A Christian's Guide To Relationships

A Christian's Guide To Relationships

Don’t compromise and be like the rest of them.
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The pastor at my local church has been preaching a series that talks about gender and marriage, and how modern culture has distorted God’s image of these two topics.

I’ve found these past few Sundays at church very interesting and his sermons very different from what I’ve heard preached before. You can find his sermon here , it’s worth a listen. It’s satisfying to hear what needs to be said, to feel in touch with other believers, and to know that Christians have not forgotten to stand up for biblical teachings even as we live in this convoluted culture.

This week I wanted to share the lessons I’ve learned from this particular sermon. I’m no stranger to having difficulty in relationships just for being the "Christian one" and always refusing to compromise my “radical” beliefs. The lessons to take away from this series on relationships are endless and each leads me to ask other questions and search for more answers in the Bible. But here are a few points to note and they may help young Christians live in this world when biblical teachings are definitely not popular:

1. Sex isn’t casual.

What stops a hookup? No consent. It’s great that society has placed such a high value on both partners verbally consenting however, consent is the only boundary recognized. Culture demands society to do what makes you feel good but only if you both say yes.

That’s what society says but, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6: 12, “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but I will not be mastered by anything.” Then Paul continues in verses 18-20, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.

Therefore honor God with your bodies.” Even Paul lived in an immoral culture. Even he had to present this message to them. As humans, we have the right to make our own decisions and decide what we want to do with our bodies, but not everything is right in God’s eyes. Our bodies are compared to “temples” because the Holy Spirit lives within our hearts. We shouldn’t live as the ungodly do. God declared sex before marriage immoral, it’s just society that has deemed casual sex acceptable.

2. The Bible only recognizes two relationship statuses, married and single.

The culture during the time period in which the Bible was written differs from modern day, dating didn’t exist yet then, so the Bible wouldn’t mention this phrase at all. That doesn’t mean dating is bad, but there is no direct guidance from the scriptures in dealing with this thing we call “dating.”

Despite this, here’s what my pastor says, if you aren’t married, don’t do things that married people do. He says, “Don’t do permanent things with temporary people” because when we do, things get very complicated.

3. Marriage reflects our union with God.

“For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church” Ephesians 5:31-32. Divorce wasn’t meant to happen. Yet it has and now we live in a time when marriage isn’t valued as highly as it should be. In marriage and in consummation, you become one body, one person. You are a unit.

God explicitly outlines His image of marriage and gender roles. Don’t let the world confuse you. Being a young Christian in modern culture presents a challenge. Dating is hard when people you come across don’t share your nonconforming beliefs but don’t give in to temptation. Trust that He will direct your path, and lead you to someone who shares your beliefs and values. Romans 8:28 reads, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”




Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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To Everyone Who Hasn't Had Sex Yet, Wait For Marriage, It's The Right Move

If you have not had sex yet, wait.

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Premarital sex is not a new concept, no matter how much people like to pretend it is. You can trace scripture and historical texts back thousands of year to see that lust and fornication have been a problem since… well, since we humans have been problems.

They tell you in sex ed that sex causes you to form a bond with someone. They throw some big chemical names at you that are apparently in your body and cause that emotional attachment to happen, then you move on (or back to) how important condoms are and why STDs are so scary.

As a middle schooler or teenager, you can't understand what it means to become permanently connected to someone as a result of a quick, physical act.

If you haven't even had your first kiss, you really can't imagine what it's like to develop such a complex and intimate connection with someone because you have yet to feel the butterflies in your stomach from a kiss. So you really don't know what it's like to have a whole different type of feeling in your stomach.

You never forget your first love. It's one of the most cliche things you consistently hear, but it's true. Ask anyone. I guarantee your parents can still spurt out their first love's name in a few seconds. And most people never forget their first time. I know all my friends can recount that often awkward and slightly terrifying moment as if it happened an hour ago. When you mix those two, especially if you are in your teens, oh boy.

You never forget that. No matter how hard you try.

Everything you hear about sex is true: it's amazing, fantastic, life-changing, etc. There's a reason people have done it as frequently as they do, for as long as they have. But every time you sleep with someone, you leave a piece of yourself with them. Every time you choose to take that final physical step with someone, you cannot go back and collect that piece of your dignity and soul that you left with someone.

So, imagine what happens when you break up with someone you've slept with. Or that you just hooked up with. You have given someone a little slice of yourself forever. And you can never get it back. And imagine what happens when you do that multiple times. You give a piece of yourself to five, 10, 15, 20 or more people. Then you meet the person that you want to spend forever with. And you no longer have that whole part of you. You've given pieces away, and you can no longer give those to the love of your life.

So, save those pieces for your future spouse.

If you have not had sex yet, wait. If you have, consider not giving more pieces of yourself away to people who are not your spouse. Sex was created to be between two spouses, nobody else. So we need to try to maintain its integrity.

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(12-10) 11 Bible Verses To Ease Your Mind During Finals Week

Through God, all things are possible.

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Finals week seems like one of the most important weeks in a college student's life. Every waking moment is spent studying (and most moments are waking moments because your sleep schedule is messed up). There may be a few moments of weakness; some tears may be shed. Overall, your stress level is through the roof.

Well, this is the time for you to rely on God, not to blow-off your spiritual life. He is there for you -- His love, His dedication, His patience, His care. You need to place your Faith in The Lord. Through God, all things are possible.

1) When you are overly scared about your cumulative final exam. 

"So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?'" -- Hebrews 13:6.

2) When your anxiety and nervousness are getting the best of you. 

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." -- Joshua 1:9.

3) When you cannot stop ruminating on your past mess-ups and failures. 

"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." -- Philippians 3:13-14.

4) When you are placing too much pressure on the outcomes of these exams.

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." -- Colossians 3:2.

5) When you are exhausted from studying and need to rest. 

"When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet." -- Proverbs 3:24.

6) When you are wondering if the stress is even worth it.  

"For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." -- 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.

7) When you are worried about how these exams can affect your future. 

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -- Jeremiah 29:11.

8) When your need for control is getting the best of you. 

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." -- Isaiah 55:8-9.

9) When you are feeling alone. 

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." -- 1 Peter 5:7.

10) When you are stuck in a study rut. 

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." -- 2 Corinthians 4:18.

11) When you need some inspiration. 

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." -- Galatians 5:22-23.

Take a deep breath and know that you are almost done with the semester. Good luck and happy studying!

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