By Pastor Waldo Castro
|THIS COURSE HAS BEEN TRANSLATED FROM SPANISH BY JOYCE SCHMEDEL AND IS USED ON THIS WEBPAGE BY PERMISSION OF PASTOR WALDO CASTRO|
- These studies have been elaborated to give a Biblical orientation to our youth about what is a Romantic Engagement and its limits within that relationship.
- An engagement is a relationship between two people of the opposite sex that have as an objective to know each other more closely prior to marriage. It has an objective: to know each other better and a clear goal: marriage. All engagements are a passageway for all ends in something that will be either marriage or separation.
- Engagement is a relationship that needs a serious and mature commitment. God is not in favor of immature people to be engaged for play, for it puts at risk the feelings of the persons involved. This in no way implies a yoke that obligates young to marry. Instead it is a prevention for that which is about to be initiated.
- In these times of so many changes about this theme and over the sexual license that reigns in engagements, many Christian youths are being blasted by the current in this world, bringing fatal consequences to their lives.
- It is very important that we understand what the Word of God tells us about engagement. I hope that these studies will be of help and blessing to your life and will be able to help you to have a better perspective on this very important and polemic theme, for what happens in this stage of your relationship can greatly mark your life.
- May the Lord bless you and keep you. If you desire to speak personally about this, you can write me by personal email and with much joy I will attend to you.
|You can write in English to firstname.lastname@example.org and your message will be translated into Spanish and sent to Pastor Waldo Castro for his answer.|
- Very cordially, your friend and servant, Pastor Waldo Castro
WHO SHOULD I MARRY?
- This is one of the crucial questions that confronts youth. The great majority of youth want to marry to be happy. God wants it like this but the decision of choosing a companion is not always simple.
- =1= WHEN A CHRISTIAN YOUTH THINKS TO MARRY, HE OR SHE DESIRES TO DO THINGS IN THE BEST WAY. HE OR SHE DESIRES TO BEGIN WITH A SOLID FUNDAMENTAL:
- The youth does not want to build his marriage on sand but on the rock. Si you have Christ in your heart, you do not have to fail, fall, or ruin your life. With the Lord Jesus in your life you will be able to form a precious home where life will be worthwhile.
- God says, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (Gen 2:18) When the Christian man and woman think to form a couple, they are seeking that person that God already has chosen. A help-meet, a person in accordance with my needs and at the same time, a person that needs what I have to give.
- The Christian does not seek his mate for purely selfish motives (at least it should not be in this way.)
- It is true that the young man needs a wife, but in time, when he is thinking about a companion, he must ask himself, “Who can I bless? Who needs what I have to offer? Who can I help? Who can I love with all my heart and for whom can I be a blessing? Also there is another important point to mention:
- =2= THE CHRISTIAN IS UNITED FOREVER:
- It is not like butterfly neither like a bee that goes from one flower to another to see which is the sweetest. The Bible says, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Mat 19:6). The true Christian thinks to marry to live united to his mate in love, patience, tenderness, and constant forgiveness until death separates them. When a sincere will exists in the heart, the Holy Spirit is guiding the young Christian.
- “Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
- Today there is a great confusion as a result of cheap novels, pornographic movies, and also erroneous cultural guidelines. The word, love, is one of the most distorted words in our dictionary. The word, love, has been prostituted. The people believe that the word love is synonymous with sex. But in reality love and sex are not synonymous. To love does not imply necessarily to have a sexual relationship. In the same way, neither does having sexual relations imply that there is love. Sex is to express love, but not always is love manifested through sex.
- The Bible says that we most love others because “God is love”. (1Joh 4:8) What is the essence of love? Following the letter to the Galatians, love is service. The sign of which we love someone is that we serve that person. “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” (Gal 5:13). Love is revealed in service. Love is that which seeks the good of the other person. It is the foundation of life in relationships.
- Love is the key to a happy engagement and marriage.
- Examine your heart. If you believe you love another young person, ask yourself: “Do I feel the kind of love that is described in the passage in 1Cor 13?”
- =3= HOWCAN I KNOW THE WILL OF GOD FOR MY LIFE?
- For that it is necessary to ask yourself:
- Is the person in whom I am interested a true believer in Jesus Christ?
- The Bible is final with respect to the fact that the Christian must not marry an unbeliever.
- There is a great emphasis in the words of Paul, the Apostle. “And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” (1Cor 6:14-17)
- “Do not join yourself in marriage with those that do not love the Lord,”
God says, and that is final. Also common sense says it for it is imply intelligent. Experience also says it for in this way, do not reject it. There is this to consider very seriously. If you disobey God in this question, you will waste your life. You will not have happiness. Your hope will never be a happy home, marvelous, filled with the Holy Spirit and in the glory of God. Surely in this way you will not find the full happiness that God has reserved for you. To marry with a non-believer is a sin against God, a sin against yourself, and against the children that will come. To marry with a non-Christian can bring to your life the greatest failure. Someone has said satirically, “When a child of God marries a child of Satan, the devil is his father-in-law.”
- Behind the humorous feeling there is a bitter reality, as hundreds testify that have suffered the consequences of an unequal yoke.
- Perhaps you ask how you can be sure that someone is for certain a child of God.
- A Christian is someone that has Jesus Christ in his life, from whom he has asked for forgiveness for sin and has accepted His sacrifice on the cross. People are known by the priorities and attitudes that they manifest in their lives. For that it is necessary to spend time with a person and not to be hurried to form an evaluation. Remember that “everything has its time”. The true Christian is known by his fruit. Jesus said the same thing, “By their fruits you will know them.” Does a genuine fruit exist in the person on whom you are fixing your emotions?
- Here there are six evidences of a Christian following what we find in the first letter of the Apostle John
- =1= With humility he confesses his sin daily. (1:9)
- =2= He obeys the Word of God (2:3-6, especially verse 4).
- =3= He loves his brother (2:10).
- =4= He does not love the world neither what this offers. (2:15).
- =5= He does not practice sin (3:9).
- =6= He overcomes sin (5:4).
- But on the other side, as a Christian it is not only necessary to marry with another Christian, but with a Christian that grows in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, with a Christian that does not complicate his spiritual growth but that, on the contrary, is encouraged and inspired to grow in his faith.
- He takes before God his decision that he will marry a companion with whom he can seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness all his life. Nothing can be more exciting!
- You must have present the thought that Christian marriage is not formed by two people but by three. The third party is Jesus Christ. In him is found the basis of an engagement and a happy marriage. Christ is the unifying force of the couple. Because of that, the Bible warns about not joining oneself in marriage with those that do not love the Lord.
- If you want to marry to be happy and to form a home in agreement with the plans of God, you must find a companion that shares your faith in the Lord Jesus, now that He is the center of the union. You have to have an extreme strength that invades the heart of the man and woman joining themselves in a permanent manner, so that you will not have two wills but one. Precisely that is the will of God, and those that love Christ will give themselves joyfully to that process. On the side is the young man and on the side is the young woman, and in the center is Jesus Christ, hugging and uniting the two.
- Do you want an engagement and a future, happy marriage?
- Learn by memory the text of Galatians 2;20 and apply it to your life:
- “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
- When the man and the woman can say, “With Christ we are crucified”, they have taken the first step to destroy selfishness. Selfishness through history is the evil that has caused more problems in families. There will be also a vital step taken toward the answer of the question, who should I marry? When the Lord Jesus is the third person that composes the perfect triangle in the couple, divine love begins to inundate the hearts. But when Jesus Christ does not occupy the center, selfishness is imposed and dominates the carnal passions, only to cloud the relationship with nervousness and insecurity. For that we must have in mind the words that God put in the mouth of the Apostle Paul:
- “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
- That divine love that fills our being makes us love in a supernatural way. One must recognize that generally speaking the love about which the movies and current romantic books speak is an entirely passionate love. But this divine love is the love that produces true unity of hearts, and it is a supernatural love.
- (Rom 5:5)
HOW TO BUILD A SECURE RELATIONSHIP
- When a young man and a young woman decide to make a mutual commitment of engagement, they face a decision of extreme importance. Many engaged people, including many married couples, fail for not taking into account certain fundamental aspects. Do we build on the rock, on something secure? Or do we build on sand, on passing things? To be able to answer these questions, we must ask ourselves sincerely:
- =1= Am I proud of her or him, or am I embarrassed to present him or her to some important person?
- True love is never ashamed of the other person. All to the contrary, he or she is proud of him or her.
- In truth when someone loves, he has desires of which all the world knows who is his or her sweetheart. It is important not to give place to a false humility. We learn to have the correct perspective toward our sweetheart.
- =2= Do you consider that he or she is inferior to me in some aspect?
- In truth when a young person loves his or her sweetheart, that love brings them to a happy marriage inside of the will of God, and never has to consider his or her companion inferior to himself or herself.
- The Word of God calls us to consider ourselves seriously and in a special manner to consider our brother as better than ourselves. (Phil 2;3) What is the consideration that you have toward your sweetheart?
- =3= Do your respect the person with whom you believe you are in love or do you take liberties to mistreat and abuse him or her? (physically or emotionally)
- According to the Bible, true love is synonymous with purity. True love thinks about a beloved person in pure terms. When there is no respect but certain liberties are taken in the treatment, whether it be in word or deed, real love does not exist.
- Love protects, is tender and patient as 1Corinthians 13 affirms. If the person says that he loves you, but takes liberties with you now that you are engaged; if there is mistreatment and verbal abuse, things do not improve when you marry. All to the contrary, if there is no respect, there is no real love. It can be passion, great physical attraction, but not love. In this way you must be careful!
- =4= On being in prayer, do you feel peaceful when you think about marriage with this person?
- To make this decision without divine counsel, it can lead to disaster. When you are in prayer, do you feel persistent doubts as soon as you think about your future marriage? It is a dangerous sign. If there are doubts of this type, it is possible that will not be true love. Yes, well at some time or other, doubts cross all our minds, but there are times in which Satan, the astute destroyer, the enemy of the Christian, sows this seed of anguish and anxiety in the heart of youth that are sweethearts. For that I ask you if when you pray you feel peace or turmoil in thinking about marriage.
- Prayer is one of the great keys of the abundant Christian life. That internal peace that governs the heart is an indication that God is directing your steps. When peace overwhelms your being, God tells you to continue forward on the road in which you are walking. But when God removes His peace, He is indicating to you to stop and reconsider your decision.
- “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”
- =5= Do you have full confidence in your love and faithfulness or is there jealousy and suspicion that fills your heart?
- Jealousy does not originate from God. It is a work of our human nature. It is the result of sin in the heart of man. Now, well, if our companion conducts himself or herself in an inappropriate manner, what we feel in the heart already stops being jealousy in the Biblical feeling of the word. It is changed into a justified complaint against the other person. In the letter to the Hebrews, we read, “Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.” (Hebrews 13:18)
- But if you feel envy, if you over protest exaggerating, if you are filled with jealousy, this is a sign of something going bad in the engagement. It is very clear that sweethearts want to be together, but if you have to justify each moment that you have been separated, it is an indication of a lack of mutual trust or maturity. Be careful!
- =6= Can we converse during long hours or do we have nothing about which to talk?
- It is said that true love speaks. Love without conversation dies soon. Love is not something automatic. It must be cultivated and for them it is precious to converse and to share one with the other. Love is expressed revealing oneself in actions and with words.
- It is necessary to take time to share, to chat, to know the turmoils, the dreams, the aspirations, ways of thinking of the other person, etc. this only is achieved through dialogue and you must learn to share it with your sweetheart.
- =7= Are you available to wait until the necessary time?
- When a person is exaggeratedly in a hurry to be married, it is because something is not going well.
Extreme hurry as a general rule is merely sexual, or a symptom of a lack of maturity, or on occasion the desire to escape home or a place where you are living. Love is patient. True love waits for the adequate moment. In Galatians 4:4 we read that “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son…”
- In the same way it happens with marriage. Christian men and women wait until the moment arrives that God has indicated and determined.
- =8= Do you want to be the kind of person that your companion can respect or do you pretend to do everything by force?
- Do I always want to come out on top or do I seek the good and the desires of the other person?
- You must not forget what 1 Corinthians 13 says in speaking about genuine love. “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, ” When true love exists, each one is seeking the good of the other one and not his own good. The one that loves desires the good of the person he or she loves.
- Mutual respect must exist considering the opinion and the will of my companion.
- =9= Is she the suitable young woman for me? Is he the suitable young man for me? Will you supply my deficiencies? Will I supply yours?
- The couple must make up a complement, your other half, in a way that together you live for the glory of God.
- We must remember that this is a process where both must know each other and learn to complement each other mutually. Dont be impatient. But if this process is made impossible then it is a sign of danger.
- The purpose of God is that both complement each other and help each other mutually. You must then ask yourself, “Am I available, available to help my sweetheart?
- =10= Does the person with which I want to marry turn out to be physically attractive to me?
- Perhaps this question is ridiculous. However, there are young people that decide to enter into marriage without appreciating physically the future spouse. It is dangerous to pretend that the physically appreciation is not important.
- We are three-part being: body, soul, and spirit. Of course, we must place love in its proper perspective. There are very important aspects like the spirit, the intellect, the emotions, sociability, the cultural level and the educational level. All this is very clear. But I dont know if it occurred to you to depreciate or relegate physical attraction to an insignificant place, thinking that it is improper.
- Never forget that God Himself created our bodies, and yes, selfishness and sing contaminates it all. The true Christian sees the human body and sexuality as something beautiful, marvelous, when it is understood from a divine perspective. Such a perspective is revealed in the Bible. As for this aspect it is important to be realists and not to live in a world of fantasy, to dream of Miss Universe or of a very famous man. Dont permit the world through television, magazines, daily dramas, etc. feed your mind with a wrong perspective.
- =11= Are my parents in agreement with our engagement and future marriage?
- God says, “Hijos, obedeced en el Se?or a vuestros padres, porque esto es justo” (Eph 6:1) “Hijos, obedeced a vuestros padres en todo, porque esto agrada al Se?or.” (Col 3:20)
- If the parents do not have a good view, it is risky to continue with your plans. Obedience to parents “pleases the Lord”. Psychologically in your intimate being there is no peace before a marriage birthed without the approval of father and mother. On the other side, there is satisfaction and happiness when the families are formed with the consent of those most loved.
- Yes it is from God that you both were born. God Himself can change the opinion of your parents. Perhaps they are waiting to see more maturity in you both, more economic responsibility or discipline. Try to ascertain for yourself why they are contrary to your engagement. Perhaps a simple clarification on your part will resolve things. On occasion, on having members of the family that are not true Christians, can present you with exceptional situations. It is important that you consult your pastor or your more direct spiritual authority. Even in this way, this must not be a motive not to guard your true testimony.
HOW CAN WE KNOW THAT AN ENGAGEMENT RELATIONSHIP IS HARMFUL?
- When a relationship is harmful, always we find clear indications of what it is. However, we must be sincere and transparent to assume it. Still we are in time!
- =1= THE RELATIONSHIP IS HARMFUL WHEN IT DOES NOT HAVE AS ITS GOAL A FUTURE MARRIAGE:
- When two young Christians begin an engagement, they must always have the intention of a future marriage. Matrimony was instituted by God.
- To offer the hands, the face, the lips, and time to someone with whom you have no intention of marriage is dangerous, and can lead to sin.
- =2= THE RELATIONSHIP IS HARMFUL WHEN IT IS POSSESSIVE:
- You want to act wanting to manage the other person, dominating out of jealousy and frustration results in possessive people. We must not forget that love means to give and not to demand constantly from another person. It can denote a lack of maturity.
- =3= THE RELATIONSHIP IS ALWAYS HARMFUL WHEN IT IS FRIVOLOUS:
- A person is frivolous when he does not try to reflect before acting, when he is not worried over the existence or the lack of noble feelings. It is frivolous when opinion, conduct or attitude changes rapidly.
- =4=THE RELATIONSHIP IS HARMFUL WHEN THERE IS NO DISCIPLINE:
- Self-discipline is a fundamental element of the Christian life. To know the hour of arrival and the hour to leave the house of your sweetheart, in spite of excessive liberty in certain families, is an exceptional virtue. In this way, to avoid solitary places and favor on the side of caution is totally recommendable.
- God has established limits for each stage of our life and to transgress them, brings consequences over our lives. To be sweethearts is not the same as being married. It is harmful for two sweethearts to sleep together, or in the same house, without having any older, responsible person present. It is harmful to commit certain types of caresses that can bring you to commit acts for which you would want to repent and would want to desire that you had not committed them, but now you cannot turn back.
- =5= THE RELATIONSHIP IS HARMFUL WHEN IT AFFECTS COMMUNION WITH GOD AND THE CHURCH:
- When we consider the effect that our future mate would be able to exercise in his or her spiritual intimacy with Christ, we must ask ourselves: When I am with him or her, do I feel nearer to God or nearer to my companion that robs me of the desire to congregate with Christians?
- Young people that are faithful to attend the church meetings begin to absent themselves soon to give their amorous relationship an important priority or to dedicate too much time to cultivate it. All romance that impedes communion with God and the church, and causes an obstacle to fraternal communication, as much in frequency as in prohibitions, that relationship results in possessive attitudes and will not be agreeable, neither will it have Gods approval. (Heb 10:25)
- We must understand and take into account that God must occupy the first place in our lives. When this occurs, our relationship will be a blessing to our lives and for the life of our sweetheart and for those around us.
- =6= THE RELATIONSHIP IS HARMFUL WHEN IT DEGENERATES IN IMPURE SEXUALITY:
- The warning of the Apostle Paul to Timothy must be found as an echo in all the hearts disposed to do the will of God, to avoid making the Holy Spirit sad as a result of sexual immorality:“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart..” (2Tim 2:22)
- In the Bible is mentioned fornication (to maintain sexual relations outside of marriage) as a sin that can bring terrible consequences to our lives and over our home.
- =7= THE RELATIONSHIP IS HARMFUL WHEN IT DOES NOT HAVE JESUS CHRIST A ITS CENTER:
- The values that we establish in our engagement will affect our attitudes, decisions, and in the end, all of life. If the spiritual predominates in our engagement, then there will be a good relationship between the two. It is necessary to pray, to read the Word together besides the individual communion that each one has with the Lord. It is of great value to learn to pray together, to cultivate a spiritual life in common is of extreme importance.
- =8= THE RELATIONSHIP IS HARMFUL WHEN IT COAXES ONE TO REBELLION AND TO CONFRONT AUTHORITY:
- It will never bring blessing to oppose the authority of your parents, the church, etc. We remember that the first rebel was Satan in opposing the authority of God and to want to feel yourself on the throne. (Isa 14:12-15).
ESSENTIAL STEPS FOR A HAPPY ENGAGEMENT
- To know each other, to understand each other, to trust each other, to be open and sincere, to have good communication, love and courtesy, faithful and pardon, growing spiritually and mutual encouragement: these are essentials to promote a good, healthy, durable relationship.
- =1= TO KNOW EACH OTHER MUTUALLY:
- This demands time. It is impossible to know a person if you do not spend time with that person. One of the principle tasks of engagement is to learn to know our sweetheart such as he or she really is.
- It is precisely to come know each other mutually, to know the different stages of encouragement, the way of thinking, internalizing education and liking one another; to know what is it that the person thinks with respect to his relationship with God, the number of children, etc. And also it will be good to know the future family of your lifes companion.
- =2= TO UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER MUTUALLY:
- This means to know the other persons way of thinking and acting; to study the reactions, the reasoning, and trying to understand it.
- It is important to have patience, love, and try to put yourself in the other persons place to understand in a better way what the person wants to say. This does not mean that we must leave aside our testimony, or to run the limits giving place to the sin in our life.
- =3= TO TRUST MUTUALLY:
- When there is no trust, only suspicion, jealousy, insecurity, anxiety, and doubts, is a sign that the relationship is going badly. Many times this attitude of jealousy ends in violence or at least in the end of the friendship. When mutual trust does not exist in a couple, it is a sign that in its place there exists what the Bible calls a fleshly relationship. This does not refer to the sexual aspect but on being human without the internal control of Christ.
- When there is no trust in the couple it is because one or the other or both are not walking under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God. It can also be an indication that this relationship is not in the plan of God.
- The Bible declares,
“There is no fear in love” (1Joh 4;18)
- OPEN AND SINCERE:
- One of the problems is that being human pretends to be what it is not. We live with a mask placed to cover what in reality we are. Before arriving at marriage, sweethearts must take off the masks and put aside appearances. We must be on the inside as much as what we show on the outside. You must do it from the first day to discover the soul, such as it is. There is the myth that men should not show weaknesses, and that he must muse a mask to hide true feelings. It is totally false!
- It is necessary to be honest, sincere, open and transparent. If we pretend to be what for certain we are not, we are lying uncaringly. Your engagement and marriage will be a fantastic experience if today you resolve to be the same once and for all time, you will not have things to hide. The fact of being open and sincere is one of the great secrets for affirming a sweetheart and to cast it in solid cement for a happy Christian home.
- =5= GOOD COMMUNICATION
- Colossians 4:6 says that our speech must be full of grace. In a good friendship, nothing is better than positive and edifying conversations. Often the relationships between a boy and a girl are concentrated on the demonstration of physical affection.
- But in engagement the point of attention should be to learn more about the interests of the other person, the family, the friends, the dreams, some of the priorities, and the walk with the Lord.
- =6= LOVE AND COURTESY
- Love is not an option but it is the basis or foundation. Love is not something ideal but real, and it is controlled by means of certain laws and divine commandments.
- Love is voluntary sacrifice. Love is dedication of time. Love worries over the wellbeing of the couple. Love is not to make selfish demands. Love is not to do something that damages the couple.
- In 1Cor 13:4-7 we see the description of this love: “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
- Courtesy is a sign of true love that God provides. In 1Cor 13:5 the Apostle Paul says that love is not selfish or crude. All to the contrary. The one that loves gives to the other person without hope of receiving. Someone has said, “Good habits are evident from small sacrifices.”
- The habit of courtesy consists of small and insignificant sacrifices that show interest in the other person. Discover what your sweetheart likes. Show him or her consideration and respect when you spend time together. Get to know each other.
- Remember that the Bible calls us to deal with a woman like a very fragile vase. That is to say, in a delicate way, demonstrating with your form of action and with your acts, your sincere appreciation and affection.
- We see in world full of temptations, that it is just to ask ourselves how we can be faithful. It is there where the power of God intervenes. That is the key. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phi 4:13)
- But how can Christ give me strength if I am on the earth and He is in heaven? It happens that “Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20) Therefore, if “I can do all things through Christ” and “Christ lives in me” I have power and you have power to be faithful. Faithfully sexually, faithful in thought and the more faithful one is to the other, the happier you will be. Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” (Mat 5:8).
- Many youths try to justify their sin with weakness, with the lack of their own dominion over their lives. Remember the following:
- a) Paul tells us clearly and finally that sin cannot and must not dominate the life of the Christian. In Rom 6:14 we read, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: ”
- b) In 2Tim 1:7 it tells us: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
- This means that God has given us the necessary resources to live a life in holiness and to remain faithful to our sweetheart.
- =8= PARDON
- On becoming engaged, we do not do it with a perfect person. Because of that, we both have to forgive each other of sins, errors, selfishness and other forms of inconsiderate behavior. Do that so that your motto will be Eph 4:31-32:
- “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
- One of the principles of Gods Kingdom is that we must learn to forgive those that have affected us. Jesus Christ shows us the supreme example of forgiveness.
- =9= SPIRITUAL GROWTH
- It is very important that both are edified spiritually, praying together, congregating together, and serving the Lord in all ways that you can. Occupy yourselves with the spiritual which is the base, the solid foundation that later will help you to construct a happy marriage in the future
- =10= MUTUAL ENCOURAGEMENT:
- We live in times that frequently the criticism, the pressures, the discouraging competence frustrates and removes the encouragement that you are trying to build up in your future. With the grace, the help, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we must learn to encourage and to animate our sweetheart to overcome. Encourage your sweetheart to study, to work, to serve the Lord, etc. (Act 17:24-25)
THE SEXUAL SEAL IS FOR MARRIAGE
- God created sex and put in order all that relates to it. The desires and sexual impulses are created by God.
- Keep that in your mind: SEX WAS CREATED BY GOD.
- Gen 1:27 says, “
male and female created he them.” And Gen 1:31 says, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”
- SEX IS A GIFT FROM GOD. It is not your enemy, but an ally of being human. If we understand it in this way, knowing that God is the creator of sex, it means that it is not sinful, neither dirty, neither repugnant, because it is given by God, but always that it will be used inside of His plan.
- =1=WHAT IS GODS PLAN?
- “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
- Yes!!! God gave it so that we will be happy and enjoy it, exclusively inside of marriage. Sex is the cement that joins the man and the woman in marriage making them “one flesh”.
- Sex was given to us for two main physical reasons:
- 1= As a source of profound spiritual and physical pleasure between the husband and the wife (
Mat 19:4-6 Gen 2:24-25; 26:67 Ecc 9:9 1Cor 7:2-5).
- This unity in the sexual relationship provides the most enduring joy and the maximum fullness that you can know. It is because of the sexual act that, in the opportune moment, with the right person, in the correct relationship, it is so incredibly perfect!
- 2= To preserve the human race bring children into the world.
- Marriage remains sealed in the sexual relationship, sacred and marvelous as it is. For that reason sex, outside of marriage, is disagreeable, something that lacks meaning and is degrading. The sexual union is an expression and symbol of the mystery of the unity of two people on the most intimate level. That multifaceted union is only given in marriage where the marriage act seals in a vivid and profound way the union that God created in the couple.
- I believe that even though openly they deny it, many of those that sustain sexual relationships outside of marriage, feel guilty, stained, and unsatisfied because they are denying a union that must produce itself on a total level.
- God said, “and they shall be one flesh”. That phrase is so charged with meaning! We know that all games, football, tennis, etc. have its rules. Without these rules of conduct there would not be sports. However, these disciplines sports would be a “do what you want” thing. Even simpler games or pastimes or entertainment have their rules.
- =2= WHEN IT IS A MATTER OF SEX:
- God has established rules. He has established that the sexual relationship is limited to the spouse exclusively. Under no circumstances do the Scriptures agree to the physical union of two people outside of the context of marriage.
- In this age of moral degradation and tolerance of sin, it is good to remember that the Word of God expresses and prohibits tactile sexual relations before marriage. In 1Cor 6:18-19 says, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
- There is a correct form of having money: you earn it. The incorrect form is to steal it. There is a sure means of love and to be loved: “marriage”. Any other form is sensual sin.
- =3= WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF LEAVING THE SEXUAL LIMITS?
- Ask King David. In Psalms 38, he describes the effects of his own sin, possibly the adultery with Bathsheba. David experienced:
- The agony of spiritual discipline (38:1-2)
- Physical torment (38:3-10)
- Social isolation (38:11-16) and
- Emotional anxiety (38:17-22).
- What a high price for a moment of uncontrolled passion! And yet he had to confront the consequences of his sin in his children. And yet even the Bible says that the sword would never be separated from his house. The devil never is going to say how you will end up, only he presents you with what is the most attractive scenario.
- The divine measure is purity in interpersonal relationships, far from being antiquated, still goes against the current of thought in our civilized world.
- God exhorts us, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
- Dont permit liberties in your engagement, liberties for which you will be sorry for much later.
- The God of love says to you, “keep thyself pure..” (1Tim 5:22) Pure of thought and of conduct. That will make you happy. Remember once again the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount:
- Dont permit liberties in your engagement, liberties for which you will be sorry for much later.
- “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”
- (Mat 5:8).
- Develop Biblical convictions in your relationships with people of the opposite sex. Only then will you be able to enjoy the satisfaction that is provided in a relationship centered on Christ and maintained inside of His wise limits of love.
- =4= WHAT ARE THE LIMITS AND WHAT ARE THE CAUSES THAT BRING US TO FALL?
- There are certain restrictions that are indispensable so that the engagement leads to a happy marriage. Said limitations are primarily in the order of sex. In Gal 6:7 it says that no one that disobeys God would remain unpunished but that he will reap what he had sowed. These are strong words but at the same time healthy medicine. We live in a corrupt world, full of sadness, bitterness, disagreement, and all kinds of evils. The Bible diagnoses that the sickness is a sin, a spiritual cancer that has infected all. And that cancer must be kept in mind during the engagement. There are youths that are irked and some become very angry when their parents, for protection and love, impose certain restrictions on the engaged couple. When said limits are normal and reasonable, without a doubt, they are for our good. There are limitations dictated by God, logic, honor, and convenience to which we must adhere.
- A youth said to his father:
- “But Papa “is it that you dont trust me?
- “Son”, answered the father, “I have so much trust in you as in myself. “Do you want me to leave you to run the risk of falling in temptation, knowing that I being in your place, would run the same danger?
- That was the love of an honored parent that knows the weakness of being human and raising barriers to stop passions as God desires. “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are pure, think on these things.” (Phi 4:8)
- A youth said to his father:
- It is said that the unoccupied mind is the workshop of the devil.
- If we are not occupied with good spiritual things, the enemy will fill us with evil thoughts.
- Not only does the teachings from the Word of God, but also the historic facts and sociologists prove that the experience of having sexual relations must be reserved only and exclusively to an expression inside of the limits of marriage.
- Starting a careless fruit or out of season, is to rob it of its precious flowering and to play with love is to rob it of its profound and beautiful significance.
- The high price that is paid is incalculable and disproportionate in relation to the enjoyed pleasure.
- All Christian youth that appreciate their testimony, and in truth desire to please God, will deprive themselves absolutely of any loving physical intimacy that can lead to sin and shame. In the light of Scripture, this principle is not excessively elevated, but what God hopes from each one of his children. The road that leads to manliness and an honorable and worthy femininity is the road of self-discipline and it dominates self.
- =1= ABSTINENCE FREES YOU FROM THE FEAR OF EMBARRASSMENT AND FROM THE CONSEQUENCES OF IT:
- Abstinence is the only method of birth control that is 100% effective, free from secondary effects. Sadly thousand of single mothers remain at the mercy of their own lack of experience and maturity, jumping stages in your life, because of a hasty motherhood. They are young people that do not arrive to enjoy their youth.
- =2=ABSTINENCE FREES YOU FROM THE TRAUMA OF ABORTION:
- The responsibilities of pregnancy are often forgotten in the ardor of passion. Abortion seems to be the solution, for the moment, for the problem of an unwanted pregnancy, but it never resolves the guilt neither does it break the link between a mother and her baby. In actuality they use diverse methods to complete an abortion. All of them are cruel and produce death to the embryo that is completely defenseless. In some cases they resort to chemical elements to eliminate the fetus. In other cases they tear it apart literally, removing the particles of the babys body that was already formed. By means of advanced systems of television, they have been able to prove and film in the uterus of the mother how the baby in formation, struggles to save his life until it is overcome and destroyed.
- In some countries where abortion is legal, you can verify a horrendous picture in the clinics that dedicate themselves to this type of practice. Thousands of mothers have remained marked all their life. The feeling of guilt and paint that this produces in the mother creates erasable traces to which only God can bring healing. Thousands of abortions are realized annually in the entire world, thousands of babies, boys and girls that never saw the brightness of the sun that never heard a word of love from their parents, or felt a tender caress of affection and love, that must confront death without having been born.
- How much pain there must be in the heart of God! Stop and think well what you are going to do! Abortion is to kill a life that does not belong to us, without mentioning the immense danger that this represents to women that are submitted to this operation. Thousands of women die every year because of abortions.
- If we would obey the Word of God, how much suffering and pain we would be able to avoid. The decision is in your hands. The world tries to justify its attitudes in diverse ways. God says, “This is sin.” Only Jesus can pardon and cleanse all of our sins.
- =3=ABSTINENCE PROTECTS YOU FROM SEXUAL ADDICTION:
- Pornography turns out to be as addictive for many people as drugs, alcohol or food. Premarital sex can also result in addiction. The constant sexual stimulus causes chemical changes in the body, just like other addictions. These people think that they need to have a physical relationship with anyone to survive. Jesus can set you free?
- =4= ABSTINENCE FREES YOU FROM THE PRESSURE OF MARRIAGE BEFORE YOU ARE READY:
Many are the marriages that fail for lack of maturity and preparation. Today many couples join and live together without assuming any legal or spiritual commitment with the other person. Some have children without having assumed the role and commitment of a family that is constituted in fact.
- The only difference is that there is no role in between that links and obligates the spouses to be faithful and to help each other. “If it doesnt work, I am ready to go!” This is not the way it should be. The one that joins together with another, lives together, has sexual relations, etc. forms with that person an emotional, physical, and spiritual unity.
- If the person is not prepared, it will bring awful, painful consequences to the couple. BE CAREFUL! This is not a game. In the world, every year, thousands of young people arrive at ending their life by the deep crises occasioned by amorous deceptions.
- =5= ABSTINENCE FREES YOU FROM BEING UNDER THE CONSTANT TEST OF HAVING TO DEMONSTRATE SOMETHING TO OTHERS:
- Youth today are often put to the test. They have to act sexually if they want to be accepted. It is a relationship that is based on being accepted for what he does and for not what he is.
- What benefit does this type of relationship bring? NONE. The moment of pleasure passes and then WHAT?
- The lack of acceptance used to be an element of pressure for youth. Above all, you must remember that there is someone that never will leave you nor abandon you that knows what you are going through and that is on your side to help you. His name is JESUS.
- =6= ABSTINENCE PROTECTS YOU FROM COMPARISON DOWN THE ROAD IN MARRIAGE:
- If you involve yourself with a person in an intimate physical relationship and then break that relationship, there is the danger that later you will compare your future spouse with the other person. There are persons that never have been able to forget their previous experiences with others. Their lives have remained tied and this, on many occasions, has influenced them in such a way that it has caused the failure and disruption of marriages.
- =7= ABSTINENCE PROTECTS YOUR MOST DELICATE SEXUAL ORGAN, YOUR MIND:
- In the New Testament is found one of the most profound verses that has ever been written about marriage and sex. “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (Heb 13:4) Honorable means to have high esteem. The words, “the bed” means literally in the original Greek, “sexual relations”. The verse is saying that, “the sexual relationship will be pure and uncontaminated and without adulteration in the context of sexual relations in marriage.” People will say, “What does my mind have to do with sex?” A lot! Your mind is your most powerful and sensitive sexual organ.
- Sex begins in the mind.
- Because of that it is so important to fill our mind with the Word of God and not to feed on things that can excite us sexually or to form in our one mine an idea about sex that is not in agreement with the norms that God establishes in His Word.
- =8= ABSTINENCE PROTECTS YOU FROM DECEPTIVE FEELINGS:
- Often when sex enters into a relationship, the physical becomes its totally dominant element. The intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual remain relegated to a second or third level after sex. All that the couple wants is to spend time alone, given over to physical activity and confusing sex with love. Sadly when one of the parties breaks the relationship, he or she cannot stand to have the other person near, because of the feelings of guilt, due to the sexual activity that was too intense.
- =9=ABSTINENCE PROTECTS YOU FROM FALLING INTO BAD RELATIONSHIPS:
- Breaking a relationship to leave each other or a significant relationship can emotionally degrade a person. We have all experienced the sadness of breaking a relationship with someone to whom we love, but with whom we cannot continue. But when added to this, there is a physical implication. To break the emotional link is still more difficult. Abstinence reduces the pain of breaking with someone.
- =10= ABSTINENCE HELPS YOU TO AVOID DEEP SCARS:
- The feelings of “I will always love you” that convinces the couple that it is OK to engage in premarital sex, only to find that it does not last forever. When they give themselves to practice sex, they surrender themselves to the other person a special part of themselves. When they break up, this surrendered part is lost and never is returned to recuperate. This type of emotional scar can be very difficult to overcome.
- =11= ABSTINENCE PROVIDES A BASIS FOR MUTUAL CONFIDENCE:
- If a person was sexually active before marriage nothing guarantees that he or she will not turn out to be promiscuous after marriage. The domination of sexual instincts is the basis of trust and respect lasting into the future. The primary victory is a guarantee of triumph in the future. Some young people know this, and being desperately enamored one with the other, they find the way of controlling themselves, adopting a firm comprehensive attitude before the emotions that threaten to dominate them during the days of engagement.
- The basis of sexual domination is that which places the mental, emotional, and physical needs of the other person on top of your own complacency.
- =12= ABSTINENCE GIVES YOU FREEDOM FROM GUILT:
- Guilt is a consequence of premarital sex that can torment a person for a long time and perhaps it is the best reason to way until marriage. The emotional and psychological anguish is very real, and the result can be a paralyzing guilt. Why does guilt follow promiscuity? True guilt provokes the conscience for having transgressed a standard. If waiting for sex is the standard of God, you will experience guilt when you violate it. How many couples now committed in marriage that lament and attest to thoughtfully before entering into marriage, they should have waited. Unfortunately in this passionate insanity many people are robbed of the exquisite anticipation of waiting for marriage, which normally is the magic ingredient of the period of a loving commitment in engagement. In no way has the honeymoon the fascination and enchantment that they would have had having known to overcome that first temptation.
- There is no way possible to say that the prenuptial sexual act brings joy and satisfaction that is not mixed with a great feeling of remorse and shame.
- =14= ABSTINENCE LIBERATES YOU TO BREAK YOUR ENGAGEMENT:
- In every marriage, invariably there exists a degree of adjustment of one with the other before true sexual harmony is acquired. The conditions that surround the sexual act before marriage can lead to difficulties in this adjustment. It complicates the relationship with difficulty.
- One couple that had this experience and describes certain sexual maladjustments will come to the conclusion that they have not been made one for the other and in consequence, decided to break their marital commitment.
- Then if the happiness of future years is based on the dominion of ones self and the victory over temptation, is it not a very high price to pay for only some minutes of sexual pleasure?
- =15= ABSTINENCE EMPHASIZES TRUE COMMUNICATION IN A RELATIONSHIP:
- Premarital sex not only confuses the question of true love but also it tends to disturb the process of communication. The immature lovers remain confused with respect to the difference between the sexual act and true communication. They believe that it is the same thing. But true communion between two people is much more than just sex. Outside of marriage genuine communication is lost over what must grow in a true relationship.
- =16=ABSTINENCE HELPS TO BUILD PATIENCE AND SELF DOMINION.
- Self-discipline that is needed to abstain from prenuptial contact contributes valuably to matrimony.
- On top of and besides the security against the temptation of infidelity, there are the positive characteristics of character and the entirety that contributes to marriage based on the chastity and purity of the participants. True love that contributes to denial of the “I” is the class of love over which the home is constructed and maintained.
- Chastity is, in reality, the best testimony of pure feelings of generous love one for the other. A love of dedication and influential over all those with whom the couple relates.
- The contribution of a clean emotional life is as important as any other preparation for taking the step of marriage. Love that is disposed to the self-denial of satisfaction for the moment in exchange for a better joy in the future, will improve greatly the quality of the sexual experience. This love guides the mutual rejoicing and appreciation that makes the bonds of matrimony noble. This kind of love can be sure of itself in any situation, because it has come out triumphant in the most difficult and urgent circumstances.
- =17= ABSTINENCE HELPS YOU TO ACHIEVE THE POTENTIAL OF A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP THAT IS ONLY FOUND IN MARRIAGE:
- The joy of faithfulness and the link of love and trust that is found in marriage is when both wait for sex until they marry. It is something very special.
- =18= ABSTINENCE HELPS YOU TO DEVELOP POSITIVE PRINCIPLES OF RELATIONAL GROWTH:
- Abstinence encourages growth in the areas of discovering each person for who they are in their personalities and to develop a true friendship. These areas are much more important than sex for a successful relationship through life. In fact, they are the true basis for a marvelous relationship in marriage. Abstinence creates more time to speak and it encourages you to speak, to build up mutual interests and to spend time with other friends. By means of abstinence you can develop an intimacy that goes beyond the physical.
- =19= ABSTINENCE GIVES ONE OF THE GREATEST GIFTS OF TRUE LOVE: VIRGINITY:
- One of the better gifts that you can give to your future mate is your own sexual faithfulness. Among those whom you read, there will be those that have lost their physical virginity and never will you be able to recover it. But you can begin anew from where you are found now. The majority of the positive factors of abstinence you can return being certain in your life.
- =20= ABSTINENCE PROTECTS YOU AS MUCH FROM FEAR AS FROM THE CONSEQUENCES OF SEXUALLY TRANMITTED DISEASE (STD):
- Abstinence is a sanitary question. There are 52 sexually transmitted diseases and this gives you 52 clinically concrete reasons to abstain. To continue, we will mention only some of them:
It is the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and was described in the United States for the first time in 1981. Each year the number of new victims have duplicated. AIDS damages the immunity of the body against infections, leaving its victims without defense against the smallest infection. A simple cold can be deadly.
- A virus called HTLV-III/LAV. However, not all people exposed to this virus contract AIDS. It is calculated that there is a million people that carry the virus in their bodies without showing symptoms of AIDS (and here is the danger because a person without symptoms believes he is healthy, and can transmit the virus to another person that immediately will be sick.)
- Tiredness, fever, loss of appetite, diarrhea, night sweats, and glandular swelling. When do these symptoms begin? From six months after the infection up to 5 years or more. While there are no apparent symptoms, they could already contaminate many more people and these, to other people, formed in this way a great deadly chain.
- How is AIDS diagnosed?
- The doctors look for certain kinds of infections; then they do tests to see if there is an antibody of AIDS and damaged white corpuscles.
“The sickness of 80 years” attacks ten million Americans every year. It is the number one venereal disease for its frequency.
- In both sexes, there is a possibility of sterility. In women, problems of pregnancy that can kill the fetus and occasionally the mother. In babies, infection in the eyes, ears, and lungs until death occurs.
- SYPHILLES: That which was once a widespread sickness is now in decline, but still it is a threat to life.
Damage to the brain, sickness of the heart, paralysis, insanity, death. Children that are born from mothers that have not been treated can be born blind, deaf, or crippled by bone disease.
- =21= ABSTINENCE HELPS TO GIVE POTENTIAL TO YOUR OWN SELF-ESTEEM:
- When you intend to seek self-esteem in a relationship lacking marital commitment, is condemned to failure. No one can forge permanent confidence without a commitment. But many try it and on doing it only damage their feelings of self-esteem more.
- =22= ABSTINENCE CAN BE A GOOD TEST OF LOVE TOWARD THE PERSON AND TOWARD GOD:
- Your abstinence demonstrates that truly you love the other person and over all that you have made a pact with God which you do not want to transgress.
WHAT THINGS MUST YOU WATCH FOR IN ENGAGEMENT?
- God calls us to be prudent. To flee from temptations that can make us fall. But for what must we do? Some practical suggestions:
- 1= Avoid spending much time alone or in dark places with the person that you love.
- 2= Avoid seductive situations.
- 3= Avoid provocative clothing.
- 4= Avoid touching and keep your clothing in place.
- 5= Watch your degree of sexual excitement.
- 6= Put the physical aspect to the side and dedicate yourself to building your relationship.
- Important Aspects for a Blessed Engagement:
- 1= PRAY
- See what must be your attitude to pray:
- Recognize personal sin and be broken before God.
- Trust in the fact that God pours the Holy Spirit over you. He is the one that will capacitate you to live victoriously. (Luk 11:13)
- Depend on the intercession of the Holy Spirit through us. (Rom 8:26-27)
- Be happy “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16)
- Receive forgiveness for sins, based on the promise that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to pardon our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1Joh 1:9)
- Be thankful that in all the temptations, “we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Rom 8:37)
- Pray daily, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” (Eph 6:18)
- See what must be your attitude to pray:
- 1= PRAY
- Also it is very important that we pray together. Prayer together has the virtue of molding together people, uniting them with bonds of unbreakable love. And besides, constituting a good basis for a happy marriage.
- 2= DEPEND ON THE SPIRIT AND DONT TRUST IN THE FLESH:
- The reason for the majority of failures among young people that want to overcome the temptations is that they trust in the flesh. The youth that thinks he can resist what will be only with the strength of his own will is deceived because, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rom 8:8)
- The only possibility of victory is in reverting to the knowledge of the strength and virtue of the Lord conforming to the Biblical mandate, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Rom 13:14)
- 3= KEEP YOUR MIND OCCUPIED WITH THE THINGS OF THE LORD:
- In the struggle against temptations, there is a part that you have to see it directly from the viewpoint of the man that is tempted. It is a matter of a species of “holy hammer” that Paul teaches us. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Phi 4:8)
- In this point of combat, the Word of God stimulates us to have a mind impregnated with all that is true, honest, just, pure, and lovable and of a good name. It means that we have to be vigilant in a true mental exercise so that we struggle against the lie in all its forms; against the lack of respect, in the way we deal with others, in speaking and seeing things contrary to justice, as much in the form of judging without thought as related to an irreprehensible life; against immorality that is seen on television (in soap operas), in the magazines and in the theater plays, and besides against what is heard in the circles of dirty jokes and what corrupts the mind, as also impure thoughts that come to nest in the intimate part of the heart.
- Some of the customs and habits of young people that carry sin are:
- The lust of the eye:
- If you fill your mind and your heart with anecdotes full of sin, if you permit pornography to contaminate you, if you permit x-rated films to fill your eyes, you are feeding your mind with information that will bring temptation, oppression, and even slavery and degeneration to your life.
- The use of provocative transparent clothing, etc. that exposes the nudity of the body wakes up sexual desires, sensual passions in the mind and heart of the young people. Select your clothing with care. You can be elegant and attractive without being provocative. The Apostle Paul wisely wrote, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety ” (1Tim 2:9)
- Attend to the wisdom of your words and the Lord will honor you for them.
- Visual temptation in the printed page: “Tell me what you read and I will tell you who you are.”
- The positions of periodicals, bookstores, and toy shops, are packed with books, magazines, and publications of low morals and illustrated with photographs and covered embarrassments. We make ourselves sick before the idea of carrying to our lips something polluted, garbage, or waste. Then why do we put so much rottenness in our minds?
- 4= PRACTICE SPORTS AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES:
- The practice of sports and physical activities will make you feel better. It will free you from tensions and it will help you to be physically in good condition.
- 5= STUDY AND PREPARE YOURSELF TO CONFRONT THE FUTURE:
- Day by day the demands of the world labor market are greater. To confront your future, to build up a family, it is necessary to prepare yourself. God has put you in a place so that you will be the head and not the tail. Are you prepared for that? The Lord has a purpose and a plan for your life, a glorious future that you must edify yourself today. Pablo wrote Timothy, “The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.” (2Tim 2;6)
- In the Old Testament we find the example of Daniel and his friends. Being prisoners of the Babylonians, they were chosen, prepared, and taught in all sciences. The Bible tells us that these men feared God. They were found ten times better than the rest of the wise men and that the Spirit of God was over them.
- 6=GUARD THE HEART:
- Wise Solomon says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Pro 4:23)
- You will be able to have difficult, poor, and painful circumstances. However, the heart can remain “kept”. It is not important how much the storm roars around us for there will be heavenly peace in the midst of pain and anguish.
- Perhaps arguments will need much counseling, for the book of Proverbs is an excellent beginning. There is a passage that should be underlined in your Bible:
- “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.”
- “In everything that you do, put God in first place”, Solomon says and that “all” includes also the walk, the love, the marriage, and the home. This should be one of the passages that will guide you in your life. Trust fully in the Lord and above all, guard your heart, for from Him life flows.
- (Pro 3:5-8)
- “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.”
- This is the call of God to youth. The young people that make the decision to respond affirmatively to this call, giving their heart and life to the Lord, will be happy young people.
- Matthew 1:18 exemplifies for us an engagement under the will of God. Joseph and Mary were about to be married and were found “espoused”. That is to say, they were committed to a formal relationship. When Jesus was formed from their engagement by miraculous conception in the Virgin Mary, the relationship was radically transformed.
- Jesus must form a part of all relationships. Two Christians dont make a Christian engagement. Two good people dont make a good engagement. It is more necessary that a good personality or a good heart in a relationship between two people have need of a fear of God and seek to fulfill the will of God so that the engagement will be Biblical and centered in Christ. In an engagement you must have three persons involved: the two sweethearts and Christ. When the presence of the Spirit is there, there will be blessing and happiness.
- It is vital for the life of the engagement that each member of the couple together has a relationship with God.
- By no motive should an engagement separate someone from serving God.
- =1= THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SWEETHEARTS
- The following are some tips that will help to improve the relationship between two people in an engagement:
- 1= They must understand that men and women are different, thinking differently, communicating differently, and relating differently. They must learn to appreciate the virtues of the other and recognize their errors in order to improve.
- 2= The theme of submission in the engagement must be well defined. Children are uniquely subject to the parents and not among sweethearts. Therefore, there must be obedience and respect to the family over the engaged couple. (Eph 6:1-2)
- 3= There must be a balance with time that both share together. It must be sufficient to know each other, but not too much to get sick of each other, or to let temptation trap them. (Pro 25:16-17)
- 4= They must not create an emotional dependency between them; neither must they permit male machismo, domination, etc. This only will provoke deep hurts, bad relationships, arguments, and jealousy. (Luk 14:26)
- 5= To resolve conflicts or arguments you must have a genuine attitude of humility, patience, and repentance, requesting and offering forgiveness at every moment. (Col 3:12-13)
- 6= You must be careful with jealousy. The Bible teaches that jealousy is earthly wisdom, animal and diabolical that provokes God. Therefore, it is not originated by love or in the interest and well being of the other person. (Jam 3:16) To eliminate it, the couple must learn to not provoke jealousy through unnecessary attitudes, but never to imagine things out of place.
- =2=SEX IN ENGAGEMENT
- Sexual relationships are not permitted by God in an engagement, for sex was designed for marriage. In 2Sam 13 we see what happens between two people that have sexual relations before marriage. It produces arguments, distance, jealousy, until they are made to abhor each other, drowning love. This happens by not waiting for Gods timing. Sex outside of time produces contention. (Jam 4:1) The one that cannot dominate himself in his passions will never do it in his wrath.
- What is permitted and what is prohibited in engagement? 1Corinthians 6:12 gives us the answer. It says that even though there are things that may not be bad or convenient in certain moments. We must learn the design of God for our bodies, and not to stimulate the body sexually with words, hugs, or kisses, etc. We must respect our bodies and understand the body. In this way we understand our limits. Only by avoiding the natural stimulus of our bodies do we flee from fornication. (1Cor 6:18)
- Another thing that you must understand is that neither engagement nor sexual relationships are substitutes for the lack of appreciation or affection that some couples have received.
- =3= THINKING ABOUT MARRYING
- Primarily God determines adequate time, but you must have a common agreement between the couple. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time ” (Ecc 3:1, 11) and marriage is not the exception. Therefore the time of the wedding must be planned and determined with time for both.
- The counsel and blessing of some loving parents also is important, and they must be taken into account in the planning of the marriage and in the ceremony. (Pro 1:8-9) You must remember that it is in that moment when parents deliver their child to someone else. Other important points that must be considered in the moment of determining the time are the financial aspect, the personal maturity, and the personal plans of both sweethearts. We must remember that Jesus told us to love not only with the heart but also with the mind, the strength, and the soul.
- It is necessary that all couples before marriage seek premarital counseling and guidance to assure in this way the success and happiness in marriage.
- =1= Definition
- =A= The Bible does not speak explicitly with regards to what we now know as “engagement”. However, for the Christian, it must be a relationship toward marriage. (Gen 2:20-24) It is not a game or a pastime.
- Engagement is less intimate and committed than marriage but it is much more than a friendship.
- An engagement, even though it is a relationship with a view to marriage, it does not have to end in matrimony. However, the engagement is the relationship that establishes a man and a woman with the end motive of developing the basic structure for marriage.
- =2= The Christian engagement must be between two Christians.
- We must not have strong links with a non-Christian. (2Cor 6:14-7:1)
- To walk together, they must have the same goals (Christian) (Amo 3:3)
- To walk with an inadequate person damages us. (Pro 13:20)
- It is a deception to contract an engagement or a marriage to convert another person. (1Cor 7:16)
- They must not marry automatically just because they are two Christians. (1Tim 5:1-2)
- =3= The process of a Christian engagement must follow the will of God.
We must seek and wait for the will of God, knowing that it is good, pleasing and better than our will. (Rom 12:1-2)
It is very important to be seeking the will of God to marry “in the Lord” (1Cor 7:39)
We must not entangle ourselves in an engagement if it is not the will of God. (2Tim 2:3,4 1Cor 7:7-9, 17, 27-28)
It is essential to have the woman that God has for you. (Pro 18:22; 19:14). The time for beginning an engagement must remain under the will of God. (Ecc 3:1-8 SoS 2:7; 3:5; 8:4)
We must concentrate ourselves on the things that are pleasing to God. A relationship that diminishes my ministry is not the will of God. (Col 1:10; 3:1-2; Phi 4:8, etc.)
Young boys must not disciple young girls, but that must be left to more mature women. (Tit 2:1-6)
It is something very serious and powerful to open ones heart to a person of the opposite sex. We must be sure of the will of God before doing it. (Gen 34:3 Jud 16:15-18; 19:3; 2Kin 11:4 Rut 2:13 Pro 6:23-25; 7:25 Ecc 7:26; Hos 2:14 Sos 8:6, etc.)
- =4= Our treatment of the opposite sex must always be holy and pure.
The will of God is that we be holy and that we avoid fornication. (1The 4:1-8; 1Tim 4:12; 5:22; 2Tim 2:22).
Sex, created by God is good. (Gen 1:31) but only inside of marriage. (Heb 13:4, Pro 5:15-23)
You must treat Christian young women as sisters, with all purity. (1Tim 5:2)
it is important to have almost no physical contact with a person of the opposite sex. (Cor 7:1)
It is healthy to establish social relationships in a group instead of individually. (Heb 10:24-25).
The Bible emphasizes the importance of purity. (1Tim 4:12 Tit 1:15; 1Joh 3:3, etc.)
There are sexual attitudes apart from fornication that God condemns. (Job 31:1 Mat 5:27-28 Rom 1:24-32 Gal 5:19-21; 1The 4:3, etc.)
A little stimulus produces the desire to do more. (Ecc 1:8 Sos 2:6-7)
- =5= To lift up expectations in the opposite sex is never a game. It is something serious.
We must not take our standard for engagement from the world but from God. (Rom 12:1-2 Col 3:1-10, etc. )
What we sow we will reap.
We cannot fool God or another brother without suffering the consequences. (Gal 6:7-8)
It is important to care for and not to hurt another person. The woman is more sensitive. (1Pet 3:7)
You must not lift up themes of engagement or marriage between two people of the opposite sex if you are not thinking seriously about being sweethearts. (1The 4:6)
A leader has more responsibility for being careful in this than the others. (1 Tim 5:19-20 Jam 3:1)
God asks us to wait with patience.
If one does not have patience to wait, it is not love. (1Cor 13:4,7)
It is very important not to pressure the other person. (Ecc 11:9; 12:1)
An engagement must not be rash or hurried. (Sos 2:7; 3:5; 8:4)
It is better to have maturity before thinking about an engagement.
First you must have discipline in the Christian life. (Pro 25:28 Gal 5:22-23 1Cor 9:24-27; 10:12-13)
One must have certain types of maturity as preparation for marriage: moral maturity, economic maturity, sexual maturity, social maturity, emotional maturity, and spiritual maturity. (Gen 2:24 Pro 24:27, etc.)
- =8= A single person must know beforehand what he wants in a mate.
She must be a “help meet” in personal life and in the ministry. (Gen 2:18)
He or she must have a good relationship with the Lord. (Pro 31:30; 2cor 6:14-18, etc.)
A mate must be the best friend of the other one (SoS 1:15; 2:2, 10 Tit 2:4)
The person must be really the person that you want that puts guidelines in your home and that will raise your children. (1Tim 3:2-5 Tit 1:6; 2:4-5 Eph 5:21-33, etc.)
The external appearance is deceptive and does not reveal the most important qualities. (Pro 6:25; 31:30 etc.)
The person must be of good reputation. (Phi 2:15; 1The 3:13; 1Tim 3:2)
- =9= Our treatment of the opposite sex must give a good testimony.
Appointments with the other person must gave a good testimony in front of God and in front of your brothers and sisters in Christ. (Act 24:16)
We must not trap another person. (Mat 18:6-7 Rom 14:13-21; 1Cor 8:9 Rev 2:14, etc.)
We must not go to places or do things that give a bad appearance. (1The 5:22)
We must not be in a place or do something that can be an opportunity for the flesh. (Rom 13:14 Gal 5:13)
We must avoid places alone and obscure (Joh 3:19)
We must do the things in the light of all and not in darkness. (Eph 5:11-14)