Here are the Readings we missed over the weekend! Day 29-33

Day 29: Free


Nehemiah 12:1-13:31

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16

Now is the time! If you’ve been holding something back, something you haven’t been telling him, NOW is the time to come clean. If you’ve had suspicions of something but you’ve been avoiding saying anything because you just didn’t want to know, now’s the time to say something. Draw the truth out into the open. By bringing it into the light you take its power over you away. Will it be painful? Probably. Will you enjoy it? Most likely not. However, Jesus tells us in John 8:32 that when we know the truth it will set us free. Allow me to share from my personal experience of a truth setting us free.

(My journal entry the day after Christian told me the truth) “AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE! Oh Lord! Never in a million years did I ever expect to say this, but Thank you for Christian’s sins! Well, thank you for the forgiveness of sins and the freeing power of forgiveness!” All day that day, God’s presence was as thick in the air as the August humidity. I came into our bedroom to get Christian’s laundry and could BARELY get there due to his clutter on the floor! Desiring to do something nice for him I started to pick up his uniform hangers that littered the room. Among the rubble, there were a LOT of old notes (recently recovered from his parent’s house) from past girlfriends (which brought back painful memories for me of another fateful day). I picked up one of the notes thinking it was from me, opened it and read it. By the end of the note, not only was I disgusted, but I was also saddened by the very perverted things I read (from one of the girlfriends before I came along). I sent him a text complaining about it and after a few more texts regarding the box of notes and the need to get rid of them all, I felt a gentle urging to “clear the air” once and for all with him. We’d been fasting for 33 days now and I wasn’t about to have gone through all that time just to have unresolved issues afterward! Over the last 9 years I had occasionally asked him about the other woman never feeling satisfied with his lie that they had only kissed. And so, this time I asked him a little differently. I asked him to “be honest”, “do NOT spare my feelings” and to “tell the truth”. “Were you really a virgin when we first had sex and have you ever been with another woman before or after me?” (Just writing about this again is giving me butterflies in my stomach. But you need to know because God allowed us to go through this so that we could share this experience with others and help you get through it too.) His response was “Yes & yes L

So I asked, “how many?” And he told me “2”. “2 others?” I asked. “Yes” he said. After that we spent the next 4 hours texting. Me asking questions, details about the affairs, and him responding to them honestly. I won’t lie; a lot of his answers were extremely painful. Yet his honesty was soothing (“Wounds from a friend can be trusted”). He was FINALLY allowing me to see the truth. He was finally releasing the secret that the enemy had snared him with for 13 years. Held him captive to, enslaved him with, depressed him about for 13 years. Until Jesus said “The truth will set you free”. Christian had been enslaved in his sins, held captive by the enemy and his lies for so long that he had become depressed and difficult to live with. That day he was set free as the 13 year secret came out into the light. The truth was the key to his prison cell and my forgiveness allowed him to come out into the open for the first time in 13 years. In telling the truth we were able to take those skeletons out of our closet, look at them, admit that they were there, and then together agree that we will NEVER let the enemy taunt us with them again. Then together we handed them over to God so that He can take them and separate us from them. As far as the East is from the West! As if they had never been there to begin with. Afterward, we both felt giddy and light and for the very first time in our married life, we BOTH wanted to have make-up sex. But I’ll get into THAT a little later.

[The LORD] say[s] to those who are bound, “Go forth,” to those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves.” (Isaiah 49:9a) Sin holds us captive. We are slaves to our sins, new and old. We are slaves to it, held in darkness, until we let the Son of light set us free. Our sin, and the guilt that it brings with it, hold us in bondage to the enemy. Only by the grace of Christ and His blood sacrifice can we ever even hope to gain our freedom. And yet that still isn’t enough. Because we have free choice, we have the choice to stay in bondage or gain our freedom through Christ. But it is only by our choice to allow Jesus’ forgiveness to sink into our hearts and remove our sin that we can truly become free. It’s our choice. Momentary pain and gain our freedom from secrets in our marriages, or remain in bondage to those secrets. Which do you choose? And remember BE BRUTALLY HONEST!!!

Christian’s comments:

Again, I am a dirtbag. Yes, I slept with two other girls while I was in college; each of them multiple times (I did wear protection every time). I have no excuses and won’t waste time attempting to create any. We’re not here to talk about that, though. We’re here to talk about the freedom that comes from confessing.

After the four hours of texting, I started to feel liberated. Yes, my thumbs were a little sore, but the feeling of freedom was unbelievable! It felt as though I had been carrying a huge boulder on my shoulders. After confessing, the boulder was gone! I felt taller, lighter, and almost giddy. I don’t remember ever feeling so happy. Granted, things were still tense between Tamar and me, but I knew there was nothing else between us, holding us back. WE WERE FREE!

Husbands and wives; don’t let the enemy stand between you any longer. If there is something you need to confess, do it. If there is something you need to ask, do it. It’s going to hurt. It’s going to be uncomfortable, but it has to be done. Your marriage (and sex life) won’t get better if it doesn’t get done.

 

Day 30: Don’t Look Back


Numbers 1:1-3:39

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

The day that we talked was a defining point in our marriage. That day when we decided; “Yup, this thing is forever. No matter what. We’re not giving in.” Our two lives truly turned into one on that night. Through the sharing of a deep dark secret we were drawn closer together than we ever had been before. Christian was so afraid that I was going to leave him. He was so afraid that all of his clothes would be out on the front lawn when he got home, or the locks would be changed. But none of that happened. What happened was love and forgiveness. Was I hurt?

YOU BET YOUR BANANAS I WAS!

But, did it make me love him less? Strangely enough, No. In fact, it made me love him even more, because he had FINALLY opened up to me! I’d stayed with him through years of being emotionally and sexually bottled up inside over this, and now we had finally torn down all those walls. He was TALKING to me! It was the most amazing thing. God worked a miracle in our marriage. In the span of 33 days He had completely and totally changed two people so dramatically that we were acting like teenagers all over again!

This was my journal entry a few days after “Truth-day”: “Lord, when will my heart stop hurting over the adultery and lies? The pangs are so brutally painful. It’s down to my soul, my marrow and it feels like something ripping apart inside of me. I know why it hurts, I’m just wondering if it’ll ever go away. I forgave him immediately, and I meant it too, but the words just keep popping back up into my mind! The change in Christian however, is tremendous! He’s back to the boy I met and fell in love with in high school. You know the saying a ‘shell of a man’? That’s what it was like. He was just an empty shell of the man I fell in love with. I still loved that shell of a man, and there were moments when he would peek his head out and be the Christian I’ve always loved, but he wasn’t happy and peaceful. This Christian, on the other hand, is a happy, free, whole man. This Christian is the man I wanted to marry, and I’m still so glad I did! And I’m even more thankful that I STAYED married to him. Thank you LORD! Thank you for my new husband, THANK YOU!”

As you can see, I was still dealing with the pain. I forgave him immediately, but that didn’t keep those names from popping back up into my head while I was doing the dishes or vacuuming. And in those instances the pain was not just emotional pain; it was a physical pain, right in the middle of my chest, like someone was stabbing me with a newly sharpened pencil. I prayed a lot about the pain in those first few days. I was an emotional roller coaster. I’d be high on the top of the hills when I’d think about Christian and the true intimacy we had finally found. He treated me differently now, we were talking again, and OH GOOD GRAVY THE SEX! WOO! Then, I’d go plummeting back down to the bottoms of the hills the second, one of those names came into my head. That’s when God reminded me of Lot’s wife. In Genesis 19 it tells the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. God is preparing to destroy these cities for their sins but Abraham’s nephew Lot is living in Sodom with his wife and family. So God, showing mercy on Lot, sends 2 angels to rescue him from the city before it’s destroyed. These angels were trying to save Lot from the sin surrounding him and the impending disaster and Lot hesitated! If he stayed where he was he would die, and he hesitated. How often are we like that? We are so stuck in our sins that even though we know we’ll die if we stay in them, we hesitate to leave. Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:24-26

God did precisely what He said He would do and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. From the buildings, to the plants, to the people, everything, all gone in one sulfur-y swoop. And what did Lot’s wife do? She looked back! For just a moment she looked longingly over her shoulder back to the only life she had ever known, the life that GOD was rescuing her from. And in that one moment she disobeyed the direct order of the angels “don’t look back!” Through this story, God told me something. “Tamar, I have delivered you from this sexually immoral life, now DON’T. LOOK. BACK! Don’t look back at the things that you both have done and allow them to cause you pain. All has been forgiven which means those things are GONE. Don’t look back on them and allow them to hurt you anymore.” This story has another thing to tell us about looking back. Don’t look back on those times and wish for those sins to return to your life either. You are so much better off now, don’t look back.

Promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have know the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.” 2 Peter 2:19-22

Don’t. Look. Back.

Christian’s comments:

So, you have taken our advice and confessed to one another. You have taken a big step to a great marriage (and sex life). Now, DON’T LOOK BACK!

You have moved past whatever was holding you apart. Never return to it. Yes, you will think about it from time to time, that is natural, but do not dwell on it. Don’t long for things to be as they were before. Don’t ever think “I wish I never confessed to her.” Things will be rough in the beginning, but they will get better.

With the exception of our wedding day/night, I have never been happier in my marriage than I have been since our fast. Do you want to know why? Because the past is behind us and we have moved on.

 

Day 31: Purity Bath


Numbers 3:40-6:21

So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods which are among you, and purify yourselves and change your garments.” Genesis 35:2

Christian and I were drawing near to the end of our 30 days, and I just had this feeling in my gut that we weren’t going to just “jump right back in the sack” on day 30. The morning of day 30 actually came and I still felt like it wasn’t time yet; like I needed to DO something first. All morning long I had the word “purify” running through my head. I had just spent an entire month learning who I was, how God saw me, and how to be the best wife I could possibly be; and I felt like I needed to do something…ritualistic. So I looked up scriptures for purification rituals. In almost every one of them they mentioned blood, water, oil and perfume. Well, Christ took care of all the blood we would ever need, so I wasn’t concerned at all with that. But the water, oil and perfume made sense to me; I could take a bath. I remembered how in 2 Samuel chapter 11 when David saw Bathsheba from his rooftop she was taking a bath and had purified herself from her uncleaness. So. Blood: provided by Christ, check. Water: take a bath, check. Oil and perfume: I had a bottle of olive oil and some vanilla in the kitchen, check!

So, here’s my general procedure for the purity bath that I take, the Holy Spirit usually leads me to change things here and there from time to time, add a few things, subtract a few, etc. Pray about it and if God is leading you to change something, feel free to do so. Our experiences with God are uniquely ours so your purity bath may look completely different from mine. This is just what I have done.

When my period is completely finished, 7 days from when it started, I take a purity bath to dedicate myself to God. It is to help me feel pure, inside and outside. Because through the blood of Christ we have been made pure and don’t HAVE to do any purification rituals anymore, but I feel like sometimes as humans we need to DO something to help us remember that fact. Plus, I have learned that God really loves symbolism, so I know that this process pleases Him greatly. (Note: This entire process generally takes an hour or more depending on how long I sit, soak and pray. So I usually try to carve out plenty of time in my schedule for it. I really don’t like skimping on this very intimate time with my LORD.)

Step 1) I have an old soy sauce bottle that I use to mix my anointing oil; it’s just the right size and pours nicely. I never actually measure anything, but I use a cup of oil and a bit of pure vanilla extract (not a whole lot maybe a teaspoon, a little bit of this stuff goes a LOOOONG way) into the bottle. These are the ingredients that God has inspired me to use, however, this bath is intimately yours and God’s so I highly recommend asking Him what He would like for you to use for your oil and perfume.

Step 2) I clean my bathroom concentrating on the tub itself, even if I just did it the other day, I do it again. (Do NOT skip scrubbing the tub! I did this ONCE and I will NEVER do it again. The rest of the bathroom is less important, but you can not take a sacred bath in a dirty tub! Learn from my mistake, do NOT skip this part of cleaning.) Cleaning is a symbolic act, one where I am cleaning the dirt and grime from my bathroom and asking God to continue cleaning the dirt and grime of sin from my heart. It is time spent on my knees in fervent prayer. I thank God for forgiving me and for cleaning up my life and my marriage. God has changed ME so much already and He isn’t done with me yet. Praise God!

Step 3) Once everything is clean and all the dirt and trash are outside the room, I start filling the tub with the HOTTEST water I can possibly stand; as full as it can go without running over when I get in. To me, this is like God’s cleansing fire and the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, if the room is cool enough you can actually see the steam rising off the hot water just like the Holy Spirit moving throughout the room, filling your lungs. It’s incredible!

Step 4) I kneel before my full tub and come before God on this sacred day, naked, unashamed, grateful for the work He is doing in my life, and sincerely apologetic for the things that I have done against Him. I shake the bottle and mix the oil and vanilla together asking God to make Christian and I one flesh (the two shall become one flesh). Then I pour it into the water and ask God to be the third cord that binds our hearts together forever. I ask God to use this water to make me a virgin again, and to give us back all the missing pieces of our hearts. I beg for His forgiveness.

Step 5) Read Romans 6:11-14.

Step 6) I completely submerge each part of my body in the water as I dedicate it to God for His glory and ask Him to purify and cleanse me. I start with my feet and finish with my ears, eyes, nose, mouth and mind including swallowing a bit of the water and praying that He fill me with His words and that my words be pleasing to Him. No more shall sin rule over me! I lay there and think about the changes that God has made in me over the last days and how He loves me. I continue to pray (and listen) as I rest in the presence of the LORD, letting him surround me and fill me with His Holy Spirit.

Step 7) Once I’ve soaked long enough, I lay down as far into the tub as I can and pull the plug on the drain with my foot. As the water drains away from me I pray that my sins will be in the water and that as they drain away from me God will throw them as far as the East is from the West! It’s the coolest feeling as the water drains; it feels like the sins are being sucked out of your body! It only feels like this when you’re laying in the water though.

Step 8) (CAUTION: the tub will be soaked in oil and will be SLIPPERY at first so be VERY CAREFUL!) I carefully stand up and take a shower, totally pampering myself. I shave, wash my hair, and take my time; doing all those things that I normally never take the time to do. I groom things, buff things, scrub things, anything to make me feel gorgeous.

Step 9) I clothe myself in clean white garments of righteousness. (This is where the white panties/bra or jammies come in; I hope you were able to get some new ones.) Now, while this doesn’t mean that I’m perfect; it does mean that I’m trying to be.

From this point forward, I am like the lions from Daniel in the lion’s den. I keep my mouth shut and my paws to myself. I have my husband show me how much I mean to him by not rushing things. We’re talking days here, not hour’s people. We’ll talk a little more about this later.

Christian’s comments:

Husbands, you don’t have to do your purity bath like Tamar listed hers, but rather let God lead you. I don’t take baths, but shower instead. And I don’t shave my legs. You don’t have to shave your legs either… unless that’s something you do. I know a couple of guys that do, but it’s your prerogative.

 

Tamar blessed me by anointing my head with oil the first time after our first fast. After that I started taking my own purity baths. I prepare myself like it is my wedding day. I clean the shower. I run really hot water for my shower, use some nice smelling body wash and scrub myself. I use oil to shave my head and face, so I ask God to bless the oil so that I may purify myself for my wife.

 

 I wore the typical black tux at our wedding, so I bought some black, silky boxers to wear. You don’t have to do this, but if your wife got dressed up in a new night gown, or new white underwear, you should do something nice too.

 

 

Day 32: True Intimacy


Numbers 6:22-8:26

These [trials] have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:7

Honestly in writing this book, all it’s done is make me ask more and more questions about God and sex. And I’ve got to say, since the first fast, Christian and I have… well… I’ll just say it’s been amazing, fun, adventurous, eye opening, and just plain WOW!!!

In the beginning, we had agreed on 30 days; then on day 30 (after my purity bath) God told me to keep my mouth shut, my paws to myself, and let him lead. I couldn’t touch him in any way sexually without him first touching me. It was basically a really adult version of follow the leader. We took things VERY slowly; we were starting over from the very beginning. We had gone too fast in the beginning of our relationship and ended up swimming in a pond, this time we were going to take our time and get to the ocean! God was leading Christian, and Christian was leading me. Every time he stopped things, it screamed, “I love you and I respect you THIS much!” It was an amazing feeling, plus, talk about building up the sexual tension! Woo!

“Truth-day” came around and we stayed up until about 12:30 talking things out. I asked questions, I needed all the details, and he answered them. He said, “I’m sorry” and I said, “I forgive you”. When our hearts are changed, everything changes; and from the moment I forgave him I had such an overwhelming desire for him. We didn’t know what to do. Was it still too soon to have sex? What was God’s will for us? So we asked God for a sign. We, “laid out the wool”, and He gave me a definite sign that pointed to a big fat “YES HAVE SEX”! When I told Christian that God had said “Yes” and that I was still supposed to follow him, he took the lead, and although it was already almost 1 o’ clock in the morning, we took our time. Stopping frequently to ask if it was REALLY God’s will for us to be doing what we were doing; just to make sure we were not going too quickly. We’d already done that once and it almost cost us our marriage, we were NOT going to do that again!

Suddenly, I remembered my purity bath. I had purified myself with water, oil and perfume; yet Christian had done none of this yet. That’s when God told me to “Anoint his head with oil”. I poured some oil into my left palm and then put a dab of oil on my husband’s ear, hand and foot. “To put the oil on these three body parts is a reminder to us that we should constantly guard every part of our lives. We must submit to God’s will in what we listen to and how eagerly we devote ourselves to his word (ear). We must guard our actions and choices (hand), and we must carefully watch our walk though life (foot).” We prayed together asking God to bless our union for His glory and to purify Christian, cleanse his sins, and make him whole in Christ again.

Well, after that, although we were still taking our time we got down to business; and OH MY! I am not kidding when I say, by FAR the BEST SEX OF OUR LIVES!!! Never before had we felt so connected, so safe, so blessed by each other’s company, so amazingly stimulated, so intimate than in that moment in each other’s arms. In that moment we both changed. We changed from the world’s view of how sex is supposed to be, to how God MEANT for sex to be. Between a truly intimate married couple.

THANK YOU GOD FOR MY HUSBAND!!!

Christian’s comments:

Are you ready for the best sex of your life? You better be, because you’re going to get it soon. With all of the secrets, lies, and other “stuff” out of the way, there will be nothing between you; nothing worrying you in the back of your mind. No questions you are burning to ask, or answer. When all of that is gone, God can fully bless you with great sex.

We took our time that night. Yes, it built up great sexual tension and made us crazy for each other, but we wanted to make sure that we were following God this time. We would proceed a little way, then stop and ask Him if it was His will for us to go on. Our sign to go on was the rain on the roof of the house.

To explain this a little bit, I need to go back to the purity bath. That night Tamar gave me my first purity bath with the oil, but you can’t bathe without water. Tamar asked God “What about the water?” In that instant, it started raining – hard – and that was her answer. Every time I asked if I should go on, the rain would get harder and we could hear it on the roof. We went on that night, knowing we were doing things correctly according to Him.

 

Day 33: Celebrate!


Numbers 9:1-11:35

So these days were to be remembered and celebrated throughout every generation, every family, every province and every city; and these days of Purim were not to fail from among the Jews, or their memory fade from their descendants. Esther 9:28

At this point in our fast, I was studying Beth Moore’s Esther: it’s Tough Being a Woman and it wasn’t but a day or two after our “first time” that this verse came up in our bible study. Beth Moore was telling us about how important it is to God that we celebrate the times when He delivers us from the enemy’s hand. The Israelites were delivered from slavery in Egypt, so they celebrate Passover. In Esther they were delivered from an evil man’s plot to commit genocide, so they celebrate Purim. As Christians we were delivered from sin and death by Christ’s death on the cross, so we celebrate Easter. God loves it when we celebrate the miracles He’s performed in our lives.

God used this fast to deliver us from the bondage and slavery of sexual sin. And I pray that He has done the same for you as well. Therefore we should celebrate that deliverance! The way that Christian and I have started celebrating is by fasting monthly during my period.

While some people may find the Old Testament laws “old-fashioned” and “out-dated” and “there’s no need to follow them all”, I feel that following them will bring us a much greater blessing than not following them. With that being said, in Leviticus 15:19 it says, When a woman has a discharge, if her discharge in her body is blood, she shall continue in her menstrual impurity for seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. And in Leviticus 18:19 it says, Also you shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness during her menstrual impurity. (Notice, it’s a repeated scripture…) Now from some of the people I’ve talked to about these scriptures, they feel that this was simply for a cleanliness issue back then, they had no running water. However, I’m not so sure. This is blood that we’re talking about, and we KNOW how God feels about blood, it’s a serious thing for Him. So, like I said earlier, I don’t think that God can give us his full blessing if we’re not following his laws; even the “old” ones.

So, anyway, back to celebrating. As a celebration of how God has changed our marriage, every month for the 7 days of my period Christian and I mini-fast. We change clothes in the bathroom, we hug, and 10 second kiss, and that’s it. We use that time to back away from each other and draw closer to God. During the week I pray that God draw out anything that is standing between God, Christian, and I before the 7th day. And, so far we’ve had something to talk about every time. On the 7th day, I take my purity bath, prepare myself for my husband, and become the lioness again – he leads. And, it’s still amazing sex. I’ll be honest, life still happens and there are still times when things don’t go quite as we hope they will, but the intimacy is more than I ever could have hoped for. Glory to God!

Christian’s comments:

I know, husbands, I know. You’re probably thinking “What? We just started having sex again after thirty days, and now you want us to fast a week every month!” I was thinking the same thing. Believe me when I tell you, as great as the sex is when you stop each month, its better when you start again after her period. Treat this short fast as seriously at the 30 day fast. The same rules apply. No sexual activities of any kind.

You will learn so much about one another during that week. It is actually a lot of fun. So be happy in the celebration. You will get so much closer to your wife, that the sex will become even more amazing.

Categories: 365 Life, Jesus Loves YOU, Nehemiah, Numbers, True Intimacy | Leave a comment

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