Chocolate Vent’s Question of the Day – If you got paid a dollar everytime a celebrity said something stupid what celebrity would you pick?

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Sex Doesn’t Produce Intimacy, Otherwise Prostitutes Would Be Out Of Business.

When Cindy met Rob, she knew that even though he attended church, he didn’t share her convictions about premarital sex. Rob thought it was OK—and even good for dating couples to engage in—and Cindy believed it was wrong from a Christian perspective.

As their friendship progressed, Cindy and Rob’s opposing viewpoints caused some hot debates. It also forced them both to take a second look at their convictions. As a result, Cindy developed a deeper understanding of truth, and Rob was forced to face the lies he’d always believed.

If you’re like Cindy or Rob, and you’ve taken a stand for (or against) premarital sex, but you’re not sure why, here are some things to consider.

Scripture is Outdated, Right?

Like many singles, Rob thinks the Scriptures on sexual purity are outdated and archaic. “Those parts of the Bible aren’t relevant to today,” he told Cindy. “After all, when the Scriptures were written, the people during that time got married when they were teens; so they didn’t have to struggle with sexual temptation like we do now.”

In response to Rob’s argument, Cindy found Scriptures about sexual purity and showed them to him. When Cindy read 1 Corinthians 6:9, 2 Corinthians 12:21, Galatians 5:19, Hebrews 13:4 and Deuteronomy 22:13-28, all which condemn sex before marriage, she asked Rob, “Are these Scriptures relevant to today?” “Nope,” Rob responded.

“Do you have a pair of scissors?” Cindy asked.

“Why?

“Because I think we should cut those Scriptures out. After all, if they’re not true because people can’t control their desires, why not completely eliminate them? After all, we can just pick and choose the parts of Scripture that we want to believe on sexual purity, right? Give me your scissors,” she said.

“You’re crazy,” Rob responded.

Crazy or not, Cindy had made her point—there are holes in Rob’s it’s-not-true-because-people-can’t-control-their-desires theology. Why? Because, if his beliefs were based on truth, they would stand up in every circumstance, but they don’t.

For example, if sex before marriage is okay because people supposedly can’t control themselves, then it must be okay to engage in pornography, too, right? After all, the temptation to watch and participate in porn abounds like it didn’t in Bible times.

Not surprisingly, when Cindy asked Rob if it was OK to engage in pornography, his theology changed. “Pornography isn’t okay because it’s damaging to the people who are doing it, and it’s not very Christian.”

Why does Rob have a schizophrenic view of purity and of the Bible’s commandments?

Additionally, if scriptures in the Bible became untrue because people can’t control their desires, then we’d also have to cut out the commandments on stealing, lying, cheating and having affairs.

Sure enough, there are holes in Rob’s sex-before-marriage theology, just like there would be holes in his Bible if Cindy cut it up.

Doesn’t Sex Produce Intimacy?

During their discussions about premarital sex, Rob insisted that it was good to engage in sex with a dating partner because “it brings you closer.”

Cindy believes that this is true, and not true. On one hand, the Bible says that sex causes “two people to become one.” Therefore, it’s more than just a physical act, it’s also a spiritual encounter (Mark 10:6-9).

Additionally, Dr. Patricia Love, the author of The Truth About Love, writes that a feeling of intimacy is created by a “chemical cocktail” that is produced in the brain during sex and stays with each person for up to 24 hours after intercourse. Perhaps this physiological bonding is what Rob was referring to.

On the flip side, having sex is no guarantee that the deep emotional intimacy that everyone longs for will develop.

Alice Fryling, in an article titled, “Why Wait for Sex?” writes:

“Genital sex is an expression of intimacy, not the means to intimacy. True intimacy springs from verbal and emotional communion. True intimacy is built on a commitment to honesty, love and freedom. True intimacy is not primarily a sexual encounter. Intimacy, in fact, has almost nothing to do with our sex organs. A prostitute may expose her body, but her relationships are hardly intimate.”

Some experts even report that premarital sex short circuits the emotional bonding process. Donald Joy, a writer for Christianity Today, cited a study of 100,000 women that linked “early sexual experience with dissatisfaction in their present marriages, unhappiness with the level of sexual intimacy and the prevalence of low self-esteem.”

So what does this mean? If Rob tries to convince Cindy, or any woman, that sex will actually help their relationship, she might want to think again before consenting. While premarital sex does produce a short-lived chemical cocktail in the brain, there is no guarantee that it will produce long-term emotional closeness or relational satisfaction.

Can’t Sex Help You Determine Compatibility?

Rob told Cindy he felt it was unreasonable to expect him to abstain from sex before marriage because no one would buy a car without test driving it; so he couldn’t imagine committing to marriage without taking a “sex test drive.”

When Cindy suggested to Rob that his “test drive” mentality could lead him to compare his wife’s sexual performance with his other partners, he denied it. “No, I wouldn’t,” he adamantly said.

However, his logic is faulty. Here’s why: If it was true that Rob wouldn’t struggle with comparison, why would he need to “test drive” anything? After all, if he’d never had multiple partners, he would automatically think his wife the best. For example, the man who hasn’t ever seen or driven more than one car doesn’t know what other cars are like; therefore he would be satisfied with his automobile.

Partners can also feel threatened if they think their mate could be comparing them with previous partners.

When Cindy randomly asked 10 women at work if they would be worried that their husband was comparing them if he’d had intercourse with multiple women before marriage, 80 percent of them said yes.

This provides a strong argument to abstain from sex before marriage to protect the emotional safety that your spouse will need to feel in marriage.

Hope and Restoration After Premarital Sex

Perhaps you’re asking, “What if, like Rob, I’m guilty of sexual sin?”

The first thing to remember is that no sexual sin is beyond God’s forgiveness. Thankfully, He doesn’t withhold forgiveness or grace from those who ask for it.
1 John 1:9 promises that if you confess your sins, that He is faithful to forgive and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Note: This includes all sin, and does not exclude sexual sin. Psalm 103: 12 also promises, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions [sins] from us.”

In addition to forgiveness, God wants you to embrace His grace that will help you move forward in life and embrace the promises He has for you with joy. In spite of your choices, God wants to bring you relational fulfillment.

*Originally published on Focus on the Family.

See Yourself. Really See Yourself.

Sometime today, whether on break at work this week or next weekend, try this exercise.Close your eyes, and see yourself. No, don’t see yourself as you are now and where you are today, see yourself as God sees you and where He’s  taking you.
See yourself as beautiful, whole, and complete now in His sight.  Internalize and own it to be true to you. See yourself healed emotionally, physically…see yourself walking in total forgiveness with those who have wronged you in any way, see yourself praying for and hugging those persons.
See yourself based on where you would like to be five years from now, whether it’s in your career or ministry, or even financially free.
See yourself – really see yourself.
If you desire marriage, see your wedding day.  See your wedding dress and your friends and family all around you supporting you. See yourself, now, before it happens, as faith is now.
Faith is also the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1)  The word, substance, means that which has actual existence, a substance, real being, and
steadfastness of mind.

Create your world with your mind while meditating on God’s Word. In other words, use your imagination, which is a powerful force for God used His imagination to create the world. See yourself as God’s sees you, in spite of your present circumstance.

As you see it, praise God in advance.
As you meditate on God’s Word and really sees yourself as God sees you, you will soon walk into your destiny and dance into your victory.
*Originally published on Kim on the Web.

 

#SaturdayStamps: Robert Hayden

The United States Postal Service has honored ten of America’s most illustrious poets of the 20th century on 45-cent First-Class Mail Forever stamps. Among those chosen was Robert Hayden, the first African-American to be appointed Poet Laureate. Hayden was also a longtime Baha’i.

Born Asa Bundy Sheffey in 1913 in the Paradise Valley neighborhood of Detroit, Mr. Hayden spent much of his time reading and writing. He attended Detroit City College (now Wayne State University) on a scholarship and earned a master’s degree at the University of Michigan, where he was mentored by celebrated poet W.H. Auden.
In 1943, while in graduate school, Mr. Hayden became acquainted with the Baha’i Faith and was drawn to its focus on racial harmony. He incorporated those beliefs into his poems and thought of himself as an American poet, rather than a black poet.
Mr. Hayden was awarded the grand prize for poetry in 1966 for his collection Ballad of Remembrance at the First World Festival of Negro Arts held in Senegal. The award earned him long-awaited worldwide recognition. In 1976, he was named Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, which later became the esteemed title Poet Laureate of the United States. His poetry is wide-ranging and includes tributes to black leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, folklore, politics, life in the slums and the Vietnam War. One of his most-well-known poems is “Those Winter Sundays,” in which a son reminisces about his father.

Robert Hayden taught at Fisk University in Nashville for 23 years and then at the University of Michigan from 1969 until his death in 1980 at age 66.
Other Twentieth-Century Poets honored by the Postal Service include Elizabeth Bishop, Joseph Brodsky, Gwendolyn Brooks, E.E. Cummings, Denise Levertov, Sylvia Plath, Theodore Roethke, Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams. Each stamp features a photograph of one of the 10 poets. Text on the back of the stamp sheet includes an excerpt from one poem by each poet. The art director was Derry Noyes.