Post #11 in a Tale of Two Covenants
While his ex-girlfriend was toting invisible AK47s, Charles was fighting another kind of battle.
He was back in town.
He’d opted out of the many invitations to hang out and chose to crash his friend’s fifth wedding anniversary instead. Maybe some of his friend’s good fortune will rub off him since he hadn’t been successful in that department of marital bliss.
Jason was surprised to see Charles. No one had seen Charles much after his last birthday. He still didn’t know the full story. One minute, Charles was the happiest man on earth and the next, he was nowhere to be found. His wife had gone so far as to call Charles’ girlfriend, Anne, to try to find out what was happening but Anne had offered very little information. She’d just said Charles needed to sort through a few things.
Were they not together then? His wife had wanted to know.
Anne had answered that it looked like it.
Not a satisfactory answer. They had spent a few evenings discussing Charles and his girlfriend. Jason was worried about his friend. It wasn’t like him to just up and leave. But Charles had unexpectedly appeared on his doorstep and maybe today he was going to find out exactly what had happened.
“Guy, what are you doing here?”
He pumped his friend on the shoulders.
Charles grinned. “Can’t keep a guy away for long. Plus, it’s not fair that you two get to be the happiest couple on earth.”
Jason’s two little boys scooted past, the second trying to keep up with his older brother in wobbly legs, and they laughed.
The party was wrapping up, so Jason knew he could sit with his friend and not bother about what was going on or not going on. His wife was indoors with some of her friends, chatting and watching a Showmax Original Series.
“So, what’s new with you?”
Charles shrugged and said he just had to take some time away to clear his head.
He sighed. “The worst birthday ever.”
Jason frowned.” What happened? You and Anne…”
Charles laughed, a bit painfully. He said that he and Anne were history.
Jason was surprised. “But…”
“Everything was going so well?” Charles said helpfully.
Jason nodded. “What exactly happened?”
So Charles told him. (And if you’re like Jason and have no idea what happened, you can head here to get the gist.)
And Jason listened. And then said, “I believe it’s time I tell you my story.”
“You have a story?”
“Everyone has a story.”
So amidst the bright lights of the fading party, under the blinking stars, Jason told Charles everything. About getting fired from his job a long time ago, and losing almost everything. Again, if you’re just coming to the party, take this detour to catch up on the details of Jason’s story here.
Charles was fuming after hearing about Jason’s blockbuster-like story. “And she still had the guts to show up at your office?” He was indignant.
“Yes. After she saw me at the party, she was afraid her husband’s company would lose the contract. But I wasn’t going to waste my energy on payback. Anyway, I didn’t even let her get past the reception.”
Charles was shaking his head. “I can’t believe how you can be so calm about it.”
Jason laughed. “My wife had the same reaction when I told here. What they took from me is nothing compared to what I have. But Charles,” Jason paused, “that’s not the point. The reason I told you all this is because of what happened between you and Anne.”
“Your circumstances were different,” Charles said.
“Were they really that different? You wanted something from her that you thought you deserved. She refused. And so you blamed her for it.”
Charles became subdued. Since his friend put it that way… “But she was my girlfriend. She was making a big deal out of nothing.”
Jason leaned back. “If that’s the way you feel about it, then maybe it’s a good thing she walked away.”
Charles became angry. How could Jason say that?
Jason replied that well, Charles had just referred to the act of physical intimacy as “nothing”.
Charles said that wasn’t what he meant. So Jason asked him what he meant. And Charles tried to explain it and did not do it very well.
So Jason asked him to stick to the facts, if that would make it easier but it didn’t. Charles was groping…
So Jason decided to ask a question.
“When it comes to sex, do you think that that the Bible is outdated?”
Charles hesitated. Jason waited patiently for an answer.
“Well, it’s just, some things in the Bible are cultural…”
Jason smiled. “So basically, your answer is yes.
“See, I told you my story for a reason. And honestly, I’m not special, not in the way I thought, that is. I’ve met several men like me. Yeah, we’re not loud, but we exist. The reason I like the word of God is that it’s simple. It’s when we want to do things our own way that we find it to be complicated.
“And if you dig further, you realize it’s because we don’t really trust God to give us what we want. So we try to work it out ourselves.”
Charles asked Jason to stop speaking in parables.
Jason backtracked and decided to talk in the way only men know how.
Straight and undiluted.
With only the Word of God as their reference. Not his experience or what any of them thought. Or what was acceptable in society.
If you stuck to the word of God as the standard, then Charles had been heading for disaster. Adultery and fornication were never going to be fashionable in the Bible. Not today, not 2000 years ago. Not even when it was cloaked in politically correct language. It was still what it was.
It took away from you, and stripped you of the dignity that God wanted you to have.
And it wasn’t God’s ultimate plan.
News flash. God made sex. Christians neither had to apologise for choosing to accept God’s blueprint for enjoying sex, nor succumb to pressures that made them feel like they needed to dumb it down.
God understood how explosive sex was.
That’s why He installed it in the safety and sanctity of marriage.
Instead, man had chosen to fire at random like a machine gun in the hands of a mad man. And then called it progressive.
Just because the majority was louder didn’t mean they were right. Christianity had never been about democracy.
But let’s even say all that was just a spiritual reason.
It really boiled down to relationship.
Did Charles trust that God was a good God?
Jason laughed. “Not too hasty, my friend.”
Because here was the litmus test. If you trusted someone, then you were willing to take their word for it.
Men were wired like God- to be in control.
And God understood man’s need for sex.
“Do you trust God enough to do things His way?”
As Christians, the Lord says, trust Me to give you the best. I’m not holding out on you. I made you, I understand your needs. Let Me take care of that for you.
Trusting God with your sex life is not unspiritual. In fact, the one area David didn’t trust the Lord with was his sex life and that was the very area his life unraveled in shambles around him.
But Joseph trusted the Lord with his sex life and he was spared the grief and heartbreak, prevailing against all odds.
And God wants to spare us the pain. Isn’t it curious that the book of wisdom – Proverbs – dedicates a lot of its beginning chapters on the matter of sex and adultery? Why is such an “unspiritual” topic in the book of wisdom?
“So I decided long ago that I would trust God with my sex life, too. In fact, I was reading the book of Proverbs when she started making moves at me. After her husband fired me from my job, I was so angry. At myself, at God.”
Jason even admitted that for a while, he actually thought he’d been stupid for rejecting his former boss’ wife. Until God turned everything around for him.
“I used to be so afraid I’d lose everything again, but I was reminded that since all I have came by grace, God’s unmerited favour, then it’s the same unmerited favour that’ll keep it for me. I’m not here because of my qualifications, but because of God’s favour in my life. Because I allowed Him to do things His way.”
“Why are you telling me all this?” Charles asked.
“Because it seems to me you’re holding on too hard and it’s falling apart.”
Charles knew his friend was right.
“This is less about her than it is about you. You had your opinion of how her love to you should look like. You were holding on too hard and you lost her. But even more so, can you let go even when it’s hard? Can you trust the Lord even when it doesn’t make sense?
“Like half the guys out there, I like to be in control of everything. But I’ve found out I’m not that good at keeping things in check. I learned to let go and let God. It’s the only reason I’ve been able to keep my job, my wife, and everything else.”
Jason stopped talking. His wife came and peered outside looking for him. She saw the two men and sensed they weren’t having a normal conversation. She quietly went back inside.
They talked some more.
And Charles realised he needed rescuing.
He had honestly thought sex and God shouldn’t be in the same sentence.
He usually prayed about everything except that part of his life.
It looked like something was going to change.
The Grace Covenant and Sex
The grace of God is not afraid to go into the messy parts of your life, sex included. Actually, sex is only messy when we let it. It’s originally designed to be beautiful.
And that’s what God’s grace wants to restore to your life- everything beautiful. If you let Him. God is a good God. He loved you before you even knew you needed love. He knows what will make you happy. He never holds out on you. If you let Him, He will make your life beautiful.
That’s what grace is there for. For the mistakes, the ugly past, to right the wrongs.
A lot of people think grace means anything goes. After all, God will forgive us. But the more you understand grace, the less you fall into sin.
Grace is not weak.
Grace is not permission to sin.
Rather, grace is the highest form of holiness. Grace is the only force that can save the worst sinner and reconcile him to the holiest God.
It’s harder to sin against someone who loves you, than to sin against someone you are afraid of. And that’s what’s on the table today. LOVE. A love that is true.
Allowing the love of Jesus to enter your heart today causes all things, sex life included, to be beautiful in your life to the glory of His name.
Stay high on grace!
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See you next week for more on A Tale of Two Covenants.