Bethel Dallas Youth message on Sunday 8/5/18
- Myth: Love is love…
Truth: God is love.
You have to decide what you believe love is first before you go out into the world and find it. Let’s define terms and what your word means. The world throws around the slogan “love is love” which essentially means, “I get to define love however I want to because love is love.” Although this sounds loving and free it is very dangerous. What happens when someone else’s definition of love destroys and hurts my definition of love? Who gets to set the terms of when someone’s definition has gone too far? The most important thing you can do is choose how you will define love: it is either God’s way or your way. This choice will in turn answer your questions about gender identity and sexual identity, what your standards are, what is acceptable and so on.
- Myth: Singleness Stinks…
Truth: Being single is a great season of life that you will never get back.
How can you make the most of being single? Example: I remember in college I thought I was busy but then I got married, a full time job, and had kids….my definition of busy is now a whole different level. However, I am glad that I took advantage of my time in college to study hard, work hard, do ministry and most of all….spend time with God. You will never get this time back in your life where you have summers free, the ability to travel, read lots of books, lots of family time, etc. You may want to consider if this is a good time to be in a relationship? Don’t wait for you parents to have to set your boundaries but take ownership of your decisions and ask yourself if this is the best time to be in a relationship. Are you mature enough to foster a healthy relationship that can produce long term results? When I was young I chose not to date for the most part. I remember some of my friends used to joke, saying, “Ryan is going to be awkward with his wife because he’s never dated anyone before.” This scared me and made me feel like I needed to practice how to date girls and learn how to be comfy doing these things. These are lies. The truth is that doing things the right way will produce a long-term healthy relationship. Trust me, you are not behind if you are waiting to do it right.
- Myth: I can’t be happy, if I’m not in a relationship…
Truth: You only need one relationship to have true joy.
Even a healthy marriage is based upon each person receiving unconditional love from God in order to feel whole, happy, and healthy. In your years of singleness it is good to go ahead and practice receiving your contentment and happiness from the goodness of God. The alternative is to get married to get your own needs met and try feel whole based upon what your spouse does for you. This may not sound that harmful on the outside; however, this is setting up your spouse and yourself to constantly let each other down. God is the only one who can fill the void in our heart. He IS love. His unconditional love is what fills us up in order for us to be able to love each other.
“Contentment, happiness, and joy come from recognizing the goodness of God and His activity in our lives. If you can’t maintain joy when going without being in a relationship, ask Holy Spirit for a heart check-up. God made sex to bring connection and pleasure, but it is not necessary to have joy in our lives, and outside of the context of marriage, it’s ultimately more damaging than fulfilling.” -Kris Vallotton
- Myth: Great relationships are destiny; they’re supposed to happen…
Truth: You don’t fall in love, you grow in love.
Falling is an accident. If you can fall in love once it will be easy to fall again for another person. The aim is to grow in love. Great relationships do no happen by accident. A great marriage is not an accident but a life long choice for two people to make for life. A great relationship is something that is fought for, worked for, sacrificed for. It is easy to fall in love on ‘The Bachelor’ when the atmosphere, the music, the food is all taken care of for you and is perfect but love is not built in a vacuum. A lot of time when people step into reality they find that they don’t like to work through life’s difficulties together. What happens when you have to face a financial conversation when bills are tight? Or figuring out how to raise kids together when you both have different backgrounds? Nothing good comes easy but the hardest battles are worth fighting because they create the biggest victories. The battle for your purity and relationship with your spouse is one of the biggest battles you will fight in your life. Your relationship will either be built to last or built too fast! When you are considering your future spouse think about things like, “Do you want this person to parent your children?” or “Do you want to take on your toughest days with this person?”
- Myth: I can follow God and still do whatever I want…
Truth: The only way to follow God is with an all-in-100% approach.
God wants all or nothing. You may initially think that sounds selfish, greedy, and conceded but think about this with me: Imagine if a guy proposed to a girl and she said “Yes, but with a condition, only 98% of the time. I want one week out of every year were I’m not bound to you and I can do whatever I want with whoever I want.” Any sensible person would say “No!” We cannot follow God but not obey what He says when it comes to sex, dating, marriage and relationships. Some things are concrete like when Jesus said in Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’” So we know that God does not want anyone having pre-marital sex. And then some other things are not so concrete but strong guidance like when Jesus continues in Matthew 5: 28, 29 “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” The point is that God is interested in your best and the more you allow Him in the conversation of when to date, who to date, and how to have healthy relationships, the better!
- Purity is impossible. No one can seriously wait that long…
Truth: Purity looks practical.
Purity is living one day at a time with practical boundaries and safeguards in your life. Understanding your triggers will help you stay away from temptation. If you can avoid putting yourself in a bad situation you are more likely to win. The adage goes “Don’t camp by the cliff.” Here are some practical tips: Do you have open lines of communication with your parents? Do you honor your parents decisions in dating? Do you read the Bible daily (Yes, somehow this massively helps. You may not know how email works but you still use it. Reading the Bible helps you walk in purity)? Do you ask God for help when temptation is coming (2 Timothy 2:22 “Run from temptations that capture young people.”)? I encourage you to identify your triggers and then set up boundaries in your life for the things you struggle with. For girls, this may be “Chick-flicks” that stir up unhealthy emotions or romance novels. For guys it is usually visual stimulation. Purity is simply living a daily disciplined life and submitting to God.
- Myth: I’ve already lost my purity so it doesn’t make sense to fight for it now…
Truth: God is in the business of giving second chances.
It is never too late. What if you started fighting for your purity right now and that is what leads you to your dream spouse? There is nothing God can’t redeem and restore. You can start brand new today no matter what has happened in the past. Think about mighty David in the Bible. He was called a man after God’s heart even though he slept with his friends wife, got her pregnant, lied about it, and then killed his friend to cover it up. Crazy right!? What made the difference: David truly repented and got right with God. God’s Word says that we are clean in 1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
We mess up and make mistakes, and it is our job to come before God and ask for forgiveness. We serve a God of second chances and a God who sent His son to die for us to be clean and pure. Your past and the decisions you make do not define who you are in Christ. You are a new creation according to 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Let this sink in, you are not defined by your mistakes but your identity is defined by how God sees you. Ask God to give you glimpse of how He sees you.
- Myth: I have to be perfect; otherwise, they won’t want me…
Truth: “Love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
True love is not selfish and covers up other people’s wrongs. True love is being able to love someone on their worst day. You need to find a relationship that is not driven by fear of leaving and manipulation but love that is not selfish and focused on the other person. This is the pit fall of people who co-habitate but don’t get married. They say to each other, I’m in this thing as long as my needs are getting met but when they are not getting met I will threaten to leave you. Have you ever seen cohabitation play out as a “happily every after.” Here’s a great quote from Kris Vallotton: “The beauty of love is accepting the other person for their imperfections – the crazy things they do that makes them, them. You don’t have to be someone you’re not or stuff your true feelings or emotions out of fear of someone leaving. If they truly love you, they will accept you for you. For the good moments and the bad moments.” When my father asked me how I knew Hannah was the one I told him “When I’m with Hannah she helps me be the best version of me. I feel like I am more of who God really created me to be when she is around.” Hannah loves me for who I am with my flaws included. And it is by her love that she has helped me to grow in the areas where I am weak.
- Myth: Mr./Mrs. Right won’t want me so I’ll be someone else…
Truth: The right person will draw out the best you and love you through your shortcomings.
The best version of you is the one who is genuine. If you feel like you have to be someone else to impress a guy or girl then odds are is that person is not right for you. Even further, if you want real intimacy in marriage then true intimacy comes from complete vulnerability. Vulnerability is the ability to be completely open, honest, truthful and yourself. Believe it or not there are lots of married couples that do not have true intimacy because they have not found out how to be vulnerable being themselves first.
- Myth: Kissing never hurt anybody…
Truth: Soul ties can be harmful to the soul.
Have you ever had to use wood glue before? Picture two pieces of wood that have been stuck together by wood glue. Try and tear these apart and the breaking will never happen at the point of the glue but the boards will tear wood off from each one. Why? Because the wood glue adhesive is stronger than the wood itself. Now you have some of board A on board B and some of board B on board A….a big mess.
A soul tie is a way God created us to be connected to people. There can be healthy soul ties and unhealthy soul ties. A healthy soul tie looks like a married couple that has a strong connection with one another. An unhealthy soul tie can look like a dating couple that has gone too far and now has broken up with hurtful ramifications. Soul ties can be created through physical touch, words, and emotional connections. Again, soul ties are not bad things but something that forms deeper bonds between people. It can be harmful to your soul to form deep bonds between you and someone you are dating in the wrong timing.
- Myth: I’m doing a pretty good job…I haven’t had sex with my boyfriend/girlfriend…
Truth: Don’t judge how well you are doing by comparing yourself to others but put yourself against God’s standard.
Judge how well you are doing against God’s word, not against how well your friends are doing. You can be doing a good job in certain areas of your relationship, like physical interaction, but going way too far emotionally with a person. Maybe you haven’t had sex but you have gone too far emotionally with saying “I love you” and becoming overly dependent on your girlfriend/boyfriend. When you go too far emotionally it can easily lead you to going too far physically. God does not call us just to have a healthier dating relationship than our friends but calls us to His standards. God is good and He wants the very best for us!
Now, with all of that, what is ONE THING you can highlight and beginning working on in your life today?