Before Leslie and I got married, our pastor made us a sign a legal document stating we would never get a divorce. We were glad to sign it, as we didn’t have any intention of considering divorce. Consequently, divorce has never even been an option on the table throughout our twenty-five years of marriage. And that is how it should be!
When you live by love, there are certain things that are just automatically removed from the table. In this week’s blog video, I share about avoiding extremes in our approach to sexual purity – whether legalism or liberalism. Learn how to land in the middle and live by the liberty of love, and you’ll grasp the secret to a life that really works! Watch the video or read the transcript below!
A lot of us live in extremes. And, as a result, we fail to live in the territory of liberty and freedom of the Holy Spirit. The extremes are flesh and law. And so a lot of us dutiful, conservative Christians try to find solace in keeping rules. Then you have the other side, which tries to find solace in not being under rules and being free to do whatever they want. Both are living in bondage. But there’s a middle territory of living in love. And when you live in love, you live in purity. When you live in love, you live in honor and respect for others. And so you wouldn’t do certain things, because it was be a show of “unlove” to the other person. When you live in that Spirit zone, you actually find life.
When you take the issue of sexuality, you have the flesh and you have legality. Most of us only know one of those two extremes. So maybe we were in the flesh and then we swung over to legality, and we’ve actually never tasted real living. That’s a sensitivity point for me because there’s a lot of “noise” today in the Church talking about, “Oh, the purity movement – they’re all about legalism.” And, “Hey, let’s swing over here and give up on Christianity and just live for flesh.” I want to say “Okay guys, you just missed Christianity in that idea.”
Legality – I’m just as much against it as anyone. I’m against both extremes. They both lead to death. I am all for love – for the Spirit of God taking over a human body and saying, “Hey, let Me teach you how to live in freedom in the liberty of the Holy Spirit so that you can now please Me with the way you live.”
If you live out of love, you make choices that are honorable. Here is a fascinating example that hits the crux of this, and that is, the two extremes when it comes to marriage. Legality says “thou shalt not divorce” and flesh says, “I want to live however I want. I want to play the field.” So how does a healthy Christian marriage work? A lot of us actually think, “I cannot get a divorce. I cannot get a divorce. I cannot get a divorce.” Or we look longingly at someone else. Or there’s love, right down the middle, which is a lot more pleasant.
Before Leslie and I got married, our pastor said, “Look, I’m really tired of marrying couples who have no clue about the marriage covenant and end up getting a divorce a few years later. So look, if I’m going to marry you, you need to sign something first.” It was a legal document that says we can’t get a divorce. All we can do is seek mediation. We had no problem signing it.
What’s interesting about that situation is it landed me in the middle zone. Divorce has never been an option, between Leslie and me – never. And it’s not even a rule we are forced to follow. We’ve never thought, “Oh, I wish I could.” It’s never even been on the table. When you live by love, there are certain things that are just removed from the table. You don’t even ponder them. You’re not pondering, “Oh, what could I get away with?” Nor are you pondering, “What’s going to happen if I don’t?” It’s not even part of the discussion. Leslie and I have never had a thought about divorce. It was removed from the table before we started. And as a Christian, when I’m training up my children, I want to train them in how to remove certain things from the table and teach them how to live in the liberty of love.
You’re a Christian. So there are certain things you don’t even strain yourself over. You shouldn’t be thinking, “I’d like to explore Egypt a little and find out what type of forbidden fruits I can find there.” No. It’s off the table. I’ve committed myself to Jesus and I’m all in. It’s a covenant relationship. I don’t have a wandering eye towards another girl going, “Uh, huh? What about her?” Because I’m happily married. It’s off the table. And when those things move off the table, you find that you live in freedom. You find that you can live in that liberty of love, which is truly delightful. If you’d like to take these ideas deeper, join me for an 8-week course on honorable manhood.
If you’d like to take these ideas deeper, join me for an eight-week course on Honorable Manhood.