Replies to Comments from = Stress – Chance or Choices??

Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory. – Proverbs 11:14

 

It has come to my attention that when readers leave a comment on one of my blog posts, the readers are not being notified when I reply.  I hope they do not feel that their comments were not valued, and/or simply ignored.

I want to assure my readers that this is NOT the case.  I love to read and reply to comments.  I enjoy the virtual dialogue, great questions, and comments on my posts.  They challenge me, and other readers to consider different perspectives.  It’s also great to know how people are being touched and affected by my posts.

Therefore, since I have not been able to figure out how to send my readers comment reply notifications, I’ve decided to add a post when people comment so that they, along with my other readers will see my response.

So, keep those comments coming 🙂

The following are comments/replies from the post = Stress – Chance or Choices??  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-ek

 

KARALEE’S COMMENT:                                                                                                                          Thanks for the thoughtful post.  A thought I had, there are two types of choices: 1.) the type where you set something in motion 2.) how you choose to react in any given situation.  It is really important that we look inside ourselves in how we choose to react to others choices.  Thanks for the good reminder of choice and consequence and its effects.

MY REPLY:                                                                                                                                             Thanks for your comment 🙂 Your second point, is right “on point” 🙂
Wow, how many times can we look back – again, if we dare, and see how we’ve chosen to respond in a situation, or towards a person. Did our response result in a “healthy” discussion and resolution, or distance and division?
How often have we felt hurt because of what someone did or said to us? But in an attempt to avoid confrontation, we “try” to ignore the offense, under the guise of being a “godly” person. Yet, inside we’re raging, holding bitterness and resentment towards that situation or person, further damaging the relationship.
Here’s a great take away = the next time we find our insides begin to tighten up, and we’re ready to blow our stack, let’s take a deep breath…, and remember –
OUR CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES 🙂

———————————————————————-

CRAIG’S COMMENT:                                                                                                                                     I think of my ex-wife who was a notorious flirt and was involved in multiple affairs. She thrived on male attention and it didn’t matter if the man was single or the husband of another woman. In the end, she got involved with her boss, a man whose wife was dying of cancer – both friends of the family. I can still vividly remember this man embracing my wife as she passed through the reception line at his wife’s funeral, kissing her full on the lips in front of me and all the other guests. Neither of them were the least bit embarrassed by this public display of affection. Clearly, it wasn’t the first time they had kissed.

Although they were unashamed, their reputation was tarnished. They became pariahs among their co-workers. The divorce cost me not only my family but my entire life savings. My ex-wife’s life was consumed with stress as she continued to pursue a double life-style with lies and deceit. Not to mention the damage done to the children by the break up of their family and estrangement of their father. Though I tried to reason with my wife over the years, she refused to change her behavior. Just as Proverbs says, the results were disastrous.

MY REPLY:                                                                                                                                               Thank you for sharing the devastating effects of your ex-wife’s betrayal. I am so sorry you had to experience those “deep” hurts 😦
Thank you also for sharing the results of the betrayal. You have further reinforced the high costs of choosing “our way” vs “God’s way” – tarnished reputations, shame, financial ruin, lies, deceit, emotional pain, breakdown of family, trust, pain, etc. all left in the wake of one’s selfish choices.
As the previous person commented, how “we choose” to react in any given situation can be the difference between sinking into despair or pushing through and rising above.
I applaud your courage and perseverance.

Those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles… – Isaiah 40:31

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CRAIG’S COMMENT:                                                                                                                                     I omitted one important fact. The Lord afflicted my ex-wife with a condition that made it impossible for her to enjoy physical intimacy without severe pain.

MY REPLY:                                                                                                                                                   The Lord works in mysterious ways…

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So Many Choices, How Can I Choose?? – PROVERBS 5 [7 out of 7]

The person without the Spirit can’ t understand the truths that come from the Spirit of God. It all sounds foolish to them because only those who have the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means. – 1 Corinthians 2:14

 

Verses 21-23 wrap up Proverbs 5:
21   For the LORD sees clearly what a man does,
       examining every path he takes.
22   An evil man is held captive by his own sins;
       they are ropes that catch and hold him.
23   He will die for lack of self-control;
       he will be lost because of his great foolishness.

What I particularly like about Solomon’s advice is that he is a straight-talker.  You don’t have to read between the lines to understand his message (see bold print).

Solomon points out clearly that it’s the choices we made that define the path we’re on today.  We weren’t randomly teleported to where we are now.

             star-trek-teleporter

If we take the time to reflect on our past choices, using the gift of reasoning God gave only to people, we would be able to see that, “I did _____ in this situation, choosing to do  _______, and ______ , and the result was _______.”  Hind sight is 20/20 after-all. 🙂

Each choice we make takes us down a different path.  Some great, some a learning experience, and some destructive. We’re continually making choices. We’re never stagnant.

              choosing-the-right-strategic-path

For example –  I chose to look down, although quickly, at a text while driving, and don’t see that the car in front of me slowed up to let a family of geese pass, and I hit them.

gesse            fender-bender

These warnings from Solomon in Proverbs Chapter 5, , and others we read about in the Bible, are there because God knows we struggle with all the choices that bombard us. If this was not an issue, God wouldn’t spend so much time emphasizing, and re-emphasizing the potential irreversible emotional, and physical consequences of going our own way.

I mean seriously, isn’t it hard enough trying to pick out the “right” tube of toothpaste at the grocery store?

             toothpaste

Won’t it be nice to be able to KNOW which toothpaste would give me those bright white teeth? Wouldn’t it be nice to KNOW which choice would give me a rich and satisfying life?  – John 10:10  

Thankfully, we can KNOW the “wise” choice.  Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  –  Matthew 7:13

   Enter-in-at-the-narrow-gate-copy-w

Make a choice today to follow God’s ways, and ask God into your heart, see The Cornerstone… tab in the menu.

(To read all the posts from Proverbs 5, click Proverbs 5 link under Categories in sidebar, or scroll down if viewing on mobile version)

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God – Keeping Sexual Purity “Real” – PROVERBS 5 – [6]

God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.  Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor…  –  1 Thessalonians 4:3-4

————————————————————————

15 Drink water from your own well—
    share your love ONLY with your wife.
16 Why spill the water of your springs in the streets,
    having sex with just anyone?
17 You should reserve it for yourselves.
    Never share it with strangers.

18 Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.
    Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 She is a loving deer, a graceful doe.
    Let her breasts satisfy you always.
    May you always be captivated by her love.
20 Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman,
    or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman?

Solomon doesn’t hold anything back in these next few verses of Proverbs 5.  Can you believe this is God giving us these intimate/detailed guidelines?

That’s our Creator.    Smiley-face-1600x1200-wallpaper-775678.jpg

He tells it like it is.  He keeps it real.  He knows our hearts, He knows all people, No one needs to tell him what mankind is really like. – John 2:24-25, He knows our weaknesses.  He warns us because He loves us and wants to protect us.

Although He doesn’t force us to choose His way, He gave people freewill. He doesn’t want us to feel hopeless and confused.                                                                                                                                                  confused

The promise God gave the Israelites, 3,000+ years ago, is true for us today, as well.  Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, (pleading, begging, my add) that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!  –  Deuteronomy 30:19   

                           life or death    

What a powerful and hopeful verse!!

God wants us to be aware that our actions have consequences, both positive and negative.

  • Would I be a good parent if I didn’t tell my children that “doing” drugs is harmful to themselves and others?
  • Would I be a good parent if I told my children that having sex outside of marriage is nothing more than a “good” time, with no physical or emotional repercussions?
  • Would I be a “good” parent if I simply let the culture drive my children’s decisions, so they could experience “real life”?

If we, sinful people, know how to give good gifts (protection and warnings, my add) to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him (who follow Him, my add).  –  Matthew 7:11

We might not want to believe this, but we’ve all experienced the fact that we can’t change other people.  Even if the advice, support, and guidance we’re giving them is right on target, some people would rather touch the fire to be sure it’s hot, rather than listening and heeding the advice of those who have already been burned.

                   burned hand

 As Solomon writes in the Book of Ecclesiastes, History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. There’s nothing new under the sun. –  Ecclesiastes. 1:9

I urge and remind myself, and others –

DON’T just listen to God’s word.  DO what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.  –  James 1:22

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Stress – Chance or Choices?? – PROVERBS 5 [5]

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. – Galatians 5:16

 

9    If you do, you will lose your honor
      and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved.
10  Strangers will consume your wealth,
       and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
11  In the end you will groan in anguish
      when disease consumes your body.
12  You will say, “How I hated discipline!
       If only I had not ignored all the warnings!
13  Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers?
       Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors?
14  I have come to the brink of utter ruin,
     and now I must face public disgrace.

We left off in Proverbs 5:1-9 with:  –   (see previous post, http://wp.me/p5nZpi-dA)

7  Never stray from what I am about to say:
Stay away from her!
    Don’t go near the door of her house!

Continuing to v.9 above, Solomon warns about losing your honor and what you’ve achieved.

I’ll use the example of engaging in sexual relations outside of marriage.  Purity is one gift that can never be re-gifted. If we choose to give our “gift” of purity, intended as a special ”gift” to our spouse on our wedding night, to someone who is likely a passing infatuation, we lose the opportunity to give that “gift” again.

                            true_love_waits    

Or, in the case of a marriage covenant that has been violated by an adulteress affair.  The trust, respect, and the relationship as a whole, has been forever changed.  And if a divorce is the result of the adulteress affair, this leads to distribution of wealth – child support, ex-spousal maintenance, and verse 10, someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor.                                 Sadly, the fruits of your labor, are not solely enjoyed as one family, but rather must be divided up between your present “family” and your ex-family.

                                         gty_exchanging_money_ll_111104_wg

Verse 11 goes on to say that, disease consumes your body.
This could come in many forms, but the one that I think of immediately is stress.  Stress takes a devastating toll on a person physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Life, in general, can be stressful. But when WE MAKE choices contrary to God’s guidance, it only compounds our stress.

                                   497001603.jpeg

What got us into this mess?

  •  v. 12 – I hated discipline. I ignored all the warnings!
  • v. 13 – I didn’t listen to my teachers or instructors

The result?

  • v. 14 – now I must face public disgrace (face the consequences of my choices – my add)

We see in the verses 1-11, not to mention the 4 previous chapters in Proverbs, warning after warning. (See posts under Categories – Proverbs 1-4 – sidebar on computer view and bottom of page on mobile view). Each one given to us for our protection.

However, when our pride says, “____ can’t happen to me, it’s no big deal, everyone else is doing it, it’s all under control, I’m fine,…”  yet I find myself in a “BIG mess”, if I dare…  I can look back and see that with every step I took,  I HAD a choice, and I MADE a choice.  A choice to follow my way or God’s way.

Unfortunately, that same “I” who made those choices, trusting in myself vs my Creator, is now stuck with the consequences.

In the above verses, the consequences are negative.  But had “I” listened to, and accepted God’s loving discipline, the results would been positive and fulfilling.

                                               ityourchoice

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CAUTION, DANGER, STAY AWAY!!! PROVERBS 5 [4]

Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. – 1 Corinthians 6:18

 

AVOID THE IMMORAL WOMAN  
1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
    listen carefully to my wise counsel.
2 Then you will show discernment,
    and your lips will express what you’ve learned.
3 For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey,
    and her mouth is smoother than oil.
4 But in the end she is as bitter as poison,
    as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
    her steps lead straight to the grave.
6 For she cares nothing about the path to life.
    She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it.
7 So now, my sons, listen to me.
    Never stray from what I am about to say:
8 Stay away from her!
    Don’t go near the door of her house!
9 If you do, you will lose your honor…
    

Proverbs 5 is titled, Avoid the Immoral Woman.  You’ll also notice, throughout chapter 5 that  Solomon refers to, my son.  Although it appears that the warnings of chapter 5 are just for boys/men, it applies to girls/women, as well.  Guys certainly can be smooth-talkers and flatterers in an attempt to seduce (entice into sexual activity) girls –  v.3 lips sweet as honey and mouth smoother than oil.  But at the same time, girls may choose to dress provocatively in an attempt to seduce guys, leading to sin – But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. – Matthew 5:28

Solomon says again with emphasis in v.8 –  stayaway
Otherwise, the result – v.9a – You will lose your honor

The surest way to protect yourself from getting caught up in sexual immorality (sex outside of marriage) is, v.8 – DON’T go near the door of her/his house.

dangerkeepoutdoor

You could take that to mean, in the literal sense, don’t go “home” with them.  Or, in the figurative sense, the “door” meaning to approach in conversation, put yourself in a vulnerable position (alone, one-on-one), etc.

Both of the above scenarios are assuming that you have found yourself in a tempting situation. A situation where you suspect the person you are with, or you yourself, may be tempted to be sexually immoral.

Naturally, it is ok to interact with people in a conversation, or hang out at friend’s houses.  But, for your own “protection”, and accountability,  it’s a good idea to hang out in a group versus one-on-one.

strength in numbers

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The Allure of “Sex” – PROVERBS 5 – Introduction (c) [3]

Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you? Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.  It is what comes from inside that defiles you.  For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.”  –  Mark 7:18-22

 

 

On the surface “sex”, as depicted in our culture, media, books, magazines, etc. may seem alluring, and without consequences.  In reality, it’s just an illusion.                                                                     See previous post – http://wp.me/p5nZpi-d8

GobletIllusion_500     A goblet?  Or two people looking at each other?

 

Illusion is defined by Merriam/Webster and Dictionary.com as –

  • something that is false or not real but that seems to be true or real
  • an incorrect idea : an idea that is based on something that is not true
  • something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality.

This is why I chose the word illusion, in regards to the culture’s, media’s, books’, magazine’s, etc. depiction of “sex”.  Their focus is on pleasure, happiness, excitement, freedom, etc., while neglecting to point out the emotional and physical repercussions of sexual relationships, outside the confines of marriage.

God created physical attraction between men and women, but He never intended for it to be used solely to fulfill our own selfish desires, http://wp.me/p5nZpi-cJ.

up                                                                                                                                                                     But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.  The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. – 1 Corinthians 7:1-4

Sexual intercourse is a beautiful gift God has given people for procreation (having children), and physical pleasure within a marriage covenant/commitment.  A beautiful gift, that Satan has distorted, causing people pain, humiliation, and regrets.

Because the sexual relationship, within the context of marriage, is so important, Paul warns in       1 Corinthians 7:5 – Do not deprive each other (your husband or wife) of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 

As we watch TV, movies, or read books we’re often shown explicit/graphic,”romance”, while leaving out the emotional and/or physical consequences of engaging in “casual sex”.

The Truth Is  —  Sexual immorality…

  • Tears families apart
  • Fractures a person’s ability to experience “true” love
  • Degrades human beings, turning them into objects
  • May lead to diseases
  • May result in unwanted children
  • Is against God’s law

Next post, we’ll begin to look at Proverbs 5.  Until then, ponder Solomon’s urgings in the first two verses of Proverbs Chapter 5, –                                                                                                                 My children, pay attention to my wisdom; listen carefully to my wise counsel.  THEN you will show discernment, and your lips will express what you’ve learned.

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Is “Sex” Glamorized in Our Culture? – PROVERBS 5 – Introduction (b) [2]

Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.  –  Hebrews 13:4

 

 

Many people may think that the Bible is just a book of rules,     Rules-ROH                        or a storybook for kids.       storybook for kids

Unfortunately, because of these, and other, misconceptions, people don’t think that the Bible pertains to them and the struggles that they face everyday, in the “real” world.

One of the greatest struggles people face today is sexual sin.  I believe people do realize that some of their sexual “choices” are wrong.  And do sense that their choices are not healthy emotionally or physically.  Yet, because our culture, media, etc. tends to glamorize “sex”, the “envelope” is continually being pushed, “My people have become lost sheep.  Their “shepherds” have led them astray and turned them loose in the mountains.  They have lost their way and cannot remember how to get back to the fold.” – Jeremiah 50:6

As a mom, I feel the pain and heartache God expresses for people, through the prophet Jeremiah. Unfortunately, people take what they believe is an “innocent taste”, while failing to realize the long-term implications of their choices.                                  

                   apple                      adam and eve

For example, from “puppy love” in the 70’s, on shows like the Brady Bunch                                         – Marcia Brady and Davy Jones

ht_davy_jones_brady_bunch_nt_120302_wblogTO

            wolf                         50

<see my post, http://wp.me/p5nZpi-cJ&gt;

With these sexual “experiences/opportunities” becoming more and more common place, , it is easy for people, ourselves and our children, to be led further and further from God’s Ways. For those who guide these people are leading them astray; And those who are guided by them are brought to confusion. – Isaiah 9:16

God tells us, and I take this to heart

You MUST WARN each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God (His ways, His guidance, His grace, His mercy, His protection, His love… – my addition) – Hebrews 3:13

On the surface our culture’s obsession with “sex” may seem alluring, in reality it’s all an illusion.

GobletIllusion_500     A goblet?  Or two people looking at each other?

 

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Love is in the Air!!! – PROVERBS 5 – Introduction (a) [1]

God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor— not in lustful passion like those who do not know God and His ways. – 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

 

We are currently in the month of February.  A month often associated with Valentine’s Day. The day when sentiments of amor especial entre buenos amigos (special love between good friends) are exchanged,

                     dora-valentine-boots

and intentions of “like” are bravely shared with another.     givingvalentine

And this year, on Valentine’s Day, the movie, “Fifty Shades of Grey”, will be released taking “like”, to a whole nother level.  From the innocence of exchanging valentine cards, to a young woman’s “innocence” stolen by lust and perversion.

Are both of these examples of love?  Is one “good”, and one “harmful”?  Does God, our Creator, have any thoughts on the subject of love?

We will be looking at Proverbs 5 for wisdom on the dangers of sexual immorality.  But before we do, let’s look at the way God defines “love” in the Bible.

 

“LOVE” IS DEFINED IN FOUR DIFFERENT WAYS IN THE BIBLE

  • STORGE  –  this type of love refers to natural, familial love, parents, children, and extended family members.
  • PHILOS  –  this is the type of love a person would have for a friend.                                          Philos is part of the words philosophy (“love of wisdom”) and philanthropy (“love of humanity”). It describes loving another person like they were your brother or sister.  Philos love can be a bit persnickety (a bit fussy).  It could be equated with the phrase, a “fair-weather friend” – A friend who is only a friend when circumstances are pleasant or profitable. But at the first sign of trouble, these “friends” take-off.  Since phileo love involves feelings of warmth and affection toward another person, we do not have phileo love toward our enemies. However, God commands us to have love for everyone.  This love is called agape love.
  • AGAPE  –  this is the type of love of God has for His son, Jesus, and all people.                       Agape is a sacrificial love.  Agape love is based on our behavior and actions.  It is act of our will, a choice we make. It is not based on how we feel towards another person/people.  Although positive feelings can follow after we show this kind of love to others.                                                                                                                                                              When we have agape love, we seek to put other’s well-being ahead of our own. Agape love is the love that God commanded all people to have towards all people.  Because of our sinful nature, this type of love does not come naturally to us.  This kind of love can only be given to us by God, For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.  –  Romans 5:5
  • EROS  –  this type of love means to have a desire for or longing for.                                                   Eros is part of the word erotic.  It is referred to as erotic/selfish love, and is focused primarily on sensuality and self. Eros love is based on the “feelings” we have for another person. Eros is often the first stage of a romantic relationship, and is based on the physical traits.                                                                                                                                                                       Erotic love, in and of itself, is not sinful.  However, because erotic love focuses on sensuality and self, erotic love can quickly become porneia  –  the Greek word for “sexual immorality” (the root of our word pornography).  Porneia covers the gamut of sexual sin (adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bestiality, etc.)                                                                                                                                                              When eros love is shared between husband and wife, it can be a wonderful thing.  In fact, the Bible has an entire book about the blessings of erotic, sexual, love within marriage.  It can be found in the Song of Solomon, in the Old Testament.   Unfortunately, when eros takes place outside of marriage, it becomes distorted and sinful.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The Bible calls this form of eros, sexual immorality, and warns us – flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.1 Corinthians 6:18  When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures… – Galatians 5:19

< The information on the four types of love was adapted from types of love.org and gotquestions.org >

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