Proper Reasons to Marry (Single & Following Jesus Series Part X)

Sometimes people tell me they are eager to marry and I ask why? Why do you want to be married so badly? Physical intimacy tops the list, as well as “I am tired of being alone,” or “I really want kids.” All of those reasons are primarily self focused.

Marriage is not supposed to be self focused. It is supposed to be team focused.

I can not tell you how many men I have met who have rattled off their list of what they wanted, needed, and never asked about me at all. As long as I looked good on the outside and loved Jesus, well sign them up. They did not care who I was as a person. They had their needs list and I was supposed to meet it. Some were driven by a desire to check the box, “Found a wife, now I have someone to serve me.” Ummmmm…no are we in the dark ages?

Marriage is supposed to be a picture of God love. God serves, loves; we serve and love God. It is not a one sided relationship.

Getting married is not supposed to be about finding someone to meet our needs bucket. It is supposed to be about loving and serving another person. Yes! I know the romantic comedies make it about the wedding and sex. Yet once the honeymoon is over, you are left to build a life with that person. Can you build a life together?…And not just one person lays their life down to build someone else’s empire. Both people are to come to the table with the objective of loving and serving the other.

Jesus shows us how relationships are supposed to work.

…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many,~Matthew 20:28.

Greater love has no one than this, that one should lay down his life for his friends,~John 15:13.

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him,~John 13:3-5.

Jesus focused on loving and serving, not coming to others to force them to meet His needs. He does not even come to the church with a bucket of needs. Jesus shows up to serve and our response to His love and grace is to love Him in return. We love because He first loves and serves us. God gives the most in the relationship. God has no need bucket. He is sufficient in Himself.

God does not need us, He wants us. God wants to love us. My true belief is marriage is supposed to be a desire to love someone the way God loves them.

Love is not selfish. Nor is love lustful. Lust is rooted in selfishness. Lust screams, “Please me.”

Love is not rude; it is not self-seeking,~from 1 Corinthians 13:5.

Love seeks to give. Love comes to the table saying, “I come bringing my very best. I want the best for you. I want to see God’s best for you, I am pursuing God’s best for you.” Both people get to come offering their very best. Perfection, no. The best they have to offer, yes. Why? Love wants what is best for the other.

Proper reasons to pursue marriage:

  • To love someone as God does (committed, loyal, steadfast, enduring love).
  • To bring your very best to the table and form a team.
  • To serve another.
  • To build the Kingdom of God together.
  • To honor another for life.

Yes, it’s great to have butterflies and intense chemistry. Yet if the pursuit of marriage is just for what can be personally gained, it is a set up for disappointment. What if that spouse does not meet that need? What if they end up paralyzed and cannot meet the physical needs? What if there’s conflict? What then? A selfish person may seek to meet their needs outside of the covenant or abandon the relationship all together.

I have seen over the years in peer counseling people cheat or divorce because their “needs” were not being met. They came into marriage for what they could gain instead of give or they married a selfish person thinking they were going to change that person. No! What you see is what you get. If they are rude or selfish during dating, then guess what-you married a rude selfish person. Unless they yield to God, you took home that rude/selfish person til death do you part. If they won’t change for God, why do humans think they are going to change them? This has baffled me for years.

Lastly, peer pressure, desire to fit in, hormones, social status are not great reasons to marry. It’s a huge commitment that requires personal investment. I truly believe focusing on being a great friend to God is the best way to live. God knows the desires of the heart and is the BEST matchmaker. When our heart is to love and serve another, God sets up connections. Sure we can find people without including God at all…yet those relationships do not always work out.

I am not saying, pray and never leave the house. I am not saying don’t date and just pray in your closet. I am saying include God and check heart motives. Is the motive to fill a need only God can fulfill; identity, unfailing love? Humans will never succeed at filling God sized voids.

If your hormones are going nuts, prayer is powerful. Choosing marriage just to calm hormones does not work. Just as going to bar does not cure alcoholism, getting married does not cure lust. Lust is a heart condition and spirit. Deliverance from lust is available through Jesus and Holy Spirit. God created sex for love and intimacy, not lust. Paul’s instruction of it’s better to marry than burn was about passion. Those who sincerely desire marriage, go for it. He was not saying marriage cures lust.

Papa I pray for everyone who reads this to be wrecked by your unfailing love. I ask for each heart to be drenched in agape love. Love that overflows to others. I pray any pressure to marry, internal or external be removed. I bind all lies of marriage will cure loneliness or fulfill deep needs or fix everything be broken. Any idols of marriage or spouse come down. I ask for proper motivations to marry and the same for their future spouse. God you long to give your very best to those who love you! In Jesus powerful name, amen.

P.S if you are dating…my favorite prayer is, “God show me this person’s heart towards me and their true character.” He will. Pay attention. Character and heart matter.

Love,

Erin Lamb

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Do They Love You? (Sacred Sex Series Part VII) 

Morning Devotion (for the unmarried): Do they love you? What matters most in covenant is agape (God) love. 

Our culture praises fun, romance, sex, lust, and quick hookups. There is hyper focus on fantasy and eros love (sexual attraction/romantic love). 

There is little to no focus on agape love (unconditional, sacrificial, unselfish love). 

Agape love is the love Jesus demonstrates. He tells His followers the world would know them by this love. 

Some may say, “Agape belongs just between you and God or in church and not in marriage or friendship.” I strongly, strongly disagree. Why? Trials may hit your friendship or marriage. Eros (romantic love) or philia (brotherly love) or storage (family love) may jump ship or not hold up in testing and extreme trials. Why? Because when love hurts, when that person disappoints you, when they no longer can meet your needs, when the sparkle has fizzled, the flesh says, “Let’s ditch this zero and look for another fix.” 

I personally do not enjoy mistreatment, so there are some unrepentant people not a part of my circle. I still pray for them, would feed them if they were hungry, clothe them if naked, keep their confidences, and seek to do no harm. 

Only agape says, “Even in the worst of times, I still love you. I am praying for you. Even if it costs me greatly I am looking out for you. My love for you is unwavering, unyielding, stead fast, and will not be moved. In sickness, and in health. In good times, and in bad times. When you make my heart flutter and when you don’t. I will remain faithful in love for you.” This does not mean love fails to set boundaries (see paragraph above). Yet boundaries are for protection, not punishment or an excuse to withhold love. 

Agape love is covenant love. It will cost you. It is not based on feelings, it is a choice you make to show up and do right by someone even if they do not deserve it. It is the love that says, “Even if you have nothing to offer me or you loose it all. I am not going to abandon my covenant with you.” 

Agape love is what God demonstrated to Adam and Adam and Eve were supposed to demonstrate to each other. Agape is what Jesus tells us to demonstrate to the world, even our enemies, not just who we like.

So in navigating through the choices for a mate or a covenant friend, think, do they love you? Do they demonstrate the unselfish, sacrificial, unconditional love of God for you and others? Are they a servant or looking to be served? Are they in any way looking out for you, your best interests? Or are they looking for someone to bless them, care for them, be there for them? A deeply selfish person will hurt you. 

Lust vs. Love

Lust is selfish and can be mistaken for love. It is an intense feeling that wants to take from someone else for it’s own pleasure or personal gain. Lust will pursue to conquer. Lust will also abandon. Lust is never satisfied. 

Marriage goes not cure lust anymore than going to a bar cures alcoholism. Lust is a spirit and heart condition; Jesus can deliver anyone from lust. The natural condition for mankind is love, not lust. Lust came when sin came. Before lust there was blessing given by God for physical intimacy out of agape love. 

Love is looking for ways to give, add value, bless, empower, protect, and enhance. Love seeks to do things God’s way. Love is holy, pure, and eternal. 

Okay, you may be saying, “Love sounds hard. I just want to have fun!

Fun is great! I love to have fun. Yet just having fun does not make us covenant friends or marriage material. God and I have tons of fun; laughing parties, dancing, sharing dreams, life together. Yet we both know our love for the other is not dependent on having fun. There are times where He just had to hold me while I mourned. Times where I had to wait patiently on Him to finish what He started. Not always fun, yet we are in covenant. I love God even when walking with Him is challenging. He promises to never leave or forsake me. I know every day with me is not fun. Yet He stands in unwavering love. 

What about that spark, physical attraction? 

God is pro chemistry. Hormones were His idea. He was the Author of attraction, sex, and romance. Yep. God, not Hollywood. God’s version of romance leads to greater intimacy (knowing) in a safe environment. God seeks to protect hearts and bodies, not destroy them or use them. 

God created physical intimacy with boundaries. Those who live their lives based solely on what pleases the flesh will often find they are led by lust not love. What if your spouse can no longer meet your physical needs? Are you leaving? Cheating? Withholding love? Angry? What if that person loses their health, looks, or possessions? Lust says, “Go where your needs are going to be met.” Lust is selfish. Love is unselfish and faithful. 

In a world that says, “Do what feels good to you.” God offers something so much better, agape love. 

Does that potential mate or close, covenant friend love you? Really love you? Do they love anyone besides themselves, their family, and friends? What is their character and heart? 

If presented with the chance to be close friends or a spouse I am examining how the person loves. I have met many people in my lifetime who claimed to love me, I am their best friend or like family, and several men who said I was their choice for a wife, yet in the end they did not truly love me. Some loved the idea of me. Some loved the way I loved them or loved their families. Some loved or lusted after what was on the outside. Some evaluated how I could add value to their lives or business or church. Some just wanted to check their box, “Found me a wife or good friend.” Some were deeply selfish. And at the end of the day, I do not care how much money you have, or about titles or superficial things, how well do you love? 

Sweet friends, God loves you and wants you loved in return. One sided love is not a relationship, it’s charity. Charity (ministry) is great. Love without strings attached. Yet in covenant you will need someone willing to pour back the love you pour out. God set up relationships for mutual love and blessing. 

God bless you in your unmarried years and those who never wish to marry. Follow hard and fast after Jesus. God loves you and has incredible plans for your life, whether married or unmarried. He is your eternal covenant, stronger and better than any earthly covenant. He is the best Lover of your soul. You are so valuable to Him and SOooooooo deeply loved.

Agape Love & Intimacy (Sacred Sex Series Part I) 

 

Image created with WordSwag. Used with permission.  
Sex (physical intimacy) was God’s idea. 

It started in a Garden…

The Garden of Eden was free of stress, strain, turmoil, offense, lust, sexual immorality, pain, shame, insecurity, regrets, adultery, all sin. 

God created a lavish, luscious space for humanity. He gave them one boundary (don’t eat from the tree of good and evil or you shall surely die) and provided everything they needed for abundant life. 

Adam had a relationship with God before He ever had a partner/wife. He walked with God. He talked with God. God gave Adam things to do. They had intimacy (knowing of each other). 

One of the purposes for physical intimacy was to deepen oneness, union between man and woman. 

God saw that Adam realized none of the animals looked like him. God created Eve (see Genesis 1). Eve was fashioned out of the rib of man. The first person she saw was God. She was fashioned to be a counterpart to Adam. They are both created in the image of God. They are both human. They are both equal in God’s eyes. Their body parts were designed to fit perfectly together and create life. 

Another purpose of physical intimacy is the creation of a life. Every person on this planet was born. 

If you’ve had any biology you know how babies are created. Men generate sperm. Women house eggs. Sperm+egg=baby. The DNA of the father connects with the DNA of the mother and you have a child. That child shares the DNA of each parent. A lineage is created. God gave human beings the awesome privilege of procreation. 

He created Adam and Eve. He then blessed them and told them, “Be fruitful, multiply! (Genesis 1:28).” Essentially God said create more humans. 

God created physical intimacy for agape love (selfless, sacrificial, pure, faithful, unconditional), unconditional acceptance, and to be known. 

When Adam was presented with His unclothed partner there was no lust or selfishness or sin in him. He admired her as a person. Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man,”~Genesis 2:23. 

Adam prophesied over Eve. It does not say Adam lusted after Eve, sought to take from her. He makes no comment on her body. He was without sin, therefore operating out of love. Love seeks to give. Love sees a person, not an object of pleasure. 

Scripture goes on to say later Adam knew Eve. He was physically intimate with her. This knowing is more than connecting with her flesh.

Sex is more than physical intimacy. It is a connection of the body, soul, spirit. It is saying, “Whatever is in this person, I am inviting into me. We are becoming one spiritually, physically, and connecting soul to soul. We will bond together, imprinting on each other’s soul. This is a place to be unconditionally loved, served, blessed, and known.” 
I have heard people say sex does not connect them deeply to others. This may feel like truth on the conscious level, yet in my experience in the Word of God and ministering deep inner healing with people I have found sex connects people deeper than their mind will admit.  You find people still carrying imprinting on their minds from images of pornography, fantasy novels, scenes on tv, from experiences with past lovers, from their own self pleasure. You find men unable to commit because they are carrying around the imprinting of all the women they have taken from over the years. Lust never satifies. It works the same for women. You find people unsatisfied with their spouse because of their extracurricular sexual activities. 

Sex is like super glue, yet more powerful. It is intended to bond a natural born man and woman for life. When you pry them apart, there is residue (imprinting) from the other that goes with them. There is a tearing that occurs. There are things that have been shared in the spirit and soul that remain. 

Media does not talk about the soul and spirit connections. Media promotes doing whatever feels good. It’s just like eating food. This is very untrue. Sex is more than eating a burger. It’s sharing all of you  with someone. 

Short stories: 

There was Dorothea (not her real name) who began sleeping with her boyfriend who was heavily involved in the occult. Things begin to happen in her life that were paranormal. It tooks months to free her and bring peace back into her home. Mainly because of her dishonesty about physical intimacy with this young man. 

There was Ben (not his name) who was teased for being feminine. So he thought, “If I am gay I should find out what this is.” He went online and began watching gay porn. This lead him down a path of addiction, poor choices, and a lifestyle of immorality. He has struggled deeply with identity, immorality, love, and purity. 

There was Jeremy (not his name) who was clouded with lies that manhood was expressed by sexual activity. He slept with over 300 woman and has intense trouble committing to anyone or being faithful. He struggles with intimacy, love, identity, and loving others. Women are to be used, not loved. 

If you are practicing sex outside the covenant of marriage between a natural born man and woman you may be saying, “I am a good person. My partner is a good person. We are not hurting anyone. We are not like those stories shared.” Well, God provided boundaries for a reason. Living oustide His boundaries and guidelines is what got Adam and Eve into trouble. 

In deep inner healing sessions people are sometimes shocked at what is imprinted on their souls from sex, pornography, movies/media, etc…

God longs to protect who He loves, people. So He established a union and boundaries for physical intimacy that is rooted in committement, faithfulness, and agape love (unselfish, pure, sacrificial, unconditional love). 

Papa God thank You that every good and perfect gift comes from above from the Father of Lights, You! I ask for any person reading this to offer up their sexuality and ideas about sex to You. Any areas of compromise, I ask they would be surrendered to You. Purge each soul willing from imprinting of images, media influence, past unions. Wash it all in Your blood. Remove any residue. I bless each person with restoration and purity. In Jesus mighty name. Amen.

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

P.S At the end of this series I will go  through some soul healing/restoration tools! 

Marriage Doesn’t Cure Lust

  
Photo credit: Pinterest

Here’s the prayer first for those who don’t like to read: 

Check this out from Ransomed Heart Ministries: “Prayer for Sexual Healing” – Prayer for Healing from Sexual Brokeness

The Bible tells us to pursue purity. Purity is more than not having sex. Yes I said the s word. The Church needs to talk about it because the world is saturated with impurity. God created sex & called it good (between husband & wife). The devil made sex about self, worship of it, perversion of it, & brought shame to it. Jesus came and redeemed it…He showed a human could walk in purity. 

Purity is a heart issue. Marriage does not cure lust any more than going to a bar cures alcoholism or an all you can eat Buffett cures gluttony. Lust is about pleasing yourself, gratifying self. Love is about giving. 

You may say, I’ve never had sex outside marriage so I don’t need this prayer. A person can be married and filled with lust. And our world bombards us with images, stories, even songs that feed our soul lustful things. 

This prayer covers fantasy, images, pornography, sex outside marriage, sexual assault, self gratification, lust of the eye (you’re not engaging, you’re feasting with your eye gate for your pleasure). 

Wholeness is available in Christ. He so longs for us to love. Love like Him. When Adam saw his unclothed wife, his first response wasn’t “Man she’s hot! I can’t wait to lay with her.” Nope. He loved her. He prophesied over her, “This is bone of my bone. Flesh of my flesh.” 

Before the fall, Adam & Eve were motivated to connect because of love, not lust. So our “men will be men,” is simply our affirming the ways of the devil. It’s not of God. God is not lustful. 

Lastly, the desire to have physical intimacy with someone is God given. The desire to take from someone or use them for self gratification is sin. 

Great resources also available at moralrevolution.com. 

Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely…think on those things. 

Love in Christ, 

Erin