Set Apart: Honor by Candace Lostroh

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I had the opportunity to speak to a group of women at my church last week and I posed the question to the room, "Who here was attracted to the wild, Bad Boy in your younger and dumber years?"

Hands went up all over the room.

My point was that there something in us that is drawn to that wild nature. The allure of an adventure waiting to happen in accompanying this unpredictable person on a voyage of finding out who they are, as well as finding out who we are when we're with them. 

You see I believe this attraction is God-given because that's who God is. He's wild, unpredictable in our human standards, but he's good through and through. Unlike the wild, bad boy; we can trust God with our heart. 

When I first started dating my husband, Kody, I found this same attraction. He was wild. He drove a fast car, was a successful bull rider and was known for being the prankster among his friends. He was exciting and unpredictable and always taking me on adventures. Whether it was heading to the next rodeo or up to the mountains we were always having fun together. For a girl, who wasn't able to trust her heart to boys she had dated in the past, I found myself falling hard for this green-eyed boy, but something I was falling even harder for was the Jesus he introduced me to.

This was a different Jesus that my Catholic upbringing hadn't me about. This Jesus would make you brave, would push you to pray big prayers and more than anything he gave you a desire to stay pure in your dating relationship because you wanted to honor him. 

You see, I had never, ever met a boy like this. I had never met a boy who drew me closer to God. I had never made a vow to save myself for marriage, but honestly because I hadn't met anyone that I had fallen in love with and that I guess, was my only prerequisite...that I needed to be in love. I can look back now at all of those relationships and see that God was truly leading me away from those relationships and to Him. I'm not saying that I was a saint in these past relationships but there was a limit that I wouldn't cross.

God knows that when we give our bodies to another we give away part of ourselves. That's what it means in Genesis 2:23-24, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.' Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, they shall become one flesh."  The Message translation says that, "Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife. They become one flesh." Our spirits get meshed together when we have sex. My Pastor gave a beautiful example of this when she gave different colors of Play-Doh to everyone in our small group. Then each person exchanged a little piece of their Play-Doh with each person in the group. The Play-Doh that I had did not remain the same color it started out as, instead it transformed into this drab brownish-gray color. We lose our true selves when give ourselves away physically to more than one person. For woman, this wreaks havoc on our self-worth and emotions since we are emotional beings. Intimacy and our emotions are strongly connected. I honestly, cannot separate them myself and I'm sure I'm not alone.

So back to dating Kody, we were 16 years old when we started dating and it's not a lie when people say that hormones are going crazy in these teen years! But we had THE talk early on in our relationship. I can still remember sitting in this little Chinese restaurant in my hometown and Kody just brought it up so naturally. He admitted that he was not a virgin, but had asked for forgiveness and knew that Jesus had redeemed his sexual past. I admitted that yes, I was a virgin, but I still had compromised in certain areas in past relationships. Both of us were able to communicate so freely in who we were, what we wanted and how we were going to hold tight to our values in this relationship. In my book, if you can't have this open kind of communication, you're not mature enough to be dating yet.

The road to our wedding night was laden with temptation. It was NOT easy at all, but it was so worth it! Nothing compares to being with your spouse for the very first time. God has blessed our union in so many ways and I know that a lot of that had to do with putting God first in our relationship from the start.

Molly, Meghan and I are so excited to expound on this topic and dive into some different aspects of remaining pure while dating. The biggest thing that we want to relay is that it's not impossible, couples today are getting married without having sex before marriage and we ARE going to bring to light that is happening in today's sexually charged culture. The most important thing that I want every reader to understand about this topic is that God is not upset with you if you have failed in the past, he only wants the best for you and for your future spouse. He wants to be your first love and will not settle for your second best. He's passionately pursuing you more than any other person on this earth will do, he's after your heart. He wants all of you because he knows that only he can make you whole. God honors us when we honor him in our relationships, so I encourage you to strive for that. Honor each other and honor your God in all you do and his promises will come to past in your life!!