Jun 6, 2009

Answers To Your Relationship Questions

Last week in the 6pm service I spoke on relationships briefly for 10 mins and then we opened the floor for questions which arrived via text. We got a lot of questions such as:
  • Sex before marriage is obviously wrong as a Christian. But what else is ok when dating? From kissing to sex there's a huge gap.
  • Is it ok to date when you are a teenager?
  • How should we treat other 'Christians' we know are fornicating?
  • Do you have any advice on how to prevent yourself thinking lustful thoughts when so many girls these days wear such revealing clothes?
If you missed the message then check out the podcasting section on our website, check out iTunes or click HERE.

There were some questions that didn't get answered though so I will try to briefly answer them here in this post.

Q: How do we keep forgiving when someone keeps sinning?
A: Our ability to forgive needs to come from Jesus. If we try to just force ourselves to forgive it will never stick. We actually need to ask Jesus to do a work from the inside out. This means that it may take some time to fully deal with the offense / hurts but they will be dealt with in a deep and meaningful way that will lead to freedom.
Matthew 5:3 (NLT)
3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,a]">[a]
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

Let me also add here that forgiving someone does not mean having to trust someone or even have a relationship with someone. If someone is constantly breaking your trust, abusing you, etc. then you need to get out of that relationship. Please talk to one of the pastoral staff here if you are faced with this situation.

Q: How can you forgive yourself after God has forgiven you?
A: Our pride steps in the way and often prevents us from receiving. In such a case we need to ask God to deal with our pride and to help us to receive His forgiveness and grace.
We need to take captive our condemning thoughts and replace them with God's truth and the revelation of that truth can sink in and bring freedom.
I find it no coincidence that Jesus was crucified at Golgotha which means 'The Place Of the Skull'. It is in our minds that the greatest war wages and it is here that God's Word will triumph if we will meditate on it!
Matthew 27:32-34
32As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). 34There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.

Q: How do you know when you are ready for love?
A: What a great question! I would say that if you are desperatly seeking a relationship... then you are probably are not ready for one!
Some of the wrong reasons / motivations that we seek relationships out for include: the need to 'fit' in / peer pressure; looking for someone to complete you; lonliness, desperation or insecurity; to control or dominate the other person; for sexual gratification; to recover from a previous relationship; to make someone else jealous.
Remember that love cost me and benfits others. Lust is all at others expence and is for my gain.

Rember the great advice given in the Song of Solomon 2:7
7 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires.

Here are some signs that you may be ready to pursue a relationship:
  • You are comfortable with your singleness but you know that God has more for you.
  • You are emotional mature and are ready to put someone elses needs before your own.
  • You are in a stage of life that you can pursue a relationship towards marriage (it's kinda tough hanging out for marriage when you're 11).

For more resources regarding dating and relationships check out the 'Dating & Relationship Resources' page in our church website. Click HERE to go check it out now.

I hope this has been useful. Leave a comment and share your thoughts or experiences with us.

Godspeed & Kaizan


Anonymous said...

Clive, You did such a great job in answering the questions, in which you had no idea what was going to be fired at you next.
...another question, what happens if you have already screwed up in this area, where to from here???

Clive Smit said...

Thanks for that encouragment Anon.

If we are to be honest withourselves many of us will find ourselves in this situation of having messed up.

The good news is that if we come to God and ask for forgivness we can find forgivness!
We then need to walk out of the revelation that we are forgiven.

It doesn't stop there though. Our sin was not just against God... but also the person we were involved with. We need to approach the person, ask forgivness and discuss the issue.

Thirdly we need to set up solid boundries that will save us from putting ourselves in temptations way.
The truth is that once you have gone a certain distance sexually (whatever that may be) you return to that place immediatly. So you need to be super vigilant to prevent yourself from ending up there again.

I would suggest that you spoke to a trusted leader. This makes you accountable and they can also help you to think about appropriate boundries.

Lastly, any lasting change will come from Jesus working from the Inside Out. So ask Jesus to change you, don't just try to aply behavioural techniques to bring about change.

Hope that helped.