Articles Tagged with: #christian

Living a Chaste Life

“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:18-20


Many young couples earnestly adhere to the Church’s teachings that restrict having sex before marriage. They are aware of the many compelling arguments supporting the notion that fornication is fundamentally sinful. Even though these young couples have the best of intentions and a strong desire to maintain their chastity, they frequently encounter extreme temptation, and some give in to that desire, occasionally leading to pregnancies.


Chastity, therefore, is an attribute connected to temperance. According to their state of life, a chaste person abstains from either sexual conduct deemed immoral or any sexual activity. Chastity and celibacy are synonymous in some situations, such as when one takes a pledge of chastity.


Without chastity, the virtue that allows us to regulate our sexual urges rather than let them control us, it is almost impossible to have a happy marriage. Chastity is also a challenging virtue to grow in. It will be extremely challenging to develop after marriage if it is not fully formed before marriage. Therefore, achieving the virtue of chastity is something that should be done before getting married.

Ponder about some specific actions you can take to complete this wonderful mission, and keep in mind that you can still go back no matter how far you’ve already traveled in the opposite direction.

 

  •  Avoid becoming too emotionally dependent on one another.

This could seem unusual because, after all, you are in love, but with a certain degree of “all-out dependency,” that love rapidly turns into an emotional attachment that hinders you from getting to know each other all that well. Such dependence is evident when you talk on the phone for hours on end and cannot wait for the next call; if the call does not come, you panic, believing your friend does not love you; when you believe you must do everything including studying together; and when you schedule your days so that you are in close contact. Undue sexual closeness is the logical conclusion of this immature reliance.

 

  •  Steer clear of potential sinful situations.

This notion is frequently regarded as archaic and prudishly out of date today. It is a pearl of sensible advice that will be helpful to young couples with their unique endeavor. It means that you should not spend alone time when you are alone together. Spend time together in public places like parks and shopping centers. This is realistic, not conservative.

 

  • You can cultivate the virtue of purity, which purifies the mind and heart of lust, alongside the virtue of chastity, which is so intimately related to it.

Young people can get their heads “out of the gutter,” so to speak, by constant effort, working with God’s mercy, and with the aid of the graces. The freedom that comes from being free of dirty ideas is immense. One is free to treat people as people, and not as objects of emotion, for their own sake. And those who still have lingering habits of solitary sexual actions left over from a possible weakness in youth can rapidly and efficiently overcome them with the development of the twin virtues of chastity and purity.

One can only make an informed choice about marriage or celibacy when their sexual drive is under control. By adopting this mindset, many more people will enter religious life, many more marriages will be stable and happy, and many premarital couples will have far happier courtships.

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Seeking First the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness

“But seek first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to as well.” – Matthew. 6:33

Unlike Abraham Maslow’s theory of the hierarchy of needs, which places physical needs at the bottom of the triangle and self-actualization at the top, as Christians, we must place our need for God at the apex of the triangle, and the triangle must then be reversed so that our need for God becomes our most basic needs. All other requirements will be addressed later if this basic need is fulfilled.

The accomplishment of God’s will on Earth is hence the kingdom of God. Only by obeying God’s commandments as Christians can we fulfill God’s will on earth. God lives in us in this manner. “And when he was demanded o the Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, the kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” -Luke. 17:20-21

It’s critical to remember that, as Christians, we must first seek God’s kingdom, not just when we are in trouble but because life is meaningless without God. The exceeding righteousness that comes from placing our trust in Him and emulating Him, Jesus makes clear, is required for the kingdom. When we perform religious devotions and obligations, our motives must be pure.

Furthermore, the Bible is dedicated to recounting the wonderful story of Jesus and how His followers can seek and find fulfillment in Him. The first and most important way we can seek the Lord is to read the Bible. Here are two other practical methods in which we can seek the Lord.

We must admit and repent of the other.

We are to worship only one God, according to the Bible. The command to cast off idols is repeated from beginning to end. If there is something in our lives that we value more than Christ, that item has become a lord and an idol, preventing us from finding satisfaction in the King.

Submit all our emotions and worries to the Lord.

We must not only repent of the sin that so easily arises in our hearts, but we must also bring our emotions to the Lord daily. We must make God the King of our emotions to seek first the kingdom of God.

Finally, it is expected of us as Christians to seek God’s kingship first in every matter and moment of our lives. We don’t need to be concerned about anything if we believe in our heavenly Father’s kingship.

One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple – Psalms 27:4 

How else can we actively seek God’s Kingdom and His righteousness? Let us know in the comments below.

What is Confession?

“He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” – Proverbs. 28:13

All Christians strive to live their lives by the teachings of Jesus Christ. He calls us to imitate God, practice righteousness, and live a life that pleases Him. As humans, we stray, fall short, and succumb to sinful temptations. Christ introduced the mystery of confession to combat this sickness of the soul. As the sole creator of this world and the ultimate judge, we must show our regret to God through confessions whenever we disobey His commandments, just as we do when we hurt our family and friends. God is a forgiving God, therefore when we call on Him, He is always ready to listen.

What is Confession?

Confession, therefore, is the public or private acknowledgment of sinfulness, which is regarded as necessary to receive divine pardon. It is a way for us to encounter God in all His glory on our planet. When we sin, we end up alienating ourselves from God, our fellow humans, and our genuine selves, which damages our relationship with Him.

As a result, we should confess our transgressions to God whenever we sin, because He despises sin, which separates us from Him and leads to death as stated in Romans.6:23.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23

How can we confess our sins to God?

Here are some guidelines for confessing our sins.

  • Invest time in God’s presence.

To begin with, we should spend time with God and in His Word regularly. The Lord can make us aware of specific sins while we fellowship with Him in prayer. We do not have to examine ourselves or worry about whether we have made a mistake. God is light, and when we spend time with Him, He reveals our sins. We may see what we need to confess right away when He shines. We will become more sensitive to the Lord’s light shining on us as we allow Him to shine on us. This is one of the reasons why having daily time with the Lord is a good idea.

  • Confess everything the Lord puts His light on.

Whatever the Lord Jesus shines on us, we should confess it. We may believe that some things do not matter, that they are insignificant, but if we let what we think are little transgressions accumulate, we will find it is all too easy to let even a major transgression go unconfessed and suffer the repercussions in our relationship with the Lord.

  • Take considerable time in the presence of the Lord for extended lengths of time.

We can spend long periods with the Lord particularly to be under His glory, in addition to our daily time with Him. We can spend an additional thirty minutes or an hour with the Lord once a week to give Him more opportunity to reveal our hearts. We’ll have more time to respond to His instructions, and revelations and to confess more profoundly and finely as well. We can start these moments by praying or singing a hymn to the Lord using Bible scriptures. Then we might simply beg the Lord to shine on us and confess whatever He shines upon us. By devoting extended periods to fellowship with the Lord, we not only restore our fellowship with the Lord but also strengthen it.

As Christians, we are expected to live righteous lives so that we may enjoy eternal life in Christ Jesus. As a result, living a moral life entails confessing our sins when necessary.

Remember, the Bible promises to set us free when we confess.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” – 1 John 1:9

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Are You in An Abusive Relationship?

Abuse in a relationship can take many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, or all three, but it always involves aggression, contempt, cruelty, injury, or force.

Abuse, in whatever form, has a tremendous impact on one’s emotional stability, and because emotional health is so crucial to one’s well-being, it is critical to recognize the signs of an abusive partner and avoid them while guarding your heart.

“Above all else, guard your heart,” Proverbs 4:23 says, “because everything you do flows from it.” By guarding your heart, you end up taking care of yourself and obeying the Word of God, which in turn enables you to be discerning of dangerous associations rather than always looking for faults in yourself to justify the other party’s behavior. Here are some indicators that you may be in an abusive relationship.

Disrespect

An abusive partner ridicules you in front of others, insults and calls you names, never respects your requests, and dismisses your viewpoint. While disrespect can take many forms, including physical, sexual, and mental abuse, it is vital to remember that you can only be treated in a certain way if you allow it to happen. While there could be times when you can only control so much, do ensure that you speak up when disrespected and maintain your assertiveness.

Lies

One of the most fundamental cornerstones in any great relationship is trust. A spouse who does not respect you enough to always tell you the truth is likely to abuse and gaslight you.

Isolating you from loved ones

Isolation is key tactic abusers use to make sure other people do not realize their victims are being abused. They do not necessarily need to use threats or violence to keep you at home.

“The abuser discourages contact with others in subtle and manipulative ways, preventing loved ones from being able to detect changes in mood or well-being,” Genovese says.

Controlling behavior

An abuser may try to keep you under control by restricting your freedom to leave the house, seizing control of your funds, and monitoring your online activity, to name a few. This may start small, such as constantly calling or texting you when you are away from them, but it can escalate quickly.

Physical and, or sexual abuse

A physically abusive partner may attack you at any time, resulting in emotional and mental instability or even death, while a sexually abusive partner may force you to have sex, resulting in long-term health difficulties.

Given this, you should avoid the effects of abuse by saying no to abusers and seek professional help if you find yourself in such a situation, keeping in mind that your mental health is crucial to your growth. Abuse is not a form of power, therefore do not support it. If you know of an abuser, speak to a professional about it in the hopes that they too can get help. Oftentimes, abusers struggle with unmet needs which can be addressed clinically.

Above all else, prayerfully think through every association, especially romantic associations and do not entangle yourself with anyone who hinders your ability to grow in Christ.

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Overcoming Addiction as a Christian

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which is God’s” – 1 Corinthians 6: 19- 20 NKJV

Addiction impacts toddlers and teenagers, young people, and elderly men and women alike, and affects people of all ethnicities, demographics, and socioeconomic backgrounds. It varies from person to person since some people battle with addiction more than others. While addictive behaviors share similar neurological and psychological processes and produce pleasurable feelings and sensations, persons attempting to cure an addiction frequently replace such behaviors with other alternatives that may not be healthy.

Addiction, therefore, is a relationship between a person and an object, substance, or activity. The object or activity becomes increasingly important as the addiction progresses, whereas formerly important activities become less important. In the end, addiction is about a complex conflict between acting on an urge and resisting it. The condition has existed since the dawn of time, and society has been trying to develop various remedies for it for nearly as long. As one might expect, some of the previous methods of addiction treatment were less than pleasant, making it even more fortunate that we now live in a society where compassionate care is available. While we do not know everything about how it was treated in the past, there are enough accounts of treatment procedures from the last 300 years to give us a good idea.

It is also worth noting that the recovery process only works if the individual battling addiction acknowledges the problem and the challenge that comes with it.

According to the transtheoretical model of behavior change, any change requires a process that begins with pre-contemplation and progresses to contemplation. You may be in denial about the impacts of your battle with addiction in the early stages of treatment. You may experience feelings of doubt as you become more conscious of the issues you’re dealing with, even as you become more aware of your need to conquer your addiction. However, once you have decided to change, you may start planning your next steps.  The length of time it takes to recover varies from person to person based on the severity of the addiction, and it requires a certain amount of consistency to get the desired result, therefore addiction is not a hopeless situation.

Recognizing and accepting the warning symptoms of addiction can be frightening, especially as a Christian living in a society where many are ostracized for the same.  Starting to seek addiction treatment is a far more difficult task, however, it is important to mention that there is nothing wrong with seeking help from addiction as a Christian.

Seeking counseling and therapy is one approach to get started with the process as outpatient or inpatient programs are both available. These programs also help you develop and strengthen (healthy) life skills, as well as provide structure and support for long-term recovery.

Here are some of the approaches or ways you might come across:

  • Behavioral therapy

This comprises dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and motivational interviewing (MI), which are often done one-on-one. They are designed to change people’s behavior, emotions, and attitudes. They assist you in taking responsibility for your recovery and abstinence. Through this therapy, you can also improve family and close relationship communications and dynamics.

  • Group psychotherapy

This method, which is facilitated by at least one therapist, creates a space for you to relate to other patients who are dealing with similar problems. This allows you or a loved one to share knowledge and assist other patients. You can use this to create healthy and loving relationships.

  • Support groups

These provide a secure place in which to discuss personal challenges and addiction issues.  After finishing therapy, these organizations provide support and follow-up care. However, they cannot be utilized in place of a strategic, well-planned treatment.

  • Prayer

Above all, it is important to maintain and continuously work on your relationship with God as a Christian. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 admonishes us that we should care for our body as it is the temple of God. This means avoiding, at all costs, anything that destroys our ability to connect with God. Prayer is one way we can ensure we walk in alignment with God’s purpose for our lives. It is important to constantly study His Word too. You can read more about How to Understand the Word of God Better

No Christian is perfect. Every Christian is battling with something. One of those things could be an addiction, and if that is the case, feel loved, and feel heard. Explore some of these tips and we hope you recover soon.

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