Temptation1 One of the more “tempting” times in my life has been the time I was dating the man who is now my husband.  We were getting to know each other, falling in love, extremely attracted to one another, spending a LOT of time together, and simply could not get enough of each other.  The physical aspect of the relationship was quickly escalating and we both knew if we truly wanted to honor God in our relationship, certain things had to change.  We established boundaries right away. Things like, “I’ll never stay past midnight”, “We won’t be alone together at your place”, and, “Let’s set an alarm so we don’t ‘accidentally’ stay up too late when everyone else is asleep.”  Even with those in place, we failed.  I’ll never forget the first time we crossed the “physical boundary” we had established.  I felt an immediate “pit” in my stomach.  It was as if a wall was built between myself and God.  I felt nervous, guilty, ashamed, bad, sad, and angry with myself…I even found it hard to pray.  I could see so clearly the consequences of my actions went into effect immediately and I felt an almost tangible strain on my relationship with God.  I found myself coming up with excuses like, “Everyone else has had sex and we haven’t , so we’re definitely okay,” or, “Nobody is perfect”.  I tried to convince myself that really it was okay, but all the while the Holy Spirit within me was convicting me—just as I had asked Him to do!  My falling into temptation was not David’s fault, it was not his roommate’s fault for leaving while I was over or for falling asleep early—it was MY FAULT.  As a Christian I had to accept responsibility for MY OWN FALLING INTO TEMPTATION and ask God to forgive me. 

James 1:13-15 “When tempted, no one should say “God is tempting me”.  For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.”

God does not tempt us, but rather he tests us.  Earlier in James it states in chapter 1 verse 3  “…because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”  God does not place us in situations where we are forced to give into temptation. In my experience I found that I put MYSELF in situations where I make up an excuse to explain my reason for falling to temptation.  Though I TEMPTED myself, the situation allowed God to TEST me.  His testing, my repentance and newly found dependence on Him has truly refined my faith.  I had to turn to God to find my complete strength, peace, and hope in overcoming my specific temptation.  Had we tried this on our own, we surely would have failed.  

The two of us knew we had messed up and knew we didn’t want that to happen again.  We got together and prayed.  David said from day one of our relationship that he wanted to lead me spiritually, and that was his chance.  We began to hold each other accountable, we started praying together, and we found accountability in our friends whom we trusted the most.  We went on to get engaged and eventually married.  We BOTH had waited until we were married to have sex and let me tell you- THIS was THE BEST gift either one of us could have given to each other.  I only wish I could explain to you what this meant. Amanda and David sunflowers

If you are dating someone now and debating whether or not sex is okay, look at what God’s word says: 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 “For this is the will of God; your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God”.

 I can only speak from my experience but I can tell you that God has immensely blessed us for honoring His word and doing our best to honor Him in our dating relationship.  Yes, of course we messed up numerous times and were never perfect, but we sought harder and harder after God and continued to draw our strength from him when we found ourselves in times of temptation.  We prayed for conviction and He more than gave it to us. 

What are you tempted by?  Sex?  Cheating?  Stealing?  Lying? Remember that even Jesus was tempted (Matthew 4:1-11)!  Draw your strength to fight temptation from the Word of God.  Don’t look to yourself for help… invest your time, energy, thoughts, and heart into the Word of God.  Jesus has already overcome this battle. Surrender to His aid.

-Amanda Carey – The Blush Network

This was written by my sweet daughter-in-law talking about her relationship with David, my son, before they were married.  Pastor Paul and I are so proud of them both and respect the fact that Amanda is willing to share their story to help others.  I think this blog will be helpful for all of our parents of teens and all of our teens at New Life.  Sharon Carey

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