In a world of flirting and sexting, does God have a right way for men and women to interact?
For the answer to that question, let's look at our Bibles. We'll take a trip through I Thessalonians 4 verses 1-12.
Paul starts out by commending the Thessalonians for walking in a way that pleases God and exhorts them to do so more and more. He reminds them that the commandment to abstain from sexual immorality is straight from Jesus, who has authority over our lives. God's will is our sanctification. (verses 1-3)
We are reminded day by day by the Holy Spirit to flee from sexual immorality and walk in purity. Sometimes its through the Word of God or conviction when we are thinking about things we shouldn't be thinking about. It is so important for us to always remember that God's will is for us to be pure, to be set apart, to be growing in holiness day by day. The world has its lies and temptations, but Jesus gives us abundant life that is far better than any trick of the devil.
In the next few verses, Paul reminds us to control our bodies honorably, as holy vessels to please God and to treat our brothers with honor, not defraud them. The gentiles who do not know God give in to feelings of passionate lust and the sinful behavior that follows it. This behavior actually takes advantage of them. We, are called to holiness instead. If we reject this instruction, we reject God, not men. (verses 4-8)
If we behave lustfully, flirtatiously, or seductively, we wrong our brother or sister, we defraud our brother or sister. It is not a compliment to treat the opposite sex in a way that is based on sexual attraction. In fact it wrongs them, causing us to sin against them. It also defrauds them--it communicates a level of commitment without a commitment. We act as if we own them (as in married couples who belong to one another) when, in fact, there is not commitment.
Instead of bringing harm to them, we want to bring genuine life to them, to lift them up, not tear them down. So how do we do that?
We are inundated in our culture with romance--finding true love is the ultimate purpose in life, at least according to Hollywood.
The Bible says something different. God says that the highest love is the love between the Lord and his adopted sons and daughters. We are part of a Forever Family when we become Christians.
While most Christians hope they will find their true love and get married, their higher love is Jesus. He is our First Love.
If we are married, we should do everything to keep our romantic love alive. In the same way, we should focus on our love relationship with Jesus, stirring up passion and devotion in our own hearts. There are many ways to do this, but I am going to concentrate on the role that our Christian brothers and sisters play in increasing our love for God.
The main reason that we have brothers and sisters in Christi is to spur one another on to love and good deeds, to encourage one another in the Lord, and to help each other grow in the faith. So how do we do that?
Okay, I'll admit it. I married the most wonderful man in the world. I am so grateful that he is the father of my children. He is a man of wisdom and integrity, filled with love for the Lord and his family.
So, why did God give me four daughters to mentor and him only one son. I can't answer that, but I do notice that we already have two grandsons.
Our son came at the tail end of four daughters. Mike and I were so grateful for the privilege of raising a godly man in a challenging time.
Mike did all the Dad things: they played ball, he helped coach sports teams, he read Bible stories to him at night, the shared interests. And, of course, he was part of all the family Bible training. But things intensified as Jimmy got older.
When Jimmy got to seventh grade, it was time for one-on-one mentoring. They started meeting once a week for a time of Bible study and prayer.
Mike also worked hard to create an atmosphere where Jimmy could talk to him about anything. He shared his struggles, doubts, and fears. Mike did not respond harshly, but as someone who had been there many years before. They walked through real answers to doubts about the faith. They figured out practical ways to fight temptation. Mike taught Jimmy to read the Bible devotionally to draw closer to Jesus, as well as how to study the Word.
It isn't easy to be a young man bombarded with temptations like pornography, greed, pride, fear of man, and insecurity. Jimmy did not turn into a seasoned saint in a few months or even a year. Mike met weekly with Jimmy from seventh grade until his senior year. They still meet together while Jim is in college. Right now, Jimmy is passionate for Jesus Christ and he lives a life of integrity and love. His sisters and friends respect him and value his friendship.
You see investing in your son is a huge commitment of time, love, and prayer. There are no easy answers or quick fixes. A young man needs a father willing to invest in him, training him to become the real man God called him to be.
We are called to change the world!
Jesus gave us the Great Commission to make disciples of all the nations. We are on a mission!
That mission begins at home!
We have a call to impact our children by introducing our little ones to Christ and teaching them His ways.
Once they know Christ, we teach them to change their world for the glory of Christ.
How do we that? How do we raise world changers?
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Stay focused on your goal of raising world changers.
Don’t be focused on lesser things or get into survival mode.
We want our children to get a good education, to be healthy, to have friends, to marry, to be happy. However, even more, we want our children to love Jesus and change the world for His glory.
When you feel like you focus is too small, ask God to keep your focus on the right thing.
Pray This Bold Prayer
Before Jesus ascended to the Father, He called us to change the world!
Yes, it's true! We are called to be world changers. Jesus commanded us to "Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV (c)1979). Then Jesus added, "And I will be with you, even to the end of the Age" (Matthew 28:20 NIV (c)1979).
We have a call to impact the world by introducing people to Christ and teaching them His ways.
How do we that? How do we change the world?