Bedroom Confessions #2 “I’m Doing It My Way”
From Mountain Lake Church Dawson’s Sermon Series
View the service online at: vimeo.com/dawsonmlc
We love our freedoms and our independence. We want to do what we want, when we want, the way we want. Culturally speaking, our entire lives are oriented towards achieving the goal of being self-sufficient, self-reliant, completely independent and free. Understand there is a difference between independence and selfishness. Independence is not always a negative in our day and age but making our personal freedoms and independence the top priority is selfish and leads to unhealthy relationships. The problem we will continue to run into is when we value our independence and freedoms above what is best for our relationship with God and others.
When replying to the church of Corinth Paul writes, “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12)
Paul is helping the early church (and us) understand that yes we have the right to do anything…but that doesn’t make it right and doesn’t mean it is always beneficial…Especially in our relationships!
God has given us very specific standards to live by FOR OUR PROTECTION and for our benefit. These standards are the Ten Commandments. When we choose to “Do it our own way” instead of “God’s way” we invite pain, hurt and consequences into our lives and relationships. However, that means in order to live within God’s standards we are required to give up certain freedoms that we may want to hang on to. We still have freedom…but it is freedom within the standards of God.
Self-Control Protects Intimacy
Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. (Proverbs 25:28)
Selfishness destroys intimacy and our capacity to be intimate whereas selflessness rebuilds intimacy. At the root of selflessness within a relationship is self-control. We all have desires and temptations and we have a choice to “do it my way”, to choose to exercise my freedoms to benefit myself OR “do it God’s way” and practice self-control by not giving into the selfish desires. Self-control is intentionally choosing not doing something just because you want to or feel like it. When we are able to consistently practice and show self-control within our relationships (as singles or marrieds) we increase the capacity for intimacy within the relationship.
Fast Food & Porn
The lack of self-control is the easy way out…it’s lazy! Within our culture, we celebrate and glorify instant gratification: it has become a norm and even an expectation. We go through the fast-food drive thru because its fast, easy and convenient compared to planning ahead, going to the grocery and making dinner. We use porn because it’s instant and more convenient compared to developing an intimate relationship over time through selflessness. The lack of self-control becomes very dangerous within relationships and sexuality. When self-control is not a standard, there can be no standard on what is or isn’t acceptable which leads to pain, problems, heartache and the death of health and intimacy within the relationship.
Side Note: Our circumstances and situations do not determine our capacity for self-control. If we are unable to practice self-control in the seemingly small and insignificant areas what makes us think we can have self-control in other areas!? If porn is a self-control issue as a single…it will still be an issue when married. If sleeping around is an issue now…it will still be an issue later! Changing our relationship status does not automatically change our ability to have self-control
Pure Sex Challenge
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
We gave this challenge to our church this last week…The 7 Day Pure Sex Challenge! (let me explain…) For singles and marrieds, this is a challenge to practice self-control over the next 7 days, to not engage in selfish sexual relations or acts. That means: no porn, no masturbation, no sexual relations outside of marriage, no affairs (physical or emotional). To commit to practice self-control in what we think, say, wear and do! To commit to “Doing it God’s way” instead of “My way”…to live within the standards God has set
For marrieds, that does not mean sexual abstinence…that means to pursue intimacy at a higher level (to selflessly serve one another and meet your spouses needs more). That may mean MORE sex, MORE date nights, MORE conversations and pillow talk once the kids are in bed…Take a reality check of your marriage and together determine which areas of intimacy do you as a couple need to increase and press into.
The Body Follows the Mind
but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:14-15)
Committing to self-control, especially within the context of sex, is easier said than done! James helps us understand how we can set ourselves up for success! It starts with our mind’s desires. When evil (evil = anything outside of God’s standards) consumes our minds we will be tempted. And even though the temptation itself is not a sin…if we continue to dwell on that desire it is eventually going to “drag us away”, as James says, and lead us to sin and eventual death. Death here does not refer just to a physical death but a spiritual death, the death of intimacy, the death of relationships.
As we find ourselves living outside of God’s standards we must begin with our mind. What we think about, what we allow in our mind. If we change what is in our mind…eventually our body will follow.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
God’s Grace Restores Our Intimacy and Refines Our Desires
Of course, this is not something we can do on our own! Ultimatly we must give up our independence and rely on God, become more dependent on Him, trust His Ways are better than Our Ways. When we are unable, God is very able and that is the truth we must lean on in our lives and our relationships!
King David knew that in order for him to change his lifestyle and desires he first had to ask God to change what was in his mind and heart: asking God to do what he couldn’t do! A great starting point in asking God to restore intimacy and refine desires is to pray as David prayed:
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)