Category: Love, Marriage & Family

The Difference Between Love & Infatuation

Have you ever been in a relationship where you thought you loved someone and you thought you were going to spend your whole life together, but only to be heartbroken?
Have you ever been in a relationship where you thought you married a perfect loving person but only to discover that your loving relationship was not as “perfect” as you think? The person you once loved has become the person you hate or desire to break-up with.

It’s amazing that one of the most misunderstood words when it comes to the subject of relationships is the word “love”.
Many people want to be loved and many people want to be in love. However, it seems as if very few people understand the true meaning of love. Furthermore, few people are able to differentiate between love and infatuation.

What is Infatuation?
Infatuation is defined as an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something.

  • Therefore infatuation doesn’t last long; it happens instantly and quickly.
  • Infatuation is driven and fueled by lust; it is all about sex pleasure and physical affections
  • Infatuation believes that your partner or the person you desire is “perfect”; it makes you believe that you are in love with a someone who can do no wrong when realistically none of us are perfect
  • Infatuation makes you feel like you know everything about your partner but yet you have known your partner for a short time and most certainly may know very little about him.
  • Infatuation is interested in self-gratification or self-satisfaction; your passions are not about what you can give or contribute to the relationship – but your passions are about what you can get from the relationship
  • Infatuation can consist of pure intense feelings and very little volitional or rational thought. Therefore decisions are made purely out of feelings and emotions rather than rational reasoning.
  • Infatuation is therefore like a roller-coaster; One minute the relationship is great and the next minute the relationship is bad and then later its great again
  • Infatuation makes one overly jealous and over protective; it desires control but also fears loss
  • Infatuation cannot be satisfied; it usually wants more and if it does not get what is wants, it will look elsewhere which results in broken relationships.

 

 

What is Love?
Love is exactly the opposite of infatuation. Love is more than just feelings and emotions – but love is also about actions and principles.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says the following about the subject of love:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

The truth is that all kinds of relationships will face tests and trials. There is no loving relationship that is immune to challenges and problems. The thing that binds relationships together is true love.
Any relationship that is bound by infatuation alone will never last.
However, love is what binds people together especially through trials and challenges in life. True love remains faithful through all situations. True love sees the flaws of others but still loves them regardless.
True love will always help to ensure that you try to do the right thing within your relationship. True love gives; it is not self-centred. It respects others and does not look for its own personal gain but it focuses on others.

Therefore understanding the difference between love and infatuation is one of the most important things in any relationship.

The Problem with Sexual Infidelity

It is estimated that more than 30% of all married individuals (in any country) will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage.

Some of the major reasons why people commit adultery is related to the following:
• People having had multiple sexual partners before marriage
• People having an abnormal sexual desire with different partners due to the influence of pornography
• People who have marital problems with their spouses
• People who spend a greater time away from a spouse
• People who have a perverted mindset and see other women as sexual conquests
• People who have been joined through an arranged or forced marriage

Sexual immorality and infidelity is a never ending problem in society and it is only growing worse.
The Greek word for “sexual immorality” is [Porneia] which means “fornication”, “prostitution” and “idolatry”.
Fornication is the sexual relations between people who are not married to each other. However, infidelity or adultery is the sexual relations between a married person and a partner who is not the lawful spouse.

The Bible speaks against all kinds of sexual immorality such as incest, homosexuality, bestiality, adultery and fornication (1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; Leviticus 20:13; Exodus 22:19).

 

The issue of infidelity however is a huge problem in society for several reasons.

Adultery Destroys Marriages & Families
Adultery destroys the marriage of the cheating spouse. More than 53% of marriages end up in divorce due to infidelity. This automatically results in destroyed families and children are faced with the emotional, psychological and social impact of being raised by divorced parents. Adultery is heart-breaking to both the children and the spouse who has become the victim of a cheating partner

 

Adultery Creates a Generational Curse
Nathan prophesied to King David because of his adultery in 2 Samuel 12:10-11: Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.

After David committed adultery, he may have been forgiven but David still experienced the generational consequences of his sinful actions. Bathsheba’s son died (2 Samuel 12:14) then Amnon raped his half-sister, Tamar (2 Samuel 13:14). Later Absalom kills Amnon for raping Tamar (2 Samuel 13:28-29) and escapes to a foreign land (2 Samuel 13:38). Absalom returns after 3 years and then attempts to overthrow his father David from the throne (2 Samuel 15:6).
Absalom also sleeps with one of David’s concubines (2 Samuel 14:28) and later has sex in public with 10 of his father’s concubines.
Another of David’s sons – King Solomon had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines, and his wives turned away his heart from God (1 Kings 11:3-4).

Adultery is an iniquitous sin that spreads within a family’s generation and becomes worse with each new generation.

 

 

Adultery is Rebellion Against God
Adultery is a sin that reflects the adulterer’s lack of respect for God’s union of marriage. The adulterer lacks an understanding of the purpose and origins of marriage. Marriage was originated by God and He desires that the marriage bed be respected.
Hebrews 13:4 says: Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
An adulterous person does not honor marriage and his unrepentant actions will eventually lead to God’s judgment.

 

Adultery Destroys Society
Destroy a marriage and you destroy a family. Destroy a family and you destroy a community. Destroy a community and you destroy a city. Destroy a city and you destroy a nation.
One of the major ways that the devil is destroying society is by destroying marriage and the family.
For a long time – the act of adultery has been normalized and virtually accepted as normal yet in God’s eyes, infidelity is a serious sin and it is an insult to God’s covenant of marriage.
The enemy therefore uses sexual immorality as a weapon against God and against mankind.
If there are many single mothers; orphaned children; broken relationships and divorced couples – it’s because these are all linked to the problem of sexual immorality.

 

Bible Verses on Sexual Immorality
• God created the body for purity not for sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:13)
• God hates divorce (Malachi 2:14-16)
• God does not support people who break-up other people’s marriages (Mark 10:9)
• God hates all forms of sexual immorality (Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 5:5, Revelation 22:15)
• God commands us to flee all forms of sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18)
• God judges the sexually immoral (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
• God commands that a sexual relationship occurs exclusively within marriage (Hebrews 13:4)

 

Should a Christian Date or Marry a Non-Christian?

Should a Christian date or marry a non-Christian? 2 Corinthians 6:14 says: Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

2 Corinthians 6:14 gives an important principle about what all Christians should heed when it comes to having any type of binding partnership with a non-Christian.
Dating and marriage is a binding partnership that involves intimate feelings, emotions, thoughts and physical bonding. Marriage especially is not just a physical contract but it is a spiritual covenant which God ordained.
Therefore it’s important to make the correct Biblical choices when it comes to the issue of dating and marriage.

1 Corinthians 15:33 says “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character”.
According to 1 Corinthians 15:33 it is a deception to believe that a Christian can be in a binding relationship with an unbeliever and not be affected.
When a Christian dates or marries an unbeliever the results might likely become negative.

When a Christian has an intimate relationship with an unbeliever, this can lead to a hindrance in the Christian’s spiritual growth.
For example, if you’re dating a non-Christian, the temptation to have premarital sex may become stronger than if you were dating a Christian believer who has Biblical values about sex.
Therefore when a Christian dates or marries a non-Christian there can be cultural and spiritual friction and contrasts in the relationship which could eventually lead to detrimental problems.
When 2 people who have directly opposite value systems and beliefs get married or start dating, the relationship will have problems and issues that are based on those opposing value systems.

One of the main objectives of marriage is that both husband and wife cleave to each other.
Ephesians 5:31 says “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
The only way for a husband and wife to cleave or be united is if their core values and beliefs are similar.
Therefore if a Christian is dating an atheist or a Buddhist then they will both have opposing value systems that can affect various areas of the relationship.

What are the Benefits if a Christian Dates or Marries another Christian?
1. You share the same value systems and you believe in the same God.
2. A married couple where both spouses are Christians can easily cleave and bond
3. It is easier to sharpen each other’s spirits. Therefore you can encourage and pray for each other and grow spiritually together
4. You are likely to fight less than if you were dating an unbeliever. You can become united in mind and spirit when attempting to deal with life challenges together.
5. As Christians you are able to put God at the centre of your relationship and marriage. A marriage with God at the centre will always succeed even in the face of challenges.

It’s therefore wise and beneficial for a Christian to date or marry another Christian.

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.

 

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