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Godman Akinlabi @PGeeman
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1. Hello and welcome! It’s episode 198 of #MrMrsBetterHalf. Mr. & Mrs. Better Half is designed to strengthen marriages & relationships that will lead to marriage, with wisdom from God's Word.
2. If you missed the last episode, I dealt with the question, ‘‘Must we share the same bed/bedroom just because we are married?’ If you missed it you can get the full transcript here #MrMrsBetterHalf
3. This week’s situation is a cry for help from a single guy, ‘My girlfriend and I are trying to practice abstinence but it’s so tough!’ I hear this or similar complaints from singles practically on a weekly basis. #MrMrsBetterHalf.
4. Now if you are a Christian or you have a reverence for God you’ve probably had it drummed into you that you should not commit fornication. And no, you actually shouldn’t. But the question is why not? #MrMrsBetterHalf
5. Why should something that’s perceived to be so exciting and a passionate expression of love and attraction be frowned upon? A lot of times people don’t take the time to think about the reasons behind some of the commandments of the bible. #MrMrsBetterHalf
6. And so these days many people who attend church and profess Christ don’t think sleeping together if you are in a committed relationship is wrong especially if you plan to get married anyway- so abstinence is an unnecessary hardship. #MrMrsBetterHalf
7. Let’s put rules, regulations and religion aside temporarily. The truth is that when you don’t understand the reason or the usefulness of a thing, abuse is inevitable. So my question today is ‘Why?’ Why do you want to practice abstinence? #MrMrsBetterHalf
8. What’s the opportunity cost of abstinence? Weigh what will you be giving up by being abstinent with what you stand to gain. How does it measure? When the perceived sacrifice outweighs perceived value, there will be no purchase. #MrMrsBetterHalf
9. We make these decisions every day. You go to the gym even though it’s tough because you want a healthy body. You burn the midnight oil in school because you want to get your degree. The juice must be worth the squeeze. #MrMrsBetterHalf
10. Even Jesus, for the joy in the future, endured the cross and despised the shame. He weighed whether the outcome was worth the suffering He would go through. You must be persuaded of the benefit of abstinence to endure it. #MrMrsBetterHalf
11. Today I’ll share 3 whys. First Abstinence builds your muscles of self-control and enables you to grow emotionally. Emotional health and maturity are CRITICAL to the success of any relationship but we too often ignore this aspect of growth. #MrMrsBetterHalf
12. Write this down. “Anyone who lacks self-control cannot be trusted with anything of value including your heart”. A person who cannot manage his or her emotions is like a fast car without brakes: reckless and dangerous. #MrMrsBetterHalf
13. One way you train yourself in emotional maturity is by practising delayed gratification not just when it comes to sex but in every other situation. Let’s use food for example. Have you ever found yourself finishing food meant for multiple people? #MrMrsBetterHalf
14. I remember a lady telling me how she conquered Pringles- the potato chips whose slogan was, ‘once you pop you can’t stop’. She loved the chips but decided that there had to be moderation in consumption. She had to learn to pop and stop. #MrMrsBetterHalf
15. She told herself that she could either eat it in moderation or not at all. She admitted that she had to abstain for long periods to curb her greed and that’s how she built self-control in that and other areas of her life. #MrMrsBetterHalf
16. In life you must develop the strength to say ‘no’ and saying ‘no’ to sex is a good practice in developing the discipline of control. If you can handle sexual pressure, you will handle other pressures in other spheres of life. #MrMrsBetterHalf
17. Self-control will help you curb your tongue. It will help you rein in your temper. It will help you at work and in every area of life. So don’t skip this life skill. Its benefits are definitely worth practising abstinence for. #MrMrsBetterHalf
18. The next issue is the issue of Trust. Now here I will bring in the faith angle. If you are a Christian and believe in abstinence, giving in to sex breaks trust. You made a promise to each other and to God to stay pure but you broke it. #MrMrsBetterHalf
19. The gist is that if you could break this promise you made to each other, what stops you from breaking others? If the attraction was so strong you couldn’t help yourself what happens when you’re attracted to someone else? #MrMrsBetterHalf
20. People argue that they will be faithful to their mates but that’s an assumption. You see faithfulness speaks to character. It’s like integrity. It goes beyond external factors or influences and lies at the heart of who you are. #MrMrsBetterHalf
21. Compromise registers in people’s hearts. Have you ever wondered why some spouses are so paranoid when they see their mates with members of the opposite sex? You both have unknowingly eroded trust. #MrMrsBetterHalf
22. You see your spouse knows that you cannot withstand certain stimuli… how? Because when you were dating and those buttons were pushed you capitulated. That’s why they keep hovering over you like monitoring spirits. #MrMrsBetterHalf
23. Trust implications are also spiritual. Why would you and your boy/girlfriend collude to disobey God? Does God need to visit you like He did Ananias and Sapphira before you understand that you should stick to your promises? #MrMrsBetterHalf
24. We often take God’s grace and forgiveness for granted. But Grace doesn’t exist so that we can dwell in a cycle of sin and begging for forgiveness- that’s a defeatist mentality. That’s giving into weakness and irresponsibility. #MrMrsBetterHalf
25. No, grace does not exist to aid our weaknesses but rather to give us the strength and capacity to do the right things even when everything in and around suggests otherwise. Grace gives you the power to stand. #MrMrsBetterHalf
26. Trust is the currency of marriage. It is the ground on which you and your spouse will attain deeper levels of intimacy that surpass the physical alone. You must guard that trust by sticking to your word even when it’s tough. #MrMrsBetterHalf
27. Now that does not mean that if you were virgins when you married your spouse will never cheat on you- abstinence is not a magic fidelity wand. What I’m saying is that it is easier to build trust when there’s evidence of self-control. #MrMrsBetterHalf
28. The third thing to consider is the testimony of your faith. We must live our lives with leaving a legacy in mind. What will we tell our children? What do we tell the people who are looking up to us for guidance and leadership? #MrMrsBetterHalf
29. Some people don’t realize the power of a good name or a good testimony. Your name and your values are more important than your net worth because houses can burn and cars can spoil but a good reputation will outlive them all. #MrMrsBetterHalf
30. Some people want to live life without the burden of responsibility- that’s a meaningless existence. A life lived for self alone serves no purpose. Let your life be a tool and testament to good works and good practices. #MrMrsBetterHalf
31. How wonderful the world would be if more people could stand up and say, ‘I am more than my urges. I can control myself. I can be faithful to my spouse, my peers and my beliefs. I have the inner fortitude to not bow under pressure.’ #MrMrsBetterHalf
32. Now if you can wrap your mind around these thoughts I think that will help you when it comes to understanding the ‘why’ of abstinence and then you both can decide that it is really worth pursuing. #MrMrsBetterHalf
33. Now you may be like, ‘PG, it’s not like I don’t know abstinence is good but is it possible? As in really? We are not made of stone! How do we move from knowing it’s good to actually practising it?’ Great question. #MrMrsBetterHalf
34. Next week things will get granular and exciting as I get really practical and give tips that will help you on your abstinence journey. These are things that I have practised and can attest to the fact that they work. So don’t miss it! #MrMrsBetterHalf
35. I hope this has been helpful. I will be back next week to conclude this question. If you have a question feel free to tweet at me and I’ll do my best to help you figure it out. #MrMrsBetterHalf
36. Till next week Friday, thank you for following, participating and RTing. May your marriages and relationships be sweet! #MrMrsBetterHalf
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