Purity, Mistakes, and Magic Keys.

What limits should we set before marriage?
User avatar
Kilarin
Under the stars
Posts: 2623
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:36 pm
Location: South of Ft. Worth Texas

Purity, Mistakes, and Magic Keys.

Postby Kilarin » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:37 pm

In a thread several weeks back we were discussing a new study that pointed out the advantages of remaining pure before marriage. Several people brought out that preaching this can sometimes cause problems because people who have made mistakes think they are doomed to failure and people who remain virgins before marriage think they are guaranteed a perfect marriage.

These points were entirely valid, and I tried to address the issue there, but I still felt like I hadn't quite reached the full and proper balance between the points.

In a more recent thread, people have been discussing whether a virgin should marry someone who is not a virgin, and it just made me feel again that we need to find balance on this issue. Or, at least *I* do.

Humans have a hard time staying in the center of the road. We are like drunk drivers that over compensate and swerve and swing right past the center and far off into the ditch on the other side.

We have GOT to be able to get this message across to people without sacrifice or compromise of ANY of the solid Christian principles involved.

We should treat sexual impurity before (and after) marriage like luxury credit card debt.

It is NEVER a good idea to have a lot of luxury credit card debt. You don't want to start off your adult life with a big load of unnecessary debt. It is ALWAYS the correct thing to do to warn people about the dangers of having luxury credit card debt, and the advantages of living without that kind of debt. Building up a lot of debt for things you want but can live without is a MISTAKE, and its a mistake that will make life harder for you. So tell people not to make that mistake!

BUT, at the same time, we should NEVER give people the impression that if they have already built up a large credit card debt that their finances are hopeless. They AREN'T! They've got disadvantages. Sometimes it will be a BIG disadvantage, sometimes a small one. But you CAN overcome debt! It would certainly have been better to have avoided the problem. But if you've already made the mistake and gotten into debt, DON'T PANIC! With work and discipline, you can overcome that debt problem and move on to have a promising financial future. Perhaps even a VERY successful one. Sometimes more successful than some of the people who started off with no luxury debt.

Which brings us to the second "BUT". We should NEVER give people the impression that if they manage to avoid luxury credit card debt, they will automatically have perfect finances. Not having a lot of credit card debt is important, but it is NOT the ONLY thing that matters in building up good finances. Not by a long shot. It's one PART of a successful plan, a very IMPORTANT part, but it's not a magic key to instant riches.

Now then, lets turn this around and apply it to purity both before and after marriage. It is ALWAYS a good idea to tell people of the advantages of remaining a virgin before marriage, and faithfully monogamous afterwards. The advantages are real, and big, and we want everyone to have them.

BUT, we should never make people think that they can't overcome a mistake. We worship a God who is big enough to forgive any sin that you are willing to submit to Him. If you've had sex before marriage, or even an affair during, that was BAD, and it will almost certainly cause you problems, but God can overcome problems! With His help you can go on to have, not just a successful marriage, but a VERY successful one.

AND, virginity before marriage and monogamy during does NOT guarantee a perfect marriage. It's a good starting point, the BEST starting point, and a VERY important ingredient in what goes into making a marriage work. But it's not EVERYTHING, so don't treat it like a magic key that will simply open the doors of marital bliss without you ever having to do anything else.

Start and stay sexually Pure. If you make a mistake, accept God's forgiveness. And realize that sexual purity is PART of a good marriage, it isn't a guarantee of perfection. All three messages are important, and we must not neglect or belittle any of them in order to magnify any of the others.
Last edited by Kilarin on Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
mr. emu
King bed
Posts: 660
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:13 am
Location: midwest usa

Re: Purity, Mistakes, and Magic Keys.

Postby mr. emu » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:27 pm

Kilarin wrote:We should treat purity before (and after) marriage like luxury credit card debt.

It is NEVER a good idea to have a lot of luxury credit card debt. You don't want to start off your adult life with a big load of unnecessary debt. It is ALWAYS the correct thing to do to warn people about the dangers of having luxury credit card debt, and the advantages of living without that kind of debt. Building up a lot of debt for things you want but can live without is a MISTAKE, and its a mistake that will make life harder for you. So tell people not to make that mistake!.


You lost me here. You say that purity is like luxury credit card debt ... but "It is NEVER a good idea to have a lot of luxury credit card debt" ... which I think means that it would NEVER be a good idea to have a lot of purity before or after marriage? In your scheme, wouldn't "lost/lack of purity" be like luxury credit card debt? Please clarify.

User avatar
luvmygirls
Under the stars
Posts: 5770
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 5:39 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): June 25th, 1995
Gender: Male
Location: at the feet of Jesus

Re: Purity, Mistakes, and Magic Keys.

Postby luvmygirls » Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:21 am

I think Kilarin was approaching it from the other end: sexual experience is like credit card debt: a bad idea, but not something that cannot be overcome or will automatically lead to downfall.

Kilarin, I think your point is valid; however, there is no way to guarantee that what is taught is what is heard. Often people hear what they want to hear rather than what is truly being taught. They are told that sexual purity is best. They are told to maintain sexual purity when they are single. If the couple being counseled are both virgins, why address the consequences of sexual sin? They have no need of forgiveness in that area. On the other side, those who come in with sexual "debt" need to be reassured that forgiveness and restoration are available. As an example, when Jesus spoke to the woman caught in adultery, she already felt the guilt, all she needed was the grace. There are a lot of things Jesus didn't really address in his time on earth because the entire culture already knew it was forbidden. He spent his time removing unnecessary yokes (and straightening appropriate yokes).

So I agree that well-rounded teaching is in order, but again, each individual/couple will hear from where they are, not from what is said.
"If you have any poo, fling it now."--monkey from "Madagascar"

User avatar
Kilarin
Under the stars
Posts: 2623
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:36 pm
Location: South of Ft. Worth Texas

Re: Purity, Mistakes, and Magic Keys.

Postby Kilarin » Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:58 am

Mr. Emu wrote:You lost me here. You say that purity is like luxury credit card debt ... but "It is NEVER a good idea to have a lot of luxury credit card debt"

UGH, sorry, you are absolutely correct. I phrased that quite poorly. luvmygirls was correct, I mean that we should treat sexual impurity like luxury credit card date. <I edited my original message to correct this>

luvmygirls wrote:there is no way to guarantee that what is taught is what is heard.

You are, of course, absolutely correct. And when we KNOW the history of people we are counselling, I think we can TRY to tailor the message especially for them. Emphasize grace with those who have already fallen, for example. BUT, frequently we are trying to give this message to a mixed group whose histories we are uncertain of. In those cases I think the best we can do is present all three points in as clear of a way as we can, and pray that the Holy Spirit will reach each person as they need. But then, I think that is almost always the case when we are teaching ANYTHING.
Last edited by Kilarin on Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thinkingswiftly
Queen bed
Posts: 215
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:19 am

Re: Purity, Mistakes, and Magic Keys.

Postby thinkingswiftly » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:10 am

I think that people don't just hear what they want to.

People also hear what they are afraid of hearing.

User avatar
mr. emu
King bed
Posts: 660
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:13 am
Location: midwest usa

Re: Purity, Mistakes, and Magic Keys.

Postby mr. emu » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:25 am

thinkingswiftly wrote:I think that people don't just hear what they want to.

People also hear what they are afraid of hearing.


... or do we choose not to hear what we are afraid of hearing?

raam

Re: Purity, Mistakes, and Magic Keys.

Postby raam » Sun May 23, 2010 10:39 pm

I can see exactly what your saying

I think the problem lies in the elevation of human performance over the all-encompassing Grace of God. You're right in that there are consequences for pre-marital sexuality, and there is nothing wrong with the preaching of that. The "swerving," as you call it, begins when we develop a humanistic view of purity which is devoid of the reality that we need to cling to the cross every day.

We swerve to one side, believing the state of our marriage bed is a result of our own power, and boast in our purity is saying that sex in marriage will be easy in perfect (thus trying to diminish the power of God's grace and it's importance in our everyday life)

or... We swerve to the other side, the fatalistic delusion that our past sin has some how out-matched the matchless grace of God, and woe to ourselves about our inability to have meaningful sex ( thus trying to diminish the power of God's grace and it's ability to change, rescue, and restore)

All I'm trying to say is, any mindset that relies on human effort rather than the real relentless grace of Jesus Christ is starting in the wrong place, and is therefore, in my opinion, bound to swerve.

The Christian life is a hard fight, but it's a fight to rest! Rest in God's grace and let the absolute MAGNIFICENCE of what he did for us on the cross spur us on to purity.

Grace doesn't swerve.

thinkingswiftly
Queen bed
Posts: 215
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:19 am

Re: Purity, Mistakes, and Magic Keys.

Postby thinkingswiftly » Mon May 24, 2010 5:06 am

@ Kilarin - Thank you so much for posting this. I have the same issues.

@Raam - Remember, faith without works is dead. If God's grace is the starting point then the only way you can fail is by not doing anything. Grace does not absolve us of of actively working to correct a situation with God's help and purpose in mind.

raam

Re: Purity, Mistakes, and Magic Keys.

Postby raam » Mon May 24, 2010 8:36 am

Grace is not an excuse to sin or an excuse to be lazy (Rom 6:1) , but I do think it is our chief motivator. Faith without works is dead absolutely, but without the power that raised Christ from the dead (Eph 1) working with in us, we don't have the strength to stand. I hope no one has misunderstood my post as a admonition of human responsibility, but I believe we fight in light of what God has done for us.

User avatar
Kilarin
Under the stars
Posts: 2623
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:36 pm
Location: South of Ft. Worth Texas

Re: Purity, Mistakes, and Magic Keys.

Postby Kilarin » Mon May 24, 2010 3:43 pm

thinkingswiftly wrote:Remember, faith without works is dead.

Very True. But someone once pointed out to me that the TENSE is important there. It's not "Faith without works WILL DIE", but "Faith without works IS DEAD". If our faith is not producing works, our faith has already died.

And I think that is what raam was saying, so I don't think there is actually any disagreement here.

Phillippians 2:12-13 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

The Pharisees tried to accomplish works on their own. All of us try to do the same from time to time. It's the natural human tendency. But any "righteousness" that we produce apart from Christ is, as Isaiah said, nothing but filthy rags. We might have changed our outward behavior somewhat, but not our hearts. True works, pleasing to God, works that come from a changed heart, these are produced when we surrender to God and allow Him to work THROUGH us.

raam

Re: Purity, Mistakes, and Magic Keys.

Postby raam » Mon May 24, 2010 8:52 pm

Right on!

thalpophileo

Re: Purity, Mistakes, and Magic Keys.

Postby thalpophileo » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:36 am

I think the problem lies in the elevation of human performance over the all-encompassing Grace of God. You're right in that there are consequences for pre-marital sexuality, and there is nothing wrong with the preaching of that. The "swerving," as you call it, begins when we develop a humanistic view of purity which is devoid of the reality that we need to cling to the cross every day.

I'm going to stay off my soapbox and just say, "I agree." :lol: ::clap

The OP and raam have stated things very well. I'm 27 and grew up with Joshua Harris-style teachings which skewed my view and understanding of sexuality which scared me off of ever really having sex. In fact, I went so far as to be an arrogant elitist jerk who thought he was holier-than-thou and especially "blessed by God for not touching", looking at pretty girls, and for feeling weird from looking at girls!

My parents even felt I was physically and emotionally cold because of how awkward and cold my hugs were to them.

Through various friends and my relationship with my FW, I learned to relax and not be stand-offish. I also learned how to receive love. I learned not to be ashamed of my SD, but instead to embrace that it exists and is a blessing I look forward to using and sharing with my bride... in 21 days!!!


Return to “Sexual Limits (Engaged)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Tex