It’s been a series that has changed my perspective on singleness for the better. God has spoke to me, as well many others who have heard this series in the past few weeks. Pastor spoke today on the “90 day rule” taken from the popular book ‘Think Like A Man’ written by famous author, and comedian and personality Steve Harvey. The book was a #1 seller and was eventually turned into a movie that sold over $100 million. (I still haven’t seen it)
In Harvey’s book, He brings up an experience he had with his very first job at an automotive factory. There he realized that his employer would not give him any benefits until he had worked there for 90 days. No health, life insurance, dental, or vision, none of those benefits for the first 90 days. Steve then relates that experience to relationships saying women should go 90 days before giving their man “the benefits”.
Pastor Carter tried his best trying to line this “90 day rule” up with scripture… but there was no correlation. Because God’s rule is better!
If you want a successful and healthy relationship, you’re going to need more than Steve Harvey’s book! You’re going to need the Word of God. – Pastor Carter
Matthew 5:27-30 is Jesus’ standard on the 90 day rule. We often believe that if we are “in the act” of adultery and premarital sex and sexual immorality then that’s where we fall into sin. But to the contrary, we fall into sin way before the act. We fall into sin with our mind and heart. v. 27
1. I need to lean away from lustful looks.
Jesus says that if even look lustfully at someone, then you have already committed adultery. Lust comes from a Greek word that means heat upon heat. Basically that means when you look at someone and you start to get warm, and ‘hot and bothered’ then my friend, that’s lust. Lust is when you desire sexually what God says is OFF LIMITS. What does it mean to ‘look’ lustfully? Look comes from another Greek word that basically means to glare or to look again. The first look isn’t the one that gets you, its the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so on look that kills you. It’s the look where you turn your head to the side for a better angle, the look where u tell your girlfriend/homegirl ” Girl , look at him! Mmph girl, he’s fine” That look when you tell your boys, “Dawg, look at her…man! she’s fine! Mmph, mmph, mmph.!” That’s LUST.!
Many people and myself included look at this particular passage and say to Jesus, really?!! You want us to cut off our hand? or gouge our eye out just for looking? Is it that serious??! Jesus simply says, Yes, it’s that serious. No glance at her booty or a 2nd look at his muscles is worth your whole entire body burning in hell!!!
Pastor said it like this:
Before your hand goes in the wrong place, your eyes and thoughts go in the wrong place!
It’s not worth it!! God created intimacy, NOT lust! When we take what God so clearly commanded only for married people out of His context, we become corrupted with lust, adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality.
Pastor even went so far to speak on the problem of men looking vs. women dressing to attract “the looks” from men. A man will tell you it’s just what they (we) do. I’ve done it. But even now in this day, women are being bold to the point where they will leave their house half naked, but not be on their way to the swimming pools, but to Church!! Short dresses, tight blouses, low cut shirts, etc.!!
It’s getting that crucial! Men (myself included) we have to take full responsibility at what we look at, and how we perceive it in our minds! Women, y’all must have more respect for yourselves and learn to dress and carry yourselves more appropriately and with more modesty.
2. Lean toward a plan for purity.
You have to have a plan in place when striving towards purity! It just won’t come to you. Especially when you have struggled with lust and sexual immorality. I have struggled with lust and sexual impurity for almost 10 years. I’m not even 25 yet. Jesus tells us in this passage that it truly is this serious! All through out the bible there are passages that help fight the battle against impurity. From having Faith to overcome, to knowing that there is an escape, to resisting temptations and the devil himself, to perseverance (my favorite biblical term)
To have a plan set on obtaining purity you have to:
- Reset my affection on Christ. (Colossians 3:1-2; Revelation 2:4) We have to ‘reset’ our affection on Christ. Just like when you have to reset some sort of device because it’s not acting properly, the same way we have to reset our minds, and hearts on Christ. Because we have forsaken our first true love.
- Remember Who we are. (1 Peter 2:9) God tells us who we are. He gives us our true identity by saying we are a royal priesthood, a chosen people, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, so that we can declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into His wonderful light.
- Remember everyone is vulnerable. (1 Corinthians 10:12) If you think you resist, and stand on your own, and not give in to sexual temptation, I got 5 words for you: Take heed, lest you fall.
- Restrict!! This one stood out to me the most. We have to restrict our relationships, as well as the friendships we have outside of our relationship. Pastor hit on this one because this one affects the seriously dating couples (what I’m currently in). We have to restrict the relationship we are in by setting parameters on it. No hanging out late, overnight stays, etc. But also we have to restrict the external friendships. Stop going to the home girl to talk about your girlfriend, or stop going to home boy to vent about your boyfriend. This is a rising epidemic called emotional adultery, where you’re not necessarily committing physical adultery, but you’re giving other people access to your deepest emotions when they should be reserved for your significant other and God. This is something that I’ve struggled with in my past relationships and current one. But by the grace of God I am learning to fix it and improve on that.
- Retreat!! (2 Timothy 2:22) Sometimes it’s good to just get away from it all! All the distractions that cause us to be tempted. It’s good to have that accountability partner [of the same sex] to retreat with you into prayer, and to retreat into scripture. Whatever it takes to flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
- Resist!! (James 4:7) What’s keeping me from resisting? What’s keeping me from submitting myself to God, and resisting the devil. Who am I really fleeing from?
- Take Refuge!! (Romans 7) This is exactly why I asked those self reflection questions in the last point. Paul said it best! “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do….. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out… If i do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it… what a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to do God- through Jesus Christ our Lord!” v. 15, 18b, 24-25
- RUN!! (Genesis 39) If you haven’t already, read the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. Joseph ran when tempted by the wife of Potiphar. He didn’t delay or said no and stayed, he ran!! When all else fails, RUN!!!
so much for the “90 day rule”