Now that we have taken a bulldozer to your relational house, there is plenty of room for the good stuff, the hope and joy and peace in relationships that God intended for us from the beginning.
God is a God of yes! If He tears down, it is only to build up; if He wounds, it is only to heal. He is such a good father who deeply desires to give His children the best gifts.
Psalm 16:11 holds a beautiful picture of a person clinging to the promises of a good God. "You make known to me the path of life; you fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."
God has eternal armloads of pleasures (including amazing, satisfying sex... we will get there) for those who will listen to Him and allow Him to replace devastating lies with transformational truths.
- Relationships are about Him, but they include you and them. Relationships with humans were never intended to be doors, but windows through which we see and understand Christ and His love for us and His Church. When we make another person into an end rather than a means to the end of knowing and seeing Christ and being known and seen by Christ, things always go awry. Yet at the same time, relationships are one of the primary ways that we see and experience, as well as give and receive the love of Christ. They are not about us or them, but they include us and enhance our lives when used as windows rather than doors.
- Only in Christ will we ever be complete. Good news, there is someone who can carry and hold up our eternal desires, our longing for unconditional, unchanging and secure love. Jesus alone can meet our deepest needs. When these needs are met and we are complete in Him, we are free to enjoy relationships with others without crushing them. Even in the most God-honoring relationship or marriage, another person will not complete you. They were never intended to.
- Sex was God's idea and is best used in the context He decides is best. We tend to forget that the explosive, powerful gifts of sex , romance and intimacy were God's idea. He didn't have to wire humans the way He did; He chose to because He is for these things! That being said, explosives become dangerous when used in the wrong context or the wrong time. God, the Creator and Giver of these gifts, has lovingly placed nets around the amazing gifts He has given us, just like we have a net around our trampoline: to MAXIMIZE pleasure and security while minimizing damage and painful consequences.
- God is the ultimate gift as well as the giver. It is so easy to slip into a formulaic approach to God: If I do A and don't do B, then He must give me C and D. But God is not interested in formulas or rulebooks, He is interested in relationship with His children. Without realizing it, Christians can subtly begin longing more for the gifts than the Giver of the gifts. He is the very great reward, as He told Abram in Genesis 15. He has given the Greatest gift in Himself, therefore, when life doesn't turn out the way intended or planned or prayed, we must fight to believe that He has our best interests in mind: that He indeed has both a hope and a future for His people (Jeremiah 29). In Romans 8:32, Paul captures this idea beautifully: He who did not spare His own son, but freely gave Him up for us all, how will He not with HIM freely give us all things?
Rome wasn't built in a day and erroneous thought patterns and dangerous approaches to relationships don't die quickly; however, there is such hope for us in regards to relationships. Philippians 1 tells us that what God begins, He will see through all the way to completion. He who began the work of transforming you is more committed than you are to writing truths on your heart. And, as if that were not enough, He gives His children the Holy Spirit as Helper, teacher and advocate.