Friday, April 4, 2014

Who's in your bed?

So ... who's in your bed?

Not under your bed like the boogie man or on your bed like bed bugs, but in your bed with you?! It's funny often this topic comes up or doesn't come up and should be talked about. It seems as if talking about sex is uncomfortable, but having sex isn't so uncomfortable? How is that? If something is so good then why is it so bad to talk about? I know what you might be thinking... well sex is private and it is just between me and the person that I love. But is that really the case?

Think about it this way... there are at least three people in your bed. You, the person you love, and God. That is, there are only three people if both participants are virgins and have never partook in any  level of physical intimacy before. But now let's think about what happens when you start to realize that you have had sex before and your partner has had sex before.... start adding all those people into the bed with you and things start to get crowded. Is this why nobody wants to talk about sex anymore? Because talking about how many people are in that bed with you is an uncomfortable subject? Or because you are ashamed and don't want God or your partner to know the truth?

NEWSFLASH!!! God already knows... and no relationship should be based on any sort of lie if you want it to succeed.

So ... who's in your bed?

When is the right time or appropriate time to be in a bed with anyone other than yourself?

When I think about this I cannot help but hear my father's voice ringing in my head.... "Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of your soul". He would always say that quoting Proverbs 4:23. I used to roll my eyes at my father, but now I know what he meant and why he used to say that to me over and over again. Because he loved me! My earthly father and my heavenly Father had a few things in common. One of them, they loved me so dearly and wanted me to guard my heart. Another thing was that they both had my best interests at heart and were obviously wiser than me at any age.

I remember being younger and thinking that people did not understand what I was going through or these feelings I was feeling. How could God make something so good and keep it away from us? Why would God say no to something that was a way to show how much you loved another person?

There is something about having sex that brings two people together, God refers to it as two becoming one (1Corinthians 6:16). Every time you have sex with someone you leave a piece of you with them and you take a piece of them with you. There is a connection that is formed that cannot be undone. God wants us to guard our hearts. He wants to protect us from loosing ourselves to others who are not there to stay, who are not committed in his eyes, and who will break our hearts and our souls for that matter. God doesn't want us to be distracted. He wants us to be focused on what is before us and it is not a man or woman, there is a bigger picture than that.

Think about how many times you have dated. Think about how many of those boys or girls you have been intimate with. Now think about how many of those people broke your heart and took a piece of you with them and left you with a piece of their own baggage. Now think about how much lighter your load would be if you had not made that choice. If you had been with one less person. Think about what your life would look like and how you could prepare for your future mate in a way that preserves your heart, mind and soul for just them.

Now I know and have been on the other end of the purity talk. I have been given the abstinent speech and have endured many years of preaching on what would happen to me if I did not stay pure or make the right decisions. In my life at one point I did wear a purity ring. I even had this goal of staying pure for my future husband so that I could give my whole self to him and not just the leftovers from whatever I could mangle together from the pieces left behind. If you know me or have read my blog or my book, then you know that obviously did not happen. There are bad people in this world who make bad decisions that affect us. There are circumstances that are out of our control. Either way, after that happened, I could have still turned around and recommitted myself to this idea of purity and this conviction in my heart to do what I knew was right. I chose not to.

So here I am, a sinner, talking to you all about this very sin. I have been there. I have done this. I have pieces scattered that I can never get back and my future husband will not get all of me and our wedding bed will have more than just three. But even if you are in this place I want to encourage you because there is never a time in your life that you can't just stop in your tracks, turn the other way and live differently. Nobody ever said it would be easy, but if you are willing it can be done. Mind you, it will be challenging and it will be trying, but it will be worth it.

"Two are better than one... If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three stands is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

So here we are back at the beginning. God thinks two is better than one and encourages us to be with one another, in order to keep each other strong and protect each other. A cord of three - representing you, your partner, and God is not easily broken because God binds it together. You must know that the entire book of Song of Songs is about a husband and wife, how they love each other, and can be pretty graphic in their descriptions. This is God's way of saying that love and sex are phenomenal things - in the context of marriage.

When I was younger I had a friend who started a journal. She wrote letters to her future husband. She told him how much she was preparing herself for him and preparing her life. She wanted to ensure that she was whole and pure, able to present herself with as little baggage as possible. She kept writing to him throughout her life even after she met him and married him. On her wedding night she gave him that journal. They cried together and there was a bond formed that could have never been formed any other way.

I wrote a blog: Dear Future. It was a snip it of what I think of, pray for, and yearn for in a future. My future husband that is. I have on multiple occasions written little things like that in a way to encourage myself that it is a good thing to pray about what will be and know that I am preparing myself for that.

How can you prepare yourself for your future husband or wife if you are too worried about who is in your bed? How can you focus on what you need to do, who you are or need to become if you are too worried about what boy or girl you are going out with this weekend?

There are times when it is good to be alone. You must allow yourself to replenish, run a self checkup and ensure you are whole as a person. You cannot give love to anyone else unless you first love yourself. If your love tank is empty then there is nothing left to give. This is unfair to your partner and unfair to you... it only puts you in a hard place that is challenging and opens you up for future harm. Trust me when I say that love is not everything and love is not enough.

So the next time someone tries to push you to do something because they "love you", then be sure to respond... "then you will understand that because I love you and want our relationship to be a healthy one I must say no".... DO NOT ever let anyone persuade you to do something you are not confident is the right thing. And just know that the right thing is not always the thing you want to do. Most of the time we are tempted with amazing things, because who would be tempted by something that was not amazing? Obviously.

"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure" (Hebrews 13:4)

Think about it... who's in your bed? Who do you want in your bed? How do you want to prepare yourself for a blessing filled marriage? What kind of an example do you want to set for yourself and others? How do you want to start your relationship of right?

Understand me when I say that I am a sinner. I have been there and this is why I appreciate God, his radical mercy and forgiveness more than others. There is not a moment that we are weak that God is not with us. He tells us, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" and I says "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in perceptions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

There is no other way to conquer this than to set yourself up for success. DO NOT be afraid to set boundaries and have difficult challenging discussions. This is the only way you will ensure your success and that you will also be help accountable for it all. Get yourself a friend who has the same beliefs that you can talk to, that you can vent to, but that is able to breathe life back into you and keep you on the right path.

The objective of all of this is to force yourself to connect with another human being in a loving intimate way that does not involve sex or sexual actions. I know this sounds crazy, but it can be done. In doing research for this blog I ran across another that I found very insightful. A young woman writes about 8 ways to beat sexual temptation. How she did it and I found this information very insightful. There are a lot of things each individual can do and should do in order to not be a distraction to the person they love. There are a lot of things the couple needs to do together in order to help strengthen their bond and ensure they make it through this temptation filled battle field.

Honestly, I feel like anything else, Satan is preying on the hearts and minds of us all in a way that we cave very easily. We are physical creatures. We are sexual creatures. We enjoy company of others and physical touch is such a significant way to show love and affection. It is interesting how large of a bond you are able to form without that final act of physicality that should only be tied with marriage.

So... who's in your bed? What do you want to change about this scenario? How can you make the changes and allow yourself to grow?

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