Monday, March 13, 2006

The Power of Sin

I've been advising a friend a bit about his decision to date someone seriously. Seriously enough that he wants to share his struggle with her. I'd share some of the more humorous aspects of our conversations but they probably wouldn't sound funny in print. I do believe that the blessing of humor is one of God's most wonderful acts of grace that He's bestowed upon us. Almost makes me want to tear up and cry...it's so awesome. How ironic is that?

Anyway, back to my point. Within these conversations we've talked a great deal about submission to one another within God's kingdom and how being transparent and honest about our struggles is one of the keys to living an overcoming, virtuous, Christ-centered life. When I undergird this particular struggle with the belief that it is nothing more than a sort of "twist" that's been crafted by the dark side to yet again screw up God's original intent/design for our well-being (which is all that ANY sin is, really) then, like any other sin, one of the keys is in getting it out of the dark places and into the glorious light of Christ. That's only done by sharing it with others. And yet, for guys like my friend, and Tdub, this involves a huge amount of risk, moreso than your more "garden-variety" sins.

My friend keeps saying "poor girl, I feel so sorry for her." He says this because he knows he's about to face her with something that has the potential to "whither her desires into nothingness". He will not be able to honestly tell her that he will never struggle sexually in this way. No more than any truly honest always-hetero man could say the same to his potential wife about his sexual desires. She will be faced with the fact that she is setting herself up to fall in love with a man who is broken and will more than likely never be entirely whole. Barring some miracle, or the resurrection, there are chinks and cracks. And for me, herein lies a blessing. This struggle blesses me by keeping me and my husband wholly dependent on Christ for our goodness. You see, I've learned that I am not ONE iota better off than he is as I face down my own demons and struggles. We, left to our own devices, have done horrible, rotten, unspeakable things to one another. Furthermore, I can say with certainty that if we didn't keep our focus on Christ, we'd probably repeat most of it. The children of Israel seem so stupid in those stories when they keep turning away from God again and again, and yet, I do the exact same thing if I don't SUBMIT to Him daily. That's why he says this.

Submission is difficult, particularly in the beginning of it. But whoa....once you persevere through a valley or two or eighteen (ha!) it actually becomes pleasant to submit. It totally takes the heat (literally and figuratively) off of ME and allows me to live in a freedom and peace of mind that defies comprehension. If I'm not really in charge of anything, then I can't screw up, can I? It's beautiful. I'm not saying I've arrived....no, no. If I ever DO say such a thing it would mean I had become very far from God indeed! But I am saying that my walk with Christ has begun to become less awkward.

And all because of sin. Hmmm.

grace

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6 comments:

Jared said...

Yes, but what did you tell him to tell the girl?

DL Foster said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DL Foster said...

grace,
my own wife has decided that God wants here to begin sharing her story on the other side of being my wife. Good, bad and ugly.
I've told my part, hearing hers this way now, really touched my heart. Hope that it blesses you and husband.
dl foster
read here

grace said...

Jared,
Well, he wasn't really asking me what to tell her...just talking to me about the fact that he was GOING to tell her. Timing is the main issue here. Just when is the best point in the relationship to reveal this? He needs to reveal early enough that she has time to make an informed decision before becoming more emotionally attached...and yet...he needs to have developed a strong friendship (which requires emotional attachment) to drop a bomb like this...and yet, if he waits too long, it becomes deceitful. It's tough.

And here's another thing that I feel a bit rotten about. Here I am, discussing this person, and now even further, with this comment, and she has no clue. I know from experience that it doesn't take very much of this sort of thing going on to totally screw up your level of trust for a good deal of time. I did ask permission to keep that post up about it.

It's just a very delicate situation until things are out in the open. Much potential for hurt lurking there. Which my friend will not do or be a party to, I know that. So...I'll shut up now and stop talking about it.
:)
grace

Angie said...

What incredible stories we all find ourselves in...

This post brings back memories of "the conversation" I had with the guy I loved (and still love!). I can't imagine the anguish he must've gone through in sharing that part of himself with me. I knew there was an issue that kept us from getting closer, but I had no idea it could be a same-sex attraction. We wrestled with all the implications of this for years before deciding to go our separate ways. I would've willingly spent the rest of my life with him, but I had to respect his decision that he just wasn't able to go there.

So much between these lines... but neither one of us has married. Not sure if he will (me either for that matter!).

Regardless of everyone's life stories... no matter what paths we take... God uses them to teach us what we need to learn most in our lives. He knows how to reach us, and He's relentless in His love...

grace said...

Exactly. God's relentless pursuit of us is incredible.

I grew up in a generation that taught me to think of God like some sort of genie in a bottle. And, if I was a really good girl, God would bless me and my whole life would be one big happy ever after.

Craziness! I've decided it must be an American Capitalistic thing, the way we equate comfort and prosperity with God's blessing and proof that we're "good enough". It looks more like a curse at this point.

Thanks for sharing that peice of your story. Knowing a bit more about you allows me to better serve you as we continue our journey toward Him.

grace