Freedom from Shame

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Patricia writes:
> After praying that a soul tie be severed, when does the freedom from
> that soul tie begin?  When does the shame stop?

Dear Patricia,

Every journey to healing is different, Patricia. It’s much like when we first get saved. Some pray to receive Jesus and literally feel the weight of their sins lifted off them and never feel a serious temptation to go back to the old strongholds. Others struggle for years before getting the victory.

Either way, when we repent, God forgives instantly. Sometimes, though we still have to struggle with the consequences, such as a soul tie–which is simply a fancy word for human bonding, which is seen in the parent-child relationship, between siblings, and close friends as well as in romantic relationships. The soul tie is why breaking up hurts so bad and is a big reason sexual sin can be so difficult to overcome.

Shame is a different issue entirely, though. The devil wants to see the husband-wife tie severed and to keep in tact those ties we don’t have, so he’ll contrive ways to see you back in bondage. You can’t let a fear of backsliding rule you, but you do have to be alert to his schemes. One of which is shame.

It’s possible to no longer be bonded to the person, to no longer feel a pain over not being with them, no longer desire it on any level, to no longer harbor romantic feelings for them, in short, to be totally free of the soul tie, and still be continually reminded by the devil of the sin you committed with them and made to feel dirty and condemned.

The devil is the accuser of the brethren. He finds something to shame all of us about. At some point, we need to say, “Enough is enough. That was then, this is now. I am washed, I am sanctified, I am filled with the Holy Spirit, and made righteous and clean in every way! The past is past. I am a new creation in Christ; the old things are passed away, the new has come. I’m going to forget those things which lay behind and reach for those things that lay head, pressing for the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

It’s scripture. We don’t have to “feel it.” We have to believe it and declare it over ourselves in faith until we do feel it.

When we finally stand up to him, and make it clear we mean it, the devil flees. Even if he comes back again later, every time we stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, we get stronger and our enemy weaker.

But sometimes, we need someone to come beside us and lift us up in 1 on 1 counseling/mentoring, preferably with your pastor, or a sister in your local church body (or community at least) who is trained in biblical counseling.


In Christ’s Victory,

Andrea Graham
http://askandrea.adamsweb.us ::Ask Andrea:: Christian Advice, Book
Reviews, and more.

http://lasersword.adamsweb.us ::Laser & Sword Magazine:: Reviving episodic fiction
Featuring: The Order of the Sword and the Rise of the Judge action hero serials

Waiting for Love

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There’s a guy in church who is seven years older than me; he is 24  and I am 17. I often find myself thinking of a future with this man; does the age difference really matter in the eyes of God?
Thanks,
Thinking of a Future

Dear Future,

It’s more your age than the age difference. When you were 10 and he was 17, there would have been something seriously wrong with him. But when you’re, say, 21 and 28, it won’t matter much, and when you’re 31 and 38, it’ll be nothing.

As for presently, if he’s interested and someone worth getting involved with, he’ll give you space to finish growing up in before making a move. Naturally, you’re a young woman on the verge of adulthood, but you and the guy of your dreams are in different phases of life. Getting involved with him now would pull you into his world before your time, and that’s not healthy for you. If he’s a good guy, he’ll wait until you’re really ready to enter it, and if he is that kind of guy, he’s also worth waiting for.

So, in a nutshell, the answer is: wait. If this is the right one, the Lord will bring you together in His time.

In Christ’s timing,
Andrea Graham

http://lasersword.adamsweb.us ::Laser & Sword Magazine:: Reviving episodic fiction
Featuring: The Order of the Sword and the Rise of the Judge action hero serials

My Best Friend likes me . . . Should I tell my Boyfriend?

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I am a college student and in a very serious relationship with a strong Christian guy. We have been courting for over two years and plan to get engaged within the month. Recently, one of my best guy friends admitted that he liked me. He went as far as to say that he hoped my boyfriend and I had broken up so he could pursue a relationship (he implied marriage) with me. I told him that I was dedicated to my boyfriend and that I was pretty sure he was the one God had for me. My friend understood (hopefully) and said he hoped my relationship with my boyfriend would work out. My question is, should I tell my boyfriend about this? (he will likely be very upset) or just let the situation resolve itself? –Mary*

Dear Mary,

Why do you not want to tell him? That’s what you need to ask yourself. Because you don’t want to hurt his friendship with this other guy, for instance? Or because he’ll be jealous and not want you to see this friend anymore and you’d like to continue to be friends with him?

Trust is an important foundation of relationships, anything that could threaten trust should not be held back. It is generally worse when such things come out by accident later than if one was forth right to begin with. Plus in a healthy marriage, you should feel free to tell each other anything, and now is the time to be laying the groundwork for that relationship.

One thing more: situations like this usually do not resolve themselves. Your friend is male. If his feelings are serious, he’s heart broken, feeling rejected, and probably went and built, smashed, or hit something to work it off, but to you he will smile and say, “Congratulations, I hope it works out.” And if he truly loves you, the better part of him means it as he wants you to be happy and not suffer through the pain of a break up–though as he’s admitted already, another selfish part will fight against this, but it’s the noble side of man that will have control of his mouth at this point.

But feelings don’t just go away because they’re inconvenient and ignoring them could be dangerous. Your friendship should be effected. And if you’re hoping to marry your boyfriend, shouldn’t he be part of your decision making process?

So lets turn the question around: Why wouldn’t you tell him?

In Christ’s Love,

Andrea Graham

Laser & Sword Magazine:: Reviving episodic fiction
Featuring: The Order of the Sword and the Rise of the Judge action hero serials

*not her real name

Christ is Color Blind

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What does the Bible say about interracial relationships?

 

The key verse on it is Colassians 3:11 “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, foreigner, Scythian, slave or freeman, but Christ is all things in all.” The bible’s only prohibition on who you can marry (besides stuff like someone who’s already married/unlawfully divorced) is 2Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship does righteousness have with lawlessness? And what partnership does light have with darkness? “

So let me state it plainly: in Christianity, it doesn’t matter what the color of the guy’s skin is; what matters is whether he knows Jesus. As long as you share the same faith, and preferably the same or similar sect/denomination, can respect and honor him as your head (leader), there is no reason at all you cannot marry someone of a different race.

I speak of marriage because the sole biblical purpose for premarital relationships is to find a husband. If you’re not ready to get married, you’re also not ready to date. I realize the culture pressures you to, but it’s better to do what’s right for you, rather than following the herd and entering matrimony with the emotional baggage of a string of heartbreak.

So what’s up with all the Christian parents who naysay interracial marriage between believers? The answer isn’t kind, but it’s most likely the truth whether they’ll admit to it or not. Basically, when they picture their grandbabies, they picture cute little babies of their race, not cute little half _____ babies. It’s a biological pull based on a desire to preserve their own genetic lineage, but that the fallen flesh has a natural bent towards such prejudice doesn’t excuse it.

 

However, as you’re to honor your mother and father, if they’ve told you not to date outside your race, it would be right to do as they request if you’re still living at home, though if you can broach the subject respectfully, it couldn’t hurt to discuss the issue.


In Christ’s Color Blindness,

Andrea Graham

When the Fire Burns Out

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For Christian brothers and sisters in extended, nonsexual dating relationships who are perplexed by a loss of interest in kissing, i.e. have lost the “in love” feeling, and are wondering what’s caused it. 

Dear Perplexed,

There  are several different things it could be. Stress, medication, depression, etc can inhibit sexual desires (here expressed via kissing.) If you’ve been having relationship difficulties, that can do it (the feelings usually come back if you work out the problem here.)  Seeing a doctor might be necessary to eliminate these.

This could also mean you’ve been hit with something nearly all marriages experience where, emotionally, the honeymoon is over before you’ve made it to the altar.  The initial, thrilling phase of love was never meant to last forever. Considering how we behave under it’s influence, generally it’s a good thing the “in love” feeling does wear off.  But the transition period that follows is when a marriage is really tested and the same goes when this occurs in premarital relationships as well. Married couples that make it through that minor/major crisis (the degree of relationship trauma varies)  find the next phase of marriage a comfortable and stable kind of love, even if they don’t come together as often and have to work at romance (this tends to coincide with a taking each other for granted).

If you track the length of your relationship in years, even unmarried and not sexually involved, and the above physical causes are eliminated, the odds are you’re experiencing this natural phenomena. In which case you’ll have to decide together, since it’s happening before marriage, whether you want to work at it, or just be friends.

It could also be God convicting you not to kiss before marriage. That’s something you’d have to pray about.

So what do I think you should do? Honestly? If you don’t feel tempted in the least to get intimate, have no sexual desire for each other on any level (rather than the flesh divided against the spirit, as it would likely be with conviction against the behavior) and especially if the idea grosses you out even in the context of matrimony, while it is natural for such physical feelings to level off in a relationship over time, you’d probably be better off giving the romantic relationship a proper burial rather than entering marriage with the honeymoon already over.

That said, love is more than an emotion. It’s also a commitment. I can’t tell you if this is the one, and neither necessarily can your emotions, and certainly not the flame of passion taking it’s natural course and burning down to a flickering ember that requires stoking to keep alive. The advice on who to marry ultimately has to come from the Throne.

Assuming you’ve not developed an actual physical aversion that’s not due to any physiological issue as above, it would be possible to overcome this and have a happy marriage if that were God’s will. But if you feel like you’d be dissatisfied without a stronger physical spark, marriage wouldn’t be advisable. I’d rather you not have to struggle with wandering eye syndrome that could result from longing for the honeymoon stage of love that may have skipped town on you before you could legally enjoy it.

But as I said, it could also be coming from outside or physiological stressors, in which case, relieving those problems should restore things.

You might want to pick up some books on courtship and go through them together as well. It’s best to focus premarital romance on exploring the possibility of marriage in the immediate future rather than dragging on and getting hit with this leveling off without the commitment of marriage. Because the fact is, love does this. That’s why divorce has become so prevalent in our society. Dating, as popularly practiced, gets couples accustomed to breaking up when this happens rather than working through it.

In Christ the Consuming Fire,

Andrea Graham

Light at the Edge of Darkness, An Anthology of Biblical Speculative Fiction
Featuring: FROZEN GENERATION a short story by Andrea Graham

Venture to futures where faith equates to terrorism. Where terrorists smuggle frozen embryos to save lives and resist invasive technologies designed to break their very souls

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