Godly marriage is a body, soul, and spirit-uniting relationship-a profound union between a man and woman that our perfect Creator designed to reflect the relationship between Jesus Christ and human Christ-followers. The New Testament refers to us as "the bride of Christ" (Rev 21). We were designed to connect and indestructibly bond with one human being, exclusively, from wedding day until the death of one of the members of this holy union. That design is clear in Scripture as well as in our neuro-chemistry.
God was thorough in His design. He made our brains to create a relational super-glue hormone called oxytocin. Its job is to glue us to our spouse and our children so that families will remain in-tact and take care of each other. Oxytocin floods our brains during intercourse, powerfully bonding us to our spouse. It also floods the brain of a mother when she nurses her child. God's intention was and is for stability, nurture, and life-long bonded, healthy attachment.
As God intentionally designed all things, He set up boundaries and rules consistent with His design, to keep us safe, not to spoil our fun. Like traffic laws instituted for highway safety, God's laws make sense. When we break those laws, there are consequences, penalties, the most severe of which is death. God did us a favor by setting up the boundaries and laws around life's issues, including sex. The more powerful the creation, the more imperative the boundaries.
However, when sin entered the world, and death with it, humans decided that we'd prefer to function independently, outside of His design, His rules and laws. So, when it comes to boundaries on sex, God says, "Husband and wife give their sexuality as magnificent gifts to one another, exclusively, within the marriage, to form an exquisitely strong bond. No other partners (in the flesh, in print, on computers, in our thoughts, etc.) are invited to participate in the sacred connection. We are designed to function at our finest and receive amazing, divine blessings when neither husband, nor wife goes outside of the marriage for any kind of sexual experience at all, ever (including prior to marriage). God knows what will give us the greatest lifelong pleasure because He designed us this way. However, the enemy of our souls, who is out to "kill, steal, and destroy" is obsessed with our destruction and the destruction of godly marriages (Jn 10:10). He's a powerful deceiver, and he has convinced the majority of people in our culture, even many Christians, that God's boundaries are irrelevant, set up strictly to spoil our fun, and that literally ANYTHING goes when it comes to sex, as long as we're having fun, no matter at whose expense.
In marriage, God makes two very different humans become "one flesh." That's a deep mystery, a truth that grows truer over time. When a spouse has sexual experiences outside of the marriage, whether they are cyber-encounters, porn, one-night stands, strip-clubs, massage-parlors, prostitutes, or affairs, the marriage bond rips apart. Profound and powerful damage occurs because God intentionally designed sex to be a profound and powerful experience. Adultery cracks the foundation of the marriage, shatters honesty and vulnerability, obliterates trust, and injures all parties. Sometimes this sexual sickness gets exposed by another, and the collateral damage is unimaginable. Sometimes it stays hidden in the dark and rots a heart from the inside out. However it happens, it's ugly and painful, and it kills true intimacy, “for the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). Although sometimes, confession and true repentance leads to healing and restoration.
For those to whom this applies, God cares about your wellbeing, whether you are the offending spouse or the victim. His compassionate healing is available to you the moment you're ready to submit yourself to Him in truth. The body of Christ needs to address more openly the destructive path of sexual immorality and the devastation that comes with sexual addiction. There are many great resources: Gil Stieglitz's Mission Possible series is a great tool for helping overcome temptation and comes with an online curriculum that is free to help you navigate when temptation comes calling (ptlb.com); New Life Ministriesoffers a life-changing workshop called Every Man's Battle for men who struggle with sexual integrity (newlife.com); Celebrate Recovery is an ongoing, weekly program, offered in churches like Bayside, specifically designed to give the body of Christ opportunity to find godly acceptance, proven strategies for restoration, wise teaching, and accountability for dealing with all kinds of struggles (click HERE). Christ-centered individual and couples counselingis a direct, personalized means of help that's tailored to your specific needs.
I'm a trained counselor with an MA in Clinical Pastoral Counseling, and I have wisdom, compassion and years of experience in this arena. I provide a safe environment where you can address painful issues and difficult relationships. I'm here for you. With God's guidance, let's get to the roots of your struggles, do the brave work of healing, and change the trajectory of your life.
When it comes to sexual betrayal, there is a particular traumatization and wounding that the innocent spouse experiences. From my first marriage, I have personal understanding of the devastating pain that comes with a husband's adultery. Now, God, who is in the business of redeeming what Satan means for our destruction (Gen 50:20; Titus 2:14), is leading me to start a support group for women whose partners struggle with sexual integrity. If you would like more information about this group, send me an email at email@example.com, and include your phone number. I will contact you right away.
Personal healing, recovery, transformation and growth are all about realizing what's out of alignment with God's perfect design and intention for us, and then getting the help we need to re-align, to be able to walk in complete dependency upon and intimacy with Him. The lies of the enemy imprison us, but it's His Truth that sets us free (Jn 8:32).
P.S. Please consider supporting our counseling ministry here at Principles To Live By. To donate, click HERE. All gifts are tax-deductible and will be used to offset counseling costs for people who need it but can't necessarily afford it. Thank you!
Dear friends, many of my clients live on Social Security or otherwise cannot afford the suggested donation amount of $135 for each 80-90 minute session. PTLB is in dire need of tax-deductible donations toward the counseling scholarship fund of Holly Eaton. Please consider making a monthly tax-deductible donation to the PTLB counseling scholarship fund at www.ptlb.com/hollyeaton. If you prefer, you can mail a check to PTLB, P.O. Box 214, Roseville, CA 95661, specifying "Holly Eaton" in the memo. Thank you!