Lord, you know what is on my heart right now and the questions that I have in my mind. Please help me to say what I need to say, what You want me to say about this. Let my words reach the ears and hearts of those who need to hear them. I pray that what I write this evening will be a blessing to You above all else. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
In May 2008, Clay and Renee Crosse came to my church. Clay did a Friday night concert, mostly in the dark because of a blackout in the area that started about the time he began warming up. The next day, he and his wife led a Holy Homes Marriage Conference. It’s been two years, and that experience is something that is still in my mind. It was so nice, so freeing to be able to share with other couples who were going through some of the same struggles my husband and I faced.
One thing that I remember Renee saying, though I am sure I will not get the words exactly right, had to do with the way she dressed. She said she is always careful to wear tops that were not too low-cut and bottoms that were not too tight. She avoids clothing that is too reveling because she doesn’t want the way she dresses to cause someone else to sin. I don’t think she was saying that she is responsible for what someone else does. Rather, she wanted to be sure that she was influencing others in positive ways in every aspect of her life.
That has been on my mind a lot lately. In recent weeks and months, I’ve seen a lot of conflicting messages from Christians. While I don’t want to make any judgment on the relationship others have with Christ, I’ve not been able to help wondering if they understand how they appear to others.
These conflicts especially come up in the area of sex before marriage. In this day and age, it’s not at all an uncommon thing. But does that make it right?
I grew up knowing that sex was a sacred event, something to be shared only between a husband and his wife. Not that I always lived that. I always felt guilty about it, though. I knew that what I was doing was wrong, so I avoided God. For a while, I didn’t go to church at all. I felt like a hypocrite, standing there, singing praises and worshiping God, when I knew that I was not living a life He approved of.
Not everyone is like that, though. The attitude seems to be, “Hey, at least we are in love. The wedding is just a formality.” Recently, I’ve even heard the excuse, “We are engaged, so it is OK.” That comment led me to the story of the Birth of Christ. Mary was pregnant before her marriage, and it was such a disgraceful thing that Joseph was willing to leave her. It doesn’t make sense, at least not in my mind, that engagement would be “close enough” to marriage that God would be OK with the sex.
I don’t know. It’s late, and maybe I am not making any sense at all. It seems to me, though, that if we claim to be Christians, we need to act like it. Picking and choosing which parts of the Bible to obey and which to ignore is not Christianity. It is hypocrisy. It is lukewarm at best. Why that would be “best”, I don’t know. Jesus says He will spit out those who are lukewarm. I can’t speak for you, but I don’t like the idea of being spit out into the lakes of Hell. I want to burn up—with the love of CHRIST! I want to be so consumed by Him that everyone around me sees it.
Oh Lord, stoke the fire within me! Help me keep that fire burning bright. Let me be a light in this world for YOU. Father, I want those who see me to see You. I am not ashamed of You. I am not ashamed to share my love for You. Help me never to give off conflicting messages. Help my actions only bring others to you. Help me to never cause another to stumble by my words or actions.