Self-Control—It’s More than Sexual

Too often, self-control kicks in only as a matter of pride. We apply the brakes by asking questions like: Will I look foolish if I have a third slice of cake? Not terribly spiritual, but hey.

Self-Control—It’s More than Sexual

(Photo by Photodune)

Life hands us daily situations in which self-control seems impractical, irrational, and even impossible. And yet, amazingly, at other times:

  • While arguing with our spouse, and the phone rings, we answer the call and suddenly we have self-control.
  • Our boss lays into us about something that’s totally unfair. We fume, but bite our tongue.
  • Our tummies start to expand beyond our belts and bathing suits. So we cut back on sweets.

When our reputations, our jobs, and our physiques are at risk, we apply self-control. Why? Because something more important than immediate satisfaction seems threatened.

But somehow sex is different?

My Biblical Encounter with a Russian Prostitute

I discovered there isn’t time to ponder your reaction when propositioned by a prostitute. Your first response is your response. It happened to me in a Russian hotel.

My Experience with the Bible and a Russian Prostitute

(Photo: St. Basils Cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square. By Soerfm. Own work. CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

I went with some missionaries to Moscow to help train national pastors. On our first morning, I headed to the hotel lobby to meet our team. Stepping out of the elevator, I scanned the lobby for others in our group. I saw no one I knew.

A small group of ladies at the bar sat and chatted with each other. All of them, that is, except one. This one very attractive woman was smiling and staring—straight at me.

As our eyes met, I suddenly remembered someone told me that prostitutes sat in the bar, looking for customers. This woman kept smiling and then leaned forward—and a literal chill ran up my back. I can still feel it. I froze.

At that moment, I heard three very distinctive words in my head.

How Your Marriage is Like the Death Star

Your marriage is like the Death Star. Oh, I don’t mean it’s a large instrument of destruction and devastation. It’s something else. See if you can spot it in this clip.

Did you see it? Perhaps this quote by Plato will help:

The life of the nation is the life of the family written large. —Plato

Still stumped? The foundation of a nation is the family, and the foundation of the family is the marriage. If you can destroy marriage, you have begun a chain reaction that will dissolve the family, and eventually, the nation.

The key word is vulnerability.

Here’s how your marriage is like the Death Star—and more importantly, how you can protect it from what makes it vulnerable.

The City of David’s Strength and King David’s Weakness

In King David’s day, the city of Jerusalem stood as a renovation and expansion of Jebus, a site the Hebrews never occupied in the territory of Benjamin.

The City of David’s Strength and King David’s Weakness

(Photo: The City of David at right, opposite the modern village of Silwan. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Those who come to Jerusalem today for the first time are often surprised to learn that the original Jerusalem, “The City of David,” sat on a mere ten acres just south of the Temple Mount. Hardly impressive, it looks like some third-world neighborhood.

Steep slopes surround the City of David and gave it in a strategic advantage during any military threat. So much so, the inhabitants of Jebus felt confident “David cannot enter here” (2 Samuel 5:6). But he did, and David made the site his new capital.

The steep slopes became King David’s military strength.

But the slopes also played into his moral weakness. Here’s how.

Looking for God in the Wrong Places

The world makes promises it can’t keep.

It says the reason we’re unhappy is that we just haven’t found the right whatever yet.

The right spouse, the right hairdo, the right salary, the right entertainment system, the right church, the right pastor, the right Bible, the right seminar, ad infinitum . . . ad nauseam.

Looking for God in the Wrong Places

(Photo: Design Pics, via Vivozoom)

You don’t have to be without Jesus to fall into the trap. Even those of us who do believe in Jesus can chase those shadows.

But God won’t let us hide from reality. He loves us too much.

4 Strategies to Fight the Tug of Temptation and Sin

In my previous post, I wrote about a Christian’s struggle with sin and 4 lies we believe about our sin.

Let’s take it a step further.

4 Strategies to Fight the Tug of Temptation and Sin

(Photo by Tech. Sgt. Dan Neely. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

In addition to taking a defensive mindset against the lies we often believe, we need to take an active approach to sin and temptation.

Here are 4 basic strategies to help you battle the tug of temptation and sin on your heart.

2 Daily Decisions that Can Change the Past

Think about the worst mistake you’ve made. If you’re like me, it probably ranks as the worst because of the fallout it caused. After all, some wrong things we did seem to have had little effect. But the ones that backfired on us we view as the big ones.

Our lives needn't be shipwrecks

(Photo: by Dammnap, via Wikimedia Commons)

The trouble is, we never know which compromises will end up being the big ones.

Reuben, the oldest son of Jacob, blew it big-time. From his example, we can learn to make two daily decisions that can change the past.

More specifically, we can change the past that will be.

We’ve Only Just Begun [Podcast]

Part 8 – (Commitment) “Love: The Greatest of Songs”
- Song of Solomon 8:3-14 -
In this intimate book, The Song of Solomon, we get to stare wide-eyed at love as God intended it to be. From its beginning in what makes one attractive to the struggle with that attraction in sexuality as a single. From the passion of physical intimacy given and blessed by God, to the passion of marital conflict and how it may be resolved. We shouldn’t be ashamed to study what God was not ashamed to reveal. In this practical book, we come to understand in a very practical way why the greatest of songs is love.

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Keeping the Love of Marriage Alive [Podcast]

Song of Solomon 7:1-8:4

Keeping the love of marriage alive requires deliberate attention, time, and humility. God’s Word shows us how.

In this intimate book, The Song of Solomon, we get to stare wide-eyed at love as God intended it to be. From its beginning in what makes one attractive to the struggle with that attraction in sexuality as a single. From the passion of physical intimacy given and blessed by God, to the passion of marital conflict and how it may be resolved. We shouldn’t be ashamed to study what God was not ashamed to reveal. In this practical book, we come to understand in a very practical way why the greatest of songs is love.

Play

How to Resolve Marital Conflict [Podcast]

Song of Solomon 5:8-6:13

Marital conflict can be resolved best God’s way. It’s tough work, but it’s the only way.

In this intimate book, The Song of Solomon, we get to stare wide-eyed at love as God intended it to be. From its beginning in what makes one attractive to the struggle with that attraction in sexuality as a single. From the passion of physical intimacy given and blessed by God, to the passion of marital conflict and how it may be resolved. We shouldn’t be ashamed to study what God was not ashamed to reveal. In this practical book, we come to understand in a very practical way why the greatest of songs is love.

Play