- I am far from perfect. I fear a lot of things; most realistic, yet all irrational because the only thing I should truly fear is God. I find myself fearing the little things and being afraid of God. I fall every day: I have cursed, I have judged, I have neglected to do God's Will, I have put my foot in my mouth countless times and I have given up. It is obvious that I cannot live life on my own. It is utterly impossible. I am dependent. I am needy. I am selfish. I am sinful. I am human.. However, the most important thing about me; I am forgiven.
A couple weeks ago I was looking for a devotional book about relationships, how to handle them, whether you're ready for them, and if you aren't.. how to grow in Jesus so you can be ready. Well, it took me a while but I finally found the perfect book and it wasn't at all what I was expecting.
Sex 180 isn't just your typical relationship devotional book that says to not date in your teen years. Instead it shocked me and challenged me about how to be what I was looking for in a life partner.
This books, Sex180, is written by two dads; Chip Ingram and Tim Walker. They wrote this book because they want us to know what they didn't concerning relationships and sex.
At the very beginning of the book they say; "Sex 180 isn't a new T-shirt wearing, jewelry-clad movement. It isn't another ad slogan response to real-life desires. It isn't another big stadium rally about abstinence. Its more than No and more than Wait. Sex180 is a new position on sex and sexuality than how the world views it. A full 180 degrees different." -Page 15-16
They gave statistics on how many teenagers have sex and how many married couples, christians included, have some sort of adultry outside of their marriage and how they lost their life, marriage and their spirit. All because the world today does nothing but show sex. Its on TV, in movies, in music, on the web, in magazines, in books, in high schools, in youth groups. People are having sex, reading about sex, talking about sex, watching others have sex, reacting to sex, and thinking about sex. It is extremely shocking what they found, so unreal.. but it's there. It was said. It's a fact.
In chapter Three, Chip and Tim talk about getting over our sick cultures view on sex and pump us up to fight for our sacred sexual lives.
"But it is also said that there is a part to sex that is not being told. Sex is a heart issue that people have made purely physical. We justify our sexual wants by saying "oooh, but we are so in love!"
In 2004, there was an epidemic of AIDS in Africa that caused the death of an estimated 3.1 million people, including 2.6 million adults, and 510,000 children under the age of 15. One person usually had 3-4 sex partners...
Look at the number of people addicted to porn; the requests for porn on search engines averages about 25% of the daily request. 34% of christian women admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn- some of them to find out what their husbands were looking at, other due to their own internet porn addiction...
We need something drastic to change. We need a revolution, a second sexual revolution." -page 30-31.
"Our culture thinks sex is just a game.." -page 40.. it's not. It's more than just a pure physical act. It's more than being in love. It's more than showing someone affection. It's how you interact, it' how you attract. It's about knowing someone.. not just physically but emotionally, socially, psychologically, and most importantly.. spiritually.
But before we can act on this new revolution.. we have to let God change our hearts so we can really explain why it's more than 'no' and more than 'wait'. Our culture is looking for "why" and we have to be ready to explain the seriousness and sacredness of sex.
In chapter Six, Chip and Tim talk about the Extreme Makeover: Inside Edition.
They explain that God is serious about sex and thinks it is sacred. That is why we should live like IOU.
Inward character- You live daily like you are walking with Jesus. The music you listen to, would you want Jesus listening to that? The jokes you laugh at.. would Jesus be laughing at them? The movies you watch.. would Jesus watch that scene with you? The question is, what are you comfortable listening to, watching or laughing at if Jesus was standing right next to you all the time? You have to change you character. Start walking like Jesus with skin on.. to show you are serious, and why you are serious about sex. Ephesians 5: 1-4
"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving."
Outward modesty- While God is changing your inside to be more like Him, He also wants you to do a makeover on the outside. He wants the things He is doing in your heart to be reflected in how you appear to others. God wants us to appear to others not by physical appearance but by our inner appearance. 1 Peter 3:3-4 explains that.
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."
"Make the connection between your closet and your faith so that people can see your beliefs in action, not your navel. That will attract people's attention." -Page 77-78.
Upward devotion- I'll just quote the book here, it explains it best.
"Besides your sense of style.. you know what else is attractive? Your devotion to God. I think there is something very appealing about a guy or girl who is genuinely in love with Jesus. Someone passionately pursuing God. Someone who realizes that the missing gaps in his or her life are filled with God first- He's where they find completion. " page 78-79.
"If you want to build a lasting relationship, you will need more than great hair, a buff body, and a good tan. Those things fade quickly and are rather superficial. But when you meet a person with Upward Devotion, you realize they have substance, character and a beauty that wont perish with time. It's the kind of person you want to seek out, and it's the kind of person you want to be." Page 80
There are some deep things here in this book... but they are needed to live the life pleasing to God. It gives us examples and reassurance to continue to live out daily, IOU.
This doesn't even cover one tenth of what Chip and Tim talk about. I highly suggest going out and buying this book, or getting it from the library. I love it because it really brings out the truth of our culture today and how I personally can change it and how to glorify God in something that our cultures sees every day.
"IOU will involve some major God-honoring tactics. You many need to throw away some clothes, evaluate your outward appearance, and analyze some of your habits. But remember this: the outside should be a clear reflection of the inside-- a deep desire to please God." Page 81.