created, this requires us to avoid anything which can cause problems: (Ephesians 5:29 & 33, 1 Corinthians 6:19)
      • physically
      • medically
      • emotionally
      • mentally
      • spiritually
      • relationally
  • We should never push or force our spouse to compromise what they believe. (Romans 14:1 & 14 & 23)
  • We should not be controlled by anything. Even God does not control you.(1 Corinthians 6:12 & 10:23)

Anything that doesn’t violate these principles are ok. It’s said that it’s important that our sexual activities benefit our sense of intimacy and oneness as a couple. It’s also important for a couple to have regular intercourse, if they are able to. Science has shown that all sex is not alike, and intercourse has effects on our bodies, minds, and emotions (and we believe our spirits) that no other sex act can match and affects all of us differently. But there are also those who say it’s a sin for a man to ejaculate anywhere other than a woman’s vagina. We find nothing in the Bible which says this, and nothing which seems to even hint this is the case. The only place in the Bible the even says anything on this case is Genesis 38:8-10 which Onan was clearly told to give his brother an heir but since Onan knew that the heir wouldn’t be his own he spilled his seed on the ground and the Lord was displeased because that was between Onan, Judah, and the Lord and nothing is ever spoken about ejaculation being a sin therefore, we see no reason to limit sex or climax to intercourse. However, a couple who avoids intercourse frequently is cheating themselves out of something God intended them to have because God says that sex is a gift.

To help us understand the variety of sex acts possible, and the fact that each couple will engage in a different subset of these sex acts, we like the analogy of a playground; the marriage bed playground. There is a fence around the playground – a fence that separates a couple from sex acts that are dangerous, sinful, or otherwise unacceptable. Inside the fence are a great number of pieces of playground equipment (sex acts) that a couple may enjoy if they so desire. What each couple enjoys varies just as preferences in playground equipment vary. If he gets dizzy and sick on things that spin, the merry-go-round is not a good choice. If she is uncomfortable with heights, that very tall slide is a bad idea. If they both enjoy him pushing her in the swing, but neither is big on her pushing him, that’s just fine. Start with a few things and over time test out others. If something is not enjoyable to either of you, leave it. However, do come back around to things you didn’t like the first time – our tastes change, and some things we didn’t enjoy early on may be a lot more fun years later.

But where is the fence? What is inside the fence, and what is outside? Let’s consider some specific bedroom activities and apply the principles above. Please keep in mind that we are not recommending any of these activities, we are only trying to give couples a framework for deciding which sexual activities will build their marriage, and which may damage it. How you feel about these things will be influenced by personal preferences, past experience, and your understanding of the Word.

Today lets first list the different types of situations and examples that we all have heard of or know of from personal experiences. Then over the next few days I will go in depth on each of these.

Here are the topics we will go into more in depth on as the days pass.

1.  Manual Sex:

Which in our opinion includes many types of positions, for instance: Man on top, woman on top, and “doggie” style or woman on her knees while man enters from behind. Manual sex is pretty much meant that only the two of you are using your own hands and bodies as stimulation with no outside or oral stimulation.

2.  Oral Sex:  

Sexually arousing or stimulating your spouse with the mouth.

3.  Sex During Menstruation:

Having sex while a woman is menstruating or on her period.

4.  Anal Intercourse:

Sex where the penis is inserted into the anus.

5.  Anal Stimulation:

The anus is stimulated with an inanimate object, fingers, and (sorry about this) the mouth.

6.  Sex Toys:

Where a broad spectrum of items that are designed to enhance physical pleasure.

7.  Phone Sex:

Sharing sexual thoughts and fantasies on the phone, and it is often done while masturbating.

8.  “Dirty” Words:

Words you would not otherwise use outside the bedroom to describe organs, body, or the person.

9.  Sexually explicit material:

Sexually explicit material covers a broad spectrum of material not just pornography or erotica. So this topic might be helpful for those that have this question.

10.  Masturbation:

Self pleasuring.

11.  Public Nudity:

While this seems obviously wrong to many, there are those who ask “why?” so we will try to address that question.

12.  Public Sex:

Obviously it’s wrong to have sex where others can see you – but what about where others might see you? We will cover some questions on this issue.

13.  Role Play and Fantasy Play:

This is another area which is difficult because it covers a very wide array of things. There is certainly a difference between fantasizing you and your spouse are making love on the beach of a deserted island, and imagining having an adulterous affair. We hope that this topic will help relieve some questions about dress-up, role-playing, and fantasizing.

14.  Using Photos and Video Cameras:

We are discussing the private use of cameras or video cams. Since there is no prohibition of seeing each other naked, there would seem to be no prohibition of seeing pictures of each other naked. However, there are issues to consider. We will go over this issue more on a later date.

15.  Fetishes:

An individual with a fetish either can’t have sex, or can’t enjoy sex, without engaging in the fetish or fantasizing about it. More on this topic later.

16.  Adult Nursing:

Adult nursing means the husband nurses the wife.

17.  Bondage, Spanking and BDSM:

BDSM means bondage, discipline (or domination), sadomasochism (or slave-master or submission). This is a wide category with unclear boundaries; at “low levels”, playing at these things is fine provided both husband and wife enjoy them. However, all these things can be, or can become, fetishes, and then are wrong for that reason (see above in Fetish). Questions will be answered on this subject.

18.  Watersports and Scat:

Using urination (as opposed to female ejaculation) and defecation as a part of sex.

19.  Erotic Asphyxiation:


Restricting oxygen flow to the brain by choking, otherwise compressing the carotid arteries, or limiting oxygen intake. Yes this happens alot and we wanted it addressed.

So today I hope that we have started to resurface some of the issues that commonly come up when we get married and are always questioning whats ok and not ok. Be sure to check back tomorrow to read the first of our series of whats ok in our marriage in the world view versus Gods view.

Blessings!

Tim and Christina
Three Passions