I am reminded to Love my wife all the time when reading in the New Testament. Specifically Ephesians 5:25 and Colossians 3:19. Such an important reminder for us!
We live in world of hatred against women.
- An estimated 150 million girls under the age of 18 suffered some form of sexual violence in 2002 alone.
- Approximately 130 million girls and women in the world have experienced female genital mutilation/cutting,with more than 3 million girls in Africa annually at risk of the practice.
- In the United States, 83 percent of girls aged 12 to 16 experienced some form of sexual harassment in public schools.
- One study in Europe found that 60 percent of trafficked women had experienced physical and/or sexual violence before being trafficked, pointing to gender-based violence as a push factor in the trafficking of women.
Sex addiction brings about a selfishness like no other. Constant self gratifying through masturbation to porn or extra marital sex develops a lust within the marriage bed. It’s so unfortunate, but true. For some of us, it has been many many years of constant self gratification to sexual images or people, that truth be told, has made us awful people to be around. Bottom line is we are selfish children, in constant need of what we crave!
One of the worst manifestations of this ugly behavior is when a man (or woman) is finding freedom from repetitive self gratification through affairs or pornography and thinks that he is in the right, able to through his weight around. Many times this behavior shows itself by a man thinking he can now lead properly (like he knows everything now that he has some freedom)!
But could it be that as we become free from a habitual behavior that there is a every lingering deeper sin, that continues to erode our hearts? Lust works in the heart and mind of a man. This sin does not care if you watch pornography or not; commit physical adultery or not! For it does not need such depraved imagery or action to win it’s war on you.
Do not live in passion of Lust, like the non-believers, who do not know God. 1st Thess 4:5
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,… 1st Peter 1:13-14
Lust thrives within a man. We get that.
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornication, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” Mark 7:21-22
Lust fruit is seen in this list, right?
We can become so easily deceived in recovery can’t we! This shows itself often when we have hurt our spouses do to our sexual immorality and instead of a repentance that leads us to a godly sorrow that shows itself in a humility, we continue to think we have the answers. “Hey homey why don’t you want to have sex with me? I was reading in the Scriptures that your body is mine, and I need to have sex now, is that OK please?” But the answer comes back, “no, I do not want to.” And the reason you might ask? Maybe her heart is broken, sore, bitter, angered, or just numb.
As a man I have to ask something honest in my heart; Do I care so much about my sexual appetite that I can throw off what my spouse is feeling? Would I self gratify to her knowing that she is in such a shaky emotional condition? (I say self gratifying because she would not be mentally or emotionally engaged in the sex, but acting more like a prostitute who is waiting for the event to be over.) Have we men become so abased as to think of covenant partners as prostitutes to meet our sexual needs? Heaven forbid!
Do nothing (sex) through selfish ambition or vain conceit Phil 2:3
We need not just to be free from pornography or adultery, but we need the greater work of a heart change that only God can do! So we are to seek it daily before the Lord.
You might say, “well if I don’t have sex with my wife I am going to commit adultery again or watch pornography again!” And my answer would be to read Galatians 5:22-23….but the fruit of the Spirit is love….patience, kindness….self-control.
Are you long-suffering (patient and long-suffering are words that are interchangeable) with your wife as she is suffering?
You see, in the Torah (1st 5 books of the Bible), in ancient Israel, the consequences for adultery or sexual immorality (un-lawful sexual intercourse…incest, bestiality, homosexuality etc… see Lev 18) would be death! For to commit these acts it would be a capital crime deserving of the death penalty. Why? Because sex is violent. If you allow un-lawful sexual relations to run rampant in a society, then over time the society would grow corrupt? Why….because that is the nature of lust! Lust corrupts love. Sex is not about me! It is about honoring God, the creator of it.
Sex laws are need and were need in days of old to restrain the lust of men.
So think of it this way men…are you patient with your wife while she is suffering concerning your adultery or sexual immorality? You deserve death in the Torah, yet in mercy we have been given life. Divorce is deserved by many of us, but our wives have put up with us. Do you now see our position? In the Law of Moses (Torah) we would not be here anymore. We would have been convicted of a crime, sentence to see the judge in a court of law, tried, convicted, sentenced, then put to death.
Our spouses would be free to remarry.
So are you patient with your spouse who is hurting inside? Do you see now how lust still threads the heart within us, preventing our hearts from being free from it’s tight wounded knot? There is so much more that we need to have done then just stopping the action. We need the Spirit of God to change our actions, how we talk, touch, speak, and how we have sex.
Are you kind? Do you snap at your wife when she says she is struggling and is not ready to be intimate with you? What does it say when we get mad at our spouse for not ‘putting out’ when we have been so horrible to them for years? We are so rapped up in self that we can’t see the light through a doctor is shining it’s light directly in our eye! How black our hearts can be!
Jer 17:9 The heart of man is deceitfully wicked.
Take this to the bank- An double minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8)
Sex should be a place where it is used to fight against the temptations of the outside world (1st Cor 7:5). But we have to remember, this scripture and desire of the Apostle Paul was not intended to be used as a blunt instrument on a spouse when adultery has been committed! Again, in Paul’s mind as a bright Jewish teacher would have been that you commit adultery…you die (as in the OT) or divorce (as in the New). And if we look at 1st Cor 6:9 to the rest of the chapter we see that Paul, there, is talking about those who practice such things that we are talking about here; Adultery, sexual immorality. In contrast, 1st Cor 7 is for those that struggle with being sexual as a single person, so Paul encourages them to marry and stay intimate with each other.
But for us who have committed adulterer or sexual immorality, we know that our spouses have been so merciful on us. God has showed us mercy through their mercy on us. They have fulfilled the scripture in James 2:13; Mercy triumphs over judgement.
In light of this mercy, should we not have self-control? Is this not the will of God for our lives?
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 1st Thess 4:3-5
We need to learn to posses our own bodies as giving them to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2)
We need to crucify the flesh with it’s passions (Gal 5:24)
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. (Col 3:5-7)
In order to do this the Spirit empowers us with self control. Ask God daily for this fruit. Humility will come along with it. No longer will you get mad at your spouse, for you’ll know that she is in pain, and sex no longer will be that important, for you now are learning to love her. Maybe for the first time ever in your life you are learning this. But oh, this is the road less traveled, this is the way of Christ, the picking up of our cross and following Him! We are now becoming the servant of all, not the one needing to be served. And who does that sound like?
To conclude. I want to share two mp3’s that you can listen to that I think will help this message sink in your hearts.
We are all learning. All growing and being transformed into the image of Jesus. This is no small work. If it seems tough…it is…but remember, what is impossible with man, is possible with God! He’s that good!