CONSECRATE YOURSELF FOR MARRIAGE
Date: October 31
Category: Marriage and Relationships
1 Peter 1:14-16
"[Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel]. But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living. For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy."
When we become born-again, something has to change in our lives. If we have been stealing before, we are not going to steal anymore. If we have been lying before, we are not going to lie anymore. There is a change that has to take place in our lives when we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. It says that we have to live in obedience to God. To be obedient to God means not to conform ourselves to the evil desires of our flesh. As you read chapter 2, verse 11 Peter says, "Beloved, I implore you as aliens and strangers and exiles [in this world] to abstain from the sensual urges (the evil desires, the passions of the flesh, your lower nature) that wage war against the soul." In other words, since we are now new creatures in Christ, we are to refrain from those sinful desires.
There comes a time when every person will feel a desire to unite in a sexual way with the opposite sex. There's nothing wrong with that, but God provided a proper context for that and it's called marriage. Marriage is the proper place for expression of human sexual desire. Sex is not to be done outside of marriage. It says in Hebrews 13:4, "Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous."
In other words, the marriage bed should be kept holy, meaning if you are married, then you are not to have sex with anyone other than your spouse. If you aren't married, then you are not to have sex with anybody until you're married. In 1 Corinthians 7:9 Paul writes to the unmarried people, "But if they have not self-control (restraint of their passions), they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame [with passion and tortured continually with ungratified desire]." If you want to fulfill your sexual desires, then you have to be married first. Sex only belongs in the context of marriage.
But once you do marry someone, it's so important to nurture that relationship. In 1 Corinthians 7:33 we read, "But the married man is anxious about worldly matters – how he may please his wife." So now that you're married, you as a husband have to focus on how to please your wife. You have to consider her needs, her feelings, and her thoughts. In other words, you have to change to adapt yourself to your wife. Then we read in verse 34c, "the married woman has her cares [centered] in earthly affairs – how she may please her husband." So not only does a husband have to please his wife, but also a wife has to focus on pleasing her husband as well. When both spouses do this, then their marriage will be strong.
Sometimes after a couple has been married for a while, they often begin to take each other for granted. When a husband doesn't show his wife love, attention, and affection, then his wife will eventually find it from another man. When a wife doesn't show her husband love, respect, and appreciation, then her husband will start looking for it from another woman. Taking each other for granted often leads to adultery.
It is clear from these passages that your sexual desires should be holy. We read in 1 Peter 1:16, "For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy." You can also find this statement in Leviticus 11:45b. Our standard of living should be God. So since God is holy, we too should live a life that is holy. In this case, it means consecrating our sexual passions for our marriage partners. Nowhere else are we to fulfill those sexual desires.