I remember once listening to a message by an old preacher called Dr Edwin Louis Cole in the early 90s. He is now late and has gone home to be with the Lord. The title of his message was the “Glory of Virginity”. It was such a powerful message, and it sure did leave its mark on my life as a young person.
At one point in the message, he addressed the pressures young people face with sex. Highlighting a situation where one party in a relationship is pressuring the other for sex against their will causing the other person to violate their conscience.
He said, “Love desires to benefit others at the expense of self, because love desires to give. Lust desires to benefit self at the expense of others, because lust desires to get.” This statement caught my attention and hit me like a ton of bricks. When a person is trying to manipulate another against their will, he or she does not give two hoots about the other person. All they are thinking about is gratifying themselves at the expense of that person. It’s all about them, not you.
Keeping yourself until the day you get marriage was the message he was attempting to get across to us. He was trying to get us out of the “try before you buy” mentality that was prevalent at the time (I guess things haven’t changed much today). As a minster of the Gospel, I believe it is honourable to keep one’s self pure. The Father wants us to keep sex within the context of marriage.
However, sex is not my subject today, I want to address the, me, myself and I attitude of our generation. We know divorce is rampant in our day and age. I realise it is a reality we all have to deal with. The church cannot shy away from it. There is a segment in the body that make up this statistic and we need to minister to them in love as they rebuild their lives.
I am throwing this thought to young couples, old couples, single people (that includes divorcees). Marriage is not about you, but the other person. It’s about giving yourself to the other person at your expense, as opposed to taking at their expense. I believe if a lot of couples adopt this mentality, a lot of homes would be kept together as opposed to being torn apart.
My question is simple. Are you in a relationship just because of what you can get? Or because of what you can give? Is it all about your needs? Your feelings? What about the other parties involved? Do they exist on your radar? Let’s look at what Scripture says:
Philippians 2:4 (NIV) Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
This Scripture is a cure for selfishness. While some might easily apply it to their relationships with fellow believers in the body of Christ, they find it hard to apply it to their spouses; they forget that they are all so brothers and sisters in Christ.
Love is about giving, not taking. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave…” (John 3: 16). Brothers and sisters it’s time to start giving. It’s time to start putting others before ourselves. It’s time to start putting our spouses before ourselves.
If you keep on taking without giving back, the long-term effects could be disastrous and lead to a relationship meltdown. Our heavenly Father has called us to love. What better place to start, than at home. Don’t be a taker, be a giver like your Heavenly Father. Let us imitate Him today!
Ephesians 5:1 (AMP) THEREFORE BE imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].