10 NEEDED Reminders for Dating Couples Before Marriage

1. It’s not bad to want to have sex with your significant other. It’d be another sort of worry if you didn’t. The key is to want to glorify Christ more than you want to have sex with each other.

2. The key to glorifying Christ more than you want to have sex with each other is that it is a decision to be made over and over again.

3. Persons in a dating or courting relationship are on their best behavior. So however they are now, you can expect, over time, for them to get “worse.” As familiarity grows, people let their guards down. Marriage does not fix bad behavior; it often gives it freer reign. Ladies, this means if your boyfriend is controlling, suspicious, verbally condescending or manipulative, he will get worse, not better the longer your relationship goes on. Whatever you are making excuses for or overlooking now, will get harder to ignore and more prominent the longer your relationship goes on. You can’t fix him, and marriage won’t straighten him out.

4. Nearly every Christian I know who is married to an unbeliever loves their spouse and does not necessarily regret marrying them, but has experienced deep pain and discontent in their marriage because of this unequal yoking and would now never advise a believer to marry an unbeliever.

5. Assuming you’re special and you’re different and their experiences won’t reflect yours is shortsighted, unwise, and arrogant. The people who love you and are warning/advising you against your relationship might be ignorant fools. Those sorts of people do exist. But odds are better that your parents, your pastor, your older married friends are wiser than you think.

6. Living together before marriage is a marriage killer.

7. Premarital sex de-incentivizes a young man to grow up, take responsibility, and lead his home and family.

8. Pre-marital sex wounds a young woman’s heart, perhaps imperceptibly at first but undeniably over time, as she trades in covenant benefits without covenant security. This is not the way God designed sex to fulfill us. Never give your body to a man who has not pledged to God his faithfulness to you in covenant marriage, which presupposes an accountability to a local church. In short, don’t give your heart to a man who is not accountable to anybody who provides godly discipline.

9. All of your relationships, including your romantic relationship, is meant to make Jesus look big more than it is meant to provide you personal fulfillment. When we make personal fulfillment our ultimate priority in our relationships, ironically enough, we find ourselves frustratingly unfulfilled.

10. You are loved by God with abundant grace in Christ’s atoning work, and an embrace of this love by faith in Jesus provides Holy Spiritual power and satisfaction to pursue relationships that honor God and thereby maximize your joy.

 

This awesome article was written by Jarred Wilson and published through The Gospel Coalition at This Link. I pray it help you think biblically about your dating relationships leading to a godly marriage.

Your fellow worker in the field,  Adam

If I Were The Devil…

In 1942 C.S. Lewis published a classic in christian literature, The Screwtape Letters. I have read this book several times and enjoy it more with each reading. It is a satirical novel written in the form of letters from a senior demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, a junior “tempter” named Wormwood. Lewis enters the mind of the enemy and shows the devilish strategies behind the seemingly routine life of Wormwood’s “Patient”. Through the negative vantage point of a demon’s eyes, we see the unpacking of important life lessons. We see the unfolding temptations and trials of the “Patient” in new light and gain understanding into our own lives and the spiritual impact of every event.

Although The Screwtape Letters is one of C.S. Lewis’ most popular works, Lewis reveals in the final pages that it was not easy to bend his mind in such a way. He claims it was “not fun” to write, and “resolved never to write another ‘Letter’.” (p.184)

I am reminded of this masterful piece of christian literature because of its similarity to an audio piece recorded by the well remembered talk radio personality, Paul Harvey.  Mr. Harvey recorded the below clip in 1965. It amazes me that whether we are discussing Lewis, published in 1942, or Harvey, aired in 1965, the principles of Scripture aptly speak to us today. Both mediums take the negative perspective and show us a fresh understanding of our times. They prophetically call us to examine our lives and our society under the standard of God’s Word.

It is my prayer that you would listen to this 2:54 clip, maybe go out and read some C.S. Lewis, and polish the lenses of your Christian Worldview through which we best understand reality all around us.

Your fellow worker in the field,  Adam

Avoiding the Trash


Tuesdays. Trash day. The bane of cyclists.  Every Tuesday I have to navigate a barrage of city trashcans that line the sidewalks as I ride my bike to work.  I live just far enough away that riding to work saves me some money and gives me a bit of a workout (since I never find time for the gym).  So last week, I was riding to work, dodging those trashcans like a downhill skier, when I approached an obstacle.  Before me stood a large can (the kind with the wheels on it) with just enough room between it and the upcoming mailbox that I could slip through.  I weaved in… just then my front tire slipped off the curb preventing me from weaving back over to avoid the mailbox.  BAM.  I rolled the bike over so I didn’t smash the mailbox (that would be a federal offense you know) or it smashes me (more likely).  Stupid trashcans.  Luckily, I was not hurt, except for my pride as I could imagine the snickers of gawking drivers passing by.

Avoiding the temptations of life can sometimes be just as tricky as my Tuesday morning trek.  Thank the Lord that we have a map to follow. In the scriptures, we see plenty of things to help us as we face temptations everyday. As I read the Word, I continually see that the power against temptation is not in ourselves! Remember this! We cannot do it on our own!

The power against the temptations in this life is not in our strength, but in our submission.

 1.   Submit to God:  We have all heard “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. That is a false statement when standing alone!  James 4:7 qualifies that statement with a power packed intro. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” In submitting our will to the will of the Father we find strength. Only then does the devil recognize he is outmatched and flee.  Trusting in our own strength, the devil sees easy prey.  First submit your life, dreams, hopes, desires, everything to God, and watch the devil flee in moments of temptation!

2.    Submit to the Word:  When Jesus entered into public ministry He began with the temptation in the wilderness. Matthew 4:1 says, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” In response to all the temptations He faced, what did He do? He quoted scripture! But He answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matt 4:4)  The Word of God is powerful for defeating the temptations in our lives. Jesus understood this and we need to follow His example.
So take this practical step: Identify your areas of temptation and MEMORIZE several applicable verses to use in the moment of battle!  Jesus didn’t whip out a scroll! He quoted from memory!  Understand your limitations and submit to the power of scripture in your life.

3.    Submit through Prayer:  In an intense moment of Jesus life, the Garden of Gethsemane, He gave some advise to his closest friends who were there with him. “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:38)  Unfortunately, these guys were weak.  Jesus knew that through prayer we focus our lives on God’s will.  In prayer, we connect to a strength not in ourselves.  When you know temptation is coming saturate the situation in prayer.  In the middle of temptation, prayer is a key to victory.  Prayer does not change God, but it does change us.  In your prayers, submit to His power in all situations.

4.    Submit to Accountability:  No one is perfect.  We all fail.  We fail more when we try to handle this life alone.  God created us for community and created the church to be fulfillment of that need.  James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”  Our culture is one of isolation and loneliness.  It tells us to hide our sin at all cost.  The Bible tells believers to confess.  In this confession we find brothers and sisters ready to support us in the healing process.  We find freedom to allow the Gospel to penetrate to the deepest parts of us with its message of forgiveness and hope.  With accountability we can tackle the struggles and temptations of this life and have a support system through it all.  Do you have people with whom you can be real and honest?  If not, find some.  Submit your private life to those who will push you closer to Jesus.

Keep fighting the good fight!  Hang in there.  Let me leave you with one last verse that has sustained me on many occasions. 1 Corinthians 10:13 – “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”  It’s a promise. Take it to the bank.

Your fellow worker in the field,  Adam