Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bravery: Standing Strong & Exposing Our Shackles

You've probably heard by now at least if you are a Bachelor fan or tabloid reader Sean Lowe is to marry Catherine Giudici on Sunday, January 26th, 2014 on live television. You can read the article here posted by the Huffington Post: 

It has become public knowledge that Sean and Catherine are waiting until their wedding night to consummate their relationship. There are those in society who want to point fingers at couples whom they deem odd or strange because they choose to wait to consummate their relationship until after they've exchanged "I do's". Yet the story can be viewed as a beacon of light in a world often obsessed with lust and instant gratification, that there are still couples who put importance... value on waiting. Sean and Catherine may be in the minority by the world's standards but not by God's.

I love this story.

I love that someone out there stands behind what they believe in and isn't caving due to worldly pressure and influence.

I love that Sean is being a man and looking out for her.

I love that he is not going to be selfish and look inward to his own needs.
I love that Catherine supports him too and they stand united together.




They are brave because so few will stand up today for what's right. Has it been an easy path for them? Only they know the answer to that question yet we can assume it hasn't been easy… due to what we all know about human nature. Yet they have held steadfast to their values and what God deems suitable. Because when they stand up and say: 

"This is what we believe. This is what we are doing. We are honoring each other and God." 

It enables others to do the same.

So many of us wish we had that time back… that time to have a do-over and not engage in pre-marital sex. We can't have a do-over but we can begin anew any day from here out. Maybe you've already done something you regret and wish you could take it back.

I know I do… if I could have a re-do I'd take it in a nano second... I know I was wrong having pre-marital sex and when we admit we were wrong... that our behavior was sinful... that is BRAVE too. It's not something I can do-over but I can start new. Abstaining from sex outside marriage, caring about someone deeply, I'm going to hold off because I wouldn't want to do anything that could cause either of us potential regret, harm or hurt later. That holds true for the man in my future.

I want the next man I'm with to be the last. 

And that includes doing what I know to be right. 

Maybe you have a similar past story that includes regret and wish you could have back that one night or those many nights… that moment(s) of weakness filled with self and lack of discipline... maybe rebellion. When we care and purposefully love someone we put what God desires first, as well as the well-being of the one we love ahead of our own fleshly desires.

You may think "It's too late for me… I've already messed up." But we don't have to subscribe to sin, lust and the ways of the world on a continual basis just because we already did once, twice, ten times or more. We don't have to say "Ugh, I've already messed it up, there's no point in starting fresh." We can say no to throwing in the towel.

Seems like all I could see was the struggle

Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past

Bound up in shackles of all my failures

Wondering how long is this gonna last?

Then You look at this prisoner
and say to me, son
Stop fighting a fight
It's already been won.
And I am redeemed

We can pick ourselves up and say:

"Today is a new beginning. Today I'm walking with God and remaining untouched until my wedding night with the man I marry." 

Just because we have made less than stellar choices in the beginning does not mean we are destined to continue on that way and those choices also be our ending. We can decide any day, any hour, any minute:

"My story is going to end differently" 

And then see it through.

Some may laugh and think "that's extreme", or "that's taking it too seriously"... but God isn't laughing... He delights in us taking Him seriously and even more, obeying Him. God desires us to use discipline and honor our body, not dabble in passionate lust, as sexual immorality is a work of the flesh.



This week someone in the news admitted her struggle behind closed doors… Elizabeth Vargas, the 20/20 news anchor sat down with 'Good Morning America' to open up about her past struggle with alcoholism…

you can watch the video here:

In the interview she relayed the details of her journey and how it brought her to a final place of triumph. Think of how many people watching that interview could relate… nodding their heads and silently affirming they too were struggling while ensconced in their dens or kitchens holding a cup of coffee to wake up from the previous night's headache-inducing-wine-binge. Elizabeth Vargas has undoubtedly inspired countless people to be brave enough to finally dodge denial and admit they too have a problem with alcohol, with addiction. It takes guts to stand up and admit publicly or merely to our family and friends that we have an issue we are struggling with… whether it be porn, cheating, alcohol, excessive spending, gambling, etc… when we are brave and stand up, when we admit our moments of defeat that have remained hidden… behind the bathroom door in a puddle of tears or in front of the mirror where only God can see, when we admit we've felt convicted about our behavior and yet desperately need help because we are too weak on our own to help ourselves… we are doing something wonderful… we may not know it at the time but we are modeling for others their first step toward victory too… a single act of bravery that will have widespread wondrous results.

You set me free

So I'll shake off these heavy chains

and wipe away every stain

'cause I'm not who I used to be

Oh, God, I'm not who I used to be
Jesus, I'm not who I used to be
'cause I am redeemed
Thank God, redeemed

In life we may start with a few strikes, a few falls, a few boo's from the stands... but the truth is... it's the progress, the last bit that counts... the past is not an excuse to say "to heck with it, I'll get by on grace doing what I want"... it's commiting our life to God and declaring that we will finish our race in victory, that our game will bring an epic win, that our story will conclude with tears of joy and cheers of glory... 

because we were brave… 

we progressed
we changed
we grew and evolved 
into what God desires. 

And I can think of nothing greater than pleasing Him. 

© ~ 2014 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing!

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