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As we walk up to the edge of marriage, we draw close to something so much bigger than ourselves. It’s a vibrant picture of the love God has shown us in sending his Son for us, a love wider and deeper than the Pacific Ocean.God designed love in marriage, like gallons and gallons of ocean, to show us how unsearchable love is for us. And because love within a covenant is so large, so intense, so captivating, he established a boundary, a shoreline.Satan’s still telling the same lies he was telling in the garden when he convinced Adam and Eve to eat the fruit.God says to Adam, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis –17). Satan takes the infinite creativity and generosity of the Father, and makes him sound stingy.What if, instead of fence-building, they were acts of war in love?Boundaries are hard to keep, at least in part, because Satan convinces us we’re only sacrificing and never gaining, that we’re holed up in this dark, cold, damp cave called Christian dating. Christ came to us not to enslave us, though, but to liberate us.It’s estimated that the Pacific Ocean holds 187 deep. The Lord says to Job, “Who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’? And then he drew a line in the sand and told the waves they could go no farther. To show us that the waves are his, to tell us that he is sovereign, creative, and wise — and that he can be trusted.And we can safely play there in its wake at Newport Beach, wading carelessly into seemingly infinite power and mystery. “He established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth” (Proverbs –29). God does the same kind of work in marriage and dating.
What if you and your boyfriend (or girlfriend) started by asking a different question?The boundaries — these spiritual acts of war — are not stealing anything from us.They’re the tracks on which we run the fastest and freest with Jesus (and each other).“For freedom Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1). A relationship patience and self-control, but they don’t quench love.They nourish and strengthen the kind of love we’re really longing for.
God intended for woman in the promises of marriage, and he intended for us to enjoy marital intimacy and pleasure, especially sexual intimacy and pleasure, only in the context of those promises.