The Christian Church – Let’s Talk About Sex – Understanding the Entrapment of Emotional and Sexual Entanglement: Cause of Immorality – Living in Denial of the obvious Fact – Part 6 of 15

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Subject – The Christian Church – Let’s Talk About Sex – Understanding the Entrapment of Emotional and Sexual Entanglement: Cause of Immorality – Living in Denial of the obvious Fact – Part 6 of 15

The Christian Church – Let’s Talk About Sex - Understanding the Entrapment of Emotional and Sexual Entanglement: Cause of Immorality – Living in Denial of the obvious Fact - Part 6 of 15

Watch the 5.45 minutes on a sex starved relationship and how it wrecks relationship and the need to confront it head-on and steps to take to deal with it

OTAKADA.org content count 2,115,802

Sunday, 29th of September 2019

Blog link: https://www.otakada.org/living-in-denial

Nuggets of Wisdom –

Living in Denial

“More often than not, we push our loved ones into compromising situations because we allow them to go days, weeks and months without intimacy, starving them of God given rights and then when things go south, we flip around and blame everyone else but ourselves. Let’s make attitudinal adjustments toward wholesome relationship with our loved ones today to avoid unnecessary headache tomorrow” – Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe Personal Reflections

Key verses for Today:

Jeremiah 8:11-12:

“They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished.”

1 Corinthians 15:33-34 Living Bible (TLB)

33 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things. If you listen to them you will start acting like them. 34 Get some sense and quit your sinning. For to your shame I say it; some of you are not even Christians at all and have never really known God

Psalm 127:3-5 Living Bible (TLB)

Children are a gift from God; they are his reward. Children born to a young man are like sharp arrows to defend him.

Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. That man shall have the help he needs when arguing with his enemies

Exodus 20:14 –17

14 No adultery.

15 No stealing.

16 No lies about your neighbor.

17 No lusting after your neighbor’s house—or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbor’s.

Matthew 5:27-32 Message

Adultery and Divorce

27-28 “You know the next commandment pretty well, too: ‘Don’t go to bed with another’s spouse.’ But don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed. Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those leering looks you think nobody notices—they also corrupt.

29-30 “Let’s not pretend this is easier than it really is. If you want to live a morally pure life, here’s what you have to do: You have to blind your right eye the moment you catch it in a lustful leer. You have to choose to live one-eyed or else be dumped on a moral trash pile. And you have to chop off your right hand the moment you notice it raised threateningly. Better a bloody stump than your entire being discarded for good in the dump.

31-32 “Remember the Scripture that says, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him do it legally, giving her divorce papers and her legal rights’? Too many of you are using that as a cover for selfishness and whim, pretending to be righteous just because you are ‘legal.’ Please, no more pretending. If you divorce your wife, you’re responsible for making her an adulteress (unless she has already made herself that by sexual promiscuity). And if you marry such a divorced adulteress, you’re automatically an adulterer yourself. You can’t use legal cover to mask a moral failure.

1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 – New Living Translation

Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Corinthians 6: 16-20 Message

16-20 There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us lonelier than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.

Living in Denial of the obvious Fact

All is well                                                                                

“We never fight,” Jessica would beam her big, convincing smile as she made one of her typical declarations about the condition of her marriage. Her audience will inevitably ask how they managed such incredible harmony after so many years, and Jessica would state that they just understood each other and seem to have no trouble agreeing.

         If Jude were with her, he would refrain from comment (he was a quiet man) but would in no way disagree with her. He was used to Jessica being “center staged” when they were out and center staged when they were at home. She basically ran the show.  Jude had never challenged the arrangement. He agreed that they had a good marriage and seemed content to be in the background. “I am a quiet man,” he would think to himself, “without any needs, just taking life one day at a time.”

                On occasion, Jessica’s friends would ask her about the lack of communication in her marriage, and she would deny that there was any lack. “He is just quiet, and we happen to agree on most things.”

          Jude’s friends knew he was an unhappy man. He never complained, but he seldom expressed any joy either. They had tried to break through the wall of denial with him on a few occasions, but he wouldn’t budge. After twenty years of a smooth –sailing marriage and a successful medical career, why upset things?

           Jessica always accompanied Jude on business trips and conventions. He would not have thought of leaving her behind. After years of a conflict-free schedule, they finally hit a snag. They had registered for an important medical meeting in Abuja. Two weeks before they were to attend this meeting, a church seminar that Jessica was coordinating had to reschedule and the new date fell on the same days as the medical meeting. Jude had to go to Abuja. Jessica had to stay home.

       They didn’t argue. They solved it amicably. Of course.  Jude would attend his first meeting without Jessica on his arm. Jessica was disappointed, but felt the importance of her meeting warranted such action. Jude didn’t express feelings one way or the other.

          Jude’s buddies kidded him about his first “free” trip. He smiled faintly, but had no further response. “What’s all the fuss?” he thought. “No one notices me when she is around. Why would this be any different?”

           But it was different. She appeared to his left at the opening session. She was a pediatrician from the East Coast. Her husband had not joined her- he seldom joined her. She asked Jude about his practice. She asked him his thoughts on the speaker. She smiled. She seemed really interested in what Jude had to say. She listened and listened. She complimented.

        Jude responded with an affair that will change his life forever.

         When Jude went home, he looked back on that week and couldn’t understand how his perfect marriage had been invaded. He had denied for years what he wanted and needed until it came from out of nowhere. Now, as he looked at Jessica he saw so much of what had been wrong. “Why hadn’t he seen it before?” He tried to talk to Jessica about his feelings, but she was completely bewildered. He did not tell her of the affair, but he was no longer content in their “perfect marriage”.

       Jessica and Jude separated. She continued to deny that there was anything really wrong. She insisted that all he needed was some space. Denial after denial.

There are no needs.

Tolu had grown up in a time when it was especially popular to get good grades and live by high standards. She had done both to the praise of her peers and parents. Her self-image was secure as a young woman who knew where she was going and was doing it with integrity and character.

        On Tolu’s thirtieth birthday, her girlfriends from work threw her a surprise party. “You’re getting up there, Tolu,” they teased. “Where is that ring on your finger?”

           “You know me,” she responded.  “I’m not that interested in snagging a man.”

             Her lack of dating was an office joke, but not intended disrespectfully. Tolu was attractive and competent. Her coworkers assumed she did not date because she did not want to date. She told herself she did not want to date because she had no need for male companionship. If that had been true, it would have been okay. But it wasn’t. Tolu denied the need to date in order to handle the fact that she wasn’t asked out.

         In her thirtieth year, Tolu also celebrated a job promotion. She was excited as she reported to her new supervisor with enthusiasm. He was a vice president with the company, someone who demanded near-perfection. Tolu felt confident that she could deliver. He was married, all-business- a “safe” man.

         The compliments were, at first, centered around her work. She enjoyed the praise, remembering her high school years of stardom. The personal compliments began slowly and innocently- so they both thought.

         In a matter of months, the inevitable happened. The needs that Tolu had so long denied were being met by a man who had no right to meet them.

This can’t be wrong.

Josephine and Ted first met in college. They had been good friends-that was all. Now ten years later, they found themselves working for the same organization. Josephine was divorced and Ted had never married, so they began to see each other. Ted had not found a church home so Josephine invited him to join her.

        They enjoyed each other socially, at work and at church. They felt that they had a balanced relationship that enhanced them individually. Neither of them intended to slip into a sexually immoral relationship but neither of them was convicted  that  it  was  terribly  wrong either. After all, they were two consenting adults, they were both free, and they were committed to the Lord in all other areas.

They didn’t discuss marriage and they kept their sexual involvement a secret. Everything went along fine for a while. Then Ted

started to spend less and less time with Josephine. She questioned and complained. He gave weak excuses, but the relationship began to deteriorate. Josephine was devastated when she learned that Ted was seeing someone else.

Their relationship had not been right before God, and now it was ending. Josephine continued denying to herself that their behavior had

been wrong and suffered greatly wondering why Ted had left. But Ted had a series of relationships similar to the one with Josephine.

Both of them denied that sin was sin, and therefore never acknowledged the results of living outside the will of God.

Denial comes in two varieties.

Denying that there are any problems or needs can lead to an uncontrolled satisfying of  those  needs  at  an  unexpected  moment,  in  an unexpected way.

Imagine that a  child  is  outside  playing  and  lunch  time  is approaching. The child is hungry but he doesn’t want to miss the fun and interrupt his play.  So, he  says  he  isn’t  hungry.  Let’s further suppose that his mother allows him to miss lunch. By late afternoon, he is really hungry, but continues to play and tell himself that he is not hungry..

Around 5 p.m. an ice cream truck comes along. The child hears the bells of the truck and can deny his hunger no longer. He buys a large chocolate cone and hurriedly gobbles it down. He feels  immediate satisfaction—in fact, he doesn’t want his dinner now because he feels  full.  Suppose  again  that  his  mother  is  not  the  “mother  of  the year” and allows him to skip dinner. By around 8 p.m. he doesn’t feel so good. His stomach aches and he feels queasy.

His denied hunger surfaced at the sound of the ice cream truck bell.  He met that  need  with  a  poor  substitute  for  what  he  really needed.  Then, because he was  full  of  the  wrong  solution,  he  didn’t want what was truly good for him. So, he passed up something good and felt worse than ever later.

Refusing to acknowledge that a sin is a sin is also a dangerous form of denial.

There is an illustration that compares accepting Christ to taking a bath. You do not get clean and then take a bath. You take a bath to get clean. When you accept Christ you do not clean up your act first. You accept Christ and then He enables you to begin to clean it up. Taking the illustration a step further, suppose you are getting ready to take a bath and you remember a bad cut on your arm. You know that the soap and water will make the cut hurt again, so you cover it securely with a large Band-Aid. You take the bath and all is well—you are clean and the cut is protected. This routine continues for a number of days. The cut doesn’t  seem  to  be  healing.  In  fact,  it  is  getting  noticeably worse.  The dirt  in  it  that  was  never  cleaned  out  has  caused  an infection. You are told by a well meaning friend that you must take the Band-Aid off when you take a bath and clean out the cut. You deny that it is worse and continue to wear the Band-Aid. You are motivated to keep the Band-Aid on because you so fear the pain of the water on the sore. If you convince yourself that the cut is okay, you can prolong the pain of the cleaning.

What does this have to do with immorality?

Immorality is to the believer what ice cream is to the little boy and what the Band Aid is to the wounded person. It is one of the wrong solutions to unaddressed problems or unmet needs.

There are certainly other wrong solutions—overeating, drugs, alcohol—but  sexual  immorality  is  a  strong  enticement  when  the problem  area  involves  relationships.  It  is  important  to  recognize  the master  tempter  in  this  scenario.  Satan pulls out all  the  stops  in attempting to disable Christians. Because we know that God does not tempt us  to  sin,  we  need  to  watch  out  when  a  particularly  alluring person crosses our path at a time when we least expect it.

When problems and needs are acknowledged,  then  they  can  be worked out in a godly way. When unacknowledged, Satan may put a big dish of ice cream in front of you instead of the spinach you need. He will entice you with what he knows you’ll respond to.

Denial may allow a person to go for a long time making it look like everything is fine, in complete order. Some people may live an entire lifetime in an ongoing state of denial. They may never admit the truth, and they may never fall into sexual immorality. But—they will miss the life the Lord intends His people to live, and they will be in the precarious position of  having  the  denied  area  of  their  lives  open  to wrong solutions.

We read the observation of God in Jeremiah 8:11-12:

“They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished.”

The leaders  of  the  people  of  Israel  were  claiming  that  things were  not  as  they  really  were.  That situation was probably more obvious than a problem in  a  marriage.  But the results  may  be  the same: denying lack of peace but falling into “loathsome conduct” as an answer.

Taking an honest look

Most people sense to some degree when they have a problem. From all outward appearances, they may seem to be completely oblivious. But inside, we all have some flicker of awareness when things in our lives are not as God intends. The pain of facing denied issues may be great. There may be strong motivation to continue to ignore the pain and the issues themselves.  But the longer denial goes unanswered, the greater the possibility for harmful results.

When immorality is the result, it is only a temporary “solution.” How often have you seen a couple divorce, remarry, divorce again— and on  and  on?  The problem was never  the  love  of  one  person replacing  another.  It  was  a  deeper  issue  that  was  never  properly addressed and worked out.

When a Christian denies that sexual immorality is wrong, there is a breakdown in thinking. The Bible makes it clear that immorality is a sin. To deny it is to lie to yourself and to others. As Christians, we simply cannot compartmentalize our thinking to accommodate  a particular sin. If we say we are believers, certain actions or a desire for certain actions will follow. Attempts may be made to justify immorality by saying that God understands and will forgive. But to deny that immorality is wrong and to continue in that direction is not biblical. The ramifications of that kind of thinking are still to be seen in the lives of many professing Christians.

When true repentance occurs and lifestyles change, God can do marvelous works of restoration. Denying sin, however, is not a characteristic of a repentant heart.

Getting rid of denial

If you recognize denial as a part of your own life, then consider taking the following steps.

•  Admit the truth. Whatever it may be, just admit it to yourself.

•  Risk admitting the truth to your spouse or the person you are involved with.

•  Be willing to live with some pain as you go through the process of working out unresolved issues.

•  Determine to live by biblical standards—no matter what happens.

•   Replace denial with God’s perspective of your problems or needs.

•  Seek help, if needed, to determine God’s perspective.

•  Recognize that your problems and needs can be met in a godly way.

Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe

E – Discipleship @ Otakada.org

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