If You Love Me

In this day and age we hear all kinds of things about love with most of it not being true love but lust. Movies are shown that depict love as being selfish and demanding or controlling and manipulative.

The reality of love is that it’s unselfish and goes out of its way to help the other person. 1 Corinthians 13. Christ is the true depiction of love. He left His throne in heaven to become a man and die, be buried and rise again for our sins. He didn’t ask for anything in return because there is nothing we could give Him that would pay Him back for all He’s done for us. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

Yet while the Lord was on the earth He made the comment, “If you love Me, keep My commandments!” John 14:15. As we seek to go through daily life do we really show our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that we love Him? What would we have to do to show Him our love?

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Obedience is such an unusual concept in this day and age. If you watch many parents you will see the children go out of their way to hurt their parents. Granted, some of the parents deserve it because they encourage their children to be disobedient and ungrateful. What about those, though, that are trying to teach their children to be obedient? This is an age where everyone does what is right in their own eyes, many children dishonor their parents, and so many think that no one should be able to tell them what to do.

True believers are expected to obey the Lord, to keep His commandments if we love Him. It doesn’t get any clearer than this. We, who are true believers, are children of the Lord and, that being the case, we must be willing to honor and obey our Heavenly Father. He is first and foremost the One to whom obedience is necessary and, in so doing, we show forth our worship and praise towards Him.

You might say, “I do obey Him. My heart tells me when I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.” No, we can’t go according to what our hearts say as they are “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9. It is important for us to read and obey God’s Word as that is the guideline He gave us to follow. I know I’ve stressed before but it’s worthy of notice within our lives to show forth our obedience and love for the Lord. Do we love Him? If so, then let us keep His commandments in a way that shows Him that we do love Him.

Verbal Pornography

We live in a dangerous age. Wrong is now right and fully acceptable in the eyes of a sick, sin-darkened world. What is even worse is that the church has often sought to fully endorse the Corinthian and Laodicean attitudes of this amoral society. America is no longer a post-modern society, but a society where morals are what you decide to make them.

For example, I know some who claim the name of Christ who believe that it is acceptable for homosexuals to sin all they want provided they do it behind closed doors and don’t bother anybody else. However, sin and depravity is never enough for those walking apart from God and out of the rebellion of their hearts. The sin that is acceptable today for them will never be enough until it is fully out in the open and others have been ensnared by their depravity.

To say that their sin is ok as long as it is behind closed doors is a dangerous path because once that becomes acceptable, those who prey on others will seek to get others to say that it is acceptable as long as it is behind closed doors. Before long, we have fully endorsed the rank wickedness that destroyed the Roman Empire in which not only was homosexuality accepted but so was the sale of slaves for sexual purposes (any age and gender).

What would never have been acceptable in any polite company when I was growing up in the 70’s is now fully open. It is endorsed by Hollywood by that which enters the eye gates and even Christians are laughing at the smut. We attended a church once that included times of “fellowship” when the men / women would get together for a night out which included “R” rated movies. What kind of picture does this paint for the world who cannot see Christ in us, but only more of themselves?

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If they even care to check out what is going on, very few parents are complaining about the material that is being forced upon their children to read in public school settings or what is being openly displayed at the local public libraries. There was a time school plays and activities would never have been considered risqué, but those days are long gone and now we find in the news even today that middle schoolers were given a word search game as part of their class activity that was based fully on the smut entitled “50 Shades of Grey.”

Books like “50 Shades” are becoming bestsellers and turned into movies. Men and women are buying this verbal pornography by the millions and then wondering why their marriages are suffering. It continues the trend set by books like “Twilight” in which a very old 104 year old vampire man preys on a young, innocent teenage girl seeking sex. Seriously?!?!?!

No true father would permit or endorse such behavior in his own home, yet even fathers who claim the name of Christ are permitting their daughters and their wives to fawn over the characters in these books and movies.

Dear sisters in Christ, this type of reading material is no different an impact on your mind than the dangers of visual pornography is to the men and boys in your home. These words are designed and written in a way that does not bring you closer to Christ, nor to your husband. While two wrongs never make a right, you cannot complain about what your husband is watching if you are filling your heart and mind with the same kind of trash he is. You are both wrong before the Lord. It is hypocritical for you to complain that he is cheating on you with a computer screen when you are cheating on him with what you reading on the printed page.

Dear brothers in Christ, we are called to be observant in our homes. We might pride ourselves on not allowing the vulgar, sexually-charged rap music of the world to enter our homes, but we are permitting our wives and young girls to be embraced by that which is not truly a reality. This is sin before God. Their hearts and lives must be guarded jealously or you will lose them. Brothers, it is hypocritical to think that you are justified in not protecting your heart by what you watch if you do not also care what books can be found on your bookshelves. Your wife will NEVER live up to the expectations that the world creates in your heart and mind, and you also will NEVER live up to the expectations of what the world wants to offer your wife through what she reads.

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Divorces are taking place on an ever-increasing basis within the church by those who claim the name of Christ. Husbands and wives have filled their heads with trash and then want to claim “irreconcilable differences” on their divorce papers when their spouse does not live up to the torrid expectations of the latest best-selling book on the New York Times list or the latest box-office hit from the pit of Hollywood. If you think the smut and trash of the world is harmless, then you are living life at the bottom end of a frayed rope. You are but one small strand from total destruction.

Pastors and shepherds, we must be willing to address the truth of Scripture and warn the flock of the dangers that are being faced. This does not mean that we need to ride hobbyhorses or only speak about the latest fads. However, it does mean that we must be willing to open our eyes to the wickedness that is desperately seeking to swallow our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We must call out the dangers for what they truly are. It is hypocritical to call out to the Lord to save marriages if we have not warned of the impending doom that we saw taking place in the home and ignored it.

Visual and verbal pornography is seeking to destroy our homes. There is nothing that Satan and his minions must enjoy more than to see those who are true believers being swallowed up by the millions with the filth of the world. The evil one wants to destroy your marriage.

Christian women, he wants you to think that it is acceptable for you to find a release in your life from the “mundane” that you find so tedious. The books and movies that demean your husband and marriage are just as bad and as wicked as what he may be involved with. It is not reality. God will not be mocked. Vampire love stories and sexual bondage novels are a totally depraved and warped destruction of what God has created to be holy. You are tasked with protecting your daughters as well so they can go to their wedding being pure in every way.

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Christian men, you want a wholesome marriage? Stop longing after what is not reality. Stand up and be the kind of man God demands you to be. Be a true man who shows true deference to a lady. Be a godly man who points others to Christ, not detracts from the loveliness of the Savior. Be the father who protects his young boys and girls from the depravity of the world that only wants to destroy them.

Godly marriages are not based on anything Hollywood or the New York Times best-seller list has to offer. They are built day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute on sacrifice, service, and Christ-like love. Your lives will NEVER resemble Hollywood or the best-seller lists because those are far from Christ. Flee from that which will destroy you. Seek forgiveness from the Most High and learn to trust and love again in a way that others can see Christ in you the hope of glory.