The Dream

Then a stirring came upon my heart. I need to protect the lady.

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It was bit amusing yet chivalrous, bizarre yet encouraging, finding myself in a dream fighting to win someone’s heart. I know, it is imperative not to over-spiritualize things, especially dreams which are most of the time product of our ‘subconscious’ personality, but I believe my dream speaks of every man’s journey to search for his ‘better half’ and upon finding her, to serve and protect her with all his might. After all, God sometimes speaks through dreams. And while I do not claim any direct, divine explanation for my story, allow me to just sprinkle some thoughts I pondered as soon as consciousness hit me on my bed that day.

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The story unfolds inside a mansion with many rooms; contemporary in design yet the expanse so big it is comparable to an ancient castle. Some of the rooms are breathtaking in design and intricacies; some are so plain and dull. A fine, attractive lady is escorting me in my trip inside the mansion, bringing me from room to room boasting of its beauty. Her facial expression goes along with the design of the room – plain and mediocre when inside the plain rooms, radiant and spirited when inside the beautiful rooms.

As we progress in our journey that day, I noticed that the rooms are depreciating in splendor. The surrounding becomes damp and crowded; cobwebs begin to be visible and there emanates a stinking smell. Then I also noticed the embarrassment in her face. Our pace reduced and I can see the hesitancy in her eyes. It’s as if all the pain and doubts and worries and fears in life came upon her that moment. But I admired her for being strong. We moved slowly and she led me to the rooms with the worst condition compared to the first ones. She cries as she was telling me the stories behind the rooms. For some rooms, she can cite reasons, for others, she just returned blank stares, suggesting her lack of idea. I joined her in tears until we reached the terrace, which is also the end of my journey with her inside the mansion.

[I joined my friends outside the mansion. There we talked about our respective journeys in life. We poured out ourselves to each other as a band of brothers, ready to protect one another.] But when I gazed at the terrace, there I find visions of men and women contributing to the ugliness of the rooms I have witnessed inside the mansion. Some are even attempting to create new ugly rooms. Then a stirring came upon my heart. I need to protect the lady. I need to rescue her from people who try to add tears from her eyes by building ugly rooms in her mansion.

But we fought on the same battlefield. Our weapons seemed to be small and weak compared to our antagonists’, but we can retaliate. It is as if Someone stronger than anyone else in the field is backing us up.

With friends alongside, we fought the forces. We fought our different battles. They had their own motivations. Mine is to rescue the lady. But we fought on the same battlefield. Our weapons seemed to be small and weak compared to our antagonists’, but we can retaliate. It is as if Someone stronger than anyone else in the field is backing us up. Ultimately, we won. We ended up victorious. And a celebration awaits us.

I gazed again at the terrace. There she is, surrounded still by the horrors of the ugly rooms behind her. With her as well are the people who love her and care for her welfare. But now I can see her welcoming countenance. Without hesitation, I asked her to come down from the terrace. She turned around and bade farewell to the people behind her, as if asking for their approval, which they gave. And with just a glimpse, she joined me at the celebration below; with the happiest face I can ever imagine, ready to build beautiful rooms in our own mansion.

#PPAP

Pag-Ibig, Pananampalataya at Pag-asa

Napadaan ako sa paborito kong bookstore one time and I was drawn sa isang book with title “Love and Respect”. Drawn ako sa book unang-una dahil sa naka-sale siya, pangalawa dahil isa siya sa pinakamakapal. Ok, I judged the other books dahil sa cover nila – mas makulay kasi yung cover nung kinuha ko; mas makapal so inisip ko na mas maraming tinta akong binayaran. Ewan ko ba kung bakit yun ang naging pamantayan ko that time.

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The book is about marriage. Wow. After reading a few chapters, sobrang nag-enjoy ako sa content. Na-confirm ko na normal nga lang pala talaga sa mga mag-asawa na pag-awayan kahit na pinaka-simpleng bagay sa mundo na kung tutuusin wala namang dahilan para pag-awayan: tuwalyang naiwan sa sahig, hindi ibinabang toilet bowl cover, at kahit na kung saan banda pinipisil ang toothpaste tube. Ang saya pala ng marriage life, sa isip-isip ko. Haha.

During the course of my existence, I’ve met and personally known wonderful couples whom I’m hugely indebted sa mga examples na ibinabahagi nila sa akin, both directly or indirectly. More than the examples written in the book, it is more encouraging to see marriage through the lens of reality. Mas makulay, mas madrama, mas kapana-panabik.

We want to set things in order. Kung tayo nga lang ang masusunod sa script ng ating buhay, mas pipiliin natin ang mala-pelikulang eksena kung saan tayo ang “knight in shining armor” ng ating “damsel in distress”, or kung babae ka naman, dudungaw ka na lang sa iyong bintana habang inaawitan ka ng iyong prinsipe. We want, as much as possible, a happy love story, like those in the movies. Pero the reality is, God’s gift comes not in a generic package. Walang mass production si Lord pagdating sa ating mga istorya. Lahat ay customized, tailor-made, suitably fit and handpicked. He knows what’s best for us. And most of the time, hindi iyon ang “order” natin. He knows what we want but He gives us what we need.

So hindi lang basta pareho kayo ng belief ay “equally yoked” na rin kayo. Hindi lang basta pareho kayo ng language ay talo-talo na. It’s not about trusting our own senses and promptings of the heart and emotions – it has to be God’s prerogative. Anything surrendered unto the will of the Lord He will honor and recognize as long as tama ang ating puso. Hindi naman Siya madamot. He just wants to set things in order. Kasi mahal Niya tayo. And that is the heart of the matter. Masu-surprise ka na lang.

The good thing about the book I mentioned, and many other books about marriage na nabasa ko na (apparently beneficial kasi talagang basahin yun kahit ng mga singles), is that it remains to be positive in the institution of marriage itself. There’s blessing and beauty in it na dapat nating kasabikan. Yes, marriage is somehow frightening and countless stories of failed marriages lurk around us. Hindi natin mapapasubalian yun. However, the disappointments of the few does not weigh the same as the joy of those who remains committed to it, no matter how hard they’ve been through. Maniwala pa rin tayo sa poreber.

Ang totoo niyan hindi ko rin alam kung bakit ako nagsusulat tungkol dito. Napaka-random lang talaga. Kasing-random lang ng song na ito: #LSS and stuck.

 

The Power of Rebuke

An open rebuke is better than hidden love.

Ayaw natin, as much as possible, na pinanghihimasukan tayo sa mga bagay-bagay na ginagawa natin. We feel offended when somebody cares enough to point out the wrong in us, aware man tayo o hindi sa mga ito. May pagka-sensitive tayo, ayaw natin na nasasaktan tayo.

On the flip side, hindi rin natin gusto ang makasakit ng damdamin. Marami rin sa atin ang hindi confrontational type. Sa halip na sabihin natin ang mali sa iba, we try to sugar coat our criticisms para hindi masyadong masakit pakinggan. To us, di bale nang masaktan, wag lang ang makasakit ng iba.

ON NOW

There was a time when I made a sensitive joke about a certain Facebook video. For me then, talking about (and laughing about) that joke is no big deal. Until someone who cares enough about me rebuked and reminded me how disappointing it is for a Christian like me to join the world in humiliating the person in that video by watching such over and over again, to my heart’s content. In fairness hindi ko naman ni-like and share, pero just the same, I took time to laugh about the misery of the person. Kitams, nag-justify pa ako. Haha!

An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Marahil sa iba, madaling i-brush off ang mga ganung remarks sa atin. “Ang KJ naman”, “masyadong sensitive”, “parang yun lang” to some even we have this snide remark: “masyado namang pakielamera”. Different responses – ang iba umiilag, ang iba naninisi, ang iba nagju-justify ng sarili, yet the best response I should say, ay ang pagtanggap ng rebuke without holding any grudge.

A rebuke is like a bitter herb given to us by people who cares enough to help us get rid of our “attitude” disease. Parang gamot na kung hindi natin tatanggapin, maaaring hindi tayo maging maayos.

There is power in rebuke. Hanggang ngayon ay naaalala ko pa rin ang lesson na dala ng rebuke na tinanggap ko out of my insensitive patronage sa video na yun. Ngunit marahil kung hindi ako napaalalahanan sa bagay na iyon, I am still living in the futility of my so-called entertainment. A rebuke is like a bitter herb given to us by people who cares enough to help us get rid of our “attitude” disease. Parang gamot na kung hindi natin tatanggapin, maaaring hindi tayo maging maayos.

May mga taong masyadong tolerant sa atin. Sila yung mga taong ayaw tayong nasasaktan. Kahit sobrang evident na ng mga bagay na dapat nating ayusin para sa ating sarili, mas pinipili pa rin nilang manahimik. Nakikita na nila ang dumi sa mukha natin pero wala pa rin silang imik. Hindi sa hindi nila tayo mahal o wala silang pakialam. Their dilemma is that they don’t want us to get offended. Subalit ang ganitong uri ng pagdadamot sa tao ng dapat niyang itama sa kanyang sarili ay hindi pag-ibig kundi pagiging makasarili. It’s the same as saying, “I don’t care if you’re living a lie or being destroyed by your misbehaviour – as long as you feel good about yourself you’ll be fine”. Again, ito’y isang pagdadamot. Kung malaman mo ang mahal mo sa buhay na may sakit at ang gamot ay nasa iyong mga kamay, ibibigay mo ito kahit gaano pa ito kapait. The same goes with our rebuke.

There is power in rebuke – and it is given to encourage, and not to bring a person down. Maybe a rebuke is the most loving thing you can ever give to a struggling person, something that sweet, flattering words can never become. Sabi nga ni King Solomon,

An open rebuke is better than hidden love! – Proverbs 27:5 NLT

Kaya naman thankful ako for people who take courage in rebuking me. Masakit, mahapdi, pero kailangan natin para matuto. In fact, they are the most loving person one can ever have.

Gusto mo bang maging mas loving sa iba? Maximize the power of rebuke. Pero word of caution lang, do this in the spirit of love and not with a motive of bringing someone down.

God’s Kind of Love

Tama si Princess: tuwing ganitong panahon, sagana tayo sa 3K: may Kilig, may Kabog, may Kirot…. It’s love month once again and I am about to share with you something about God’s kind of love.

The world defines love in these three emotions:

KILIG

– the superficial indication of a “desired” love. I say “desired” kasi ang kilig ay something desired, kasi ito ay desirable. Hindi ka kinikilig sa taong ayaw mo, lalo’t hindi sa kaaway mo. Ang kilig ay nararamdaman lang kapag ang taong gustong-gusto mo ay kinakausap ka, tinetext ka o kahit lumapit lang sa iyo. But we all know that love is more than just the kilig factor. Jesus was never kinilig when He was praying in agony in Gethsemane, much more hanging on the cross. But we all can say that that act is the perfect demonstration of love.

Their pick-up line: “Para kang araw, bininigyang liwanag mo ang umaga ko.”

KABOG

– the unexplainable feeling of being tense because of someone’s presence. Kinakabog ka kapag dumadaan ang kinakikiligan mo. Dinadaga ka kapag kinausap ka na ng crush mo. This is the kind of feeling na kapag tinamaan ka, all sanity seems to leave you. Nawawala ka sa sarili mong katinuan. Hindi makapag-isip ng tama. The world thinks it’s cute. But God’s kind of love doesn’t change like shifting shadows. Hindi pabago-bago at hindi dependent sa kapaligiran. Though He’s head-over-heels in love with us, He still knows that we need to be disciplined if we need to. Never Siyang kinabog ipakita ang Kanyang pagmamahal sa atin.

Their pick-up line” Kapag nandyan ka, kinakabahan ako. Para ka kasing araw, kapag lumitaw na, alam kong late na ako”

KIROT

– the sudden gush of emotion that makes you swear you will never fall in love again. Makirot sa pakiramdam kapag iniwan ka ng mahal mo. Ang gusto mo mamanhid ka na at wala ka nang maramdaman. Ayaw mo nang makinig sa payo ng iba. Ni ayaw mo nang kumain. Nagiging bitter in the end. But God’s kind of love, no matter the amount of heartaches and pain He receives from us, still keeps us as if we never offended Him. He never became bitter on us.

Their pick-up line: “Para kang araw, pasikat ka na, masakit ka pa sa mata.”

The world defines love in these three superficial definitions. But God did not just define love. He exemplified love. He demonstrated it. While we were still sinners, He died for us.

Minsan sa mga Bible readings ko, o kaya kapag nagninilay-nilay ako, whenever I encounter verses telling me how God loves me, I am over-awed. Sobrang nakakamangha. Imagine the God of the universe loving me and making me feel loved? Hindi po talaga kayang i-contain ng mga mumunting isipan natin kung gaano kalawak, kalalim, katayog ang pag-ibig ni Hesus. I remember times in my life na papasok ako sa office, tapos bigla na lang akong kikiligin, ngumingiting mag-isa sa jeep o kaya sa bus. Kasi di ko ma-contain yung sarili ko. Kapag nag-uumapaw ang presence ni Lord, nag-uumapaw din ang emotions. What happens inside is revealed on the outside.

Heto ang ilan sa mga love notes Niya na makakapagpakilig sa atin:

  • “I have loved you with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. Jeremiah 31:3
  • “People might let me down from time to time but God will always take me in.” Psalm 27:10
  • “Now I tell you to love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12
  • Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
  • God’s love pardons us for the mistakes that we made, is we are in Christ, we will not be condemned because through Him we are set free from sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2

These verses and many more are enough to convince us na mahal na mahal Niya talaga tayo. Pero bakit kaya minsan, kapag may mga trials na dumadating, I tend to forget His kind of love? Kapag kinulang ako ng budget, nakakalimutan ko yung mga time na dinala Niya ako sa Nueva Vizcaya with only 20 pesos tapos pag-uwi ko 120 pesos na. Kapag di ako mapakali sa dami kong hinahabol na deadlines sa church, sa school, I tend to forget na it was Him who made ways for me to miraculously finish college. Kapag may kinatatakutan akong kausapin na tao kasi baka sigawan ako, mapagalitan, nakakalimutan ko na minsan sa buhay ko, mga abogado at matataas na opisyal ng eskwelahan ang nakaharap ko sa isang dialogue. Mga mumunting bagay pero parang nakakapagpabulag sa akin kung gaano ba naging katapat ang Diyos sa kanyang mga pangako sa akin.

One thing we have to learn: God is faithful.

The Greek word for faithfulness is pistis and it means “firm persuasion, conviction, belief in the truth, veracity, reality or faithfulness.” It carries the idea of giving someone credit. An English synonym is, oddly enough, reality. You focus your faithfulness on someone who seems “real” to you.

This faithfulness that we’re talking about is not the “saving faith” kung kaya’t tayo ay naligtas. This is the seventh quality of the Holy Spirit and it simply means “believing the believability of God”. Oo nga’t nanininiwala tayo sa ginawa ni Hesus sa krus: na namatay Siya, muling nabuhay at muling babalik. Pero sa mga “reyalidad” na nasa harap natin ngayon, do we still “believe” Him? Naniniwala ba tayo na he will provide kung kinukulang na? Naniniwala ba tayo na he will deliver us kung nandyan na yung aso at inaamoy-amoy na tayo? Naniniwala ba tayo na He will sustain us kung nagpa-follow-up na nga yung supplier, yung manager o yung customer?

Maybe the reason why we are sometimes finding it hard to believe His faithfulness is because we are basing our faith on the wrong thing. There are two bases for our faith:

Faith based on what God does.

This kind of faith is dependent on the obvious. To him, “if God is not obvious, then obviously He’s not God.” To him, to see is to believe. This kind of person shows faith kapag may gumagaling na karamdaman o mga panalanging sinasagot. Pero paano kapag parang inactive si Lord? Ayun, nawawala din ang pananampalataya. Sabi sa Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Faith based on who God is.

This kind of faith is dependent on the character of God. He knows that “Jesus is the same yesterday, and today, and forever”. His faith is not greatly moved because he focuses on a God not greatly moved! In the midst of a society where the only thing we can count on is we can’t count onto anything, God is his guarantee. He knows that God answers prayers in different ways: healing for one and not for the other. Victory for one and not for the other. But still, his faith is on God.

One reason we know God is believable is because of his incomparable record of fulfilled prophecy. Out of literally hundreds of prophecies which have arrived at their time, every single one has been fulfilled exactly as God said, down to the minutest detail. In fact the closest length of time between the major prophecies and their fulfillment was 200 years. More glorious still is the fact that at least 61 were foretold and perfectly fulfilled during the earthly life of His Son Jesus!

Now consider this. From the journal Science Speaks, Peter Stoner offered the following calculated figures: if you take 8 prophecies out the 61, the probability of all 8 being fulfilled is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. He illustrates it this way: take 100,000,000,000,000,000 silver dollars and lay them in face of Texas.  They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir up the coins. Blindfold a man and send him out to pick up the marked silver dollar. The chance he will pick u the right one is 1 in 10 to the 17th power.

If we add 40 more fulfilled prophecies to the 8, the chance would be 1 in 10 to the 157th power. Just imagine 157 zeroes! Yet all 61 were fulfilled just as God said it would be! Indeed God is believable! And He is coming back for us!

When He said I will provide, will you still doubt Him?

When God said He longs for you, do you still resist Him?

Now when God said He loves you, do you ignore Him?

And when He said I will come back for you, will you wait for Him?

This is God’s kind of love, a believable kind of love. Not the kind of love centered on superficial kilig, unexplainable kabog, and sudden kirot.

***

Note: Some points written here were taken from the book Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Holy Spirit by Beth Moore.

 

Dumating na ang Tamang Panahon nila. Yung atin kaya?

Dumating na pala ang tamang panahon para sa kanila. Yung atin kaya?

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(c) screen grab from Eat Bulaga FB Page

Ilang makabuluhang buwan na rin pala ang lumipas sa tambalang hindi natin inakala. Ilang makabuluhang buwan na sinubaybayan natin ang istoryang inaasahan natin na magkakatotoo sa darating na panahon. Makabuluhan, kasi marami-rami naman talaga silang naibahaging aral at katotohanan pagdating sa pamilya, pag-ibig, at sa paghihintay ng tamang panahon.

At ngayong dumating na nga ang tamang panahon para sa kanila, masaya pa rin tayong nakasubaybay sa anumang kaganapan sa kinahumalingan nating tambalan. Ngunit ang tamang panahon kaya para sa atin, kailan kaya darating?

Kung isa ka sa mga taong matagal nang naghihintay sa iyong version ng “Tamang Panahon”, marahil nakaramdam ka na rin ng pagkainip, pagdududa at kawalan ng pag-asa kung ito’y darating pa nga ba.

Sabi ni kuya Joshua Harris, “the right love at the wrong time is a wrong thing”. Bukod sa paghihintay sa tamang panahon, may ilang mga bagay pa rin tayong kailangang hintayin at matutunan.

Tamang Emosyon

Kilig. Ito ang pakiramdam na parang lahat ng mga cells sa katawan mo ay nagpa-party kapag nakikita mo ang crush mo sa hallway ng school o sa pantry sa office. Higit pa ito sa excitement. Sa tuwing kinikilig ka, nakakalimutan mo na tao rin pala yung hinahampas mo at hindi sila manhid. Pero tinitiis nila ang mga hampas mo dahil alam din nila ang hindi maipaliwanag na pakiramdam na nararamdaman mo.

Pero hindi lang kilig ang main ingredient ng tunay na pag-ibig. Dahil ang kilig ay depende lang sa superficial, hindi continuous at hindi consistent. Kinikilig ka kasi maganda, gwapo o athletic, pero kung mukha na siyang tinapay o nag-amoy nang moth balls, ang kilig ay mapapalitan na ba ng disappointment? True love goes beyond superficial features of the opposite sex. It includes commitment to love and to hold no matter what happens, lalo na physically. Ang tamang emosyon ay hindi lang dapat kilig, though significant part din naman talaga ito. Ang tamang emosyon ay pag-ibig na kahit walang kilig, nangangakong hindi magbabago dahil ang pag-ibig ay isang commitment.

Tamang Inspirasyon

Bakit ka nga ba papasok sa isang relasyon? Para isang libangan? Dahil sa pressure ng mga kaibigan? O naiiisip mo na napag-iiwanan ka na ng lahat ng mga ka-batch mo ng highschool? Ang isang relationship na may selfish motives ay siguradong hindi magpo-prosper, dahil in the first place, ang isang relationship ay nangangailangan ng mutual dependence at vulnerability. Ibig sabihin, handa kang magbigay ng tulong at alalay sa panahong nanghihina ang isa, at handa ka ring tumanggap ng tulong kung nanghihina ka. Maraming maaaring maging dahilan sa pagpasok mo sa isang relasyon, pero wala pa ring tatalo kung ito ay tama at di nakakasira, prompted by genuine, sincere, unconditional love.

Papasok ka sa relationship hindi dahil pakiramdam mo ay gusto mong may pumuno sa pagkatao mo. You are already complete as you are. Kung sa tingin mo ay kulang ka without someone, isipin mo na lang na ang pagkakaroon ng relationship ay pagkakaroon ng partner – you help each other, you complement one another. Take away your partner, you are still the same, and your whole system still functions the same.

Tamang Preparasyon

Hindi ka papasok sa isang relasyon nang hindi ka handa, gaya ng pagsabak sa isang laban na wala kang armas. At sa pag-ibig, ang dapat na hinahanda ay ang sarili. Handa ka na bang magsakripisyo ng oras, ng resources, handa ka na ba sa mga “healthy” compromises (dahil may mga unhealthy compromises na hindi dapat ine-entertain sa relationship), at higit sa lahat sa pagiging selfless? Mahalagang maging handa sa maaaring dumating na mga pagsubok na siyang susukat sa depths at sincerity ng iyong mga pangako. Words of affection are good, however unless it is backed-up with actions that prove its sincerity, it remains empty promises.

Maging handa personally – emotionally, socially, spiritually at wag laging hindi mapakali. Entering into a relationship is the same as sharing your life to your chosen partner, so better be ready. Otherwise, chose not to enter a relationship.

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(c) screen grab from Eat Bulaga FB Page

Maghihintay tayo ng tamang panahon, pero sa ating paghihintay, dapat ang oras ay nananatiling makabuluhan. Occupy til’ I come (Luke 19:13), ika nga sa Biblia. Pero maaari rin nating gamitin ito sa larangan ng pag-ibig: occupy ‘til I come. At sa pagdating ng tamang panahon para sa atin, hindi lang tama ang ating emosyon, tayo ay may tamang inspirasyon din at dumaan sa tamang preparasyon.

Why should I not yoke with unbelievers?

I was bothered. I really don’t know what to do. I felt the urge to decide. I know that the Holy Spirit is telling me something, and my response should be done urgently. I was puzzled, and apprehensive. I want to reason out, but I know I won’t wind, (never will I win, rather). So I prayed…

And His response was:

“Do not be yoked with unbelievers” 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1

It is a well-known principle among Christian teens, and is common to all believers. But I have almost forgotten about it. I pretended to be innocent about the truth it says and God revealed three reasons why should I put to an end a relationship that I keep on insisting.

I. We do not have something in common (vs.14-16)
I am a temple of the living God and He lives in me. If I keep on associating with someone who is walking in darkness, nothing good will happen. Just like a clear water mixed with water full of dirt, so as with a believer and an unbeliever having mutual relationship. It is obvious: Bad company corrupts good character. (Jesus took away our sins and made us new creations, made alike in His glory. So it is just proper to keep ourselves from the world’s wickedness). Not having mutual association with an unbeliever is not an act of arrogance; it is an act of obedience to the One who took away our sins and Who gave us a promise of eternal life.

II. God has something in store for me (vs.17-18)
God says, “touch no unclean thing and I will receive you”. God does not delight in the wickedness of men, so it’s detestable to Him if I come into His presence with unclean hands and hearts. Also, He gave me a promise, “that He will be my Father, and I will be His son”. If our biological father delights in giving us our needs and wants, how much more our Heavenly daddy, who owns everything? (In fact He even gave His precious Son to show his undying love for us). So, He assured me that I should only ask for “His will” and wait for her. And when the day comes when “His will” and I meet, my JOY would be complete.

III. As an act of reverence for God (vs.7:1)
When we associate with unbelievers, we often forget that we are Christians, and eventually we sin. How much more if the relationship with an unbeliever is mutual? God commands that we should purify ourselves from anything that contaminates body and spirit. Indulging yourself in ungodly acts with an unbelieving partner brings contamination in the body (in form of sickness such as STDs) and in the spirit (in the form of sin). God just wants to spare me from these things so He wants me to stop arguing with Him and start obeying Him.

I had already made a decision; to act for my decision should follow. If making a decision is too hard, acting in accordance with such decision would be doubly hard. But I know God, who helps me ever since — will give me the courage to do what He wants.