9/11/13

OK, I’m about to go on a writing spree. I’m making this post on the 12th because I read so much yesterday I didn’t think I could get it all into a post before I fell asleep. I had a great devotion yesterday, and it all started with Pinterest! Tuesday night I came across a pin that had 1 Corinthians 10:13 on it, which says,

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.

The verse caught my eye and struck my heart. I booked marked it in my Bible to share with you the next day. I know it’s a fairly well-known verse, rather, a well-used verse for when people say “God never gives you more than you can handle.” It made me think of you. With everything that happened last week and just everything going on in your life in general. It is my prayer for you, that you would always remember that verse whenever you feel overwhelmed by temptation or just the stress of school and work.  Then while I was at church last night I went on a reading spree. First I read the entire book (all four chapters, haha) of Ruth. It was then that I officially decided I want to be a Ruth and I want my husband to be a Boaz. Ruth was such a strong and loyal and willing woman and Boaz was so precious and sweet and caring in that manly/husbandly way. I loved chapter 3 verse 3 where Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, was telling her basically to get gussied up and go see Boaz and get her groove thang on. She said it in less words, of course, but that was the idea I got. Also, verse 13 chapter 4 where Ruth and Boaz get married and it says, “And he went in to her…”. Maybe it shouldn’t be, but I think that’s hilarious. They had sex. They got it on. Honestly, I think that’s even more descriptive than just saying they had sex. He went inside her. Whoo.

From reading this entire book in one sitting (and having read a chapter from Joshua before it) I realized, once again, how much like a novel the Bible really is. And how relevant it all is to daily life. And also what a sense of humor God has for us. 

Next I read Proverbs 2. Verses 2 and 5 stuck out to me. Basically they say that if you ask God to give you wisdom and insight then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. I love those matter of fact verses. Those ones that throw the obvious in our face, those of us who are more or less “seasoned Christians” who tend to take things for granted or forget the true meaning of something. All we need to do is ask. If it’s good for us God will give it to us. And then I read Proverbs 3. There were quite a few verses that stuck out to me here. But I decided I only want to write about one in particular. Speaking of wisdom: 

…She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

I know the Bible refers to wisdom as she, but I can’t help but think of it as myself, or rather, who I want to be. I like to just think of it as the wise woman. What woman wouldn’t want to be considered more precious that jewels and desired above all else? On top of that, what woman wouldn’t want to be wise? For herself, her husband, her family, and her God. With these marriage prep classes we’re about to start taking at church, ring shopping, Pinterest boards, etc I have gotten more and more into the heart and spiritual aspects of getting married. I have become obsessed with wanting to be that sweet and loving, tender, kind, wise, hospitable wife that is so desired. It’s my life goal now. So verses like that are very close to my heart and I take them in complete seriousness and meditate upon them. 

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Podcast Response

I’m going to write this as if you’re not reading it, even though I’m about 99% sure I’m going to ask you to go look at this after I finish writing. But I want to say all of my feelings in a completely objective manner and be able to reference you as my girlfriend and not write at as if it is addressed to you.

I listened to a podcast tonight that my girlfriend asked me to look up. It was called “Should My Boyfriend’s Porn Be a Marriage Deal-Breaker?” She asked me to listen for two reasons. One, I have struggled with pornography for years. Two, I confessed to her last night that I have been indulging in it regularly for quite some time. I’ve sinned against her, against God, and against myself. So I listened to this podcast and it spoke some straightforward and honest wisdom into my ear from a straightforward and honest man named John Piper. I’m not going to explain what it was about, mostly because she listened to it before I did, obviously, and therefore would probably prefer to hear how I felt about it rather than what I remember of it. 

So, in the same manner of the day, I feel pretty much at rock bottom. You know those moments when no matter what you wish you could tell yourself, you know how guilty you are, how sinful you are, and that you need to make a change. Why is that? Well it’s because it requires work. Disruption of my routines. It interrupts what I’ve trained my body and my soul to take in and what I’ve allowed my eyes to see. In the book “Wired for Intimacy” by William Struthers, the author talks about how when a person indulges in pornography, he is training his body to not only desire more of what he sees, but to regularly require it on a daily basis. It becomes wired in his mind that what he looks at and what he sees are good, because they are linked with the pleasure that he feels. Now, I didn’t read that book but it was quoted in one of the first sermons I listened to by my current pastor Tim Grandstaff. That sermon happened to be the message I saw online that made me decide to attend the church I now do Worship for, volunteer at, and attend regularly. Now, in reference to the things John Piper said, I would like state the things I am either already aware of or realized through the course of both this situation and listening to this podcast:

1. I feel more like a sinner now than I ever have in my life.

2. I cannot be married, plan for marriage, ask for my girlfriend’s hand in marriage, or allow her to marry me until I have truly felt God’s precious freedom from this foothold.

3. I have subjected my eyes, my thoughts, and pleasures on other women besides my girlfriend/future wife and have therefore committed adultery in my heart and in practice.

4. My honest love for Jesus can no longer be words on my lips, but actions that take place in the world and in my bedroom.

5. Those girls I have lusted after are someone’s daughter. Their fathers are most likely torn apart by their daughters’ actions as mine would be if it were my future daughter.

6. My girlfriend is an angel and I have more love and appreciation for her now and in this moment than I ever have in my life. 

7. I have allowed my girlfriend to be the leader and supporter in this relationship. I position that I have been called upon to uphold. I have fell by the wayside.

8. I can have victory if I desire it more than worldly pleasures. 

9. I can have victory if my love for my girlfriend exceeds my love for pornography.

10. I can have victory if my love for God exceeds my desires for physical relief.

11. There is no 12 step program.

12. I have a gracious and merciful God that has poured his love upon me by allowing me feel convicted enough to tell my girlfriend the truth in its entirety. 

13. I need to feel the desire to lead Bri in our relationship, but I must overcome this through God in order to be in the proper place to do so.

14. I love my God and my Savior, Jesus Christ. 

 

So, it’s safe to say that the truth I was given in this podcast was the start of a much more humble lifestyle than I have been leading. One thing I did not mention was that. The humility you feel when God stares at you in the face and says, “You are dead wrong and have been all along. ” So I have chosen to live a life worthy of what God has called me to be. But the words on this blog sure as shoot aren’t the important thing. And for once in my life, I feel it is time to keep my word and grow the heck up.

8/15/13

1 Peter 3:1-7

I’ve really been slipping lately. But I am proud to say that I read  1 1/2 chapters from John Piper’s Seeking and Savoring Jesus Christ Wednesday while I waited to pick you up at the airport. Anyway, today I was jumping around, trying to decide what to read and I realized I was being selective on random flipping of pages because I was subconsciously looking for something “good” to give me something juicy to blog about. So, I tried to listen to my heart, or rather, God, and see what He wanted me to read. I felt a slight tug on 1 John so I began turning to the book. As I was turning I came across 1 Peter, chapter 3 in particular, and even more in particular, verses 1-7 The first section is entitled Wives and Husbands. 

I suppose it caught my eye because of the main topic of conversation Tuesday and yesterday, and also because due to those conversations I’ve spent most of today dreaming, watching romantic movies, and diligently researching venues for our wedding. So here we go. 

The first verse talks about wives being quiet, humble, loving examples to husbands that aren’t necessarily Christians, but I took it to the next step to applying to husbands who aren’t acting as such. It says about those husbands that, “they might be won without a word by the conduct of their wives-when they see respectful and pure conduct,” I love that. Some people might not, and I could have taken it in a different way, but I look at it as the wife being the peacemaker of sorts. I like that idea, especially when it reminds me somewhat of myself with how silent I tend to (or try to) become when something unpleasant occurs and/or someone gets heated. That way of thinking is confirmed in verse 4 which says, “but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit…” 

I was surprised that the next few verses spoke to me. Being such a strong-headed, independent, and stubborn person I hate when guys act like I’m some pansy. Perhaps having a boyfriend really is changing me, and for the better. Verse 7 says that by treating the wife as the weaker vessel the husband is honoring her. It doesn’t mean he’s babying her or implying she can’t hold her own. If anything he’s like, “Hey girl, I love you so I’m going to do everything so you don’t have to.” (and yes I typed that while thinking of Ryan Gosling)

I don’t think I could have read this section of verses at a more appropriate time. Thank you, God!