All my friends are married… what now?

Finally! You are in a relationship. You’re no longer the single one. You proudly hold the title of girlfriend/boyfriend. You’re not the third wheel. You have someone to do life with hopefully forever, however, all you’re friends are married now. They can do married things and while you’re just getting used to holding hands with who you believe will be your spouse someday, you don’t want to rush things. You want to enjoy the dating season, but how can you when everyone else is married and enjoying the wonders of married life? Your friends are going on couples trips and attending marriage classes and seminars while you’re new to the dating scene. Wonderful isn’t it? You got your answered prayer only for everyone else to keep moving on with their lives while you’re just starting yours (dating life that is). 

When Jarrod and I started dating I had to pinch myself often. It felt like a dream. Having a boyfriend was a big deal. For those of you who know our story, you understand. Getting into my family is no walk in the park. There was lots of waiting and lots of trying again and again until Dad and three brothers said yes. Pretty intense, but Jarrod was the guy to push through. He didn’t give up when the criticism came. He didn’t give up when dad said “not yet.” He didn’t give up when my very protective brothers drilled him. He also didn’t give up when I gave him a hard time or times for that matter. Jarrods persistence along with the Lord’s leading, subtle nudge, and peace made everything align just perfectly. I couldn’t be more excited for what the future held, but I also wasn’t ready to be a wife. Looking back, had Jarrod and I dated when he first asked my dad for permission we would have failed to represent the heart of God in more ways than one. We just weren’t ready yet. When we started dating I felt a shift in my heart and God began to stir new areas of growth that could only be done in the walk of dating. 

The first 6 months of dating were amazing. All the new things and the new adventures. We talked a bunch. There was just so much to learn about each other. As our friends started getting married, however, I started feeling that maybe we should get married too. Silly me. We were in no place to get married. I had to remind myself something my grandma use to tell my siblings and me while growing up, “Paciencia, nene…” From a child I was impatient. Impatient waiting for food. Impatient while I ate and impatient to move on to the next activity of the day. I haven’t changed much honestly. My husband often tells me I am the worst at being patient. I don’t get wild fuming, I just get whatever needs to be done, done rather than waiting for him. I really don’t recommend doing that, but if you’re like me, you’re not alone. I am working on it, and can proudly say my husband has noticed I’ve gotten a TAD BIT better at it. Now back to me wanting to get married 6 months into dating. Yes, I was eager.

Poor reasons to get married:

  • Because everyone else is married
  • In order to please your significant other
  • For selfish reasons

Everyone else was married and in my juvenile and immature mind, I thought that if we got married then I wouldn’t feel so left out or behind. I thought this whole love thing was a race and I needed to be in the first place. I didn’t vocalize this to Jarrod. I wouldn’t dare. I would have probably scared him, after all, he went through trying to get a “yes” from my family to even date me. He needed time to recoup before he asked permission for the marriage.

I think he knew I was wrestling because he would often remind me to enjoy where we were at. At a year in I realized how fun it was to be dating and at a year and a half, we discovered new things and boy did things get even sweeter. We slowly introduced holding hands and sweet kisses. Jarrod had my heart and I was beginning to understand what love is. As we approached the two-year mark there was a shift in my heart that longed to serve Jarrod. I longed to submit under him and I knew I was ready to be married. But I couldn’t rush things. Even though Jarrod and I had the talk about marriage, I had to keep waiting. I didn’t dare rush. I knew it was coming soon and I ensured every day I was his girlfriend I enjoyed every moment of it because until then I realized that seasons do shift pretty quickly and if our focus is solely on getting to the next, we miss what’s happening right before us. 

Things to do while dating: 

  • Get to know each other (ask the tough questions, share the good and, not so good and ugly)
  • Branch out of your circle of friends and don’t neglect your single ones
  • Travel with your married friends and have them keep you accountable
  • Travel with your girlfriends and guy friends 
  • Serve together and serve individually 
  • Become a better you

If you are in the dating season, don’t rush it. I’d even loup the engagement season in that too. It’s a wonderful season that goes before your eyes as fast as you can blink. Judah and the Lion wrote the song Landslide which perfectly illustrates how quickly life can transition from one season to another. 

“I climbed a mountain, then I turned around

And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills

‘Til the landslide brought me down”

Before you know it your reflection is a part of history. A history we can either choose to be a part of or only have vague memories of. The writer King Solomon knew this all too well. He advises readers in Proverbs 19:2

“Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.”

What we often desire we know nothing of. We desire to love and know not how to love. We desire companionship and have been poor friends to those around us. We desire grand things when we’ve been a slob at living (ouch). Take some time, clear your mind, and truly evaluate why you desire what you’re desiring. If it’s simply to gratify want and flesh, run. Run far from it. The best source for wisdom and understanding is the book that is founded on it. That’s the Bible. Don’t rush the season you’re in. Enjoy where you are at and truly live a life with no regrets. 

Relationship Uncategorized

The bedroom

In continuing the saga of this month’s theme reflecting on marriage, I wanted to touch on marriage and Jesus’ death and resurrection. I know, odd, but as believers, we are greatly connected to the death and resurrection of Jesus in our earthly marriage. The whole idea of Easter is great but I’d like to pose that the concept of Easter and the celebration of Jesus’ victory should be something we celebrate daily. While there’s a great opportunity for the lost to come to know Christ during the Easter holiday, for those of us who have chosen to walk the path of salvation, we should daily live with the Easter/Resurrection Sunday attitude. Our hearts should bleed the reality of what Christ did on the cross and the joy of knowing that death and hell are overcome by a man who became sin itself in order that we may find freedom. In this freedom we can daily walk in victory despite what comes our way. We have access to God and should carry this in our marriage. Jesus gave us this access.

Jarrod and I have had plenty of funny moments in marriage. We’ve laughed until our tummy hurts and we’ve cried and grieved in prayer with one another. Without going into much detail, in the early months of marriage bliss, Jarrod and I found ourselves on our knees crying out to Jesus. Before that, I only saw Jarrod cry a handful of times. I mean, I could count on one hand and two of those times were on our wedding day. The tears we cried this day were different. We both groaned before the Lord, he more than I for someone we love. We cried out to Jesus and begged for an answer. While we didn’t get an answer we got something greater. We got peace. These were moments we stored in our core memory as forever cherished. This was an intimate moment in our bedroom between Jarrod, myself, and God. A moment that reminded me of Jesus’ death, and resurrection.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus cried out to his Father (Matthew 26:36-56). We can read that Jesus was filled with anguish and maybe even dread as to what was about to happen. Here Jesus is more human than He’s ever been throughout the gospel retelling of Jesus’ time on earth. In this garden, on his knees, in the dark, and under the shelter of an olive tree, Jesus cries out in prayer,

“My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

There is much great symbolism to Jesus’ retreat to the Garden of Gethsemane, but there’s two, in particular, I want to hone in on. The meaning of Gethsemane is “oil press.” It is said in the Garden of Gethsemane is where olives were pressed into oil. We know that oil is significant and symbolic of the atonement of Jesus Christ. In the synoptic gospels, we read the extreme pressure of Jesus’ suffering for all of us. His blood poured out for us and literally bled from His pores. Interestingly, when olives are pressed to make what we know as Olive Oil, they likewise go through extreme pressure and olives ooze out of their pores in blood-red droplets of oil.

Another important thing to note is that Jesus was under an Olive Tree in the Garden of Gethsemane. One of the first accounts of an Olive Tree or Olive Leaf is in the story of Noah and the Ark in Genesis chapter 8. Noah released a dove who later returned to Noah’s ark carrying an olive branch in its beak. This was a sign of God’s promise being fulfilled and a symbol of peace to the world.

During Jesus’ time in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus was most vulnerable with His Father. He was oil pressed, and in the grief He found great peace. In marriage, I’ve found our bedroom to be our Garden of Gethsemane. It’s the place where Jarrod and I have been most vulnerable with each other. It’s the place where we’ve cried out to our Father and it’s the place we find the most peace. While the comparison is by no means one to downplay the magnitude of what Jesus endured and the awesome wonder of the death and resurrection, Jesus did illustrate to us how we should live here on earth, and in our imitation of Jesus, we often neglect the ugly or gruesome side of this journey. We like the pretty. We enjoy and desire the easy road. But there will be hardships, there will be difficulties, and there will be times when you and your spouse will need to cry out to Jesus in your Gethsemane.

After Jarrod and I got done praying we felt tremendous peace. We didn’t immediately receive an answer or miracle but we did feel a peace that Jesus will work the miracle on behalf of our loved ones. We cried our war cry tears and stretch our arms out clinging to the one who saved us and continues to save us. That night we went to bed with our last words being, may your will be done. We slept in peace. Our circumstance didn’t change, but our hearts did.

When we give up our way for God’s way we often battle with what our hearts desire. Jesus exemplified that obedience is greater than sacrifice. Jesus’ obedience to death on the cross bearing on sin for you and I allows us to live in freedom today. It’s the reason we can have peace in the midst of a storm. It’s the reason we have second chances. It’s the reason we will be able to spend eternity in paradise if we choose the road of salvation. Jesus’ obedience took the posture of not personal will but rather the will of God. My question to you is simple. When you are in your Gethsemane, will it be your will or God’s?


Mouth Wars

One of the most difficult things I’ve learned to do in marriage is tame my tongue. While I don’t quite have that figured out, I’ve been stretched tremendously since April 29th, 2021. Marriage reveals a lot about who we really are and can I tell you, Vashti LOVES to say what’s on her mind. Interestingly, I lean more towards the introverted side. I am mostly quiet unless I need to be social. Despite my “chill” and “laid-back” personality, I do have a hard time taming my tongue, especially in heated conversations. It gets cutthroat pretty quickly with a mouth war that leaves both parties defeated, wounded, and broken.

I mentioned this many blogs ago about Jarrod and I’s premarital counseling and the session we did on conflict resolution. If you missed those blogs, here’s an inside on how we tend to approach resolving conflict. Jarrod is the immediate resolver. I tend to linger, dwell and simmer on the situation. I don’t like to resolve instantly. In premarital counseling, we were advised to meet in the middle. I needed to communicate that I needed time and Jarrod and I both had to agree on a reasonable middle ground time that gives me enough time to blow off steam but also does not drag the conflict out longer than it needs to be. Learning and receiving tools and tips for marriage is easy. Implementing what’s learned when conflict arises is difficult.

In our almost one year of marriage Jarrod and I have had 3 “major” arguments. We do banter from time to time, but these 3 “major” arguments required us to implement what we learned. In last week’s blog, I shared that the root of these arguments stemmed from my disconnect with Christ. You see, often we expose what’s in our hearts when life gets heated. My lack of daily devotion to Christ revealed what was in my heart when Jarrod and I didn’t meet eye to eye.

Looking back, both of us agree that our “major” arguments could have been avoided and downright petty on both of our parts. Funny how in the moment all we want is to be right failing to see we are the same team and should be working together rather than against each other. Our arguments ended up being mouth wars that wounded the heart of the other and stirred insecurities as hurtful words often do.

There are plenty of verses in the Bible that touches on the importance of taming our tongues. King Solomon writes in Proverbs 21:23 that “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” James wrote in James 3:10, “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” Lastly, Matthew writes in Matthew 12:36, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak…” Again these are just a few I handpicked for this specific blog. If you’re curious about what more the Bible has to say about taming the tongue I challenge you to google it. It won’t take too long for you to be convicted.

While James was very clear that we cannot tame our tongues (James 3:8), he did encourage followers of Christ to seek purity of speech. In seeking purity of speech we seek the One who is pure and righteous. It boils down to the whole concept of you produce what you are plugged into or you are what you eat. If you consume good and practice good, you are more likely to release good whenever you’re faced with trying times. While I have not mastered this, Jarrod and I do try out best to seek purity of speech when mouth wars desires greatly to take over. We will never master this, but that does not stop us from trying to practice speaking from a pure heart.

Reality is, communicating can be difficult. Choosing our words especially when we’re heated is often strenuous. It’s easy to simply say what’s on our mind, bring up the past or throw dart words that wound and crush the heart. That’s easy. What’s difficult is choosing righteousness and holy speech. In choose this route however, you save you and your spouse/significant other the time it takes to apologize for your degrading and negative choice words. You also avoid an even bigger argument as choice words often stirs the pot and increases the heat of conflict.

You will only respond in purity if what you consume is pure. I have learned and is continuing to learn that my response is directly related to what I have been consuming on a daily basis. Whenever I snap, it is probably due to my lack of responsibility submitting my temperate to Christ. I need to daily surrender the parts of my heart I know easily stirs strife. You know what you struggle with. You know what areas in your heart that needs daily surrendering. Let me tell you, we can avoid plenty petty mouth wars if we learn to daily surrender the dirty parts of us that enjoys being right and having things our way. It is important to understand though, that while you may still not meet eye to eye, you are still on each others team. You are still rooting for the other. You are still one!

In wrapping up this weeks blog I want to encourage you. If you struggle with your speech, here are a couple things to remember when conflict stirs in your relationships or marriage:

  1. You are working together not against each other.
  2. Fight the urge to bring up the past – speak on what “fits the occasion.”
  3. Give each other grace and time to communicate.
  4. Practice praying about your response rather than stewing in your rightness.
  5. Fight the urge to use words that degrade, demean and that which can break the confidence of your spouse.
  6. Hug and kiss it out! (if you’re married)
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29 


Marriage Neglect

This time last year Jarrod and I were prepping for the biggest and best day of our lives. It was wedding month which meant lots of last-minute finalizing. I don’t remember the month of April being particularly crazy. We were more excited than anything else. The day before the wedding, however, is when everything hit me like a train. I got to the rehearsal dinner super late with traffic jams and lack of gas. The reality of showing up someplace late and the pressure I felt overwhelmed me that I had a breakdown for the century. I may be exaggerating a tad, but the Type A in me just could not come to terms with the fact that I had people waiting on me for over an hour. But we made it. We got through that hump and my heart eventually settled. I believe my emotions hit me like a storm because I knew my life was drastically going to change. While I was excited and sure about this change, I never took the moment to cry and embrace the change. My stubborn, got-to-be-strong personality couldn’t hold out any longer and the night before my wedding day is when my emotions got the best of me. I cried and let myself cry. I cried with excitement for what was to come, I cried overwhelmed by how far God had brought me and I cried with assurance trusting an unknown future to a known God. This is just one of the few stories I will share this month as Jarrod and I celebrate our one-year anniversary on April 29th. This month’s blog will be particularly fun sharing the things I’ve learned coupled with things Jarrod has learned in our one year of marriage. Now, the first thing I learned is that in the first three months of marriage I neglected God.

Marriage has been the sweetest. It has its moments but on a whole, I’ve loved everything about it. I didn’t know I could fall in love with someone so deeply. It’s crazy how you think you love someone until you both give each other everything and you fall deeper in love with one another. I’ve come to learn that all true love relationships become both harder and richer the more they grow. This year of marriage was one of growth for both Jarrod and me, and my relationship with Christ. Every year is a year of growth, but this particular year proved the rotten nature to neglect God when life is sweet.

G. Michael Hopf, an author of a post-apocalyptic novel is quoted saying,

Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.

G. Michael Hopf

This is said to sum up a stunningly pervasive cyclical vision of history. I’d also say this sums up day-to-day humans and their relationship with Christ. When life is difficult, it’s easy to depend on God. It’s fairly easy to pray and seek God’s truth. In hard times we depend on and lean on Him as our last hope. In these hard times, we often become a lot stronger and in our dependence on Christ, we see the fruit of devotion to Him. We call these the good/sweet times. In the good and sweet times, we often become weak in our walk. Because life is so sweet we don’t pray as often, read God’s word as often, praise as often, or remain quiet as often. The first few months of marriage are when I realized I was so focused on the sweet times of marriage that I lacked my intense devotion to Christ. While I still attended church I was not daily praying, daily reading, daily worshiping, or daily in stillness. I simply got around to spending time with God whenever I had time and I became quite okay with it. It wasn’t until Jarrod and I signed up for a course at our church did I realize that I had neglected God. No, Jarrod isn’t to blame because he was still devout to Christ and daily seeking. The only person to blame is me. I was entirely wrapped up with the good that I failed to nurture the fire of growth.

On our wedding day, I made a covenant with God, Jarrod and I. Often I believe we view the marriage day as a covenant between man and woman. We fail to factor Christ in the equation. If you are a young couple or you are going through a season of sweet/good times, I urge you to fight the urge of neglecting Christ. It’s easy to neglect God in the good times and it is easy to depend on God in the bad times. Seek Christ in all times and in all things. While I am thankful I bounced back fairly quickly and my marriage neglect of Christ didn’t drag on too long, it doesn’t remove the fact that I did neglect. Don’t let the history of the Old Testament repeat in your hearts.

In Deuteronomy 32, Moses exhorts the new generation of Israelites to live as God’s obedient people in the promised land and to neglect not. We learn that faith is not automatic nor is it mechanical. Faith is personal and active and can only spring from a living relationship with God. Our faith walk becomes personal when we devout ourselves to God in the good and not-so-great times. My challenge to you is the same as Moses’ challenge to the Israelites. He challenged the people to faithfully obey the Lord and reject all forms of idolatry. He called on the new generation to formally renew the earlier covenant with God that their parents had broken. He challenged you and I to, love the Lord your God with all your hearts and with all your souls and all your strength.

Marriage can easily become your idolatry that you neglect the one who got you there. As beautiful as marriage is, it can only remain beautiful and sweet if we allow the one that designed it to remain at the center. Don’t neglect Christ in your marriage. Don’t neglect your spouse. Don’t neglect yourself. The covenant you made on your wedding day was never with one, rather it’s with you, your spouse and God.

You deserted the Rock, who fathered you;
    you forgot the God who gave you birth.
Deuteronomy 32:18

I’m not prideful. I’m confident.

Honeymooning has come to an end, and it’s back to what the world calls “real life.” Let me tell you, we had a blast. Deets on that will come later. In the meantime, let me share with you something I learned during my one week of being married to my lovely husband, Jarrod. If you’re the type of person that waits the very last minute to ask for help, don’t quit reading. This is for you. I am not the type to ask for help. In fact, I rarely ever do. It’s not that I don’t appreciate help. I just have a hard time asking for it. Asking for help and confidence go hand-in-hand with it each other. Or you can put it this way, help and humility go hand-in-hand. Contrary to popular belief, asking for help is a sign of strength, humility and confidence.

One of my brothers recently told me pride can sometimes deceivingly look like independence. Independence and confidence look similar, but they do have distinctive differences. Independence defined is freedom from outside control or support. Independence says “I got this,” “I’ll do it on my own.” Confidence on the other hand is, assurance and certainty in one’s belief coupled with firm trust in the ability to rely on others when needed. Unlike independence, confidence says “I got this, but I need you by my side.”

Often times, those who struggle with pride view themselves as confident. We much rather walk around pretending we have our lives put together and seemingly perfect rather than ask for help. We much rather fail over and over again rather than admit we are in need of a helping hand. While not always, pride is the root as to why we lack the ability to ask for help.

Growing up, one of my favorite pastimes was building or constructing LEGO projects. My parents were never big on toys, but LEGO sets were their way to keep us busy . On Friday and Saturday nights especially we would pass the time watching VeggieTales and building new LEGO sets. I had a hard time asking for help. My brothers often would offer a helping hand, but I refused. I enjoy the satisfaction of knowing I did it all by myself. Come to find out, growing up that’s not the attitude to have. The likelihood of success is slim if that’s the approach on life. It’s hard to get by in this world without help. No wonder why there’s so many people in the world. If we were supposed to thrive by independently living and doing life on our own then I suppose we would be all on our lonesome on our own planet. But that’s not how God designed the world isn’t it? Whether you believe in God or not, someone created the world. I believe that it’s God. The one true God that is. He designed the world for us to coexist. He created people. People who we have the choice to choose to live with, lean and depend on — or not. The relationships we have, how we coexist and our dependence on one another is a direct reflection of our relationship with God. A lot of times we blame the world and everyone around us for how miserable our lives are. I’ve learned though that if everyone else is the issue and you’re the common denominator, then the issue really isn’t everyone else. It’s y o u.

During my one week of marriage the pride in me creeped out. I’ve been having issues with my wrist and hand as of late and have been sleeping with a stent brace. I failed to pack my wrist brace so we ended up buying medical wrap gaze to hold me over. Jarrod was busy eating a late night snack. Cheese cake actually. Him and I have very different definitions of “late night snacks”, but that’s besides the point. I got in bed and started wrapping my wrist. At least I was attempting to. Jarrod happened to take a break from his cheesecake and turned around only to see his wife, the struggle bus. Immediately Jarrod said, “Honey! Let me help you.” Naturally, I said “I got this!” He didn’t take no for an answer. After my response, Jarrod proceeded to say, “Vashti. Ask for help! You don’t need to do everything on your own. I’m your husband and I am here to help you. We were not meant to do life alone.”

Jarrod and I ended up having a conversation shortly after about why I feel the need to things on my own. Personality has a lot to do with it, but also pride. The satisfaction knowing I can do things on my own gives me great satisfaction. Sadly, it’s not the way to live and not the attitude to have. For those of you who follow the Christian faith you know that dependence on God is important. Your faith walk will lack luster and fail without depending on God. Similarly our walk in this world will fail if we feel and believe that life can be done independently. This does not mean being independent is wrong or a sin. Absolutely not. But when we live life on a pedestal of “I know it all and can do it all” we are bound to fall flat on our face.

I don’t know all about marriage. I’ve been married for going on 12 days now. But what I have learned so far, I hope helps you out. Whether married or not. Asking for help is a character trait we need. Humility is key. Let’s face it, you are going to fail if you believe you’re going to be able to do life all on your own. Some of you know what I’m talking about. Others, if humility isn’t implemented, unfortunately, you will find out soon enough. I promise, I don’t mean that negatively. I’m just telling you from experience. Here’s the thing, independence is great. But when we begin to feel that life can be done all in our lonesome, that’s when we’ve missed it. Life is meant to be done together. Life is meant to be done with people.

How have you allowed pride to look like independence? How can you ask for help today? Who can you ask for help from?


More than “sex before marriage”

If you didn’t know, it’s wedding month which means why not center this months blogs around all things relationship. My fiancé Jarrod and I have been engaged for 9 months and this month, on April 29th, we will become husband and wife. Our relationship has not been easy. It’s taken quite a bit of work. Now, we most definitely do not know it all, but we have learned a lot throughout our 8 months of courting, 2 years of dating and 9 months of engagement. One thing we’ve found is that the church does an awful job at helping young Christian couples who want to do things right, do things right. Reality is, we just don’t talk about it. Growing up, the fear of God was drilled into my heart that I knew sex before marriage was a no go. Why? Because it is sinful (what I was told). Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree but, can we just be real here… there is way more that can be done before marriage that is outside of “sex” that is also sinful which defiles the marriage bed. 

So what is sex? 

Sex can be talked about in two forms. The first is considered a person’s gender. This can be male or female with the basis stemming from chromosome in the human body. From my vague memory of biology in high school, males have Y chromosome and females have XY chromosome. That is the very basic generalization of sex.

The second form of sex is when a man and a woman joins together to become one (the joining of male and female sex organs). Our bodies were uniquely created to fit into each other. Neat huh? But why is this so important in Christian living? Why do we stay away from having sex before marriage? From joining with one another…

From a biblical perspective, Old Testament writers hammered on the issues of sexual immorality. Let’s start from the beginning. Genesis 2:24-25 states

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” 

Jarrod and I both have never had sex. We’ve both chosen to wait prior to dating each other. But I will say this, we sure have been tempted. Naturally so. When you love someone you want to share your life with them, but there is a place and a time for that and marriage is that time and place. Besides the act of sex, we’ve discovered we’ve had to be very careful because there are things that can easily lead to the trap hole of sexual immorality. You can defile the marriage bed and join with each other outside of the act of sex. That’s what I want to talk about. The church says, “DON’T HAVE SEX” and that’s that, but what about:

  • Wandering Hands
  • Sexting
  • Lustful thoughts
  • Masterbation
  • Pornography

I’m sure there are others out there that I am unaware of, but just to name a few, those are a form of sex that defiles the marriage bed and can hurt any relationship. Entertaining any of those can lead you down a trap that is very difficult to escape. While Jarrod and I managed to not fall down the rabbit hole, we sure were tempted and when we were, learned to step back, seek God, and allowed those who are in our corner to speak truth, wisdom and perspective.

I have some dear friends that have shared the battle of sex they’ve dealt with prior to marriage and in marriage. Both Christians and non-Christian alike. The common theme shared from their struggle is the shame that sex outside of marriage brings. Interesting how the Bible says “they were not ashamed” in Genesis. Whether it is the act of intercourse or wandering hands, sexting, lustful thoughts, masterbation, or pornography. This shame comes about because of the vulnerability it requires and the human body designed to know and understand good from evil. Shame is not present when the union is done within the right context.

Look, no one teaches a 5 year old how to lie, but they know it’s wrong. Hence the guilt on their face when addressed. The difference between good and evil is engraved in human nature. The reason we struggle is not because we do not know. Rather, it is because we reject the knowledge we do know. Sin in dating comes in all shapes and forms. We know right from wrong. The issue is, we don’t talk about it. Rather, we pretend the only sin in dating is the act of sex, when the steps leading to that are left unaddressed.

Imagine you had $1Million in an account. Someone comes to you and say they have $1Million likewise and would like to join accounts. You’d probably say no because that’s a complete stranger. But if it’s someone you know and love like a significant other you are pursuing then, you’d be more inclined to do so. Joining accounts means, you have access to their money and they has access to yours. That’s intense vulnerability right there. But can you really trust this person with your money? As much as you love them, what if they run away after accounts are joined? What if they spend it all? You would probably experience quite a bit of shame, guilt and regret, right? It would be different if you had a binding contract. A contract built on trust, truth and honesty that is willing to stand the test of time.

Similarly, sex was designed to be under a covenant (contract). From a biblical perspective, a covenant is an undertaking of legal contract built on a promise of faithfulness, committedness and love between God, man and woman. Under God’s covenant there’s Gods promise to protect and bless. Overtime, the court of law adapted the role of a covenant to a contact with similar principles. Sex is an exchange of self. Beyond loving someone, sex is an act of ultimate vulnerability and trust. This my friend is why I believe our creator, God, designed it in the first place. He knew that man and woman sharing such intimacy would require a covenant under His blessing.  

That is by no means saying, once you lose it you lose it. Mistakes happen. Awful things happen in this world, but there is grace. There is forgiveness. And above all, God is such a good God that he is able to redeem. The secret is not simply saying “no more.” It is no secret honestly. Whether you believe in Jesus or not, if you are ashamed of your past or are struggling to remain pure in your relationship, God is your answer. If you cringed at that, I get it. The “God” card upsets me at times too, but that was and still is the answer for Jarrod and I. Thankfully, both of us had the same goal in mind. We both wanted to honor God with our bodies and as difficult as it got, we always resorted back to Gods word. Remaining pure is more than the act of sex. Remaining pure has to do with your mind, heart, soul and body. Lack of attention and discipline in keeping your mind, heart and soul pure makes it very easy to give your body away. The key is keeping the innermost part of your body pure with Gods word and truth.

For my readers who have had sex before marriage and is carrying shame. You are not your mistakes and you most certainly are not meant to carry that scar. I’ve seen Jesus do some pretty amazing things through friends and family and have redeemed what was broken. Seek His name and seek His love. Don’t know how, send me a message. I’d love to connect.

For my readers in a dating relationship and you’re tempted to mess up or have messed up. Now’s your time to take action. Tempted to sit another 20mins in the car alone together? Don’t. Tempted to visit each other’s apartment alone for “just a movie night”? Don’t. You and your significant other need to be on the same page. If you are not in agreement, then you are dating the wrong person. If they are not willing to respect your body, then it’s time to call it quits. You have to agree that wandering hands, lustful thoughts, sexting, masturbation and pornography are off the board, completely (inside and outside of marriage). It not only dishonors each other, but as a follower of Christ, it dishonors who God has called you to be.

If it means not driving together. Do that! If it means setting a curfew. Do that! If it means finding an accountability to track you’re coming and going. Do that! If it means writing a sticky note in your car that says “I will wait!” Do that! Extreme measures often times proves great results. All those ‘do that’s” are exactly what Jarrod and I did when the love between the two of us began growing. We both agreed on honoring each other, and in order to do so we had to take some extreme measures. But most importantly we made it a priority to keep the innermost parts of us pure. The wait is worth it. As April 29th quickly approaches I am realizing more and more, how beautiful the wait has been. Sex (all that it entails) is a wonderful picture of redeeming love, of giving up self, the wants of each other, putting it aside in reverence to God and each other.

Singles out there, honor yourself and your future spouse by becoming the person you hope they will be. Let’s get this straight though, chastity is not a superiority card. It is a choice. You got this!

Make waiting more than the act of intercourse. How can you make a step towards purity of mind, heart soul and body?