Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Marriage Preparation Instruction #9

Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.”---I Corinthians 7:2 (NKJV)

OK, it's because of messages like this one that I believe people who think that listening to anything other than Christian/Gospel music is “wrong” are...well, missing out. You have to discern the words and spirit (Matthew 12:33) of ALL music and to be honest with you, there are many a “secular” song, that has ministered straight to my soul. MANY.

Well, let me tell you what's “funny” about this particular tip. Yesterday was a day from HELL...literally. I won't give the Enemy any more of my energy by going into it, but with all that went down, one thing did tickle me: I woke up with a Shirley Murdock song in my head. My favorite one, actually and no, it's not “As We Lay”. (Gasp!)

Now, bookmark that for a moment as I intro this thing. A couple of weeks ago, a local DJ did a segment on his show entitled, “Are you the wife or the jump-off?” Now, you all know I am a big supporter of confession for healing's sake (James 5:16) and so I will put it right on out there and let you know, that for years, I was the jump-off. I wasn't the girl you met at the club and “tapped” that night. I was more like the really good friend who you would tell all of your business to, bond with, sleep with...and then be jacked up in the head. (One dude even compared me to crack...crack?!?) So, I felt that I was more than qualified to share my opinion/insight when the DJ started explaining just how much a “jump-off” was settling: she doesn't get claimed, taken out in public...she's usually only called for sex and so basically she's used.

My response? “As a former 'jump-off', I'm here to tell you that what we lose in publicity, we gain in intimacy. You see the 'other woman' usually ends up becoming THE WOMAN because you have no reason to lie to her; there are no boundaries. Therefore, you end up telling her all of your business: what your wifey did/didn't do, when her birthday is, what your needs/vulnerabilities are. WACTH OUT FOR THE JUMP-OFF. You often don't see 'us' coming.” You “marry” us without realizing it.

Now for the ladies reading this and rollin' their eyes, watch how you judge 'us'. (Matthew 7:2) You can also be the emotional 'jump-off'. The girl guys only call when they need their egos boosted. The girl guys only call after they break-up with their girlfriend. The girl guys only call to hook them up with one of your friends. Basically, any time you are settling for less than a FULL and ENTIRE relationship...YOU ARE A JUMP-OFF. (Sorry....well, not really.-John 8:32)

Let me tell you another way you can be a 'jump-off': MARRYING A GUY WITHOUT MARRYING HIM. A few years ago, I wrote an article entitled, “Don't Marry Your Boyfriend Until You Marry Him”. One of the reasons why I don't subscribe to the whole “boyfriend/girlfriend” thing anymore (aside from the fact that NO ONE in the Bible had them—you're either single, married, divorced or widowed) is that people, especially women, tend to give way too much to a man that they are not in covenant with. Help him with his bills...for what? Tell him all of your business...for what? Give him your body...for what? He don't belong to you. (Do you see that my eyebrow is up?)

Proverbs 4:23 (AMP) says, Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.” There are so many women who are always talking about how they can't live without “their man”. I bet they (feel like they) can't when they have given him full access to everything; something that God never advised a person to do outside of the confines of oneness...which only happens in marriage! (Ephesians 5:31) Proverbs 27:1 says that “Faithful are the wounds of a friend”. As your spiritual friend, I can already tell you that while this message is gonna hurt some of you a lil' bit now, medicine is meant to cure---maybe not immediately, but eventually...even when it doesn't initially taste the best.

So, back to Shirley Murdock: When it came to trying to figure out where the series was to go next, the Holy Spirit brought a song that I haven't listened to in quite some time; a true oldie-but-goodie: “HUSBAND”. Now check out the lyrics:

You told me things and I believed them all
You disappeared at times, but that didn't matter at all
Mmm, those lonely nights I waited for your call
I didn't notice then
You were someone's husband

My desire for you is strong, but I won't do wrong
You're that lady's husband
My decency prevails, yes, it does
And it won't let me keep you, no
So I'm letting you go
Letting you go

You satisfy a real desire in me
Without apology, I still have those needs
Well, I'm a lady with class and I know my desire will pass

This cannot occur
Because you are her husband

I might not be all that I want to be
I've been a fool before and I did things I deplore
But after you,

If Shirley's gonna be a fool
A fool for any man
That man has got to be my husband

Desire says I should, but I say no
My body says I should, but I say no

Mister you say I should, but I say no


Let the Church say, “Amen”. Now, let me show you where I am really going with this. To soul tie yourself to someone who is already married, that being wrong should be a no-brainer. (Exodus 20:14) BUT, Hebrews 13:14 says that it's not only adulterers, but fornicators that God said he would judge. YOU DO NOT GET PROPS (OR A PASS) BECAUSE THE PERSON YOU ARE SLEEPING WITH/MESSING WITH/BEING WITH (INAPPROPRIATELY) IS SINGLE. But you see, when I finally decided to take abstinence seriously and see things from a more spiritual perspective (Galatians 5:16), what the Holy Spirit revealed to me is that a lot of people I've slept with were someone's future husbands. Adultery and fornication go hand-in-hand in consequence because they bring about the same results. Sex, of all kinds, is for covenant relationships, period. You sleep with someone who is married, you hurt God, yourself, the “spouse” and the one that they are married to (at the very least). Oh, but if you sleep with someone who is not (yet) married, you still hurt the same people...just in future tense. The Bible says that love is patient. (I Corinthians 13:4) Lust is not. Romans 1:24 tells us that when you give into lust, you dishonor your body. Ephesians 4:22 states that an old man grows corrupt according to deceiving lusts. I Timothy 6:9 says that a consequence of lust is that it drowns men in destruction and perdition. WHO WANTS TO MARRY ALL OF THAT DRAMA? Abstaining from sexual activity prepares people for marriage; partaking in sexual activity debilitates them. And here is where the tips for men and women come in.

Men: Did you let the lead scripture marinate? God has your back more than you think he does. He allowed his servant, Paul to tell you that because there is so much temptation around, one “way of escape” (I Corinthians 10:13) that has been provided for you is that you have YOUR OWN WIFE. Aside from the spiritual favor that a wife, the right wife, a godly wife (who wouldn't give you any before marriage, anyway—Proverbs 18:22) brings, she also is there to bless you physically. We all (including God) know that most of you have high sex drives, but God makes it very clear when it's permissible to act on those feelings, and that is in marriage. When the Word says that the Holy Spirit lives within you and you are not your own (I Corinthians 6:19), that is not “gender-sensitive”. You have no less of a right to defile your temple than we do. Titus 1:15 (NKJV) says, To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.” So many men want the “harvest” of a chaste wife, when they haven't planted the seeds of a chaste life. (You reap what you sow, remember?-Galatians 6:8)

And see, here's the thing: Ecclesiastes 8:5 (NKJV) says, “And a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment”. We all know that the Bible was translated by people who weren't the most gender-sensitive themselves, but in this verse, King Solomon was referring to both men and women. Why should we submit to any man who does not submit to God? (Ephesians 5:22) You can't get your sexual appetite together, but I'm supposed to trust that you can make the decisions for the home? A godly, single woman is not gonna fall for that. No one said that abstinence was easy (shoot, at least I didn't), but if you wanna have sex that bad, get yourself together and get prepared for marriage. A man who wants the privileges of sex without the responsibility, at the end of the day, ain't much of a man (or husband) at all.

Women: Did you peep what Shirley said? If she is gonna be a “fool” for any man, he's got to be her HUSBAND! I am preaching to the choir here, Lord knows, but please stop “marrying” people you are not married to. In our single state, there is no reason why a man should leave us devastated when a relationship doesn't work out. That only happens when we give more of ourselves than we are willing to lose. Because there is a natural nurturing nature within us, it is kind of automatic that we want to “heal the world”...some of us become “premature wives” sexually, but even more of us do it emotionally. To wedge ourselves between a man and his Heavenly Father (I hear you, God!) is not only emotionally dangerous for us, but spiritually emasculating for them. A wife is a good thing, but the kind of “goodies” that come with being a wife should manifest themselves AFTER marriage. When Paul spoke of every wife needing to have HER OWN HUSBAND...stop being a wife until you are called to be a wife (meaning after the ceremony). That is when you can truly call a husband, “your own”. When you have the ring and covenant to prove it.

When the Bible speaks of a virtuous wife (Proverbs 31:10-31), no where else in the Bible do I see the duties that she fulfilled (making clothes, going “far” for groceries, getting up in the middle of the night and preparing her household as she ACTIVELY watches over it, etc., etc.) being for “some guy”. The Word says that her HUSBAND praises her and her CHILDREN call her, “blessed” (Proverbs 31:28). Right now, we shouldn't be looking for the praises of any man; just the approval of God. That's what this time of singleness is for. (I Corinthians 7:32) A GODLY MAN is not going to want to do anything that will keep you from pleasing God, even if he's interested in you, because if he spends any concentrated amount of time with the Lord, then he knows that if you aren't focused on pleasing God now, you eventually will lose sight of pleasing him later. You are your husband's “favor” connection, meaning that you don't just have favor with man, but with God as well. (Proverbs 3:4) This only comes in delighting ourselves in the Lord. (Psalm 37:4) THAT ONLY COMES IN PUTTING HIM FIRST. God hooks up our men in marriage because he got to know who we are in our single state. It's the “power of association” at its best.

And so, you desire that man? You desire that woman? It may be strong, but don't do wrong.

You don't want no one else's husband (or wife) but yours. LET GOD BRING YOU YOUR OWN.

©Shellie R. Warren/2009

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