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, I Corinthians 6:18-20, ESV.
I love camping. Our pop-up camper gives the feel of being outdoors, with the benefits of a real mattress and running water. The slower pace, the nature trails, and the beautiful sunsets are all part of the camping experience. But one of the best parts of camping happens after the sun goes down. The wood gets stacked, the kindling is lit, and before long, there is a big, roaring fire. Some long poles, and puffy, white marshmallows, and voila! Dessert by firelight!
Now, some campers think I’m crazy, but I protect my marshmallows. I either roast them a distance from the flame, or I use tinfoil. Yes, tinfoil. I wrap the side of the marshmallow that faces the fire with tinfoil, because I cannot stand the taste of a burnt marshmallow. I love the toasted flavor, but the marshmallow cannot turn black, or worse, catch on fire.
Relationships are the same way. The fire represents passion, or physical intimacy. The marshmallow represents the relationship, and the distance or tinfoil represent healthy boundaries. If the relationship is exposed to too much passion, it is destroyed and devoured—burnt up with the wrong kind of fire. But, when a relationship is protected from passion in the beginning, when the right kinds of boundaries are set for passion, time alone, and physical intimacy, the relationship toasts to perfection—friendship, romance, thoughtfulness, selflessness and sacrifice are allowed to develop in healthy ways that will sustain a great relationship over a lifetime.
You know what else is interesting about that fire? When you wait long enough, the embers sustain heat without flame, so you can stick a marshmallow in close, and it still won’t burn. That’s marriage. When the relationship is honoring to God, when you follow His plan and commit to one spouse for a lifetime, He allows the passion and physical intimacy to be an integral part of the sustaining heat, but it blesses the relationship instead of devouring it. God is so awesome! Protect your relationships like marshmallows, and enjoy God’s perfect recipe for a sweet, lifelong love!
Thought-provoker; Are you too close to passion’s fire in a relationship in your life? Get back! Ask God, today, to show you the safe boundaries you need to keep your life from being burned by the wrong kinds of passions, and then be willing to obey Him in this area of your life!
Lord, keep my relationships pleasing and honoring in Your sight. Where I have not been pleasing, I ask Your forgiveness and today, I commit to living in honor of You in all areas of my life. Make my boundaries safe, healthy and whole. Amen.