WEDDING LESSONS

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Romance
 

( To be done separately )

God's Plan

From the talk shows to the classroom, sexuality is debated and discussed. Pornography, masturbation, premarital sex, adultery, cybersex, homosexuality lesbianism gay marriage --- these are on the cutting edge today.

Sooner or later we need to wake up and realize that there are no answers in the places we have been searching. We must look somewhere else. As disciples today we will look in God's word to find the true plan and meaning of Romance and Sex.

1. God's plan is good.

God did not make sex dirty, shameful or evil---- it is we who have done that.

It is we who have turned its great power for good to unspeakable horrors of destruction, degradation and misery.

It is we who have turned the sex act into a curse word.

It is we who have a problem with sex, not God.

God created sex and he did a good job of it.

After he made everything, he looked it all over and said, "It is good"

Genesis 1:31
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day.

Because of this Adam and Eve could gaze upon each other's naked bodies without sin, shame or self-consciousness

Genesis 2:25
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

Sex was not the "forbidden fruit" of the Garden of Eden; that was real fruit from a real tree. (Gen3:1-17)

Sex was not prohibited to Adam and Eve; it was expected of them!

Adam was to be "united to his wife" and they were to "become one flesh".

Genesis 2:24
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Besides God had already told Adam and Eve to have children, to "be fruitful and increase in number.

Genesis 1:28
God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

There is a strain of religious thinking that holds to the belief that to be spiritually pure and sincerely devoted to God, we ought to avoid sex altogether.

There is a notion that sex is evil and God's true servants cannot be tainted with it.

It results in the exaltation of virginity (eg:- the doctrine of The Perpetual virginity of Mary) and some spiritual leaders give up marriage and take vows of celibacy.

How different is the teaching of the Bible which honors marriage and requires bishops (also called overseers or elders) to be married men.

1 Timothy 3:1-7
1 Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task.
2 Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.
5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?)
6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.
7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.


1 Timothy 4:1-5
1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.
4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,
5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.


Titus 1:5-9
5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.
6 An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.
7 Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.
8 Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.
9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.


Hebrews 13:4
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

God does define and condemn sexual sin, he does not view sex negatively.

The Scriptures teach us to "hate what is evil" Rom 12:9 but also to "overcome evil with good" Rom12:21

This is the balance we need .

We must see the terrible danger and with equal fervor claim sex as a joyful privilege of married life.

Sin is the enemy, not sex!

We must get into our heads once and for all that sex is good.

It is gift of God, intended for our happiness.

It enables husbands and wives to express their love, draw close. Give and receive pleasure, and conceive children.

It is beautiful wonderful satisfying, needful natural and noble.

And all of that is good!.

2. How the plan works.

God's plan is for sexual intimacy to be experienced only in marriage.

Marriage is defined in the Bible as a relationship between a man and a woman committed in love to each other for as long as they both live.

Matthew 19:4-6
4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'
5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'?
6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."


Within that framework, sex can and should be regularly enjoyed.

Outside of that relationship it is strictly forbidden and is always wrong.

Sex is wrong before marriage and outside of marriage.

Sexual lust is wrong.

Sexual activity with any person other than our marriage partner is wrong.

Sexual activity with some one of the same (homosexuality) is sinful under any circumstance.

No one is created or born to be a homosexual. It is a learned sinful behavior.

No one is genetically predisposed to live a life-style that is contrary to God's plan.

3. God's plan: best and better.

The best sex is married sex.

The most exciting, fulfilling and thrilling sex, takes place in the marriage bed, not the bed of illicit sex. Why?

Because God has designed sex to thrive in a PERMAMENT COMMITMENT not a temporary arrangement and the only relationship that is secure is the MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP.

It is a lie that the most intense sexual pleasure is found in situation that are temporary or forbidden-the adulterous affair, the prostitute, the one-night stand.

This is a myth promoted by movies, television and cheap romance novels and we as disciples better not swallow it.

If God is good (which he is) and God wants us to have a great marriage (which he does) then his plan for sex is better than the world's plan.

Married sex gets better as the years go by.

It becomes intimately pleasurable and satisfying> Why ? Because Love and passion flourish in the soil of lifetime dedication.

THE ROSE - an example (draw and explain)

We can understand how marriage works by comparing it to a rosebush.

Commitment to God and to one another are the life-giving roots of the plant.

The proper fulfilling of our role as a husband or wife is the supporting stalk.

Communication is the energy-producing leaves.

The thorns have their purpose to warn any adulterous interloper to get away and stay away forever.

And romantic love? It is the flower!

Sexual love is the fragrance, the beauty and the crowning glory of the plant.

It is not the life, as some mistakenly believe but it is the Joy!

When every part of the plant functions properly, the flower flourishes, but if there is weakness anywhere, the flower is the first to suffer. It withering is the symptom of deeper maladies

Romance - the problems.

Song of Songs 2:15
Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.

In our marriage if we allow variety of "little foxes" and some not so little ones, to get into our vineyard and spoil the good things we will not enjoy the "God designed marriage"

Failure to recognize the problem is dangerous.

It will leave you and your spouse to fall into bitterness, lust, adultery, and divorce.

To adequately deal with these problems, we must discover and eradicate their causes.

In this lesson we will look at some of these underlying causes--- problems that disturb our intimacy ;and create distance in our relationships.(help them to overcome the following problems whatever is applicable to them).

Pain from the Past.

Isaiah 43:18-19
18 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.


Forget the former things…….

Past sexual experience can have a long-lasting effects. It can shape sexual behavior in our marriages today.

What are these experiences and how do they affect us?

(a) SEXUAL ABUSE

(find out if they have been abused or abused others----help them deal with it and resolve it )

If you were fondled, molested, attacked or raped - Has it affected you? How? Is it still affecting you?

Have you fondled molested attacked or raped others?

Do not allow your life to be ruined by sexual abuse. Be open and resolve it.

Come to understand what happened and how it has affected and is affecting you.

If possible reconcile directly with the other person.

Forgive them, even if they do not respond as they should.

Take personal responsibility.

Accept the fact that this has occurred; do not spend the rest of your life vainly wishing otherwise.

Get rid of all the attitudes of bitterness or resentment.

Do not blame God for your pain.

Instead let him heal you emotionally.

Remember that God can bring good out of the worse experiences, and trust him to work out his great plan for your life.

(b) ABORTION.

Ask them if they had abortion (men too are responsible!) Get them to be open and deal with it.

Exodus 20:13
You shall not murder.

The Bible teaches that God is sovereign over human life.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
12 "Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything.
13 "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"--but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.


And that our bodies do not belong to us, but to God.

Vast majority of abortions are performed for purely selfish personal reasons, and are sinful and offensive to God.

Any sin we commit affects our whole life; the influence of abortion is especially powerful.

For a woman --- even if she is intellectually convinced that it is morally accepted --- ABORITON

1. Ddiminishes her ability to love, to feel good about herself and to enjoy sex.

2. Abortion can destroy a woman's innocence, damage her capacity to be close, and cause her to harden her heart.

3. It leaves guilt and pain (This is applicable to men also).

If they have had a abortion - help them to grips with what they have done.

They must ask God for forgiveness and clear conscience which only his grace can bring.

IMPORTANT NOTE - In the Kingdom we consider ABORTION IS SIN -EQUAL TO MURDER. YOU SHOULD NEVER GO FOR ABORTION (even if it is a special needs child).

(c) SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES

In our day and age sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS are at epidemic proportions.

Such disease will present ongoing challenges.

Would you like your spouse and you to do HIV test - (OPTIONAL).

(d) PREGNANCY.

Lovemaking can certainly lead to pregnancy.

Advice - take birth control pills with advice from a "Real Doctor" No inserting Copper-T.

(Both - the brother and the sister should know about this and mutually decide on this issue)

Plan when you want to have a child. Enjoy a warm exciting love life!

Advice - Early pregnancy and childbirth will bring challenges (financial emotional and spiritual) and also led to diminished sex life.

(e) PURITY LOST 

Hebrews 13:4
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

Adultery is the most devastating of marital sins. It is the only reason God allows divorce (Matthew19:9)

Sexual involvement on any level with someone other that your spouse is sinful.

Sexual intercourse, sexual touching, hugging or kissing --- all of this is forbidden.

Flirting (engaging in suggestive conversation or giving off sexual cues) is wrong.

We cannot claim innocence if we allow ourselves to become familiar with someone else even if it is a joking manner.

The warning against adultery is true for both sexes.

Proverbs 5:3-4, 7-8
3 For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil;
4 but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.

7 Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say.
8 Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house,


(f) MASTURBATION

Although the Bible does not refer to it directly there are strong reason for saying that Masturbation is a perversion of God's plan and God's way.

God designed and ordained sex to be enjoyed with our spouses, and that is the only place where it is permitted.

Masturbation is an attempt to please ourselves.

It alienates a person from his or her spouse.

Even if you claim to be imagining sex with your spouse while masturbating the ultimate result is to deprive the spouse of attention and love.

Someone said "That which was meant to be shared is squandered in solitude".

Masturbation is selfish, enslaving practice that opens us up to lustful fantasies and other sexual perversions.

Masturbation frustrates God's plan.

It does not fulfill it.

We must stay away from it.

It is encouraging to know that we are not left alone to fight the battle for sexual purity alone.

Jesus has been tempted in everyway just as we - yet was without sin"

Hebrews 4:15
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.

He understands temptation and can help us overcome it.

When we are tempted and if we falter, we have the freedom to "approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need".

Hebrews 4:16
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

(g) PUNISHMENT

One of the worst mistakes you can make in marriage is to withhold sex to pay back your partner for wronging you.

Resolve your problems and hurt feeling quickly.

Ephesians 4:26-27
26 "In your anger do not sin" : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
27 and do not give the devil a foothold.


Don't play games with sex --- Using "I have a headache" or "Not tonight" as part of a strategy to manipulate your spouse or get your way is wrong, dishonest and destructive.

FOR MEN --- Men who physically force their wives to have intercourse or who purposely hurt their wives during sex are committing a serious sin and should immediately seek help

If a husband will not come forth, the wife should take swift action to secure assistance before the situation becomes more dangerous.

Conclusion

There is not a couple alive who will not encounter problems. If you properly identify the problem, get sound advice and counsel, rely on all the romance God gives you. You can deal with them.

At different stages of life, the problems will be different. But whatever you face, never give up on God's plan.

Challenge

Be open about purity. Pray and ask God to help you to be pure and have Godly conviction about romance.