One Pastor’s Observation

1.jpg

For the past 9 years, every June, my family spends a week in Indiana at Midwest Family Camp, held at lovely Camp Mack on Lake Waubee.  Last week was that week!

During our first worship service, I prayed that God would direct my conversations for the week.  I’m a talker, and I so look forward each year to good conversation with Godly individuals.  I prayed that God would lead who I talked to and what we talked about, that I would hear and receive what I needed to and that I would share with others what He wanted me to.

2.jpg

He is a good God, and He answers our prayers.

I did have many wonderful conversations that strengthened and encouraged me.  There is one that stands out to me that I know I’ll be referencing a lot.  It wasn’t even a long conversation.  It was one statement, really, that struck me so strongly.

3.jpg

A pastor friend of mine said that he believed that out of all of the counseling he did, all the problems that come through his door, a vast number of them are caused by this:

Single people acting like they’re married, and married people acting like they’re single.

Boom.

Could it be more succinct than that?

Can you just imagine with me how many relational problems could be avoided if this changed.

Let’s look at just one area today that reveals this truth.

Intimacy

Intimacy seems to progress more and more quickly in this era of social media.  We tend to bare our souls more easily when it’s just words on a screen.  Emotional intimacy is often the lead-in to physical intimacy.  And both are things that single people should think about in the context of their future spouse.

You may have already asked yourself what you want to give away to someone who is not your spouse.  But have you thought about what you would be comfortable knowing your spouse gave away to someone else before they met you?  Ladies, do you want your husband to have shared his most intimate thoughts with another woman?  Do you want him to have touched another woman intimately?  No?  Then don’t be that other woman for someone else’s future husband.  And don’t steal that gift from your own future man by giving it away to some guy now.

I know.  You’re sure this one is “the one”.  But play along with me for a second and just pretend that there’s a chance he’s not.  Now go back and read that last paragraph again.

Ask yourself this:  Are you acting now in a way that would allow you to be friends with this man and his future wife someday?

Can I say something that may ruffle a few feathers?  I think that the whole I-kissed-dating-goodbye-courtship movement has contributed to this problem.

Let me explain:  I firmly believe that the purpose of dating is to find a marriage partner.  And I am all for putting off dating until you’re in a position to think about marriage.  BUT, when we pound into our kids’ heads that dating must lead to marriage, they are more apt to get really intimate really quickly.

If you’re just dating “for fun”, you are likely to engage in behaviors that are harmful and sinful.  But if you think you are dating the person you’re going to marry… you also are likely to engage in those very same behaviors.

Can we invent some kind of “pre-dating” where you just get to know people and find out if you think you’d like to date them?  Oh wait!  We have.  It’s called – -being friends!

What is dangerous outside of marriage is a necessity for a healthy one.

Just as our era of online sharing enables easy intimacy for singles, it does the same for married folks.  The door is wide open for affairs that begin innocently enough and progress quickly.  Ladies, hear me when I say that it is a bullet to your marriage for you to begin sharing and discussing intimate things with any man not your husband.  This is something you cannot bend on.  And to any gentlemen readers, please know that you expose your wife and your marriage to this danger if you deny her intimacy with you.  Talk to her!

I have heard it said numerous times, to wives, “If you don’t keep yourself physically attractive for your husband, there are plenty of other women who will.”  While that is 100% true and I do not disagree with it, I have often wondered why the opposite truth is not taught as well.  Husbands, “If you don’t communicate with your wife intimately, there are plenty of other men who will.”   So let’s take both of those truths to heart.  Ladies, let’s not neglect physical intimacy with our husbands.  And gentlemen, work to cultivate emotional intimacy with your wives.

Protect this beautiful gift that God has given.  Be intentional in saving it for your one and only.

Can I take a minute to brag on my one and only for a minute?  The theme for the week of camp was “Busting Myths”.  Greg spoke one evening on The Truths of Creation and the Lies of Evolution.  I’m so proud of the man of God that my husband is, and how he’s been obedient in following God’s direction.  (Yes, I’ll take any and every opportunity to shine a light on this gem of mine!)

4.jpg

“Single people acting like they’re married, and married people acting like they’re single.”

Intimacy is just one area that illustrates the succinct point my pastor friend made.  Can you think of others?  How else do we see this in our relationships?

5.jpg

© Susan Landry, 2016--Used by permission.  Originally published: here.

Be sure to also visit https://thesparrowshome.com