I get a lot of questions about how people OUGHT to move towards Marriage Covenant. With the Levels of Sharing model it becomes easy to answer these questions. In fact, I know teenagers who have grasped the Levels of Sharing in a matter of minutes...to the point they can teach their peers.
"Have you met the person? Do they know who you are? How do you know them?" (Interaction)
"What common interest do you share? What can you both talk about deep enough others may not be able to keep up?" (Connection)
"Will they share about other areas of their life with you? Hobbies, weekend plans, family members, etc?" (Relationship)
The question EVERYONE eventually gets to is "When is it appropriate to start touching each other?"
ANSWER: What is the objective? (WHY?)
Looking at "Relationship Marriage" (yesterday's post), the issue is that eventually one of the people feels owed because these two people aren't profitable together. The goal OUGHT to be to find out if the two people are profitable. Do they continue to get more energy from each other? Do they continue to get to know each other better?
If the goal is to get to know the other person better, then the couple OUGHT to find out if they can get more energy from each other without touching over the Long Term. The couple OUGHT to wait until Fellowship. We will look at this more closely next week. Why wait until Fellowship?
The energy from touching overwhelms the energy from getting to know the other person. When this happens, touching becomes a CAUSE, so the EFFECTS are short-term and will fade. Touching just leads to the need to touch more until it turns into sex. Once the energy from sex lessens, it is THEN that the people begin to get to know each other...a lot of times they find out they aren't compatible.
This month, one of the front page stories in the national newspapers was that 25% of girls in the U.S. between the ages of 14 and 19 have at least one STD! It was about 15 years ago that Jocelyn Elders wanted to deal with this on a purely Physical level. We've been addressing this area and it is only getting worse...we are treating the symptoms (IS), not the issue (OUGHT). If anything, we have reinforced this flawed model. What is the objective?
The objective OUGHT to be to get to know the other person better...Fellowship. This is hard enough without being distracted by the energy experienced during "touching". Touching before Fellowship almost guarantees the BEST the couple will be able to attain is "Relationship Marriage" (yesterday's post).
Whether it is in a marriage or a friendship, progress is attained (and energy is produced) as long as the people are focused on getting to know each other better. This progress can go on forever (OUGHT)...this is "happily ever after". Fellowship is the key to "happily ever after". Getting to know the person results in them changing and becoming more attractive. Remember, beauty is the image...the outside...the IS...the APPEARANCE...it fades over time. Attraction is the whole package...the OUGHT...it can grow over time. The outside can become more attractive over time because it represents EVERYTHING about the other person.
Remember, the definition of "fornication" is idolatry. Idolatry is the worship (giving of one's self) of an image. People who give themselves to an image are committing idolatry/fornication. Fornication CAN be sexual when a person gives themselves physically to the image of another person...the APPEARANCE. ANYTIME someone gushes about how beautiful someone is that they don't know, they are committing fornication. This is especially true when people talk about movie stars, singers, models...unless they know these people.
Every act of Sex and Marriage Covenant that occurs WITHOUT being at Fellowship becomes a CAUSE. Sex becomes a CAUSE instead of an EFFECT.
When you hear someone say: "Why would someone buy the cow if they get the milk for free?" or "We aren't going to have sex until marriage because we want to have something to look forward to" these are PROOFS these people see sex as a CAUSE. Martin Luther saw sex as a CAUSE. "Christian" books see sex as a CAUSE because that's the way it IS today.
Before we can complete the "IS Marriage Model", we need to get background on paradise in the next post.