Category: Marriage & Family

Is Abstinence Before Marriage Realistic? 7 Ways to Abstain

Is abstinence before marriage a realistic choice in our modern culture? Should our modern culture continue to encourage premarital sex or protected sex instead of abstinence? What practical steps can a person take to successfully abstain until marriage?

Studies reflect that only 29 percent of people in the United States consider the act of having sex before marriage as being morally wrong, while 97 percent of people in a country like Indonesia believe that premarital sex is unacceptable. In Europe, the majority of Europeans believe that premarital sex is acceptable. The same study also says that in religions such as Catholicism and Islam, having sex before marriage is morally unacceptable. In African countries, there are also strong cultural beliefs that sex before marriage is morally wrong.
Therefore, people’s perception of abstinence and premarital sex depends on 3 major factors which are – geographical location, one’s culture and one’s religious beliefs.

However, what does the Bible say about abstinence? Is abstinence a realistic option especially in the 21st century culture? What practical steps can a person take to ensure that he/she successfully abstains from sex until he/she gets married?

There are many verses in the Bible that declare sex before marriage to be a sin.
For example, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, Galatians 5:19, Ephesians 5:3, Mark 7:21 and Colossians 3:5.
Therefore sex was created by God in order to be enjoyed only within the confines of marriage.

Is abstinence realistic? Yes it is. A spiritual understanding of sex and spiritual conviction plays a big role in helping one to practically abstain.

 

So what are the practical steps that you can take to abstain from sex before marriage?

  1. Don’t put yourself in situations where you might be tempted to compromise your sexual purity or values.
  2. Have boundaries and uphold the boundaries. Date a person who has the same beliefs about abstinence as you do. If both of you have the same convictions about waiting before marriage then you are likely to be successful.
  3. Avoid material such as pornography or any entertainment which have heavy messages on promoting premarital sex. Such material is bound to progressively lead you into temptation by polluting your mind.
  4. Make yourself accountable to someone or to people you can trust and who uphold the same values that you have about abstaining until marriage.
  5. Always remember that God’s word is the ultimate authority. Abstaining from sex until marriage is God’s will and through obedience, we are expressing Christ’s nature and character in our life.
  6. Always remember that God designed sex to be enjoyed – but only within the confines of marriage. Therefore you and your partner will reap the long-term benefits of obeying God’s word in this area.
  7. Always involve God when it comes to your feelings, temptations and relationship. Never remove God from the equation in your relationship. Ask Him to always give you the strength to abstain and keep you from being tempted into premarital sex.

 

Abstinence prevents some of the following problems
1. It prevents abortions or unwanted pregnancies
2. It prevents sexually transmitted infections
3. It prevents teenage pregnancies
4. It prevents mistrust caused by previous sexual relationships
5. It prevents the chance of children who grow up with single mothers
6. It may even prevent you from marrying the wrong person

 

Have You Already Had Premarital Sex?
If you already had sex before marriage, the Bible says that there is God’s forgiveness which is always available. If we confess our sins, God is just and faithful to forgive us of every sin – including sex before marriage (1 John 1:9).
Therefore, even if a person has had premarital sex, that person still has an opportunity to repent and start focusing on obeying the word of God in that area.

Sex Before Marriage – 6 Problems with Premarital Sex

Is sex before marriage right or wrong? With the exception of various Muslim nations such as Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey or Jordan, most people in many other nations have taken a more relaxed and tolerant view regarding sex before marriage. Most societies and cultures believe it is acceptable for a person to have sexual relations with one or more people before committing to marriage. In fact, if you’ve never had premarital sex or if you’re a virgin, then you’re more likely to be ridiculed, frowned upon or disbelieved.

However, does the fact that society has normalized premarital sex mean that sex before marriage is a good thing? Aren’t there any problems that are associated with premarital sex? Also, what does the Bible say about sex before marriage?

It’s an undeniable fact that sex is pleasurable and sex is meant to be enjoyed. However there are Biblical guidelines from God that relate to sexual relationships.
According to the Bible, premarital sex is considered to be a sin. Scriptures such as Galatians 5:19, Ephesians 5:3, Mark 7:21 and Colossians 3:5 highlight fornication as being an unacceptable act or lifestyle in the eyes of God.

People might be tempted to believe that God is just a “killjoy” who doesn’t want people to have a “good time”.

So the question is this: If sex is meant to be enjoyed and if sex is pleasurable – then WHY would God prohibit two consenting individuals from having sex just because they are not married?
The truth is – having sex before marriage has caused many social and spiritual problems in society.

Too often people focus on the “enjoyment” and “pleasurable” part of sex without understanding the other aspects of sex, such as procreation, the Biblical guidelines and also the negative effects of having sex outside of marriage.

If the Bible’s message on sex before marriage were obeyed by society, then we would have very few of the following problems:

  1. We would have few abortions or unwanted pregnancies
  2. We would have few sexually transmitted infections
  3. We would have few teenage pregnancies
  4. We would have few divorces due to mistrust caused by previous sexual relationships
  5. We would have fewer children who grow up with single mothers.
  6. Premarital sex also creates spiritual problems in relation to a person’s relationship with God. If one is not repentant, a person can distance himself from God simply because of guilt and shame.

However, God is a forgiving God. If we receive Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior and confess our sins, God is just and faithful to forgive us of every sin – including sex before marriage (1 John 1:9).
Therefore, even if a person has had premarital sex, that person still has an opportunity to repent and start focusing on obeying the word of God in that area.

 

Qualities of a Good Parent

Parenting in the 21st Century has become more challenging than it has ever been.
We live in world where Biblical and principled parenting is under attack. Many anti-family and anti-parenting concepts have been introduced in the world with the deliberate intention of completely changing the Biblical concept of what it means to be a good parent.

In the life of a child in the 21st century, a mother and father are no longer the only parents of a particular child. In our ungodly world, a single child has more than just a mother and father as his/her parents.
Unfortunately, the television has also become the parent; the internet & social media have become the parent; the popular half-naked celebrities have become the parents; the atheist school teacher has become the parent; even the government has become the parent.

However, should parenting problems only be blamed on television, celebrities, social media and the like? Perhaps part of the blame might also go to many parents themselves who have surrendered to worldly values and therefore fail to bring up their children in a godly manner.

So the question is – what are the qualities of a good parent? What does the Bible say is the duty of a parent and why is it important to practice good parenting skills.

 

1. A GOOD PARENT MUST TEACH & TRAIN UP A CHILD
Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
The best human authority figures to train up a growing child are the parents of that particular child.
Training for life and training pertaining to values and principles should not be left to the internet sites, celebrities or even the Sunday school teacher.
It is the duty of a good parent to teach and train a child the correct values and principles for that child to become a good and godly person in life and society.
Children are products of what they have been taught by the authority figures in the lives. For example, a child who grows up to be a violent and abusive adult may have been taught directly or indirectly by an authority figure in his life that violence and abuse is the answer to solving problems.
A good parent must also understand that children do not only learn through our words only, but they also learn by watching our behavior and actions within the home.
The “do as I say and not as I do” concept does not work in relation to parenting. Instead a good parent teaches and trains a child by being an example.

 

2. A GOOD PARENT LEAVES AN INHERITANCE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION
Proverbs 13:22 says A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.
A good parent does not only live for his own generation. Good parents do not live and create wealth only for themselves and then leave their children with nothing by the time the parents die.
Good parents will always work and live with the next generation of their family in mind.
Even God thinks generationally. Therefore a good parent must leave wealth, knowledge and godly values that will equip and help the family for generations.
Therefore just bad certain sins and iniquities can be observed & experienced generationally within a particular family, it is also possible that wealth and many other blessings can be observed & experienced generationally within a family.
It is therefore up to parents to ensure that they bless the next generation and not curse them.

 

3. A GOOD PARENT DISCIPLINES HIS CHILDREN
Hebrews 12:7 says It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
Proverbs 19:18 says Discipline your son while there is hope, And do not desire his death
The discipline of a child is an important part when it comes to parenting. It is also important for the development of the child as well.
Discipline not only asserts who is in authority between a parent and child, but it also teaches the child to respect different authorities in life.
Discipline also helps a child to understand that there can be consequences to making bad or irresponsible life choices & decisions.
Therefore discipline should always be done in love. Discipline should be done to teach and not necessarily to simply “punish”.
It’s also important for a parent to understand the difference between discipline and abuse.
Abuse does not build up a child. Abuse destroys a child’s development. However, while discipline might not be popular to a child for a while, the discipline will lead to positive results in a child’s development.
The Bible therefore encourages parents to discipline their children because it will ultimately benefit the child as he/she grows and develops.

 

4. A GOOD PARENT LOVES HIS/HER CHILDREN
Titus 2:4 says “that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children”.
Love is an important virtue of any human and interpersonal relationship. Children are supposed to first learn the meaning of love through their parents. Within the family, love is not only reflected by words alone, but children are capable of understanding what love is, through the actions and behavior of their parents.
If love and affection is not shown or reflected in the home, a child will also become unloving or unaffectionate when he/she grows up.
However, every person – especially children, yearn for love and affection and this is a need that every parent must reflect towards his/her child.

 

5. A GOOD PARENT DOES NOT HINDER A CHILD FROM A RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST
Matthew 19:13-14 says Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
A good parent allows his/her children to relate with Jesus Christ. A good parent will not hinder his/her child from having a relationship with the Creator of the Universe. A good parent will desire for his/her child to go to church and fellowship with Bible believing Christians.
One of the most important duties of a parent is to point a child to focus on Jesus Christ and to enable the child to one day make a personal decision to accept Jesus Christ as Lord & Saviour.
The whole point of training up a child as mentioned in Proverbs 22:6 is so that the child may grow up to become a godly person who has a relationship with Christ.

 

6. A GOOD PARENT PROVIDES FOR HIS CHILDREN
1 Timothy 5:8 says But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
A good parent provides for the physical, emotional and psychological needs of his/her child. Even if a husband and wife are divorced, it is important for the divorced parents to look after the welfare of their child.
Children should not have to be neglected just because the parents are divorced. Therefore both mother and father have an obligation to provide for their child or children.

 

Conclusion
Deuteronomy 11:18-19 says “You shall therefore lay up these words of Mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise”.

Ultimately parents are required to obey the word of God in every area of life. Parents are then required by God to teach the word of God to their children.
Parents are encouraged by God to pass on spiritual and godly values for life to their own kids and thereby create a better, godly generation.

5 Things That Ruin Marriages

There’s no doubt that the divorce rate around the world continues to grow and it shows no sign of slowing down.
You find a couple seemingly falls in love, gets married and then before you know it, their marriage is ruined and they are filing for divorce.

 

So what are the things that ruin marriages? Below are at least 5 major factors that can destroy a marriage.

1. FINANCES
This is always a big issue in a marriage. Maybe the husband isn’t earning as much as his wife and so there’s tension in the home.
Or perhaps there are disagreements on how to budget and spend the money in the home.
Another reason could be that both husband and wife are not earning enough income and so it’s difficult to meet the financial requirements in the home.
Couples are therefore bound to fight and even divorce if measures are not taken to address the financial aspect of a marriage.
The Bible however teaches us that we should be good stewards of all that God gives us and therefore this includes how we use our money. God expects us to spend our money wisely and righteously.
Furthermore, we are not to worry about money (Matthew 6:25-34) – but we should learn to trust in God that He will supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19).
Therefore in a marriage – a couple shouldn’t focus on fighting each other over money – but the couple should collectively look towards being good stewards of what they have and to trust that God will provide increase and supply every need of the family.

2. UNFORGIVENESS
Have you ever had those fights with your spouse where something you did many years ago which you thought was long forgiven and forgotten is brought back in the fight – and you’re like “Hey – I thought that issue was long forgiven & forgotten”
Well – unforgiveness – if not properly dealt with- it grows like a cancer and it festers bitterness, resentment and an underlying rage which may eventually destroy a marriage.
So it’s important that when a couple fights, that they attempt to quickly and amicably resolve an issue as soon as possible.
The Bible says that we should not allow the sun to go down whilst we are still angry (Ephesians 4:26). In other words – try not to go to bed without amicably resolving a problem with your spouse.

3. DISHONESTY & LACK OF TRANSPARENCY
Poor communication or lack of transparency will undoubtedly lead to lack of trust within the relationship.
The Bible encourages us to be honest and to speak the truth in love. Hiding the truth is a form of deception but speaking the truth encourages trust between spouses.
Where there is dishonesty there is lack of trust, and where there is lack of trust, a marriage may end up in divorce.

4. ADULTERY
Adultery is clearly wrong and it destroys the trust of a spouse. The Bible teaches that if you marry someone – it is for life and you are to remain faithful to your partner till death do you part.
Biblically, marriage is more than just a human contract. It is the joining of a man and woman in order to become one flesh.
Adultery destroys trust, creates unforgiveness and it can destroy a marriage.

5. NOT FULFILLING GOD-GIVEN DUTIES / ROLES
A marriage can be ruined because spouses do not understand or fulfill their God given spousal roles in the home.
The Bible teaches that the husband is the head and his roles is to love, provide, lead, nourish & protect his wife just as Christ does the same for the Church (Ephesians 5:22-31).
The wife is to respect & submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ (Ephesians 5:22-24,33). The wife should also be like the wife mentioned in Proverbs 31 in that she is excellent, respectful to her husband, industrious and manages the home.

So it’s important to note that every marriage goes through testing. The important thing as a couple is to learn HOW to resolve problems together and to put God at the centre of the relationship.

 

6 Men That Single Women Should Avoid

Are you dating? Are you considering marriage?
Choosing a spouse is the third most important decision you will ever make. The first most important decision in your life is becoming a born again Christian and the second is choosing the right church.

Therefore if you’re single and if you’re looking for the right person to live with for the rest of your life, what warning signs should you look for before you consider a serious relationship with a man?

Below are a 6 types of men that single women should avoid

(1) An Unbeliever
2 Corinthians 6:14-15Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
The Bible is clear that in the context of binding relationships such as marriage, a Christian does not have anything in common with a non-Christian or unbeliever. A marriage can last when both partners have God involved in their individual lives and are willing to involve God to be at the centre of their marriage.
Therefore it’s important for single women to pray to God to discover a Christian man who genuinely loves the Lord.

(2) A Man Who Dislikes Children
There are millions of single mothers around the world who raise their children alone because many men have abandoned the responsibility of fatherhood. Why do men abandon fatherhood? Most of them are ill-equipped, lack responsibility and dislike children. A man who loves children will not abandon the kids whom he has brought into the world irrespective of the sexual choices he has made.
Proverbs 13:22A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.
It’s important for a single woman to find out if her man is somebody who genuinely loves children and will not dump her the moment she becomes pregnant.

(3) A Violent & Abusive Man
If a man is abusive and violent before you get married – it’s most likely that such a man will continue this abuse in the marriage. Single women should avoid getting involved with men who are violent and abusive. Instead they should seek men who will nourish and cherish them.
Ephesians 5:28-29So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

(4) A Man Without A Plan
A woman generally looks for security within a man. When a man has no direction or purpose in his life it could be a problem in the long run. God’s principle in a marriage is that the husband is to lead the home and if a husband has no vision or plan, he will fail to lead his family.
Ephesians 5:23For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

(5) An Unfaithful Man
Unfaithfulness in a relationship will lead to anger, pain, mistrust and ultimately a broken relationship.
Unfaithfulness is always a warning sign that a woman should heed before she gets married as adultery is the cause of many broken marriages around the world.
Hebrews 13:4Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
Fornication is when an unmarried person is sexually active. Adultery is when a married person is sexually active with another person who is not his spouse.
God does not agree with fornication and adultery because these practices destroy the faithfulness of a person and whilst it may appear pleasurable to engage in sex outside of marriage, the effects are negative and damaging to long term relationships.

(6) A Man Who Abuses Substances
Out of the abuse of drugs and alcohol can come many relationship issues: Physical abuse, financial issues, communication breakdown; sexual & infidelity issues and also spiritual issues. Therefore a man who is addicted to drugs or alcohol will end up causing these kind of issues in a relationship.
Ephesians 5:18And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

 

The best man that single women can find, is a godly man who loves God and has genuine Christian values.
Are you looking for the right husband? Pray and seek the mind of God and search His word regarding the qualities of a godly person.

 

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