The present “world” war: relationships (2/3) | Jay Fesperman
You see, the world’s attitude is “bring pleasure to your SELF. Satisfy the flesh”. The Bible calls that “OUR SINFUL NATURE”. Paul tells the Christians in Rome, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their MINDS SET on what that nature desires. But those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their MINDS SET on what the Spirit desires” (emphasis mine). That is visible in the sexual relation between a husband and wife, but we need to see it in simpler ways BEFORE we commit ourselves to one another in marriage. Our lifestyle is established in our more youthful years: “I get out of bed when I want! I eat what I like! I keep me in a condition that pleases ME”. Or you may watch TV as much as the average America. If so, you may have developed a low regard for FATHERHOOD, since this form of “entertainment” is constantly demeaning the male parent and the husband. And this false value continues to color your attitude, even though you are now a Christian, trying to live a life that’s pleasing to the Lord.
“Now this is our boast [says Paul]: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves IN THE WORLD, especially in our RELATIONS with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so, NOT ACCORDING TO WORLDLY WISDOM but according to God’s GRACE” (emphasis mine).
Take a look at the second sentence at the top of this page. I said, “The relationship (singular) that God has called us to as husband and wife”. If you really listen to the “philosophy of the world”, you will hear these roles as two distinctly separated relationships. But isn’t it true that a man cannot BE a husband except that he shares a relationship with a wife? So you see, in this example, the world says to me, “Find yourself a wife who will in all ways satisfy you”. By His Spirit, God says to us, “DENY SELF! Seek in all ways to please, TO FULFILL your wife!”
Again in Scripture [it says], “From now on we regard no one from a WORLDLY point of view. . . .” There it is in 2 Corinthians 5:16 ! Then in 1 Corinthians 2:12, the same author says to the same church group, “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has FREELY given us”(emphasis mine).
From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 30, April/May 1983.