Friday, February 13, 2015
50 Shades of Gray. Blue, and Yellow OR Jesus' Love Experienced Personally - Lived Privately and Publicly
Several years ago, I made the decision to stop trying to keep up with all aspects of our cultural free-fall. I admit becoming volcanically angry as I watched clueless men use and abuse vulnerable women and vice-versa. My “madness”(gray) has now mellowed into “sadness” (blue) but my resolve (yellow) is stronger today than then. I am resolved to be a part of the solution by living a life changed by Jesus and standing up for God’s love even if others don’t approve or erroneously believe that God can be categorized as merely distant, demanding, or hate-filled.
Before you categorize me into the realm of “religious nut-jobs”, please allow me to tell you the reason why my “madness” turned to “sadness” and what I am praying God will do through Carol and me.
As a young teen, I began to get involved in pornography. Though many consider it normal for young men (especially the other young men and boys around me at the time), I eventually realized it to be not only sinfully wrong but also relationally destructive. I could tell my mind was getting programmed to “need” the stimulation. It felt good to feel “alive” in this new, exciting period of my life. Having no one with whom to discuss this awakening did not help. I was on my own and coming to wrong conclusions that felt right but were truly relationship-destructive.
What I did not know about “sexuality and relationships” but have come to experience is that love does not equal lust. Romantic attraction to another person is not to be unleashed but to be focused and framed in the context of marriage. No wonder God places such a powerful purpose in marriage and sexual expression. No wonder a little sexual experimentation doesn’t satisfy. I realized this drive we’ve been given by God is a “sex drive” not a “foreplay drive”. I realize that friendships can be deep and not at all sexual. Our culture doesn’t promote these distinctions.
I dated wonderful girls that I didn’t even know how to befriend. I dated in ways that made me feel like a “real man”. I wasn’t being “real” or a true “man”. My methods were not even close to being productive in establishing deep friendships or lasting relationships.
In my late teens and early twenties a miracle of deliverance and discipline happened. I discovered that I didn’t have to yield to my drive but could focus it in healthy ways. As a 19-year old man I came to grips with what Jesus was saying to my heart by Holy Spirit living in me. He said, “David, you do not have to be a slave to this sin.”
So, the anger I felt toward those who were messing up God’s plan was simply an outflow of the frustration I felt because I had missed His love so badly and was on the verge of being trapped myself.
His love softened my attitude toward my own failure because He forgave my sin, helped me see women in a new light, and gave me a deeper look into His great love for me and for them. Truly, I could not love as Jesus loves as long as I was blind to how Jesus saw people. Jesus did not see people as objects to be used but as precious creations to be loved and known. Shortly after these events I met Carol. We dated more wisely and married in 1972. To this day our Father is developing deeper love for each other and a growing "like" as well. We are friends...great friends.
So my “madness” turns to “sadness” whenever I see others falling short of this love. When I see the publicity and commentaries on this new movie, “Fifty Shades of Grey”, my heart breaks for those doing the acting, those they influence, and a culture careening into an abyss from which there is but one escape… Jesus’ love experienced personally then lived privately and publicly.
When God called me, and I truly know He did, into the Gospel ministry, I had no idea what the journey would entail. At 64 I see the path Carol and I have walked as a wonderful, sometimes frightening adventure that has taken us to places all around the world and into relationships with many wonderful people. We want every person everywhere to know this Jesus who loves them so much. We want to help as many people as possible know how loved they are and to be able to give away this great God-love to those closest to them and to a world desperately searching for love…though many have been fooled as much as I had been.
God used a loving couple whose lives were transformed by Jesus-love to write a book and teach principles that were revolutionary to us. We have been teaching these Bible-principles for 20+ years to 1000’s of couples around the USA and the world. Jesus Christ is setting us free to not only go to heaven after we die but to live abundant, loving lives while we are still living on planet earth. Do you experience these truths in your own life? If so, let us know. If not but you want to, let us know.
The “madness” at culture’s free fall has turned to “sadness” over the plight of those who comprise the culture. In the middle of it all, gladness (yellow) is taking over my heart as I see person after person, couple after couple, family after family, church after church, and community after community being set free by the powerful love of Jesus being “shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit”. (Romans 5:5)
So please don’t just be angry at those who seem to hate the God who loves them and hold in disdain those God left here to demonstrate that love, but allow the broken heart of God to reveal His love for them. Let's go out to lovingly tell the truth about Jesus Christ, Who will forgive and redeem those who come to Him.