Loving in a Holy Way

I had been waiting for this night for weeks. The club was packed for the celebration and my friends and I stood near the crowded bar. Our drinks were raised as we watched the ball drop on the monitors. We toasted to sexual conquests. The rest of that night is a haze caused by inebriation. I only see fog, flashing lights, and faded faces. My whole life I have always equated the measure of a man with the amount of women he’d slain in the sheets.

I became eager to solidify my manhood.

I conquered the innocence of many, not noticing I had lost my own in the process. There were so many lies and broken promises, I was unable to keep up with truth. I just kept going for more. I sought validation and admiration from my peers. The more women I had the more empty and lonely I became.

I was a clown, juggling women like pins. I held their trust momentarily in one hand, while tossing another’s away. For every woman there was another me. I became someone else so many different times that I didn’t know who I was. I was a method actor, in preparation for his next performance. I studied my part. I got good at it. Too good.

At times I felt the deviant. I was so consumed by my own lusts and ego that I gave myself over to sex and it’s pleasures. If the one I was with wasn’t giving it up, I found someone who would. If I ran out of luck I had a safety net-porn. I slowly built an arsenal of dvds, magazines, and internet sites galore. I couldn’t be satisfied.

Some chalk it up to juvenile hormones. But I was conscious. I loved every minute of it. That night I had become something evil and unrecognizable. My life was no longer my own and quickly spun out of control. In four short months I’d end up in prison for murder, and those I had sought validation from had died, or moved on and forgotten about me. I was as alone as I was on my crusade for lust.

When a sickness is ignored, does it go away? No. It may lay dormant but it will not desiccate. Even in prison I had my way with women. They were a source of entertainment for me. When they bored me I’d move on to the next. Although parts of me matured that did not. The lies kept coming and the promises even more brash. I had nothing to lose. I was already incarcerated, how much worse could it be. When sin is allowed to remain dormant it builds itself a stronghold in your heart. Things may progress within you, but that fortress of evil will only strengthen its defenses as if in a siege.

When lust goes unchecked it manifests itself in aggression, and you become a friend in search for that release of that built up frustration. I fell hard to this. Masturbation called to me like heroin in the dark, cold hours of the night. When I indulged I’d drift off into its warm embrace. I was killing myself, not just my kids. Women in magazines and on television became my temptress, my mistresses, my fantasies.

I’ve had many girlfriends in prison, but only one woman. I mean no disrespect to the girls I was with in the past, but Samantha is truly a gift from God. Now, I know what you may be thinking. How do I know what a real woman is? Can I be trusted? Can I be faithful? Am I lying now?

Well, Samantha is brave for starters. She has been the mirror for me of my own sickness. She has shown me the deep, self-inflicted wounds, with a loving grace and gentleness that has inspired me to work towards healing them. She’s persistent and patient. She has invested in me. (Now that’s a woman!)

But wait, can I be trusted? Am I lying? I never cared to tell the truth regarding women. Lying was so much easier. Lying had become fun. But for the first time in my life I don’t want to lie anymore. I want to be trusted and trustworthy. Faithfulness is attractive to me. Commitment comforts my old wounds and helps uplift my down trodden spirit. There is strength in commitment. It takes a real man to stay committed.

I’m not trying to prove a point. I love my wife with a passion that continues to grow in me. I’m willing to endure anything for this love. I’m willing to sacrifice all for this love.

My wife is to be honored and respected, in doing so I’m able to love myself.(Ephesians 5:28) I was in search of redemption, but while looking for it I found something even greater. I found myself, my wife, and above all I found Christ.

In my marriage I am able to love and honor God in such a unique way.

In lust we hide behind the nature of sin we were born in. (Psalms 51:5) But God has called us out of that nature to be holy, for He is holy. (1 Peter 1:16)

Peter taught the church to “…gird up the loins of your mind, (to) be sober…” and to not fashion ourselves, …according to the former lusts in (our) ignorance.” (1 Peter 1:13-14) I was truly ignorant in my old ways.

God has called me to love my wife not lust after her. (Colossians 3:19) I must have temperance with my desires for her. This is quite difficult, especially because God blessed me with an amazingly beautiful wife. At times I idolize her and I know this is wrong. I recognize this sin when I allow my flesh, my lust, to reign. This can manifest itself in many ways. For example, when I am blessed to see my wife, I sometimes can’t keep my hands off her. The urge becomes a thirst that I must quench, and when I do so I hurt my wife. I can make her uncomfortable when we are being intimate if I give into it. This hurts more than any pain I’ve ever experienced, for we are one. When I hurt her, I hurt myself. The  sinful lust can become so great at times that even simple conversations with my wife can become sexual. I feel like a pervert when she calls me on it. (Truthfully it is perverted.) The thirst is animalistic and unholy. The spirit of God will indicate it to me. It acts as a smoke detector, letting me know when danger is lurking outside my door.

These things happen when I am not walking in the Spirit. For when we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16) For when we love our wives, “God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us” and that perfect love will cast out all fear. (1 John 4:12, 18) Even the fear of loving ourselves. It will cast out all lust, and will allow us to love our wives as we should. My wife is not an object, but an offer of an opportunity from God to be more holy.

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