Bought at a Price

[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]L[/mk_dropcaps]et us pretend it is your birthday. You are going to open a rather large gift given to you by your father. Wrapped beautifully, it seems like a lot of care went into putting this gift together for you. Under the wrapping is a standard cardboard box, unmarked. You open the lid to this rather large, heavy box to find a set of dishes. It is a clean design but does not look to be anything special. To be grateful and honor your dad for the gift you begin to use the plates. It starts just with regular daily use. Your friends come over with their kids, you let them use the plates with their toddler, 5 and 7 year old. They misuse the plates and drop one, shattering it. Your friends come over and because they were just watching a Greek movie that had people throwing plates, they convince you to use a few and do some plate smashing. After all it is quite fun! Plus, your father gave you more than you usually need.

Then your father comes over, sees a few missing and asks you about it. He then proceeds to explain where those dishes came from. How much he spent on them. He takes you back to the manufacturer to see just how they are made, and that this wasn’t just any set but a one of a kind set. As you see the process of how they were made you finally understand their true value and worth. You are overwhelmed with the love your father has shown you. Your behavior changes. Others no longer get to misuse this valuable gift now!

[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]END SCENE[/mk_blockquote]

You may be wondering why all this random talk of plates? Hang with me for a bit here as I wanted to use this as an illustration. This is not about interior decorating, proper use of fine china or gift giving etiquette. Building on my thoughts from Divine Value, I wanted to address the issue of our value and worth in dating.

As a single Christian woman, I have had to learn how to go from the cultural norm of dating to discover what it is to be walking in God’s design in a relationship. Just as the person who received the dishes in the story, I had no idea what the true worth of my body was. I knew basic care for the health of my body, which seems obvious, especially when I grew up as an athlete and my vocation is in health and fitness. However, the teaching and model of "true purity" and "handling our sexuality" were just topics addressed in Health class along with a few awkward conversations with my parents growing up. I had to piece the information together for myself to understand the value of my body and purity.

Once I rededicated my life to Jesus, and bringing with it true, genuine and godly community, the truth came to the surface. I saw the process not just in His word but modeled by others.  Our heavenly father has put in place a way to protect and care for our whole being, spirit-soul-body. For me it was first acknowledging that my sexuality wasn’t something to be ashamed of. It is a facet of my whole being.  Once I accepted this then I could begin truly learning what proper use of this rare, expensive, and beautiful gift looked like; it impacts ALL areas of life.

This made answering the question “How do I change how I date to be in alignment with God?” all the more clear.  With that revelation of integration of my body as both a vessel of the very spirit of God and at the same time one that had sexual desires I saw a gap only God can fill. He was walking me through addressing not only habits, mindsets, but ultimately my heart condition.

It is here that the Lord wants us to operate when we date.  So if you’re like me and have shoved the part of your heart that desires a partner and help mate for this life into a dark room.  I want to encourage you to open the door.  Bring the light of God into that arena.  No matter how dark it has seemed, darkness has no power over the light.  When light is brought in no matter how dark it was before it will become light.  In fact, the light shines brighter than it ever did before.

So, instead of living in fear of your past, join me in seeing your sexuality in its true form, a drive to bringing you into that relationship with your future spouse.  Our drive must have healthy boundaries, but is also one that will spur you toward learning how to be the best wife or husband.  God at the center of that drive will merely be a bonus that enhances and strengthens your healthy marriage; for now, don’t avoid it.  Put training wheels on it to honor your future spouse; even now before you begin in that journey.  It is a habit and mindset you must have in the future anyway.  Plus in doing so you are honoring the Gift your father in heaven has given you. Remember,

[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.- 1 Corinthians 6:20[/mk_blockquote]

That precious, expensive and one of a kind gift is built to honor your father in heaven.

You are meant to live a life that is fully integrated and unified as God designed you.  No part of you or your past is too much for our infinite God and creator of the universe to embrace, love, and extend His amazing grace toward.  He knew it all, even before he created you.  Embrace His amazing grace.  Live unashamed. He paid it all for you to be free.  Live unashamed and free!