Posts Tagged With: porn

Blessings

“I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I can not change it.” Numbers 23:20

Today I’d like to share with you the story of Balaam and Balak from Numbers 22-25. King Balak can see the Israelites stretched out across the country side and it strikes fear in his heart. He’s heard the stories of everyone else going up against these armies and getting squashed like bugs… and he could be next! So in his fear he summons Balaam, a local soothsayer with a reputation for successful blessings and curses. Balak sends several elders of Moab and Midian to deliver his message to Balaam. When they get there Balaam consults the LORD and asks if he should go or not. God tells him “no”, and he sends them all away. So Balak sends a group of princes heavy with treasure to ask Balaam again. He inquires of the LORD again, this time God says “Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you.” (22:20) So Balaam goes with them, has an incident with his donkey on the way that we’re going to skip over because it doesn’t apply directly to my point today. Anyway, he gets to Balak and explains “I can’t say just anything. I must speak only what God puts in my mouth.” (22:38) Then they go up, sacrifice some bulls, Balaam has a pow wow with God alone and then returns to Balak with God’s message in his mouth.

Now Balak hired Balaam to curse the nation of Israel because the Moabites were afraid of what the Israelites would do to them. But when Balaam came down from meeting with God all he could do was bless Israel! Balak said furiously “What have you done to me? I brought you here to curse my enemies, but you have done nothing but bless them!” and Balaam answered “Must I not speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?” (Numbers 23:11-12) But Balak, not being one to give up easily took Balaam to another spot where he could see the Israelites, perhaps he could curse them from a different view. Exasperated sigh… so, from a different angle they present their offering, Balaam went off by himself to receive the LORD’s message and then returned to deliver my favorite of Balaam’s FOUR blessings to Israel:

“Arise, Balak, and listen; hear Me son of Zippor. God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I can not change it. No misfortune is seen in Jacob, no misery observed in Israel. The LORD their God is with them; the shout of the King is among them. God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox. There is no sorcery against Jacob, no divination against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, see what GOD has done! The people rise like a lioness; they rouse themselves like a lion that does not rest till he devours his prey and drinks the blood of his victims.” (Numbers 23:18-24)

Blessings from the LORD are irreversible! No one can curse what God has blessed, no sorcerer can be against it, no divination can break it, nothing or no one can reverse what God has blessed. My friends I pray that you’re catching my drift on this one, but in case you’re not, let me make it a little more plain. As a child of God you have been adopted into this family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You may be a branch that has been grafted in, but you’re still part of this family tree! Every word of blessing that God used Balaam to speak over the house of Israel, he was speaking over you too! God Himself has spoken His blessings over you and your life! Hallelujah! And what God has blessed the Enemy can NOT curse! Oh can I get a praise the LORD from the choir on that one?!?

However, this is unfortunately not where our story ends for the day. Because although no one else can remove God’s blessing from your heads, you can. According to Numbers 31:16 Balaam gave Balak some parting advice. Balak couldn’t beat them with might, and Balaam couldn’t curse them because of their blessing, but they could ensnare the Israelites to remove the blessing from themselves. Although nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:38-39), we can separate ourselves from that love, by the choices we make. God has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), but we can certainly make the choice to turn our backs and leave Him.

So, what advice did Balaam leave with Balak? Sex. He suggested that the Moabite women go and seduce the Israelite men – drawing them not only out of covenant with their wives but also out of covenant with their God. In Deuteronomy twenty-eight when God lays out the laws of blessing and cursing He prefaces the blessings with “IF you carefully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all His commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you IF you obey the LORD your God:” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2) and He prefaces the list of curses (which is easily twice as long as the blessings) with “However, IF you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all His commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and over take you.” (Deuteronomy 28:15)

IF, is a very strong word. It may be a small word, at only two skinny letters, but its a mighty one that packs a punch. IF you obey, you are blessed and IF you do not obey… well… then you’re not blessed. And believe it or not, it is completely possible to be blessed in many areas of your life and still be cursed in others. Your disobedience to the laws of God (love your neighbor as yourself) brings havoc and heartache, period. And the disobedience that brings the most havoc and heartache? Sexual immorality – adultery, porn, homosexuality, bestiality, you name it! And the worst part is, it’s not just physical sexual immorality that brings curses,  it’s spiritual sexual immorality too! How many times in the Old Testament did the LORD refer to the nation of Israel as an adulterous nation? A LOT! As a nation, they were following the physical rules and yet their hearts had been led astray! They had allowed other things to get between their God and themselves. God’s flow of blessing is permanent, it can not be broken or stopped, but it can be redirected when you put up blessing blockades between yourself and God when you sin.

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Day 25: Intoxicating

I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh along with my balsam.  I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk.  Eat, friends; Drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers. Song of Solomon 5:1

Nine days left, you’re almost there!  So many things have happened in the last 20 days haven’t they?  God works that way; I love how He manages to make everything fit together so that we learn the things that He wants us to learn in the time that He wants us to learn them.  I’m dedicating this chapter to telling you about Intoxicating love.

Although the physical act of sex was what I always thought I truly wanted, it turns out that the physical intimacy of sex was not what I was searching for; in the end it was never enough.  What I had been searching for was spiritual and emotional intimacy with my husband.  While sex is important and healthy and necessary, it’s only a portion of the picture of marriage.  When we have sex our bodies’ physical need is fulfilled, and with sex our souls and emotions are completely tied into the act of intercourse as well.  But, it’s possible to have physically satisfying intercourse; all while leaving our souls wanting more.  If you’re only having intercourse it can be physically satisfying for you, and your emotions will go along with it, for a time; but after a while you just feel emptier inside, instead of fulfilled.  There’s a look in Christian’s eye that I cherish.  It’s a look of complete adoration and love for me; a look that in an instant tells me how lucky he feels that I’m his wife.  In that instant, I’m emotionally, physically and spiritually connected with him.

So often in our lives we settle for “good” when we could have the “BEST”.  We settle for the “good” sex of the moment, pre-marital sex, self-pleasuring and adultery, instead of continuing to strive for the BEST sex of monogamy; where we can fully and completely give ourselves to one another without the fear of loss or rejection.  I know that’s what Christian and I did.  Instead of waiting for the “ocean” of married sex, we settled for the “pond” of premarital sex.  It wasn’t until we went through this fast, invited God into the marriage and our bedroom, that we experienced intoxicating sex and true intimacy for the first time.  And MY OH MY!  We will NEVER go back!!!  Now prepare yourselves, this next part is a little “R-rated”.  But it’s OK, because God is in it too.

One night while “getting intoxicated” with my Beloved, in that moment of near climax I was marveling at how perfectly his body was… ummm… shall we say… fitting, with mine when I loudly thanked God for creating him for me to enjoy in this way.  God proudly whispered in my ear, “Isn’t he just perfect”.  It was more than I could bear, because he is!  God created my husband just for me.  He created him to balance me perfectly in every possible way.  He created him to chemically and electrically balance me, perfectly.  He created him in a way where our personalities balance each other, perfectly.  Christian is my other half.  And although I’ve had my moments of doubt and frustration with him, the fact still remains.  God made him for me and me for him.  My beloved is mine and I am his.  (Song of Solomon 2:16a)

How can I doubt God’s judgment in putting us together?  He is God after all.  Your husband is the opposite of you in many ways and that can get annoying occasionally but, cherish it because it’s those differences that create the perfect balance between the two of you.  He’s your other half, together you create a whole.

Christian’s comments:

Wow! Is it getting hot in here? Whew!  That pond looked good when we jumped in it. It felt pretty good to swim in too. For a while that is. But there was always something that didn’t seem right. I think about the first time that Tamar and I had sex. It really wasn’t that good. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s true. Let me tell ya though, the first time we made love after our fast it was AMAZING! I would like to imagine that it would have felt like that on our wedding night if we had waited.  I encourage you to hold on and fast for a little while longer. Trust me, it will be worth it.

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Day 19: Oxytocin

The woman of folly is boisterous, She is naïve and knows nothing.  She sits at the doorway of her house, on a seat by the high places of the city.  Calling to those who pass by, who are making their paths straight; “Whoever is naïve, let him turn in here,” And to him who lacks understanding she says “Stolen water is sweet; and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”  But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol. Proverbs 9:13-18

Our God, creator of the universe, has made such an amazing masterpiece in the human body.  The more I learn about the science of sex and the human body, the more profoundly amazed I become with its creator!  Something that really amazes me is our hormones.  (Yes ladies, those things we blame for our monthly grumpies – our hormones.)  The way that He created them to ever so carefully balance with one another and run just about everything in our bodies, it’s truly the work of a genius!  Particularly fascinating to me is the way God created us for sexual intimacy.  He created this cute little molecule called “oxytocin”.  Pronounced “oxy -toe-sin”, and is commonly referred to as the bonding hormone.  Every time we touch, even non-sexually, oxytocin floods into our bloodstream, the more we touch, the more oxytocin is released.  Just imagine how much oxytocin is involved when you spend 30+ minutes touching someone with the most intimate parts of your naked body!  Am I blushing?  Woo!  Anyway!  The more oxytocin that is produced the tighter, stronger, and more intimate the bond becomes between those two people.  Now imagine, if you will, that each time a couple has sex they are literally pouring oxytocin super glue (remember proskollao from Day 11?) between themselves; connecting physically, spiritually, and emotionally to one another … permanently.  The more “oxy-glue” there is between them, the tighter, stronger, and more intimate their bond.

In his book “Sex on the Brain”, Dr. Amen explains some fascinating sex research.  In a study of married couples, the husbands were treated medically for impotence problems.  As the husbands’ sexual health improved, the wives also experienced marked health benefits, although they themselves were not being medicated.7 God created us to work in a way that as husband and wife we are so completely connected with one another that when one of us experiences improvement in our sexual health the other spouse improves as well!  “and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.” (Mark 10:8 – proskollao) It’s just AMAZING!

However, on the flip-side of healing and health there can also be damage and destruction.  If we have committed, or are committing, sexual immorality we are not only damaging ourselves but also our spouses (whether they know about it or not).  Sexual immorality may be sweet at the time but ALWAYS leads to disaster – eventually.  Things done in secret can be “delicious” at the time, but usually end up bitter.  Proverbs 20:17 says “Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.” Adultery, pre-marital sex, pornography and self-pleasuring may be sweet in the moment, but in the end it turns to gravel, injuring your mouth and lying in your stomach like lead.  You can say “I’ve done nothing wrong” but in your heart, you know the truth.  (Proverbs 30:20)

OK, confession time for me, I was the woman folly; naïve and without knowledge.  From the time I was in upper elementary school I would self-pleasure.  It started out as simple exploration of my body, but very quickly became more.  My curiosity became my personal shame.  I didn’t know that it could harm me in ANY way, and to my knowledge, no one ever told me otherwise.  Some people say there should be no shame, and originally I agreed with them… because I was doing it and didn’t want to feel guilty anymore.  But now, because of my life experiences, I heartily disagree.  There’s a reason we feel dirty and ashamed afterward, because God planned and created something so much better for us, SEX with our HUSBANDS!  Now, self-pleasuring is a heavily debated subject, so, agree with me or not it’s completely up to you, but here’s my take on it.

When I was in high school I was on the dance team.  We would do the same routine over and over and over until we could perform that dance without ever really thinking about what we were doing.  We were training our bodies, our muscles, to perform a series of precise movements without any or little conscious thought.  (That’s called “muscle memory”.)  I will never forget one particular dance routine we did.  We all were supposed to jump and do a split in the air where we touch our toes (AKA a “toe touch”).  Every time I practiced that routine I was lazy and did a fake toe touch.  I would leave one leg on the ground and kick the other leg into the air, no jumping.  And every time I told myself, “this is just practice it doesn’t really matter if I don’t do the routine full-out.  I’ll do the REAL toe touch when we perform.”  After dancing that routine the wrong way at least 3 times a day for over 2 weeks, guess what happened the night of the performance?  Yup.  I TOTALLY screwed it up.  And not just by doing the fake toe touch either, that might not have been that bad.  Oh no!  Halfway through the fake toe touch my brain kicked back in and I suddenly remembered “THIS IS THE TOE TOUCH!  DO IT THIS TIME!”, but it was too late and I nearly fell on my face in front of the whole school!  I had so completely trained my body to do the wrong thing in practice, that when it came time to perform it, even though my brain told my body what to do, my body still did what it had done over and over in practice.

Self-pleasuring trains your body to respond to a specific stimulus.  When I would self-pleasure, I could achieve sexual release within probably a minute flat.  But when Christian would do it for me it took FOREVER… if I ever “got there” at all.  I can stand here and say from a lot of personal experience that when I “practiced” one way over and over again by myself, and then went out to “perform” with my husband, my body just couldn’t respond to him as quickly or sometimes at all because it was confused!  My brain was in there yelling “THIS IS IT!  DO IT!” but my body just couldn’t because through years of “practicing” by myself, I had trained it not to.

This was a big problem for Christian and me.  While I had suspicions about his porn and masturbation issues, and they bothered me a little, I had no idea how dramatically it all was affecting us and just how much it really bothered me!  I cannot begin to tell you how HUGE of a break-through this was for BOTH of us!  We had both wondered why we weren’t having very much sex… duh… we had BOTH been having sex with ourselves!  God created in all of us a sexual appetite.  By feeding that sexual appetite with the “junk food” of sexual immorality we ruined our appetite (and ability) for the real thing!  Once we stopped self-pleasuring, WOW!!! It’s all I can say!  I strongly believe that God created sex, partially, to “oxy-glue” a husband and a wife together for life.  And let me tell you from experience the oxytocin “buzz” and bond that you get from pleasuring only each other and not yourselves is amazing!  So.  Agree with me or not I highly recommend that you, at least during the rest of this fast, fight the temptation to “practice” by yourself.  By abstaining from ALL sexual contact from each other and yourselves, you should be able to, at least somewhat, reset your muscle memory so that your new “first time” together can be even MORE amazing than you EVER thought possible!

In 1 Corinthians Paul gives us some hope and confidence to withstand the temptation.  He says in chapter 10 verse 13, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” We will be tempted.  Paul doesn’t say if he says “When you are tempted”.  But God promises us that He will provide a way out of those temptations.  He gives us an emergency exit, every time.  All we have to do is make the choice to take it.

Christian’s comments:

Super glue is great, isn’t it? There is nothing better to bond and hold two things together. The problem is what if those two things are taken apart from each other? It usually isn’t a pretty picture. It may be possible to take the two pieces apart, but usually there are small bits of one piece still stuck to the other piece, and vice versa. It is impossible to remove them all.

The oxytocin that is produced when you have sex with multiple partners creates a bond like super glue. You take a little bit of every person you have had sex with along with you, and they take a little bit of you along with them. Those little bits taint future relationships for everyone involved.

By touching ourselves instead of each other, we deprive ourselves and our spouses of that extra oxytocin. We also deprive ourselves and our spouses of the more intimate bond that it creates between a husband and wife. Oxytocin can create euphoria between a husband and wife before, during, and after love-making. When we “take matters into our own hands”, we screw that up! Our bodies get confused and don’t know what to do. I believe that eventually, our bodies don’t produce as much of the hormone during lovemaking, so we lose some of the euphoria. I also feel that self pleasuring produces so little oxytocin, that we feel dirty and gross afterwards.

Towards the end of our second thirty-day fast (which actually came out to around 47 days), I wrote a letter to Tamar. Here is a section of that letter.

To start, I owe you a HUGE apology. I never realized how much my masturbating was affecting me. I didn’t realize how much it was affecting how I felt (both physically AND mentally), and how much it was hurting our relationship. If the last few weeks are any indication of how I feel without masturbation, I’m looking forward to Valentine’s Day even more! I didn’t think it was affecting me that much! Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed sex with you, and I still desired you, but I didn’t feel any urgency. If we didn’t have sex, it was not that big of a deal. I could either wait until the next night, or take care of things myself. I am REALLY starting to feel the urgency now!

As you can see, I didn’t know how badly I was hurting our marriage by masturbating. I thought I was helping it! I had trained my body to one type of stimulation, just as Tamar had. I got myself so accustomed to masturbation, that when it came down to the real thing, I wasn’t able to perform very long. My solution? Masturbate more!

If I knew we were going to have sex that night, I would masturbate in the afternoon. I would do it so I would last longer during sex. Sometimes it would work, sometimes, not so much. Now don’t get me wrong here. I didn’t only do it just so I could enjoy sex longer, I wanted to satisfy Tamar too. I would feel like a failure as a lover if I didn’t last very long. The problem was; I was stuck in a vicious cycle. I would masturbate to last longer during sex, but my muscle memory was working against me.

In doing research for this book, I have learned that there are experts that recommend masturbation to improve your sex life. Some also recommend having an affair. And these people are considered experts. EXPERTS! I can tell you from personal experience; IT DOESN’T WORK!!! It’s counterproductive. When you do have sex with your spouse and makes it more difficult to reach that euphoria state that makes you want to stand up and shout “HALLELUJAH!”

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Day 9: Holy

What agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.  “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you.” 2 Corinthians 6:16-17

In the bible the books are divided into 2 sections: The Old Testament, (books written before Christ was born) and the New Testament (books written after Christ was born).  In these 2 sections God’s priorities for His people’s lives shift inward.  The Old Testament is filled with stories of miraculous events, most of which are very large-scale and grand.  Showing us how BIG God is and what He is capable of.  Then Jesus comes along and the miracles of the New Testament are more personal, they are intimate.  The majority of the miracles described in the New Testament are miracles of people set free from bondage of one form or another.  Miracles of debilitating illnesses healed, evil spirits cast out, and sins forgiven.  The life of the afflicted individual changed FOREVER.  God’s involvement in His people’s lives gets much more intimate as you segue from the Old Testament to the New Testament.

This intimate involvement is proved very precisely by what happened to a curtain in the temple on the day Jesus died.  Up until that moment God’s presence filled a room in the temple known as the Holy of Holies.  As a shield to that room there was a curtain.  No one was allowed behind that curtain.  Only after many ceremonies and ritual cleansings was the high priest even allowed behind it and that was only once a year! Since the presence of the LORD God filled that room behind the curtain, for anyone to enter His presence unprepared would have killed them.

According to Mark’s gospel, at the moment of Jesus’ death the curtain that separated God from the rest of the world was torn in two.  God had made a way for EVERYONE to come to Him and NOT die instantly.  Up to that point in history very few people knew what God’s voice actually sounded like.  Only a handful of them had ever talked to Him in person.  When Jesus died He made a way for us enter the Holy of Holies without fear of death.  Because of Jesus and His willing sacrifice we can go to God on a PERSONAL level.  He is no longer this BIG unapproachable God, He is intimate and loving and wonderful and caring.  He always was before but He couldn’t fully show us Himself in such an intimate way.  If someone needed to ask for forgiveness they had to go to the priests in the temple and offer an animal sacrifice.  They performed the rituals required of them and they left.  The priests would accept the sacrifices on behalf of the Lord.  The individual that had sinned would never be able to enter into the Lord’s presence to ask for forgiveness personally.

When you choose to accept Jesus’ sacrifice of love, the gift of salvation, you get to cut out the middle man!  God goes from being an unapproachable God living in a box in a temple to taking up residence in your heart; YOU become the Holy of Holies, your body!  Yes, really!  He lives in you and through you every day.  When you choose to accept Jesus for who He says that He is, you are choosing to live a life that will honor Him.  In essence you are choosing to no longer make the sinful choices that you made in the past and instead strive to make choices that Jesus Himself would make.

Be a good person.  Build your knowledge of who Jesus is.  Exhibit self-control (especially right now since you’re supposed to be fasting from ALL sexual activity).  Persevere, life is hard.  But fear not for Jesus has conquered this life, and so can we, through Him.  Be a godly person, not just a good person.  Brotherly kindness, as a child of God every human alive is a brother or sister, treat them that way.  Be kind to the people around you.  Love.  Love everyone like He loves us, yes it’s hard, but it’s worth it.  We don’t deserve the love that He’s given us, so let’s pass some of that underserved love on to someone else today.  Maybe even your husband.

Christian’s comments:

Your body is the new temple. So husbands, build a nice temple. I’m not talking about the outside. It doesn’t matter what kind of shape you’re in (like the old saying goes, “Round is a shape”), it matters what kind of shape the inside is in. However, you should take care of yourself so your wife can enjoy you longer.

It doesn’t matter how nice a church, temple, or tabernacle is they are just buildings. They could be an old house, an office building, a shed, or even just a tent. What makes them holy places is the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Obviously, He isn’t always going to be a fog or a wind, but He is there.

I’ve been in churches where you can feel the Holy Spirit as a slight tickle on your body. I’ve been in churches where the Holy Spirit makes the hair on your body stand on end. I’ve been in churches where you could feel the Holy Spirit flowing out of the building when you open the door, as if the building can’t contain Him. Your temple (body) should be like my last example. The Holy Spirit should fill you so much that you can’t hold Him in and you just have to share Him with those around you.

Now, with that said, you need to lead by example. You can’t spread the Holy Spirit effectively if you don’t follow the steps Tamar listed above. You must live your life with as little sin as possible. Notice I didn’t say “with no sin.” It is impossible to live a completely sinless life. All we can do is make the choices needed to avoid as much sin as we can. That might mean avoiding web sites that might contain questionable photos. It might also mean not hanging around people who don’t lead a good example, tempting you to not lead by a good example. It might also mean changing your vocabulary if you “swear like a sailor”.

Will it be hard to change some of these things? Yes it will. But you know what, life’s hard, get a helmet.3

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Day 4: Fast

Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”  Joshua 3:5

OK, so if you’re still reading today you’ve decided to see this thing out the whole way.  You’ve decided to join us on our journey and sex fast with us.  I’m telling you, this is very powerful stuff, not for the faint of heart.  However, you WILL NOT REGRET THIS!  Christian was reluctantly compliant in our first and second sex fast (yes, believe it or not, we’ve done this more than once) and close to the end of the second fast he told me, “We should really do this again sometime”.  Taking sex out of your relationship changes it, dramatically.  I’m going to be honest with you, fasting is difficult.  You will fight, you will cry, you will be frustrated and you will be angry; and so you will pray, you will read (I suggest the Bible along with this blog), and you will seek God like never before.  This is why I wish I could be there with you, to encourage you to keep going.  You CAN survive this storm and your marriage WILL be so much better for it in the end.  “Fasting is the most sacred, most serious, most sacrificial way to present ourselves in total devotion to the Lord.  Fasting helps us relinquish our will to God.  By abstaining from food [or sex], humbling our souls, and setting worldly matters aside in an act of worship, we can please God beyond compare.”2

God cares more about our motives than our actions.  Therefore, we fast as an act of thanks for the second chance He has given us, and as atonement for the sexually immoral acts that we have committed in the past.  This is not something to take lightly my friend; you are entering into a serious commitment, one that will have a major impact on your life, a very positive one if you’re willing to do it for the right reasons.  Here are the rules of the road, they’re pretty simple and there are only two.

1) Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting.  Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.  (Matthew 6:16-18) In other words, don’t make a big deal about the fast to everyone you see.  In fact, don’t tell anyone, it’s to be done in “secret”.  We committed our sexually immoral acts in secret and God saw them; similarly redeem them in secret as well.  God will see it and reward you for it.  So far in my experience I’ve had a rule of 2 for my fasting.  Both times God has given me 2 other people to share my secret.  I have asked those people to pray for me and my husband that we may be successful in our fast, and that we will grow closer to God and each other because of it.  Other than those 2 people, to everyone else it’s business as usual, no matter what, no complaining, grumbling or twisting your face to show disapproval.  Remember, God sees what is done in secret, both the bad and the good.  Trust me, this IS worth it.

2) This fast includes ALL SEXUAL ACTIVITY OF ANY KIND.  We’re not just talking about strictly sex here.  We’re talking no sex, no touching each other (except for hugs and 10 second kisses), and no touching yourself! NOTHING FOR 30 DAYS!  It was through complete abstinence that we grew so much during that time.  Plus, in a way, it was resetting our bodies back to the “manufacturer’s settings” so to speak.  Seriously, if you do not take my word for this particular part of the fast you will not gain as much from the experience.  Trust me on this one!

To help you through this I suggest memorizing some scriptures.  They are extremely wise and really do help in those moments of weakness.  Two of my favorites for this are: 1 Corinthians 9:27 and Romans 6:14.  Both of these verses appealed to me because of the idea of being the master of my body.  There were moments of temptation, many of them.  And in those moments I could not allow my body the luxury of indulgence; I had to “beat” it instead.  I would say to myself, “No body, you are NOT in control and you will not get your way this time!”  That’s the true meaning of “SELF” control.  Your body is NOT the master of you!  You are the master of your body; do not allow your body to be the one in control!

A couple quick notes before I hand the laptop over to Christian. Wives, before day 30 arrives make sure to buy a new white bra and panties and if money isn’t too tight, a beautiful white satin nightgown.  I’ll explain more about this later, but for now, start looking for some beautiful new underwear or jammies… or BOTH!

Christian’s comments:

All right! You guys are on board, so let’s DO THIS THING! Husbands! You may not be too thrilled by this, but you just need to suck it up! Oh wait poor choice of words there. You can handle it! No, that’s not right either. It’s going to be hard, scratch that, difficult, but you will manage.  Seriously, though, you will get through this. You have to follow the rules though.

Number one: No whining, complaining, moaning, groaning, or any other form of grumbling allowed. Don’t say anything to the guys at work. No “The old lady says” comments to your buddies that you play sports with. No “Old ball and chain” remarks to the guys in the garage (if you’re a gear-head like me). Tell no one! Just live your life like nothing is different. However, don’t be surprised if they mention how they see or notice a difference in you.

Number two: No sexual activity of any kind! You will be tempted to, ahem, “take matters into your own hands”. Fight that temptation. Learn the scriptures that Tamar mentioned above. Recite them whenever you are tempted. There is an old joke that 90% of men admit to masturbating, the other 10% are liars. If you masturbate, you will be greatly tempted. One tip: Don’t think about getting through the 30 days all together, you will likely fail. Instead, get through one day at a time. If that’s too long, just get through one hour at a time. That’s how addicts beat their addictions. If they think about going the rest of their life without whatever they are addicted to (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.), they will fail almost every time. So they break it down into shorter time intervals, usually hours. That’s how I beat my addiction to chewing tobacco. I would think, “I can make it through this hour without it.” Then think the same thing the next hour.

Another tip: Remove any sexually suggestive material from your house and workplace. Any movies, pictures, magazines, etc. They don’t necessarily have to be pornographic either. Like I stated earlier, they could be something as simple as a movie with scantily clad women, or even your wife’s Cosmo magazines. I still struggle with the temptations of pornography and masturbation. Having fewer things to tempt me, made the fast much easier to get through. It also helps after the fast is over.

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Day 3: Return

And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.  Luke 1:45

Bessed is she who believed.  Do YOU believe that God can heal your marriage?  I believed; and it totally changed the course of my entire life.  God’s plans for us are so much bigger and better than our own plans.  HE knows the future, we don’t.  Trust Him.  He is faithful to His word.  When you obey Him, He blesses you.  Sometimes more than you can bear.  So I hope you’re ready for this!

I would like to share a letter to God that I wrote in the beginning of this journey.

“Lord, my heart is so broken right now.  I am so consumed with Christian and his neglect of his duties to us.  I don’t understand what you want me to do.  I know that you don’t want divorce because I have a blood covenant with him, but he hurts my feelings so much.  I feel like he’s sucking the spirit from me.  Yet I love him so desperately.  I can’t REALLY leave him.  You’re not really telling me to leave the husband of my youth are you?  Surely not.  What you have joined together let no man tear asunder right?

Lord, I need an undivided heart, one where BOTH halves are pumping and functioning together as one.  PLEASE help us become one again.  And not just for a short time but for forever.  Please please please don’t let it come to this again!  Please Lord, I’m begging you; heal us back together again so that we are one functioning heart again.  Let the two become one and stay that way!”

Reading that letter again I remember the pain and grief that I felt over how our relationship was fairing.  Yet, it makes me happy to read it, because it shows me just how far we’ve truly come; how far God has brought us on the path of healing.  In response to this letter do you know what God told me?  Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; (Acts 3:19) He gave me my answer.  Repent, turn to God, and times of refreshing WOULD come.  Not maybe they’d get here, they WOULD come.  I had already repented of my sin of pre-marital sex and I believe God had forgiven me for it.  But I hadn’t forgiven myself, and I certainly hadn’t forgiven Christian for taking my virginity before it was time to take it.  Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t rape me, if I had told him “no” he would NOT have had sex with me.

I’ll never forget that moment of decision as long as I live!  We were lying there completely naked together, Christian over me asking “What do you think?”  And I heard God’s desperate plea in my right ear say: “Baby, don’t do this!”  But the tempter was right there too, in my left ear, “Oh, it’s no big deal, you’re going to marry each other at some point anyway so what difference does it make if you do it now or later?  It’s all the same.  Go ahead.  Do it.”  And just like Eve, I believed his LIE!  So instead of saying “no”, I said “yes”.  And that moment, the moment I said “yes” instead of “no”, changed everything.  That moment of disobedience turned my world upside down.

So, back in the present day, what’s a girl to do?!?  I felt like I needed to talk to Christian and in the least, request an apology from him.  But as I was preparing for my “talk” with him I did a lot of praying and scripture searching.  I felt that we needed to do more than just ask for forgiveness, we needed to DO something.  “God guide me!” I said.  He immediately made my eyes fall on Ezekiel 33:14-16.  But when I say to the wicked, “You will surely die,” and he turns from his sin and practices justice and righteousness, if a wicked man restores a pledge, pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the statutes which ensure life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die.  None of his sins that he has committed will be remembered against him.  He has practiced justice and righteousness; he shall surely live.

God gave me the steps to take.  1) Repent of our sin of sexual immorality by asking for forgiveness from God, each other, and ourselves.  2) Do what is right and restore what has been taken, therefore making restitution.  3) Sin no more.  Once we’ve done those three things NONE of our sins will be held against us anymore!  We will be free!  “OK”, I thought.  “I can do that!  Ummm, but Lord, how can I pay You back?  How can Christian return what he stole from me?  I mean… A hymen’s not really something that grows back ya know.”  That’s when the idea of fasting came to mind.  How can you give back sex?  Stop having it!  Not forever obviously, just for a time.  In 1 Corinthians 7:5 Paul writes: Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. He was telling his followers in the church of Corinth that they should not withhold sex from their spouses except to grow closer to God, and only for a specific period of time so that the enemy would not tempt them to commit sexual immorality.  All of this seemed to fit perfectly for our situation.  I needed to repent and return the things that I had stolen and I needed to do that by abstaining from sexual relations with my husband for 30 days (which is the traditional length of a mourning period, fitting I thought).  I knew that Christian would not be happy about it, but I also knew that I would give him no choice.  And he’s a great man; I knew he wouldn’t force me.

Christian’s comments:

Christian was not happy, not happy at all. No sex for 30 days! We weren’t having sex all that often, but 30 days? That’s like a month!

Yeah, I wasn’t happy and I didn’t really understand either. But it was important to Tamar, so it was important to me.

As was stated in chapter one, as well as here, I wasn’t a great husband. No, I wasn’t a good husband, or father. I’d stay out late, working on demolition derby cars at one of my friends’ shops. I would only begrudgingly come home if Tamar had something to go to. It wasn’t that I didn’t love Tamar, but to me, everything I had going on was more important that anything she had going on. Little did I know, that’s what was tearing us apart.

The fast came along about the same time that I began to realize that I was a major problem in our marriage (after the pre-marital sex, multiple partners, masturbation, and porn of course). So I thought, “Hey, if this will help us to get closer, I’m in.” Boy howdy! Have we ever gotten closer (Wink wink, nudge nudge). Things aren’t perfect, but they are much better, and getting better every day.

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Day 2: Shadows

For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He watches all his paths.  His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin.  He will die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he will go astray. Proverbs 5:21-23

In this proverb it talks about how our sins capture us, tying us up in cords.  Our lack of knowledge will lead us astray and cause us to make mistakes.  Our sins have enormous impact on our lives, especially when it’s not immediately evident. 

Take Adam and Eve for example.  In the Garden of Eden, God had originally commanded Adam: “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)  Then, later, in Genesis 3: 4 Eve has a conversation with a talking snake where he tells her that she will not “surely die”.  And she believed him!  She took the fruit… ate it… HEY!  No death!  Well, huh, no immediately evident death anyway.  There was immediate death alright.  The death of innocence, and the birth of guilt, shame and sorrow.  That is what disobedience (sin) will do; it immediately births guilt and shame and sorrow; all things that God never wants you to live with.

Have you ever spent time just looking at a shadow?  I mean really watching it?  Everything casts a shadow, even glass.  Old sins, those things we did when we were younger, those things cast shadows too.  Each sin that goes un-repented is like a brick in the blessing blockade.  The bigger the blockade the bigger the shadow it casts.  At “high noon” when the sin took place, the shadow was small and barely noticeable (ie. “I was just sowing my wild oats.”)  However, the longer the sin stays in your heart the bigger, longer, and farther reaching its shadow becomes.  Someday, if you sit and observe the shadows outside, as time passes you’ll notice that the shadows get longer and begin to creep over other objects in their path.  They begin to block out the light from the Son to those other things.  That is what past sins from your life can and will do.  The longer those sins stay locked up in the closet of your mind the bigger and farther reaching their shadows become.  Eventually, they start creeping and covering other aspects of your life; blocking God’s light from touching them.  I can’t speak for you my friend, however I know that I had old sins, and they were casting very long shadows.  Those shadows were covering our marriage and blocking God’s loving grace from shining down on us.  They were blocking out the light of my husband’s love for me, and they were blocking my love from truly reaching my children.  These old sins, the ones that I’d shoved down into a teeny tiny box in the farthest corner of the back closet of my mind; they were the ones that were causing me so much grief.  Sometimes the only way to fix a current situation is to go back to the beginning.  Rewind time so to speak and fix the root of the problem and not just the symptom of it.  For us, the root of the problem was our pre-marital sexual experiences: pre-marital sex, emotional adultery, and porn/masturbation/self-pleasuring (we’ll go more into depth on each of these later).  These activities performed both before our wedding vows and after, could have ruined our marriage if they had continued to grow and “shadow” over other things.  However, through the power of Christ, we are not only forgiven of the sins that we committed, against Him, ourselves, and each other, we were also freed from the “cords that ensnared us” and our sexual blessing blockade tumbled down! 

One morning, early on in the writing process for this book, God gave me a very sobering and heartbreaking vision, one I’ll not soon forget.  We were standing high on a cliff looking down on a large town.  As I looked down onto this sleeping town it was like Earth had turned into hell.  Almost every house was black, charred as if it had burned somewhat.  Between the houses, rivers of lava flowed in the streets.  The cries coming from these houses were mournful and desperate.  But the cries weren’t from human lips; they were being made by human souls.  Every living soul in every charred house was crying, mourning.  God turned to me and said, “This is what sexual sin does to you.  It brings hell to Earth.”  As I’m writing this I just want to sob.  My soul cries out, not for myself (at least not anymore) but for every living thing in those houses.  Because I remember what it was like inside my house before God came in and remodeled it.  My house was burned to a crisp!  My sexual sin and my husband’s were burning our house down.  It was tearing us apart.  The stress in our home was palpable.  My husband was never home, I was miserable, my children were unhappy, life was filled with tears. 

Is your soul in torment?  In the Garden of Eden, after they had eaten the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve hid from God.  Are you hiding from God?  Out of guilt, or grief, or shame?  God knows where you are and He has come to you, in your place of hiding.  He is standing next to you with His outstretched hand hoping that you will take it, stand back up, and follow Him.  He loves you no matter what your condition and no matter what you’ve done.  Really, no matter WHAT you’ve done.  There is nothing under the sun that you have done that God hasn’t seen done before and isn’t willing to forgive.  There is NOTHING you could ever do to make Him stop loving you, not even for a second.  Nothing.  Period! 

Christian’s comments:

Have you ever gotten a splinter in your finger and not been able to get it out? If left too long, the splinter will irritate you more and more. It will eventually get infected and swollen. It will start to affect your daily life. If left long enough, the infection could get bad enough that your finger would need to be amputated. Or worse, the infection could spread and your whole hand could be lost. Obviously, I’m being dramatic. I’ve never known anyone that left a splinter in their finger long enough for that to happen. I did hear about a guy with one in his foot, but that’s a story for a different time (and book).  Anyway…

An old sin is like the splinter. The longer you hold onto that sin, the more it affects you. Everything reminds you of it. People, places, things people say. Eventually, you can’t stop thinking about it and it really starts to affect your life.

As you may have guessed, I’m the one that had pre-marital sex with other people; two girls in college to be exact. We have come to agree that if Tamar and I had not had sex when we did, I don’t think I would have had sex with those two other girls. After Tamar and I had “done it”, I realized what I was missing. I think I may be getting ahead of myself, let’s do a little history.

 It all started when I was in jr. high. That’s when I started masturbating. Shortly after I took up masturbation, I started looking at pornography. (I learned later that God considers it adultery to look lustfully, and masturbate to, other women.) After a while, the porn became a tool for masturbation. (I’m using the word “porn” very broadly. I didn’t necessarily look at magazines full of naked people; I would also look at scantily clad people in Cosmo, or catalogs, or on the internet. I would even just read about people having sex. To me, porn is that broad of a subject. To this day, I still have to guard myself against looking at magazines and catalogs. Some of the images in them can bring some of those temptations back to the surface. The enemy will use all the tools at his disposal to get you to slip and fall.)

All of this finally built to a crescendo, the porn and masturbation weren’t enough.  I “needed” physical satisfaction from someone else. Tamar was several hours away, so I found someone at school to get that satisfaction. Afterwards, it all started tearing me up inside. I started suffering from depression. I didn’t want to spend time with my family, friends, or anybody. I’d just sit and watch TV and wonder why my life was falling down around me.  Because of this fast, I found out why. Keep reading, and you will too.

Categories: The Crazy Mom Blog | Tags: , , , ,

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