I come with some fear and trembling with the subject here, this morning.
I must admit, while I was preparing or these lessons, studying, gazing into God's heart, what His best is, how beautiful it is, (in this matter of godly courtship) how well it works. I just had to cry, because I missed it. I missed it all. I missed it ignorantly, I knew nothing of it at all. Because of the way that I was raised and the patch that I chose to take, I missed it all. My heart aches over that, and I can't change that, but what I can do instead is that I can take that burden and make it translated into a tremendous motivation to encourage all of you young people to squeeze it for everything that's in it. Because God has His best in this matter of courtship and marriage. He has His best. And like God and everything else, it is really the best. It's beautiful! I just encourage you to strive for that which is excellent in this area.
I'd like us to open our Bibles to Genesis Chapter 2 this morning.
We have three sessions, here. I will be speaking about more than just the subject of godly courtship.
As I pondered the subject of godly courtship, I realized that there are many issues that precede, and there are many issues that follow this matter of godly courtship. So I feel it wouldn't be wise, nor would you get the depth of what God wants you to grasp on the subject if I just dropped in the middle, and started talking about godly courtship. So I want to lay some ground work, and probably we won't get into the actual subject of courtship until tomorrow, maybe a little bit here this morning. But I assure you that everything I am saying today you need so that, I believe, God will use it to stir your heart, and your interests, and your desire for what you're going to receive tomorrow.
So we're going to begin by reading in Genesis Chapter 2. Bother John mentioned, I believe in his opening session on the sermon on the mount, that the kingdom of God is bringing things back into the godly order that God planned for it, so I think as we look at this matter of Godly courtship, it's good for us to look here in Genesis Chapter 2 at the beautiful order that God planned concerning marriage. We're reading in Chapter 2, from verse 15, "And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt no eat of it, for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shall surely die'. And the Lord God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make an help meet for him'. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every foul of the air and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them. And whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle and foul of the air and every beast of the filed, but for Adam, there was not found a help meet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept. And He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof, and the rib which the Lord God had taken from man made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, 'This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called "woman", because she was taken out of man'. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh". What a beautiful portion of scripture that we find, here. You may not feel that way, but I spent a lot of hours in those verses that I just read, not just for these sessions today, but I find myself meditating upon them just about every time we have a wedding, and I have a message to preach to a young couple concerning marriage. I always find myself coming back to these texts because this is God's heart. We see it so beautifully laid out in here.
We want to look at just a few points here in these scriptures, and we want to look in verse 18, and notice that we have an opportunity to drop in on the councils of God. I don't believe God was just thinking to Himself, I believe he was conferring in the councils of God (shall we say father Son and Holy Ghost?) in the same way that we find it earlier there, I believe it's in Chapter 1, where He says, "Let Us make man in Our image". So we drop in on the eternal councils of God. There a discussion going on, and God says, "It is not good for the man to be alone". It'd like us to recognize that God is the one who recognized it, it was God who noticed that, it was God who looked at his creation, it was God who looked down the road, [and] it was God in His infinite wisdom who looked at the man and said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a help meet for him".
A help meet? I believe that phrase has been watered down pretty good. As I pondered that and studied that matter of a help meet, [I realized] that it's been watered down so much that in the minds of many a man, you might as well say, "servant or slave". "It's not good for the man to be alone. I'm going to make a woman so that she can help him", that's no what God meant when He said that, young men. That's not at all what He meant. He wasn't looking down on Adam and saying "Adam's going to need a lot of help to keep this garden. I'm going to make a woman that can help him do all of the work that's in this garden". That's not what God is saying, there. Yes, He is saying, "I'm going to make him a helper", but He's saying, "I'm going to make him a helper that is meet to him, that is suitable to him, that is adopted to him, that is compatible to him, that is compared to him, that is a companion to him". That's what God was saying. He wasn't saying, "I'm going to make him a woman so Adam has somebody to help him". That's a pretty shallow vision, isn't it? But I'm afraid that many times, that is how many a young man looks at it, and many a young lady feels like it too in about the first year of marriage that they understand that's how their husband looks at it. But that isn't how God was looking at it. And that's not on the negative side, either, young men, that's on the positive side. God made woman for so much more that just to help you wash your dishes and cook your food. So much more! Beautiful, so much more meaning, so much more depth than that!
Alright, I'd like us to notice in verse 19 and 20 that God prepared Adam. He prepared him. I don't believe that it's an accident that these verse are in here. Well, the first couple times you read them, you think, "Well why did God put that in there? What does that have to do with marriage?". You know, all of the sudden we're talking about the creation again, and the cows, and the lions, and all of that. What does that have to do with it all? But I believe that it's in here because we can see so clearly that God was preparing Adam. He already looked and saw that Adam needed a help meet, but He wants to help Adam to understand that, also. So He brings all of the creatures before Adam and here they come; "Lion, and lioness. Cow, and the bull. Hen, and the rooster". And they all come before Adam, and Adam starts naming them, and I'm sure, somewhere in there, it dawned on him, "Male, Female. Male, Female. Two. Two by two by... two?", [laughs] I don't need to say anything else, do I?, "...And I'm only one". God prepared him. God put something inside of his heart, there. Isn't that beautiful? Praise God.
The next thing I'd like us to notice is that Adam slept. Now God's going to make sure that Adam has a help meet, but Adam slept. It wasn't his worry, it wasn't anything he could do about it, absolutely nothing. That was God's responsibility. Adam, he just slept, and he trusted it all to God. He knew something was missing, he saw all of those animals go through there, he knew that he was only one, and they were all two, but he just trusted God, and he went to sleep, and God caused a sleep to fall over him.
Alright, the next thing we'd like to notice is in verse 21. "The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept, and He (God) took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof", so we can see there that God took a rib out of man. That wasn't just a nice way to do it, young men and young ladies. That wasn't just God's way, God decided, "Well, now, let's see all of the other creatures, even Adam, I just reached down and I took the dust of the Earth and I formed them and then I breathed into the breath of life, and life came into them and man became a living soul and all of the animals became living creatures. But God didn't do it that way this time, did He? He did it different, and that wasn't an accident, it wasn't just a flip in choice, He had a very important reason for doing that. He took something out of Adam. And may I interject some thoughts to you, here, and cause your mind to meditate a little bit. I believe that when Adam woke up - I don't know how soon he saw Eve his wife, but I believe when Adam woke up, he knew something was missing. He knew something was missing.
We have a nice little proverb in Africa, and I love it. Brother Francis, is the pastor of the church over there in Africa. I had the opportunity to marry a couple of the couples over there, and Brother Francis said, "Brother Achan's found his rib". And it's kind of a joke there, and I tell you, it's no joke. This is a great mystery, brothers and sisters. But Brother Achan did find his rib.
Adam woke up and Adam knew something was missing. Something that was inside of him was now not there anymore. Something was not there, and it was missing. So God took the rib, and with the rib, instead of the dust of the Earth, God made woman after his kind, after Adam. Like Adam, out of Adam, God made the woman. And when Adam woke up, I believer he knew that something was missing.
And verse 22, "And the rib which the Lord God had taken from man made He a woman and brought her unto the man". Can you just imagine with me a little bit, that meeting? Ponder it. You see, this is what meditation is, we don't just read over the verse, but we stop, and we picture it. Picture this. This happened. Adam went to sleep, Adam woke up, something was missing, and God took the woman, and gave the woman unto Adam. Can you imagine that meeting? Adam's loneliness was fulfilled with a companion. Adam's love has something to release itself upon. Until then, he didn't have anything. He had the love, he had the capacity to love, because God made him after His image, but he had nothing to release that love upon. Think about it with me. Adam had never loved a woman. Eve had never loved a man. She never released her emotions of love to a man, and Adam had never released her emotions of love to a woman. Can you imagine what that meeting must have been like? She was perfect. She was absolutely perfect, and he was perfect, and he was everything that God wanted him to be, and she was everything that God wanted her to be. Ca you imagine what that meeting must have been like? Bless the Lord.
Now, notice Adam's response here in verse 23. He is pretty exited about it, and Adam said, "this is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man". He gave her a name right away. He knew right away. "That was just missing, [but] it's not missing anymore. I'm going to call her woman. My name is man, I'm going to call her woman - taken out of man". And he knew it. "This is bone of my bone, this is flesh of my flesh. She was taken out of me, she's just like me". Adam was exited about it.
That day there, in that meeting, Adam became unreservedly a one-woman man. And that day, in that garden, Eve became unreservedly a one-man woman. What a beautiful beginning, Amen? Talk about the Kingdom of God, talk about God's beautiful order, talk about God's lovely Kingdom! We've just got a beautiful glimpse into the kingdom of God!
What kind of a relationship do you think they had with a meeting like this? How do you think he felt about her? Do you think he said, "Thank you Lord. Come on, Eve, there's a lot of work to do in the garden. Let's go!". Do you think He looked at her that way? And I know we chuckle about that, but let's get some depth out of it, too. He didn't look at her that way. My, he looked at her; "My treasure! My wife! My queen! A gift from God! This gift that God game me! A woman! A wife!". What kind of relationship do you think they had? How do you think Eve looked at him as she was standing there and she realized "I came out of him. There's this wound over there in his side. I came out of him. Why, I wasn't, but now I am, and I was made for him!"? What kind of relationship do you think they had? Oh, it was beautiful. It was beautiful.
Alright, on to verse 24, here. Verse 24 says, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh". For some of you, you may get tired of hearing this, but I'd like for us to look at and see why the "therefore" is there, because there is one in this verse. "Therefore" is there as a summation. "Therefore" is referring to the things that happened before, the statements that were made, the picture that we saw, the reality of what we just looked at. And at the end of all of that that was described that we read we find this word "therefore". And I believe that there is a great key in that word right there, that God has something to say to us. There is something mysterious. There's something mysteriously missing that causes him to leave in his father and his mother and cleave unto a wife. There's something mysteriously missing. You think about it, ponder Ephesians Chapter 5 where we find these very words, read again in the scriptures, and Paul said "This is a great mystery, but I speak unto you concerning Christ and the Church," and I'm not very sure what that means, but I'm going to be digging into that one, you can be sure of it. But consider with me: There's something missing. There's something that's not complete. "And therefore, a young man shall leave his father and mother," and many a father and mother feel hurt when young man wants to leave father and mother, but there's something missing. "And the two shall be one flesh,". That which is apart, that which is separated, that which is missing, that which is incomplete, shall become one, shall become together, shall be completed.
And before I get too far into this I want to assure you that I do believe in 1st Corinthians Chapter 7 also that in this New Testament age we live in, it is Gods will for some not to marry. But nevertheless, this, this mysterious thing that happened works in the hearts of young men.
Well, this is a beautiful story as I've said already. To me, it just thrills my heart to look at it from God's perspective in all of the beauty that God planned it. It thrills my heart, and I wish that the next chapter wasn't where it is. I really do, but nevertheless Genesis Chapter 3 is in the Bible, and we're not going to read it here this morning, but it's the account of the fall. That's the reason why the rest of the things I need to say the rest of this session, and the one tomorrow, and the one on Friday need to be said.
And man fell, and all of that beautiful order that God had set into motion has been muddled up. It's been confused. It's been hated by sin. It's been infested by a lower nature, and that's why we're going to have the rest of this session today, and tomorrow and on Friday, because there is a Genesis Chapter 3.
God wants to restore this beautiful, meaningful part of His order and His kingdom. That is God's heart. I'm sure that every one of you agree with that, that it's in the heart of God to do everything He can in order to bring back into reality these beautiful pictures we've seen in Genesis Chapter 2. That is God's heart. He wants that to be.
Ho do I know when it is time to pursue this awesome relationship called marriage? How do I know that? That's a question that many, many young people ask themselves. Many times they ask it. Sometimes they ask it to others. I believe they're very wise when the start asking those kind of questions to their fathers, and their mothers and their spiritual leaders. That's a wise question to ask rather then to just think on your own and independently figure it out on your own whether you're ready for this. But how will I know it's time to pursue this relationship called marriage? There's three thing's I'd like to bring out.
First of all, God will help you to know. He's very concerned about it, He'd very concerned that it'd be right, He's very concerned that it come forth by the beauty in which we just looked at it, here. I assure you that God will help you to know when it's time for you to pursue this relationship of marriage. By the continual promptings of His Spirit in the quiet of your heart, in the quietness of your own prayer closet, in the sweetness of your own meditation, a times when you are meditating upon the scripture, and you are sitting there in the presence of God, God will tell you. He will help you to know that now it is time. May I encourage each one of you: Do not move forward in any of these things until you can sense those promptings coming from God. And if you don't know the presence of God, please don't try to make those kinds of decisions. Find out who God is first! But God will help you to know when it's time for you to enter into these relationships.
Number two, your parents will be able to discern this. They know you. They know you like nobody else knows you except God. They know you, they know where you're at, they know the level of your maturity, they know your strengths, they know your weaknesses, they know your walk with God, they know you. Let your parents help you to discern when it's time for you to pursue this relationship called marriage.
And thirdly, godly leaders will be able to give you some insights concerning this subject. If you have godly leaders in your life (some of you I know you don't, but some of you do) don't just pass them by. They can also help you in this area. They also know you. They watch for your soul. They've been watching over you. In some situations, they've watched you grow up; they've known you for five years; they've known you for ten years. Let them help you to discern when it's time for you to enter into this relationship.
Some principles for you to consider in your own heart about "When is it time, when am I ready to enter into such an awesome relationship as marriage"? Some principles to consider.
First of all, the principle of maturity. You need to ask yourself, "Am I mature? Am I a matured Christian?" And you may say here, this morning, "Well come on, I'm not forty years old!" I didn't say you need to be a forty year old mature Christian. But the question you need to ask yourself [is], "Am I a mature Christian?", which means, "Have I learned to walk with God? Have I allowed God to work in my life, and build character in my life? Have I allowed God to stabilize my life? Can I say that I am one who is established in the faith?". I believe that you can be that long before you are forty years old, young men. You can be established in the faith long before that. But that's a question we need to ask yourselves, young men [and] young ladies. "Am I mature? Am I steady? Am I established in the faith? Do I have a relationship with God?". Don't move ahead if you don't have that. Don't do it. You'll mess up the beautiful kingdom.
Number two. Some principles to consider: "Have I mastered the authority issue in my life?". "By the grace of God, have I mastered the authority issue in my life?". What do I mean by that? "Am I under authority? Am I sweetly under authority? Do I love authority? Do I pursue it? Do I long for my authority's protection over my life? Do I long to hear what they think about my life?". When you get to that, you have mastered this area of authority, and it's not as hard as some of you might think. It's not that hard. I assure you, when you master it, you'll know it, because it's one of the richest, sweetest experiences in your Christian life. When you have mastered it, you will know it. You will know it because of the absence of conflict with those that are in authority over you. You will know it because of the sweet closeness that you have with those that are in authority over you. You will know it because of the sweet thoughts of love and respect that you have for those that are in authority over you. You will know it because of the thoughts of gratitude that you have on your hear unto God as you realize that you have authorities over you. You will know that you have mastered this matter of authority.
Number three. Now these are big ones, and we can break them down, but we don't have time. Number three, "Am I married to Christ?". I feel this is a very important one. "Is Jesus my all in all? Is He the sweet, beloved lover of my soul? Is He the sweetest relationship of my life? Is Jesus the lover of my soul? Am I married to Christ?". And this morning as I say these things and I look out over your faces, (and I can read your faces, by the way, everyone who stands up here can, most of the time) some of you are saying "Man! That is a high standard!". No, it isn't. that is the Christian life. You're supposed to be in love with Jesus! He's supposed to be the altogether lovely one in your heart and in your experience. You should be content in Jesus just to love and serve Him. Are you there? What a beautiful place for God to lead you from. Here you are, you're just lost in the love of your Savior, you love Him, you're serving Him, and the thrill of serving Him is a reality in your heart and your life, and in the midst of all of that, you're just wrapped up in Him; In the midst of all of that, the Lord starts knocking on your heart and says "My son, my daughter, have you ever considered getting married?", [and you say] "What, Lord?! What was that?". And, you know, I like it when you're so wrapped up in the other one that He has to knock a few times, and maybe He send a father by and he says, "Son, have you considered getting married? Mom and I have been praying about this.", [and you say] "What, Dad?! What?!". I like that. That's good. That's healthy. And the older men say "Amen!" and all of the younger men are quiet [laughs]. But I tell you what, you enter into it that way and yes, God will get your attention, because He's the sweet lover of your soul, and He will get your attention, and you will realize, "Yes, the Lord is talking to me,". And you start down that road, seeking God about a life partner, and courtship, and marriage, and you walk into that, out of that relationship of love for Jesus, dear brother, dear sister, I can almost guarantee you one of the sweetest relationships this side of heaven.
So, those are just a few principles that I wanted to share with you that are good for you to consider, whether you're ready for this. You may say, "Brother Denny, I'm twenty now! That will take me five more years! Well, it might not take it as long as you think if you raise it up there as a standard for your life. But the problem is that it's not raised up there as a standard and we think, "Well, we'll get by with it on a lesser expert, and we're just real glad and happy that mom and dad have a lower standard, too. And we can pull it by mom and dad, and we'll get mom and dad's consent to go ahead", when in reality, these things are not a reality in our life. I tell you, young men [and] young ladies, you are better to wait until you're twenty five and have these things there in your life, and God to be a reality to you, than to slip one by mom and dad because you'd like to get a wife or a husband. There are higher goals than that.
You know, as I was pondering this message, as I was looking for different scriptures that I should pull out, it was suggested to me by someone, "Maybe 1st Corinthians 7, maybe we could talk about that where it says 'to avoid fornication let every man have a wife and every woman have a husband'" , you know I thought about and I thought, "Dear Lord! That was written to the Corinthian Church! They were having a lot of moral problems! We're not the Corinthian Church, I trust! What a weak and a second-rate motive to want a husband or to want a wife!", [i.e.] "I want to get me a wife, I want to avoid fornication!". Man, that's a pretty weak reason. It is a biblical reason, and God will bless you if that's all you can do, but oh, God has a much higher goal than that.
What kind of partner do I need? Notice, I said "what kind of partner do I need?", not, "what kind of partner do I want?". But I trust that the need and the want are the same thing. And may I say, when you get down into this area it's time to open your eyes. There will be a time for you to shut your eyes: after you're married, but right now it's time for you to open your eyes. And I would encourage you to do that. Not this morning, this morning what you should do is open your heart and allow God to put into your heart some clear, biblical convictions about "What kind of a partner do I need, that I by the grace of God, can live out this beautiful kingdom of God, and bring back the order, and bring back the beauty, and bring back the harmony that God planned for? What kind of partner do I need?". And I have five points here on this one.
Number one: one with a vision. One with a vision, one that sees beyond just having a husband or a wife. You want one with a vision higher than that. You want one that sees eternal things as they look down the road, and as they look at marriage and they consider life and the future, and what God's will is for them. You find one that sees something, that sees godliness, that sees order, that sees a godly family, that sees a testimony, that sees a life message, that sees the work of God, that sees the building of the kingdom. You find one like that. I've often said, and I do believe this, don't even consider the ones that don't have any vision.
"Well, I want to get married."
"I need wife! I need a husband!"
"Well, I'd like to have some children."
Don't' go that way. The goals are so much higher than that, so much higher.
Number two: You need one that is virtuous. A virtuous woman, a virtuous man. "A virtuous one? What do you mean one that is virtuous,"? Well, we can look at Proverbs Chapter 31, on the ladies side the most beautiful commentary on a virtuous woman that you'll ever find in the Bible, and it's all put together, there, all packed together in all of those verses. And I tell you, you won't find this kind out in the world, and you won't find in a worldly Church, usually, because the goals of the women in many Churches today are far from those in Proverbs Chapter 31. But I'd like you to consider Proverbs Chapter 31 when you are looking for a virtuous woman. You find one who's virtuous like it is in Proverbs Chapter 31. And those are "down home" virtues, the kind that make for an orderly home. The kind that make for a godly home, [and] blessed children. You look for one like that. One that knows how to sew, one that knows how to cook, one that knows how to keep a house, one that would be concerned about children. You look for one like you find there in Proverbs Chapter 31. I assure you, that's the kind that you need. Forget about the natural beauty. I'm not against that, but if you put that n the top of your list, you may be surprised, young men, and you may be surprised, young ladies. The most beautiful one, the most handsome one, is often not the most virtuous one. I'm not saying it's always that way, but don't put it at the top of the list. You take a young lady or young man, you get that heart clear, and clean, and pure, you fill that heart with the grace of God, you let them be filled with the joy of God, and get a radiance on that face, and he'll be beautiful, and he'll be handsome, even though he may not have everything just perfect on him. A virtuous woman, but also a virtuous man. There is no Chapter in the Bible on virtuous men. I believe the reason for that is because the whole Bible is there to challenge us men. It's all there. But you look for a man who's filled with virtues.
Godly characters: point number three. One who has been developing the qualities of godliness in their life. Notice, I said "developing". I'm not saying that they're all there, everything is perfect. I'm not telling you that, I don't want to send you away from here with some ideal that you'll never be able to find. I'm not saying that. But one who is developing the qualities of godly character, and you know they're changing, they're allowing God to work on them in this area, God is purified over here. You look for one like that, who has their focus on godly character, and they're in the midst of God transforming their life into the beautiful character of Christ.
Point number four, and the one has already been said, but I want to say it again in another perspective, "What kind of partner do I need?". Consider this matter of authority. Young men, you don't need a wife who has not found this beautiful place of being under the authority of her father and her mother. You do not need a wife like that. You do not need it. But you say, "But she's pretty!", "But I like her", "But I don't think it will be a problem!". Her me, hear me, you don't need a wife that has not learned the beautiful place of being under the authority of her father and her mother. You don't need one like that. I'm not saying God can't work in spite of all of that, but now we're down here choosing. If I could use Brother Bill as an illustration, you know "Now don't just walk in there and just stick your hand in that wood lathe". You don't need one like that. And young ladies, you don't need a young man, who has not learned to be under authority. I tell you from experience from watching many, many a home. If he doesn't know how to be under authority, he will absolutely fail at being in authority. If he doesn't know how to be under authority, he won't be a leader. He might stomp on you, he might push you around, but he will not be a leader. If he doesn't know how to be under authority, he won't be a leader in a good way, in a positive way. He won't be one of those who leads out and says, "Let's go in this direction,". It doesn't happen. Secrets, secrets, young men, young ladies. This is a big secret. But really, it's not, [but] this is one that you don't want to just pass over in your mind. You need a husband, you need a wife, that has mastered this area of authority.
And lastly, and I said this already, but I'll say it again, you need one who is in love with Jesus. It's not enough to say, "Well, she says she's a Christian.", "He goes to a good church.", "He's in a good youth group,". It's not enough to do that. Those things can be put on. There's plenty of hypocrites around. It's not enough to say, "I'm a Christian", it's not enough to say, "I love Jesus", it's not enough to go to a good church, it's not even enough to be from a good family! That's not enough! You need to love Jesus, and you need to be able to know that by the testimony of their life. And everybody knows somebody who loves Jesus, there's no question about it, you know it. You know it this week, you spot them, you spot the ones that you know without a doubt ("That young lady loves Jesus", "That young man, he loves Jesus"), no question about it. You want one that loves Jesus.
Alright, I'd like to say a couple of things about waiting, and some of this is in preparation for tomorrow and I think I'll have enough time to drop this on your hearts, [for you] to ponder through the day, and to bring with you tomorrow. What about the waiting? I just put a waiting period before you, didn't I? I didn't give you any years; I don't believe it's right to necessarily set a year and say, "by this year, you can do such and such,". But rather, we go by the scriptural principles that are in the Word of God, and when we rise up to a level of maturity, then it's time to move into this area of marriage. But, I put a waiting period before you. What do you do while you're waiting? What should you do? Young men, what should you do? Should you build a big business? Should you make a bunch of money while you're waiting? No, you won't mature if you do that. You'll be waiting a long time. Don't do that; use these years of waiting to deepen your relationship with God and your relationship with others. Use these years of waiting as a motivation to holiness and to purity. Use these years for that. Use your desire to get married, to have a wife, use that motivation to change your whole life.
It's interesting, the motivation that we see in the in the scriptures. The motivation to have a wife, what a powerful thing it is. I think of David in the scriptures, where David was supposed to have Michal as his wife, Michal, the daughter of Saul, and Saul meant it for evil, but it didn't matter to David. He wanted Michal to be his wife, and Saul evilly said, "Well, I want the forth skins of a hundred Philistines as a dowry. You give that, you can have my daughter Michal to wife". Well, that didn't bother David at all, the motivation to have a young lady as a life companion was so strong in him, he went out and slew two hundred Philistines. He got double the dowry. That's because there's a tremendous motivation there. Use it to purify your life, to build your relationship with Jesus Christ, to build the relationships of those that are around you.
I think about Jacob. He wanted Rachel. Oh, he wanted Rachel for a wife, and he went to Rachel's father, and asked, "Can I have Rachel as a wife?", and we know the story, how that Laban deceived him, and he worked for seven years. And the Bible says it seemed like a short time to him, but he worked for seven years. How could he do that? There was something motivating him.
You take this time of waiting, and use that as a time, use that motivation there, as a time of purifying your life.
I'd like to say something else about waiting. I'd like to encourage you to wait emotionally. Wait emotionally. If we could just refer back to Genesis chapter 2, Adam released the emotions of romantic love that were deep inside of him when God brought Eve to him. And Eve released the emotions of romantic love which were inside of her. She released them onto Adam.
Save yourself emotionally for your husband, for your wife. I believe that God's best, God's perfect will, God's sweetest order, as much as possible is that you be a virgin physically, and emotionally when you enter into this matter of marriage. I believe that's God's perfect will that you be a virgin, not just physically, but emotionally, and I praise God that around here we have the standard of physically purity and virginity. Praise God for that. I just rejoice over it. I've been around a lot, it's a beautiful thing, and we're blessed that we have that standard. But I tell you, I believe we need to raise the standard a little higher than that, because just like everything else in the Christian life, just like we heard from Brother Phillip today, it's not the act, it's the heart. Save yourself emotionally for your husband.
Young men, save yourself emotionally for your wife. How beautiful that a young man can hold his emotions back and watch guard over them, and not allow them to run away, and not give them to this young lady, and then give them to this young lady, and she may not even know that you did it, but you did it. But just hold those emotions in check. Why? I'm saving them for the most precious woman in my life. I don't know who she is yet, but I'm saving them for her. Sorry all of you other young ladies, this is a prized possession, and I'm saving these emotion for the precious young lady of my life's partner.
Young ladies, you do the same. You put a reign on your emotions. Put a reign on them. Don't let them go. If I could just encourage you sisters, throw away all of those romance books. I mean that. I don't even you try to figure out what's wrong with them, I think you need to do it just because I told you to throw them away, because they're ruining you. They're doing things inside of you that are early, it's premature. You're not even supposed to know what all of those feelings are about. And some of you have been running all over the country in your mind, and you love this one, and then you love this one, and it's all in the book, and I tell you, it's poison, and it's from the pit, and they need to go in a burn barrel, and be burned. And I know that you young men, you don't do those things, you don't read books like that, or maybe some of you do, but you don't need a book, you know, you've got your own movie theatre.
God would take us deeper than just holding the standard of physical virginity. God would have us to hold our emotions that, yea, truly so, that when God does finally knock on our heart's door, and wake us up, and try to get our attention which is all wrapped up in Jesus, we come to that place where we begin to release our emotions. I tell you what young men and young ladies, it's beautiful. It's thrilling. Don't play around with it early, you'll mess it up. You'll dull it, you'll confuse it, and it won't be the same. It won't be the same. Hold those emotions back. You say, "How can we do that?! Brother Denny, that's impossible! You're asking us to do something that's impossible!". Am I?
Let me ask you a question. I'm married twenty one years tomorrow, praise God! Is it right for me to release my emotions of love toward another woman? What do you all think? Well, everybody disagrees with that: "Why, It's wrong! Brother Denny, that's wrong! That's unlawful!". Well, what shall I do? What shall I do if all of a sudden a temptation comes my way to release my emotions to another woman? What shall I do? You tell me. you give me some council. We all know the answer, don't we? We all know what Brother Denny should do. He should rise up by the grace of God and crucify those feelings, that's what Brother Denny should do. Well, may I suggest to you today that if Brother Denny most do that, and brother Denny can to that, then you must do it too, and you can it too.
Turn with me to Colossians Chapter 3 (I'm just about done, here). In Colossians Chapter 3, we want to look at a couple of words here in these verses that we're going to read that I'll give them to you ahead of time so that you can see the flow of context that surrounds these words. But we want to look at the words "inordinate affection"; it's found in verse 5 Now, let's read the context here. Verse 1, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ sitting on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things of the Earth," (and you notice that word, "affection"), "Set your affection on things above, not on things of the Earth," (why?), "...for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our light, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore," (there's another "therefore"), "Mortify...", (or "put to death"), "...therefore your members which are upon the Earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry, for which thing's sake, the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience,". Now we see the context of these verses, and we want to look a little bit as the words "inordinate affection". It's a very interesting little group of words, there. We know what "affection" means, we've been talking about affection. That's exactly what we've been talking about. "Do not allow your affections to be released in the direction of a young lady, or young ladies, do not allow your affections to be released in the direction of a young man before your time". That's what we've been talking about. So, we've got the word "affection" and we all understand that. But the word I'd like to look at is "inordinate". "Inordinate" means "out of limits". Inordinate means "out of order". "Inordinate" means "unrestrained". So now, let's look at it again. "These out of limit affections, these out of order affections, these unrestrained affections, put them to death" is what Paul is saying here in Colossians Chapter 3. Why? "For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God". Why? Because you are to "set your affections on things above". Why? Because they are out of order. Now I believe that this scripture here is not necessarily talking about the relationships that we are discussing here. It's talking about mine, that I described to you. For me to release my affections toward another woman is an inordinate affection, it is out of order, and it's right in the middle of uncleanness and lasciviousness, and evil concupiscence, and all of those other things. To release my affections in the direction of another woman is "inordinate affection", or they are affections that are out of limits and they are out of order. And I am just presenting to you this morning that I believe that you can get some mileage out of this word, in this whole area of saving your emotions for one man, and for one young lady.
Now, I'm not saying this morning, that if you have some thought about a boy, or a girl, or there's a little affection that rises in your heart, that this is evil, and it's time for you to hit the mourner's bench, and this is a gross sin. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying when you begin to release your love, the romantic love of your heart, [at] the age of fifteen and sixteen, to this one, and then to this one, and many times nobody even knows it's happening, it's all in the secret chamber of your heart that this is taking place, I'm saying that you are bordering on these very words that are having affections that are out of order. And it's not going to come out right for you, and it's not saving yourself or your husband, or it's not saving yourself or your wife. I believe we need to lift the standard up a little higher, that yea, when God brings a young lady and a young man together they can sit down together and they can say one to another, "My heart is overflowing with love for you and I want you to know that it's never overflowed before. I've been tempted for it to overflow but I've stopped it. By the grace of God, I didn't allow it to stay". That's a beautiful way to start, and that's the right place to end.