Love is an important element of a great marriage. Marriage is the ultimate covenant relationship for a couple to learn how to grow together! It is a sacred union between a husband and wife! You both come together to build a lasting committed bond! When you both are dedicated to the Lord know that there will be a continuing barrage of spiritual warfare launched against your marriage! It often comes from the least expected places… It wants to undermine your credibility, destroy trust, infringe on your union and is designed to get you to respond in a carnal mode that will only divide you.
Disagreeing is a part of any strong marriage! You both are different and do not always see eye to eye. Why is it when you disagree you somehow forget what your spouse means to you! Or somehow you manage to push it in the background! Instead you often pull out the emotional boxing gloves and erect a mental boxing ring and come out punching! Often piercing the heart with deadly emotional punches that crush the soul! Or either you flip the script and make it about you! Bear in mind that there is always exceptions! This is not to point the finger but to put a halt to the staggering overabundance of marriages ending in divorce! To instead encourage you to “welcome love!”
There are those who use the word “Love!” so very loosely! They see love as something that makes them feel good! They feel you love them because you tell them what they want to hear and give them what they want when they want it… This is really not love at all! What you are really dealing with is the neglected “child” in them that has not grown up and always wants its way! They often hold on to “Me ness” instead of embracing “We ness” It becomes clear when you do not agree or tell them “No!”
Please don’t feed this monstrous bad habit! I say habit because it is a pattern that can be changed…! “Practice makes permanent! If not it will eventually manipulate you and everyone around them to appease their seemingly endless need to be cared for! Unresolved emotional issues have all too often become the scapegoat to fuel and appease their desires! On the surface it merely and at times cleverly mimics love in order to have its way! What often happens with someone of this nature; instead of growing beyond their childhood trauma it becomes a blanket excuse for any inappropriate behavior that may be confronted! It will drain you, your emotions, your resources as well as your finances! It is important to have compassion… To avidly seek to understand the deeper need! However, good boundaries are necessary and you must learn how to “guard your heart!”
Love is talked about but impatience, anger, insecurity, irresponsibility and immediate self-gratification are usually the behavior most often displayed… This does not have to be.
They simply justify having whatever it is they want! When you do not comply they feel rejected! They themselves are emotionally starved because they have never really truly experienced true love! They really do not know what love is really all about! Many in our society today confuse love with “lust” or what I call “intoxicating affections” that last for only a season! This is also the reason for a lot of divorces! It is important to begin to address any unresolved issues… In a warm loving, caring environment trust and security can flourish! One can grow beyond their issues!
True love is not selfish! It fills the void properly when sincerely embraced! Love is a part of the Fruit of the Spirit! “God is love!” He is eternal and so is His love! Enlist the principles of true love described in I Corinthians 13! They work! Use this as an effective barometer to measure love over lust, and or intoxicating affections! “Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in Truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails…”
If many truly learn how to love each other there would be a lot less marriages dissolving. Less families being divided and fewer divorces! We would instead see a lot more long term marriages continue to flourish! God never intended for your marriage to grow stale!
Begin to embrace redemptive confrontation and meet head-on in love! Just because it is your spouse you do not have to become “raw…” After so many unkind insults are continually inflicted upon one another it leaves debilitating emotional scars. This means together making a conscientious effort learning to face and embrace constructively resolving any conflict! Learn not to or stop taking one another for granted! This can deplete your marriage of comfort and security! Respect should be intricately woven into your marriage! Your feelings matter…Together you learn to deal with difficult situations as they arise! It is not wise to avoid confrontation, because this can build resentment… Addressing the issues at hand is important as well as healthy! If left undone, quite often the next step is; I’m out of here! On to the next person!
I must preface this by saying that the “Down-Low” is a rather controversial “taboo” subject! You may be offended by the contents before you; in general it is preferably for adults only? It may ruffle your feathers a bit? However, I do think that having an open conversation with your mature teens should be considered at your discretion… You might be quite surprised by their reactions? This helps to protect them from acquiring felonious information in regards to the “Down-Low” from an outside source as well as keeps the lines of communication open. They may know more than you think? If you are sensitive to the topic of sex; read no further!
What is the “Down-Low”? The “Down-Low” is a discreet sexual encounter between a straight married man as well as unmarried men who have sexual relationships with other men. They often have sex with their friends and other men without telling their spouse or partner! This happens within many races and cultures on every social economic level! Often random one night stands… Many who are professed Christians! The fact that it is kept secret should tell you something! It is actually another form of homosexuality.
In this 21st century it becomes increasingly clear to me why God designed marriage in the way in which He did. One Man and one Woman! He has not changed His design! His design for sex within marriage was to give us healthy sexual boundaries! This keeps us free from STD’s, Herpes, HIV and AIDS!
The “Down-Low” is a homosexual act… According to the Word of God homosexuality goes against nature. It is considered an indecent act! This is still in your Bible if you have not torn it out!
“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchange the TRUTH of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator- who is forever praised. AMEN! Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged the natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” Romans 1.
I believe all of God’s Word! Do as you please but nowhere in the Word does God condone any form of homosexuality, adultery, fornication or any sex outside of marriage! Deliverance yes! God is able! He told the woman “To go and sin no more!” I realize that these may be chosen lifestyles for many? You can choose as you please… But it does not make it right in the eyes of God regardless of who says so! It does not have God’s blessing! We; meaning believers are supposed to be “in the world but not of the world.” John 17. World; meaning cosmos the devil is the ruler of the cosmos. We are physically present in this world, but we are children of the kingdom of God! We are sanctified by believing and implementing the Truth of God’s Word in our lives! “Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”
The enemy seeks to have us step outside of the Word of God! The Word of God points us in God’s direction. It is a Light unto our path. It shines the Light on darkness and can point us back to the right path as well! This is why we need Jesus as Savior and Lord to save us from the power and clutches of sin!
I have counseled with some who have been ensnared into lifestyles of alternative sexual relationships. I have seen the aftermath of what it does to the soul, the person, spouse and family… In many cases it creates and ongoing cycle of distrust, rejection, selfishness and secretiveness that causes much ambivalence, despair, insecurity, resentment and anxiety for those involved.
When the man on the “Down-Low” is in ministry this can be devastating. This causes much conflict within the family as far as their belief system. For example; the woman may seek the comfort of another woman. This in turn leads to a confusing physical relationship that further complicates her life as well. This is the ultimate rejection so her self esteem is at stake. She begins to question her own sexuality? To assuage her guilt she now turns to drugs!
The various family members begin to act out rebelliously and justify turning to worldly living… In some cases becoming a lesbian… The children become confused as to what is right? They begin to experiment and then become promiscuous as they reach puberty… Which begins to perpetuate another vicious cycle of dysfunction? Now the world has entered their home and the enemy has covertly shifted the entire focus of the family from God’s principles…
It really boils down to spiritual warfare!!!
The Word of God is powerful and was given to help us navigate through this maze of life! We must proclaim the Truth of His Word and encourage others to draw closer to the Lord in these last days. I know what it is like to be censored and oppressed for believing the Truth of God’s Word. Yet, we must stand on the Word of God! “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. These men will divide you who follow mere instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourself up in the most Holy Faith and PRAY in the Spirit.” Jude 1.
When you see someone drowning do you try to help them? The point is we are called believers for a reason. The world and its ways of manipulation have worked itself into God’s Church. I am not talking about the building! I mean the lives of many baptized believers! The world says “ do whatever you feel is right” The Word of God says “Repent!” Which means to turn to God; not to repeat? We are not to jump into the quicksand of life! “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch them out from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” Jude 1.
It is important not to compromise the Word of God even if it means being misunderstood! It is much more important what God knows rather than what others think? Don’t give in to false doctrine that goes against what God says! We are supposed to influence the world not let it influence us! Spend time meditating on His Word; “Be still and know!”
It is so important that we personally know God’s Word! We must develop and ongoing, growing intimate relationship with the Lord! This is about learning how to honor God with your bodies. In the Old Testament sacrifices were offered to God for the sins of the people! Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world. Now we are to offer our body as a sacrifice to the Lord! As we do this our lives are transformed and our minds can be renewed daily by the Word of God! Do you believe God knows what is best for us?
“Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God –this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer by the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12.
One must seek to rise above any behavior that is not pleasing to the Lord! This closeted homosexuality, adulterous, bisexuality is dangerous! The “Down-Low” is one of those patterns of the world, and it is inappropriate!
I realize that the Church is divided on the subject of sex. No one wants to talk about sex really, or address the growing issues? Do we continue to just bury our heads in the sand like an ostrich? Many go to worship, sing, pray, dance, shout, fellowship and then go back to in many instances a lifestyle that is contrary to what God says is acceptable! Worship really becomes a temporary distraction or just another social activity? Think for a moment; what if Jesus were to return tomorrow? God is aware of the Truth… True worshippers must “Worship HIM in Spirit and in TRUTH.”
The idea of worship is to honor the Lord is it not? Are we not to learn to worship Him with our lives daily?
Should we not be concerned? Concerned does not mean you make someone feel comfortable in sin! It means that you care enough that you want to do something about it to help them… Many do not realize that they are looking for love in all the wrong places. The enemy just uses sex to win a stronghold over your life! He always perverts what God made for Good!
If you know that your spouse is indulging in a sexual relationship outside of marriage! I suggest stepping back. If you suspect this is so, be careful how you confront your spouse! Set aside some time when you both can talk. It is important that you get yourself tested? Prepare yourself. Keep in mind he may not be ready to confront his behavior. He may be offended if he is a leader in the Church… This makes it just that much more important! Talk about your relationship and how you feel. Allow him to talk about how he is feeling. Ask him about his current sexual relationship with you before you approach his suspected infidelities if you are not sure?
When you find out this is so? Know you cannot change him; he has to want to change. Many women marry men thinking that they are going to change them? It won’t happen! Only God can do this! “HE IS ABLE!” You can and should model godly behavior. You can intercede and pray fervently! This is his problem and you are not the cause. It is important that he seeks help and you both get godly counsel as to how you go forward?
See PART II