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Living the Lord's Law of Love!--Part 8 Maria #454 CM 3208 3/98
Counsel for married couples on commitment and how to strengthen your relationship
Required reading. For Charter Members 16 and over
Table of Contents
Young married couples living the Law of Love 1
When should young married couples begin sharing sexually with others? 3
Start out slowly, if you wish 5
Even the tests will strengthen your marriage 6
Be forewarned: The Enemy will fight you! 7
If you don't have the faith, the Lord can give it to you! 8
Time is short!--Will you grow stronger or weaker? 9
Counsel regarding "nonsacrificial" sharing for young married couples 9
What to do if your marriage is on the rocks 11
Practical steps to strengthen your marriage 11
Rebuild your marriage in the Spirit 11
Schedule time for the important things 12
Be honest 13
Make a list 13
A new beginning13
Pledge of commitment 13
Have united prayer 13
Glorify the Lord 14
Prayer of commitment for married couples 15
Keep your eyes on His promises!--You never lose by giving!16
1. God bless you! This GN is directed mainly to married couples, but I think all of you will find it very interesting. It will give you further insight into the special challenges that couples face when living the Law of Love fully. For those of you who are now single, not only will this GN help all of you to have a greater awareness and understanding of the couples, but for those of you who will eventually marry, it is good to familiarize yourselves with these lessons now. There is much in this Letter that you singles will benefit from. Thanks, everyone, for tuning in and giving this counsel your full attention.
2.In this GN I'll cover the following points:
--When is it recommended for young married couples to begin sharing sexually with others?
--What do you do if your marriage is on the rocks?
--Practical steps to strengthen your marriage.
--Prayer of commitment for married couples.
Young Married Couples Living the Law of Love
(Note: This counsel was given specifically for young married couples, but it pertains to older adults as well, and there is much for you singles, too!)
3.The question has come up about whether you young married couples should wait to get your marriages established and give yourselves a chance to strengthen your bonds together before you share sexually with others. This is something a married SGA wrote me about fairly recently. She poured out her heart, as follows:
4. I've always believed and practiced the Law of Love, although I'm not sure I grasp it entirely. I thought it was good to share with needy brethren, which I did more before my marriage, but also some after I was married. (My husband and I have been mated almost three years. We have a precious little girl and another on the way!) I've gotten many comments from friends, because my sharing was usually with the brethren who weren't so nice-looking or desirable physically.
5. I didn't have a problem with my husband sharing with a single woman that I knew he was not really attracted to--but there's a catch! The thing that knocked me for a loop was when he shared with and eventually fell in love with a beautiful woman. When this happened, I lost it! I became so out of it and childish in my jealousy that it drove him further away.
6. I thought I was dedicated and had a high spiritual standard, was responsible, etc., but boy, on these matters I was a total baby! This happened when I had recently had a baby, so I felt quite undesirable at that time.
7. There were many lessons to be learned on all sides. (I made many mistakes because I was so jealous--it was terrible!) But unfortunately, this is the one instance that I think back on now when I think of the Law of Love. I feel it's clouding my vision of the true beauties of the Law of Love.
8. My husband and I want to practice the Law of Love to the full and really be in the highest will of the Lord. I just want to be able to go into it with full assurance that it can be done, and full of faith that we won't have such an ugly situation occur again. I don't think we will. I have asked for prayer, and my sweet mate doesn't want me to go through something like that again. The Lord knows my heart, that I want the victory and I am determined to obey. We want to try again. Maybe some practical tips would be helpful for "beginners"!
9. The main question I have is this: If in your marriage your communication is just beginning and you are still establishing a foundation, if there is a new baby involved and you're still learning how to work together, is it the wisest time to begin sharing and rock the boat? Wouldn't it be better to wait until your own marriage is a little more stable? I'm not saying that new marriages shouldn't share and should just be selfish, but marriage is also something precious to invest in, in order to establish a strong foundation for your children, and then to eventually share with others. (End of comments from SGA woman.)
10.(Mama:) These are good questions, and I don't blame you at all for wondering. You young married couples don't have much time to spend together in private Word and prayer time, personal fellowship, intimate heart-sharing, lovemaking, etc., as you're busy serving the Lord. This is especially true if you have children. So if your sharing with others takes away even the little time you do have, or at least takes away a portion of it, and if you haven't had a chance to strengthen your marriage or to get to know each other well and to be secure in each other's love, then questions come up: Will your sharing with others strengthen or weaken your marriage? There are so many lessons to learn with a new marriage; if you add sharing and all the lessons involved in living the Law of Love fully, will that be too much? If you start sharing sexually when your marriages are young and less established, will your emotions be easily drawn away toward others?
11.If you fall in love with someone else, it's a dilemma, because the tendency is to be pulled toward the other person you're in love with. Then you might even start going to the other person for the kinds of things that you should be going to your mate for--to seek the Lord, to have prayer, to read the Word, to find comfort and encouragement, and all the things that you should be doing with your mate to strengthen your marriage. If you start being pulled away from your mate because you're in love with someone else, then that will take even more time away from your marriage that you would have had, had you not been sharing. Also, if you're in love with someone else, then that usually lessens your incentive or desire to really work on your marriage and to keep your marriage together.
12.But on the other hand, if you wait too long, then you get used to having your mate completely to yourself, in which case it seems it would be more difficult when you finally do start to share. If you don't exercise your giving muscles, they will grow more and more flabby with time, so that when you eventually try to use them, you might suffer from bigger jealousy battles, which can put a pretty big strain on even a strong marriage.
13.There are pros and cons to both waiting before sharing or going ahead right away. It's hard to know what to do. Thank the Lord that we can go to Him when we need direction, especially for such complicated situations that have so many variables. These matters of the heart involving people's lives, marriages, children, and personal happiness are very delicate, and in our own wisdom it's difficult to know what would be the proper balance and the most fruitful way to approach such things.
14.We felt you young married couples would be wondering about these questions too, and that when reading this series you'd wonder exactly how it applies to you. I brought these questions before the Lord and He gave some very helpful answers. Even with this good counsel, you will still need to communicate with your mate, and pray together and hear from the Lord in prophecy regarding the specific circumstances that you find yourselves in, but these general guidelines will help you know what your options are.
When Should Young Married Couples Begin Sharing Sexually With Others?
15.(Jesus speaking:) You cannot lay down rules or requirements or expectations that would apply across the board. Every couple is different. Some couples will be able to begin sharing right away, others may need a few months, others may need more time, and some couples whose marriages are weak will be able to share very little, even after quite a while. So much of it depends on the individual circumstances of the marriage and the people involved.
16.The ideal is that young married couples live the Law of Love fully, but how much time and attention is spent on sharing with others depends on the fruit it bears in their own lives, their marriage, and the lives of those around them. It will also depend on the strength of the foundation they have when they begin living together. Those who have a stronger foundation can begin living the Law of Love fully, sharing with others sexually, much sooner--in fact, even at the onset of their marriage, if it bears good fruit and they see that it doesn't weaken their marriage, but in fact strengthens it.
17.Those who are wise will remember that good fruit is not always judged by whether a matter is easy or difficult. Many times, the greatest victories and best fruit is borne out of what seems difficult at the time. Tests of jealousy, giving, etc., in the end will often bear much good and lasting fruit, because by having passed the tests you become all the stronger in the end.
18.By the time some young couples are married they already have a fairly strong foundation, having lived together for a long time, having been sharing sexually with others before they married, and having had a lot of experiences in the spirit together. Such experiences in the spirit are time spent together in the Word, in prayer, hearing from Me together in prophecy, seeking Me together, communicating honestly, and sharing their hearts with each other. All of these things help to build a foundation for a marriage.
19.A strong marriage is not built just from the day that people "tie the knot" officially, but a strong foundation for marriage is built even in the months preceding their living together--in the months when they're getting to know each other, and in the months when they're praying and seeking Me as to whether it's My will for them to marry.
20.Some of the young couples who marry already have a fairly strong foundation. Those who are strong in the Spirit, who are including Me in their marriage, who are trying to put Me first, not only in their lives but also in their marriage--these will have a fairly strong foundation of truth and building an honest relationship. They will be able to participate in living the Law of Love fully much more quickly than those who have had more of a fleshly relationship, in which during the months prior to their deciding to be married and live together their greatest concentration was on the things of the flesh--having fun together, having sex together, talking with their friends, hanging out, and doing the things that young people like to do--to the neglect of spiritual things.
21.There's nothing wrong with those things, but if that's what the majority of their time has been spent on and that's what most of their focus and concentration has been on, then of course they'll go into their married life with a much weaker foundation. They may have a strong personal love and attraction one for another, but they will have a weak foundation in the most important things, which are depending on Me, leaning on Me, going to My Word, hearing from Me together in prophecy, seeking to do My will first, and communicating honestly about the things of the Spirit, the moves of the Spirit, and the needs of the Family and those around them.
22.My desire is that you young couples live the Law of Love sexually as soon as you are able. But I'm not putting the doorknob too high, and if when you begin living together as a married couple you are still weak in some of the foundation new weapons, such as hearing from Me in prophecy, being praiseful, and loving Me intimately, and if you are weak in the simple things that make a marriage strong, such as communication, understanding, being quick to forgive, and having a deep love that compels you to put the other person's happiness above your own, then you will have to take time to be strengthened in your foundation before you can take on the strong meat of living the Law of Love fully. Therefore this is not only for the sake of sharing, but for your benefit also, that you may be prepared and strengthened, individually and in your marriage as well. (End of message from Jesus.)
23.(Mama:) When you as a young married couple start sharing sexually is up to you. Some of you will be able to start right away or very soon after getting married; others will need to wait for a few months or longer, depending on how your marriage is progressing and how deep in the Spirit your relationship is.
24.Also, it's helpful if you've been sharing sexually with others during the time you were dating and praying about marriage. If you have a giving, sharing relationship right from the start, meaning from the time you start to date, then it will be much easier to keep going even after you've fallen in love and gotten married. Whereas if you have an exclusive relationship all through your time of dating and your engagement period, then to start sharing after you're married will likely be more difficult. If you're serious about having an open, giving marriage and living the Law of Love fully as a married couple, then it would be worthwhile for you to pray about how to begin to cultivate those qualities and strengthen your giving muscles early on in your relationship.
25.You're going to have to prayerfully seek the Lord and counsel with your shepherds and decide what you have the faith for. The Lord clearly puts this decision in your hands. He said:
26.(Jesus speaking:) These young couples must bring their questions to Me and hear from Me in prophecy and have the faith that the answer they get--whether it is to share immediately, to wait a little while, or even to wait quite a while--is from Me. (End of message from Jesus.)
27.(Mama:) You'll notice that the Lord is not saying you should make this decision based on how you feel. Feelings can be so undependable. Although there may be times when your feelings in these matters will be in line with the Lord's will, feelings alone are a very poor basis for making decisions. Sometimes, like in the case of sharing, feelings can be quite misleading. You might feel very jealous or threatened at the thought of sharing, and so your feelings are practically screaming out, "No, it's too soon!" But sharing might be just what the Lord wants you to do. On the other hand, you might be very excited at the thought of sharing with someone, but maybe it's not the Lord's will, and doing so would not bear good fruit.
28.So the only really safe way to handle sharing and to decide when you share and with whom is to pray and hear from the Lord, as well as counsel with your shepherds. Remember, the Lord knows what you're ready for, and what will bear fruit in your life. Even if at first glance you "feel" you might not be able to measure up to what He is asking of you, if you pray and follow what He shows you to do, He will help you and never give you more than you're able to handle.
29.How the Lord will lead you in your sexual sharing will depend largely on how strong the foundation of your marriage is. That is a key factor. The Lord explained clearly what will make your marriage strong, what will help to build a good foundation.
30.Putting forth the effort to build a firm foundation for your marriage is a good investment, not just for sexual sharing, but for the many challenges you will face together--having children, pioneering, shepherding or other new ministries, persecution, illness or other emergencies, etc. When everything is going great and you're like two love birds in the throes of fresh romance, you might feel as though there are no Alps. But when you run into difficulties--which is inevitable, since life is full of unexpected twists and turns and battles of all sorts--that's when you get tested. That's when you'll be thankful you worked on strengthening your marriage in the Spirit! So this is something all you young married couples should take seriously.
31.To do this, the Lord said it's not enough to just have fun in the physical through your fellowship together, having sex, talking or hanging around with your friends, listening to music, watching movies, etc. There's nothing wrong with doing those things in moderation, and I'm sure you all spend some time in those activities, but you also need to build your foundation in the Spirit, and the cement of that foundation is such things as: Reading the Word together, praying together and hearing from the Lord in prophecy together, praising the Lord, loving Jesus intimately as His brides, communicating honestly, sharing your hearts, putting the Lord's will first in your lives, talking about the things of the Spirit, the moves of the Spirit, and the needs of the Family and others. You'll also need to work on cultivating such qualities as being understanding and quick to forgive, and having a deep love that makes you want to put the happiness of someone else above your own.
32.The strength of your marriage is not necessarily a matter of how long you've been married, because some of you began to build that foundation in the months before you started to live together. But even if you've been married for quite a while and you see that you are weak in doing the things that will make you a strong team for the Lord, don't be discouraged or think it's too late. It's never too late to start doing the right thing. Talk about it, decide together how you want to change, how you want to attack, and make some commitments together. You'll see progress and the Lord will bless you!
Start Out Slowly, If You Wish
33.Please keep in mind that you can start out slowly with your sexual sharing. If one or both of you are jealous, you might want to begin your sharing experiences with those people you feel are "no threat"; in other words, people you already feel close to as a couple, have a bond of trust with, and that you will be less likely to feel jealous of or threatened by.
34.Also, having fewer dates outside of your marriage in the beginning will help to curb any strong emotions or romantic feelings for others or outside love affairs, because it does take time for those emotions to develop. Of course, there can be an immediate attraction between two people, what people refer to as "chemistry." There can be situations where people just click right off the bat. But normally it takes some time and fairly frequent contact to develop deeper feelings for each other. So if you married couples don't have dates with the same person that frequently when you're first learning to share with others, then the infrequency in itself will help to tone down or curb outside relationships, and will help to prevent your emotions running wild for others.
35.Here's another point which I hope will take the pressure off: Living the Law of Love fully doesn't mean you have to push yourselves to share often if it's too much of a strain for you. You can go at your own pace, as you feel you can handle it. Some people will share more often than others, but you have to take care not to compare or to think you have to keep up with the Joneses. You have to do what you have the faith for and follow the Lord as He leads you.
36.Of course, it's good to have a challenge and to set some personal goals, because if your determination to begin living the Law of Love fully is too vague, it will easily get forgotten or overlooked. This is especially true of people who are very busy, which includes all of us! It seems to work best in most situations to come to an agreement with your mate as to how you'd like to schedule your sharing--how often, when, with whom, etc. You could decide together that you would try to arrange time to share with someone outside your marriage on a regular basis, like once a month, for example. Then you each know in advance what to expect and you can coordinate your schedules, make sure you have rooms available for your dates, plan for someone to be with your children or baby at that time if possible, etc.
37.For most couples, it makes it easier when there is some kind of plan, some kind of order, and it's not just haphazard, come what may, which can be a little nerve-racking, especially for someone who battles jealousy, as you never know when a trying situation might come up. But if you come to an agreement about your sharing and you have at least a general plan, based on your faith and how much you personally feel you can handle, then you can prepare yourselves spiritually and take care of all the logistical details in an orderly fashion, which will help ensure that it's a pleasant experience and as easy as possible for all involved. Then, with time, you might find that sharing with others isn't as difficult as you thought. As you get used to it and you grow in faith and feel more secure in your relationship, you might feel led to increase your sharing. But that's up to you.
38. If you step out by faith to try to share as much as you are able, I'm quite confident that you'll see good fruit. There are many benefits from sharing, as the Lord reminds us in the following message:
39.(Jesus speaking:) I will lead couples to know when and with whom to share according to My will. When it is My will for couples to reach out to others in this way, this variety in fellowship with others will strengthen the marriage, causing the love and appreciation for each other to flourish and grow. Through this humility, this opening of hearts to each other in love, this humbleness of mind and body, as hearts are knit together in love, great strength of unity is born. Through these times of sharing I am able to help stave off would-be difficulties and struggles in working relationships. I am able to round off rough edges, to keep things flowing smoothly, to keep everyone unified in heart and mind, and united in visions, goals and love.
40.There are many good reasons to share amongst you: to strengthen friendships; to draw close together as a well-oiled team, a close-knit body; for unity's sake, from which My Family will find great, great strength. (End of message from Jesus.)
Even the Tests Will Strengthen Your Marriage
41.(Mama:) When you start sharing, if you have any battles or conflicts or things don't go perfectly smoothly, you might deduce that the problem is that your marriage isn't strong enough. But in actuality, your marriage could be plenty strong and you could have a good foundation in the Word, prayer, hearing from the Lord, and understanding each other and being loving. Yet you could still have problems, because the Enemy is going to fight you!
42.It's not wise to go into sharing expecting it to be problem-free. If you do, you'll undoubtedly be disappointed, because you're bound to have some misunderstandings between you. You're bound to say or do some things that might hurt a little. You're likely to have twinges of jealousy or even some fairly big battles with it at times. There are bound to be battles. That's to be expected. But you can be encouraged by this next message in which the Lord explains that there's a reason for those battles.
43.(Jesus speaking:) Remember, through sexual sharing I will drive you young people to Me. In some cases, even the questions that arise or the seeming problems that arise are part of My plan to force you to communicate with each other, to seek counsel, to come to Me and to hear from Me in prophecy.
44.Sometimes what looks like a problem in a marriage is actually My way of strengthening the marriage by bringing those involved to a crisis. If you handle the crisis right, by praying desperately, counseling, seeking Me, and communicating honestly, then your marriage will be stronger in the end. You will be more mature, deeper spiritually, and you will understand your mate better through the lessons you have learned together and the breakings you have experienced together. (End of message from Jesus.)
Be Forewarned: The Enemy Will Fight You!
45.(Mama:) I wish I could honestly tell you that your sharing with others is going to be a real blast,with nothing but absolutely flawless, beautiful experiences. But you and I both know that's not the case. One of the main reasons is because, like the Lord just said, the Enemy will fight you. I explained in Part 3 of this series that the problems that sometimes come with living the Law of Love fully don't necessarily indicate that somebody blew it. (Please see ML #3203:82-94.) Sometimes everyone involved has done their best to be prayerful, loving and considerate of others, and still it's rough! But that's because the Enemy really doesn't want us to share. I have to warn you young people that the Lord has told us that the Evil One will fight you the most! That's not such good news, I know, but it's better to be forewarned! Check out this next message from the Lord on this:
46.(Jesus speaking:) The Enemy is going to fight you young people harder than anybody, because the older ones have already experienced the Law of Love fully and they have faith. Even though they may not be sharing sexually much now, they do believe in it and they can recall from their past the good fruit of living the Law of Love. Even though they've seen some bad examples and possibly had some bad experiences themselves, they know in their hearts that living the Law of Love fully does bear good fruit overall. While they may have had some bad experiences and been hurt, they've also had some good, beautiful experiences and have been strengthened.
47.The older generation has a strong foundation of faith in the Law of Love. So while the Enemy will fight them, overall his attacks will not be as fervent on the older generation as on you younger ones. He will fight you tooth and nail to try to get you to doubt this new move of the Spirit, to try to convince you that your worst fears have come to pass, that all the negative you heard about the Law of Love is true, that it's more of a problem than it's worth.
48.That's why you young people need to learn to recognize that some of the problems that come into your lives through living the Law of Love fully are not because you are doing anything wrong, or because you're not strong enough spiritually, or because your marriage is too weak, or because you haven't been in the Word or seeking Me, or communicating enough. But it's simply because the Enemy is going to fight you, to try to stop you, discourage you, and make you doubt and give up. (End of message from Jesus.)
49.(Mama:) There's no guarantee that if you wait until you're much older and you're settled down nice and comfy-cozy in your mature marriage, that then when you start sharing sexually it's going to be inspiring and easy and everything will go great. Granted, it will go more smoothly for those who are strong and mature in the Spirit; and it will definitely go better for the couples that have a strong bond in the Spirit and good communication. It will especially go better for those of you who, in addition to those attributes already listed, know how to bring your questions and problems to the Lord and hear from Him in prophecy, because when the Enemy tries to attack you, the Lord will be able to instruct you how to fight back. Therefore, the Devil's attacks on you will not be as effective, as long lasting, or as devastating on your marriage, your personal lives, or your faith in the Word and the Law of Love. But living this strong meat is a fight, a challenge, no matter how you look at it, and you have to really want to follow closely to have the guts and determination to do it!
If You Don't Have the Faith, the Lord Can Give It to You!
50.You young people need to operate according to your own faith. If you don't have much faith right now, you can ask the Lord to build and increase your faith. You can study the Word to get a fuller understanding of it, and then do something about it. One of the surest ways to strengthen your faith in the Word is to put it to the test by putting it into practice. (See John 7:17.) The Lord said:
51.(Jesus speaking:) For if they practice, if they live this doctrine, they will know that it is of Me. (End of message from Jesus.)
52.(Mama:) Operating according to your own faith doesn't mean you should sit back and do nothing. You who are weaker in faith can concentrate for a while on living the other aspects of the Law of Love. You can make a definite decision and effort to live the Law of Love in the other areas of your lives for the Lord and your care for others, as was pointed out already in earlier parts of this series. But remember, sexual sharing is a steppingstone to living the Law of Love fully, as the Lord pointed out when He said:
53.(Jesus speaking:) The goal for all you young couples is to reach the point where you can live the Law of Love fully, where you can reach out and give love to others, care for others sacrificially, and be My love for others. The sooner you can get to this place, the better. (End of message from Jesus.)
54.(Mama:) The Lord is challenging you young people to be strengthened, not only in your marriages, but in your walk with Him--in your convictions, in your faith in the Word and the Law of Love overall, in your putting the Law of Love into practice in all aspects of your life. The Lord is placing you on the road of living the Law of Love fully, and the way to do this is to determine in your heart that you want to make progress traveling down that road. Some of you will be starting at the very beginning, whereas others of you will be starting further down the road because of your faith in the Word, your spiritual maturity, and your strength of spirit.
55.Sexual sharing is a personal decision. That's true! No one in the Family is forced to share with anyone against their will. But if you don't have the faith for it, rather than standing still and not progressing, you can work on getting the faith, because the Lord wants to give you the faith! How quickly you get the faith depends on how open you are to the Word, how much you let the Word answer your questions, and how much you believe the Word over the doubts and negative stories you may have heard in the past.
56.How quickly you get the faith also depends on how much you desire to live the Law of Love fully. If you want to move ahead with all your heart with the New Wine, if you want to be a good example of living the Lord's love, then you'll fight to have the faith. You'll fight to communicate and be honest. You'll fight to keep your marriage strong in the Spirit, the Word, prayer, and hearing from the Lord.
57.Whether you as a young couple are prepared spiritually to share sexually cannot be measured by months, because it's a thing of the spirit and it depends on your desperation and how much you want to make it work. The preparation for living the Law of Love sexually is a preparation of spirit.
58.You who are selfish, jealous, possessive, lazy and doubting, if you hold on to those sins of the spirit, then it will be a very long time before you are ready to successfully and fruitfully live the Law of Love fully, because the Enemy will be able to take advantage of those spiritual weaknesses to cause problems and even to cause you to be a bad testimony. Your own marriage will be weakened as a result, and in the long run, you will lose out.
59.You who have a strong foundation in your marriage, are strong in faith and strong in the Word, will be able to start sharing sexually right from the beginning or shortly thereafter. And even though you may run into problems, you'll go to the Lord, you'll seek the answers in the Word, and you and the Lord will be able to sort out those problems and He'll help you to still be a good example and to be strengthened through it. And, in the long run, your marriage itself will be strengthened, which is one of the wonderful fruits and purposes for sharing in the first place, and you will be more prepared for the days ahead.
Time Is Short!--Will You Grow Stronger or Weaker?
60.These next paragraphs from the Lord summarize His challenge to you young married couples. I hope this message will cause you to stir yourselves up to fight any doubts, resentments or bitterness you have regarding the Law of Love. This doctrine is strong meat, no doubt, but even that should be a catalyst to spur you to action, as you strive to be counted as one of the strong, loyal, determined children of David! (Of course, you older married couples need to take heed to this message as well, because it also applies to you!)
61.(Jesus speaking:) The goal is for all you young couples to live the Law of Love fully, and you can move toward that goal quickly, if you work on it and really yield yourselves and apply yourselves to the Word, prayer and communication. I want My young married couples to share. I want you to be an example. I want you to have the experience of being Me for others, of loving others for Me. I want you to have the unity that comes through living the Law of Love fully, especially through sacrificial sharing.
62.Time is short and you have much to learn,so I wish for you to move forward, definitely, determinedly and quickly--as quickly as your faith will allow you. The Enemy will fight your efforts to live the Law of Love fully, but even his attacks will strengthen those of you who are determined to do it no matter what.
63.There is no standing still. You are either going forward or backwards, and I wish for you to move forward quickly. Even those of you who will not feel led to jump right into sexual sharing, I nevertheless wish for you to determine in your hearts to make some type of progress in living the Law of Love. For those I lead to work on strengthening your marriage first, this too is making some progress on living the Law of Love; for as I have said, a strong foundation in marriage is essential to living My Law of Love. Whether you need to take the time to work on strengthening your marriage, or whether I lead you right into sharing with others, I wish for all to be moving forward. I do not wish for you to drag your feet. For the sands of time are running out; time is short.
64.You married couples who do not allow Me to strengthen you in the Spirit, to prepare you to live the Law of Love fully, you who close yourselves off to sexual sharing, you who seek not to be strengthened in spirit so that you can live the Law of Love fully, will be weakened. For sharing sexually, caring for the needs of your brethren, is not a small thing in My eyes. It is great preparation for the days ahead, and is something that will become more and more important as time goes on--not only because of the unity it will generate, which will bond you together and strengthen and carry you through the dark days to come, but also because of the strength of spirit it will bring to those of you who practice the Law of Love fully. (End of message from Jesus.)
Counsel Regarding "Nonsacrificial" Sharing for Young Married Couples
65.(Mama:) The SGA woman who wrote the letter that I quoted earlier had another good question. She said:
66. It seems that when Dad first proposed the Law of Love, it was mainly for sharing for sacrificial purposes, to be a blessing to those in need. Should we just share with all that are around, or should it still be more along the "sacrificial" sharing lines? I know the original counsel in the Letter "The Law of Love" still holds true, which is so beautiful, but how does this apply to sharing with those outside your marriage where obviously there isn't a great need, but people are just attracted? (End of comments from SGA woman.)
67.(Mama:) I'm sure many of you have wondered about this. Earlier in this series you read counsel about sharing that is not "sacrificial" and sharing when everyone seems to have their needs met. (See ML #3202:154-167,196-208.) But now let's see what the Lord has to say about these subjects in regards to young couples in particular:
68.(Jesus speaking:) This again must be judged on an individual basis, depending on the circumstances, the strength of the marriage, and the needs of all involved. There will be cases where there is an attraction on one or both sides when I will lead to move forward, to have a time of intimate sharing in the bed of love. In such cases I will use the experience to encourage, to strengthen, and to build unity. I will use the time as an example of the freedom of My Spirit. But it's important that in order to bring forth these good fruits, those involved in the sharing make it a spiritual experience, one that is rich in My love, in praise and thanksgiving to Me.
69.Where there is great physical attraction, there is a greater chance of leaving Me out of the picture, of being caught off guard with your emotions, of getting your eyes off Me and on the other person, so you must be prayerful and careful that you keep such experiences within the boundaries that I have laid out.
70.There will also be times when it is not My will to follow through with the attraction, for there are times when it is a case of "all things are lawful, but not all things are expedient." There are times when I know that such sexual relations would be a distraction or would be more than the other married partner is prepared to face.
71.That's why each case, each situation, must be prayed about. You must seek Me and let Me establish My perfect will in your lives, knowing that sometimes My answer will be to go ahead with spending time with that person, and other times My answer will be to refrain from doing so, at least temporarily, if not indefinitely. You must come to Me with no will of your own and simply receive My instructions.
72.I'm not closing the door on sharing when there is physical attraction, sharing for the sake of pleasure and enjoyment when it's not sacrificial and when there is no outstanding need on the parts of those sharing. But I caution you to move prayerfully, and to realize that while I'm not shutting the door on such love, neither am I opening it wide for all circumstances.
73.To have sexual fellowship when there is already an initial attraction takes more prayer, more diligence to keep your emotions stable and steady, controlled. Because as I have said before, when My love is felt and enjoyed through sexual love, it is powerful; in fact, it can be overwhelming. So do not take such encounters lightly. Be especially prayerful, especially careful, especially considerate of your mate, and above all, seek My will in the matter and don't move on your initial attraction unless you know it's My will and your mate is in agreement. (End of message from Jesus.)
74.(Mama:) I must say I wasn't surprised by the Lord's answer on this one. You probably weren't either. The main emphasis is that you have to hear from the Lord. There is some good explanation in this message about the good fruit such encounters can bring forth, as well as the risks. So please, dear ones, seek the Lord, communicate, move slowly, and make sure that what you're doing in such "nonsacrificial" sharing experiences is the Lord's will. If it is, and if you both agree and have the faith for it, then proceed with gladness and enjoy the Lord's blessing.
75.But remember, it's not enough to just seek the Lord one time. If you wish to continue the sexual fellowship or to have further dates and time together with someone you are particularly attracted to, keep checking with the Lord. That's the only sure way to know you're doing what's best for all involved. This is especially important if your mate is jealous or feels threatened by the sharing. Just because the Lord gives you the green light for a date doesn't mean He's giving you the go-ahead to pull out all the stops and get into the relationship full blast. Don't forget the important counsel in Part 3 of this series about keeping your emotions in check. (See ML #3203:95-172.) There will also be further counsel later in this series on the importance of your commitment to your marriage, your primary relationship.
76.An excellent general compass for such extramarital relationships is one of the foundation principles of the Law of Love: "Do unto your mate as you'd want her or him to do unto you!" Putting yourself in your mate's shoes and seeing how you'd be feeling if the tables were turned is a good check and balance to help you see if you're truly acting in love.
What to Do if Your Marriage Is on the Rocks
(Note: This counsel was given specifically for a young married couple, but it pertains to older adults as well!)
77.Some of you married couples might have been affected by negative experiences related to sharing. Possibly your mate hurt you in some way, or maybe there was an out-of-control love relationship that was very difficult for everyone involved. Possibly your mate acted against your wishes or made some mistakes, and now you're bitter and feel you can't forgive. Maybe you were very jealous and your mate was not as understanding or compassionate as you felt he or she should have been. In fact, maybe from your point of view your mate was really mean to you and didn't show much regard at all for your jealousy battles. Maybe your mate got another woman pregnant and you're having a very hard time knowing what to do now, and how to rectify the damage you feel this has caused to your relationship.
78.Hopefully from this point in time forward the Family can avoid some of these problems if everyone follows the guidelines in this series. That will surely help things to go better and help protect marriages from harm. But we do need to do something to repair the damage that was caused in the past.
79.If your marriage is on the rocks, if the trust between you and your mate has seemingly been breached beyond repair, if the happiness that you once knew together now eludes you and you fear it may never return, then this next message from the Lord might be just the thing you need and have been praying for!
80.The following prophecy was given for a couple who had a serious breakdown in their marriage. Even though they had previously been very happy together, had children, and had been a good example of sharing sexually for years, even from the beginning of their marriage, they ran into some very hard times which threatened to destroy their marriage. They probably had other problems at this time with their communication and relationship in the Spirit, but when they both got involved in love relationships outside their marriage, one of which was quite "hot," then their problems escalated to an almost irreparable level.
81.But, thank the Lord, before separating they sought the Lord desperately, bringing their many questions to Him. They were broken and discouraged, they both felt misunderstood and had some deep hurts, but they were desperate to know the Lord's will and didn't want to miss it. One of the questions they asked the Lord was what practical steps they could take to help mend their shattered relationship. Here is that message the Lord gave, which has many helpful tips for any marriage that has fallen on hard times.
Practical Steps to Strengthen Your Marriage
82.(Jesus speaking:) Protecting and nurturing a marriage is like having a garden. In the beginning you're very enthusiastic about your garden. You plant your seeds and see your little shoots coming up; you carefully, prayerfully and diligently tend to the garden and pull out all the weeds that would threaten the little shoots. You water it faithfully and always admire it. You often talk about your garden. You work together on the garden, and it's so much fun, a real source of enjoyment and relaxation. It's even a source of nutrition and strength. It's a source of beauty, and others stop by to admire it. You talk about your garden, as it's not only a fun vocation, but even recreation.
83.But in the case of your garden, you've let it go to weeds because you've been off tending to other people's gardens, or tending to other work on the farm. You've often come back and tried to do a few little things here and there, pulling out a few weeds that are really obvious and really ugly, or doing a little watering and picking some of the ripe fruit and trying to take care of it. But if you hope to restore your garden to a place of beauty, then you need to invest in it and spend the time.
Rebuild your marriage in the Spirit
84.To build a marriage you have to build it in the Spirit. It's the dynamics of the spirit world that I must be the center of your marriage, and spending time with Me together is how you strengthen your marriage in the Spirit. A marriage that is only built around caring for the children, or recreation and sex, is not going to be a strong marriage. Because what gives you the true strength to make it through the battles and the really big waves is the strength that you have in the Spirit together.
85.So if you want to restore your marriage, to strengthen it in spirit, then you must invest in the things of the Spirit--spending time together in the Word, praying together for your personal situations, for the children, and for the needs of others. You must spend time in heart sharing, time when the children are asleep, or time when you have the opportunity to go away for a few hours or for a night to escape the madding* crowd. *(madding: mad [crazy]; acting as if mad. For example: "Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife."--Thomas Gray.) You must have time to just be together, to talk, to pour out your hearts, to talk about the things that are bothering you or weighing heavily on your hearts--your burdens, your discouragement, your frustrations. You must have a chance to pour it out and to show understanding and compassion, to work it out and to bring these things to Me in prayer.
86.You must spend time with Me in the bed of love, loving Me intimately, because I've promised that those who come to Me and love Me in this way would be strengthened, the love in their marriage would be rekindled, and they would be more in love than ever. This might look to you like one of those "pretty promises on the page" that don't really work but are just beautiful and poetic and sound very mysterious and very spiritual; but these are true words, and the time invested in loving Me intimately together brings strength and spirit and love into your relationship. Even though you don't understand it, it's real and it happens. When you love Me together, when you fuck Me together, when you receive My seeds, it naturally causes you to humble yourselves together, and it brings unity, love, understanding and compassion.
87.You can't expect to have a strong, united, happy marriage if you never spend any time together doing the things of the Spirit in the Word and prayer, loving Me, singing to Me, and praising Me. Your lives together have gotten dry in the Spirit, and you have resigned yourselves to taking care of the things of the flesh, the children, the affairs of the Home, raising finances, and taking care of the many superficial decisions. Those things are important and necessary, but doing those things is just part of your responsibility as a marriage.
88.Those who choose the better thing, the Spirit, it will never be taken away. But you have to fight to have the time. You have to fight to have the desire, because you're out of the habit.
Schedule time for the important things
89.Just schedule it. Talk about it, decide together how you can have more time together in the spirit. Make certain nights when you're going to read together. Decide you'll have a personal time of prayer or hearing from Me once a week. Decide on nights when you're going to have lovemaking together--a special time to make love, to love each other and Me. Spend time together sharing your hearts and talking, and determine ahead of time you're not going to get frustrated, you're not going to argue, but you're going to make the effort to listen and understand. And if you do get frustrated, stop and pray and realize that it's the Enemy that tries to bring about the division, contention and arguments.
90.(Mama:) When the Lord is suggesting you set aside a personal time for prayer and hearing from Him here, He is referring to hearing from Him together regarding your marriage situation. If your union is rocky and is in need of strengthening, you'll want to make a point to set aside a definite time to hear from Him specifically about your marriage situation. Naturally, you should be having prayer time and hearing from the Lord more often, as the need arises, regarding all aspects of your lives.
91.(Jesus continues:)You'll just have to set aside the time. You'll have to make the time. You'll even have to let those that you live with know that you're making a concerted effort to strengthen your marriage in the Spirit. So if you're not as available or you're not around as much, they'll know it's not that you're trying to be exclusive, you're not trying to be stuck up, you're not mad at anybody, but you have to invest the time, strength and energy to be strengthened in the Spirit.
92.If your marriage is going to be strong, it must be strong in the Spirit. And if it's going to be strong in the Spirit, then I must be the Center. Your focus, your unity, your love--all must be centered around Me. Then you'll have what you'll need to make it over the human weaknesses, mistakes and misunderstandings. But when you go for a long period of time without having good prayer and communication, without humbling yourselves and uniting around My Word, it's very easy to become set in your ways, proud, unyielded, and not understanding. You lose the compassion, the tenderness, the sweetness.
93.Another thing you'll need to do to strengthen your marriage is to be honest. In honesty there is freedom, and being honest will bring depth, security and trust back to your relationship. When there's a lack of honesty, when there's deceitfulness and the resultant hurt feelings, then you lose the security and you lose the testimony [as a young couple giving and living the Law of Love].
Make a list
94.I suggest you both remind yourselves, even make a list and write down the things that you love about your mate and the reasons why you married him or her in the first place. Then concentrate on those good qualities and remind yourself of them. Sometimes it's the smallest, most insignificant weaknesses in the other person that can destroy a marriage, because you get your eyes off the true strengths and wonderful qualities that the other person has as a mate.
A new beginning
95.So many of the arguments and misunderstandings come through hurt feelings, feelings of betrayal, and feelings of misunderstanding on both sides. What you need is a new beginning. You're going to have to set a definite point in time where you leave the past behind. You leave behind the labels, the misunderstandings, the lack of trust. You leave behind the resentment and bitterness and blaming the other person and feeling that the other person is wrong and you are right, that you're justified in feeling the way you feel for whatever reason. You have to make an effort to leave it behind and start afresh.
96.If you start afresh, you have to determine that you're not going to keep throwing past mistakes in the face of your mate. You have to look at him or her with new eyes, and put into words the praise and encouragement and love that you want to feel. Even if you don't feel it, say it by faith. Give affection and support and understanding by faith.
97.Make the time to be together, and show interest and enthusiasm, even if you don't feel it. That's not hypocritical. That's not being false. It's doing what I want you to do, and it's doing what I promise will bring about those very feelings and emotions. It will make them a reality. By saying and doing and reacting by faith, it will become a reality in your life.
98.You know how they say that if you smile even when you don't feel like smiling, it somehow affects your spirit and you become happy? Well, it's the same thing in a marriage relationship. When you say loving or encouraging things, even if you don't really feel that way in your emotions, but you say it anyway because that's how you want to feel, then I can make it a reality. I can take those words of promise and turn them into words of truth, emotion and passion.
Pledge of commitment
99.Make a pledge of commitment to each other. You can hear from Me in prophecy and receive this apology, this heartfelt commitment that you can share with each other. Then you can look back and know that on such-and-such a date you took a stand against the Enemy and you made a commitment; you determined that you were going to do everything in your power to rebuild your marriage.
100.Sometimes little ceremonies, little skits, are very, very valuable, because then you both know that your mate is as determined as you are. It even becomes a testimony to others. Others know where you stand. Others know where you're at and that you're determined to try, and to make it work.
Have united prayer
101.It would also be good to have united prayer. Call for the elders of the church to lay hands on you and pray for you--to pray for the strength and the newness of love that you need. Confess your faults and needs--your need for greater understanding and love, your need for greater wisdom in your outside love relationships, your need for a new beginning.
102.Make a public commitment, a public prayer request;have a public laying on of hands. Confess your faults one to another and to the Body, that you might be strengthened, and that it might be a testimony to others--a testimony of your determination, your faith in My Word, your humility and your yieldedness. This, too, will cause others to pray for you and support you, and it will help to undo some of the damage that has been done, not only in your personal lives, but even in your testimony and the way others see you.
103.In this kind of situation you can't just sort of ease into it and hope that everything's going to go well, but it's something that takes a concerted effort, an attacking spirit, a real initiative in the Spirit, determination. Extreme situations require extreme measures. I often do things like this. I put people in situations where they need united prayer and the help of others, so they can be a testimony of humility and it will glorify Me.
Glorify the Lord
104.Again, this is the point, that I be glorified; that the love, strength, and unity be obviously from Me, instead of others just looking at you or thinking you have somehow done it, that you've somehow pulled your marriage together and you've somehow gotten over your personal problems. I don't want to let it happen like that. I want to be glorified. I want people to see that you have drawn nigh to Me and to the Word, prayer, prophecy, praise, and loving Me intimately. I want it to be a testimony of the power of the new weapons.
105.That's why I've let your relationship get to such a bad state, because if it were any better, you'd probably think, "Well, it's not really necessary to make such a big deal or take people's time." And then it wouldn't be a testimony at all. But I let it get so bad so that you'd be desperate, and you'd be willing to do anything. Then when I do the miracle, people will know that it's Me, that I did it! And they'll see the power of the new weapons, the power of the Spirit and the Word and desperate prayer and united prayer. Then people will be able to take that lesson and use it to benefit their lives as well.
106.Everything that I let happen in your lives is for a reason; it's not just for you, but it's also for others. You don't live just for yourselves, but you live for others. I'll use even this experience to strengthen others if you'll let Me. (End of message from Jesus.)
107.(Mama:) If you are having serious problems in your marriage and you feel like throwing in the towel, you should definitely take time to hear from the Lord in prophecy! Ask Him to tell you very specifically what He wants you to do. If you can hear from the Lord together, that is especially good because it helps you both to be more fully convinced about the direction the Lord wants you to take. A fresh confirmation from the Lord that it is His will for you to be married can help boost your faith and conviction and give you the oomph you need to have a renewed desire to make your marriage work.
108.I also suggest you go back over this prophecy and study it. The Lord is trying to help make a real difference in your life by giving practical counsel for the problems you face. But these tips won't do any good if you don't use them.
109.When you're having serious marriage problems, there's a lot of tension; it's often very difficult to even have a civil conversation with your mate, much less to feel there's enough left of your marriage that it's possible to have a major turnaround. Sometimes it feels like the love has disappeared, and it's hard to even have the faith to try. But Peter and I ask that if you believe it's the Lord's will for you to be together, especially if you have children, please don't give up until you've given the Lord a chance and tried everything you possibly can to pull out of the downward spiral you're in. Where there's life, there's hope!
110.Please read this prophecy again very carefully, as there are many detailed tips and suggestions of what to do or not to do. For review, here is a summary of the main points:
--Build your marriage in the Spirit. The strength you have in the Spirit together is what counts.
--Keep Jesus in first place in your lives and your marriage.
--Invest in your marriage--time, communication, prayer, etc.
--Talk together about the deep things in your heart.
--Bring your problems to the Lord in prayer and hear from Him in prophecy.
--Practice the "Loving Jesus" revelation during your lovemaking.
--Make a weekly schedule to help organize the time you spend together, including specific times for the Word, prayer, and hearing from the Lord, making love and loving Jesus intimately, talking about personal things (without arguing).
--Let your friends and Home members know that you're working on your marriage, so they will understand if you're not around during free time or after work hours as much as usual.
--Make a written list of the things that you love about your mate and the reasons why you married him or her in the first place, then concentrate on those good qualities.
--At some definite point in time leave the past behind--including the labels, misunderstandings, lack of trust, resentment, bitterness, and blaming the other person.
--Put into words (by faith) the positive, happy, hopeful, romantic, sexy feelings you want to feel.
--Say a pledge of commitment to each other, which you can receive in prophecy. (Or you can use the following prayer of commitment.)
--Have united prayer with your Home, during which time you can confess your faults and needs, make a public commitment to your marriage and the changes you want to make, share your prayer requests, have laying on of hands, and anything else the Lord leads you to do.
Prayer of Commitment for Married Couples
111.As you embark on this new experience together of living the Law of Love fully, you married couples may feel the need to pour out your hearts to the Lord in prayer, something to sort of give you a good jump-start. You might have a burden to do this using your own words or words the Lord gives you personally in prophecy, but in hopes that it would make it easier, I asked the Lord to give a prayer in prophecy that you can pray together--a prayer of commitment, faith, and forgiveness. If you feel the need, please take the time to pray this prayer together privately.
112.(Prayer:) Thank You, Jesus, our wonderful Husband and Lover, for Your love that binds us together. Without Your warm, tender love we'd never make it. We need You so much, Lord, and we want You more and more with each passing day.
113.Thank You for Your law that teaches us how to live, and for Your truth that sets us free. We thank You, Jesus, for this challenge that lies before us now to live Your Law of Love more fully in our daily lives. Even though we don't feel capable of living up to it and it's scary, we know deep in our hearts that it's the right thing to do because we believe in Your Word.
114.We want to follow, Jesus, but our flesh is so weak at times and our sins and weaknesses hold us back. In spite of how we feel, we still want to obey with all of our hearts. But we know in order to do that, we're going to need a lot of help. We're going to have to lean heavily on You as we take this giant leap of faith, because we know without You, wonderful Jesus, we don't have it in us.
115.We've had battles about this and we know there will be more to come. We've been hurt and sometimes we've seen or have been bad samples. We've misunderstood and misinterpreted things from time to time, and we've not always been able to see Your hand in our lives or in the lives of others who have tried to share according to Your Law of Love. Nevertheless, we know the battles are to make us strong and that You are able to take any hurts and use them for our good if we'll look to You. That's why we come before You now, Jesus, and we ask You to please, please help us as we make this commitment to You, to each other, and to our Family.
116.We thank You for putting us together and we ask You now to renew our union of love. Jesus, You know of all the times we've failed, all the times we've stumbled and fallen under the weight of our own faults and failings and shortcomings. But we ask You right now to help us to wipe the slate clean in our marriage. Give us a fresh new start!
117.As we come before You now, we want to recommit ourselves to our primary relationship, which is our marriage together. Give us clean hearts as we renew our love ties to each other. We ask You, Jesus, to please renew us with Your Spirit so that we can start anew. Wash us clean of the hurts of the past, from our faults and failings and any misunderstandings that we've had. Take away any bitterness in our hearts and any mistrust that has grown between us. Free us from any jealousy or problems that have resulted through lack of communication, and deliver us from any fears that have taken root in our hearts because of these things.
118.As we renew our commitment as husband and wife, we forgive each other for the times we've failed. Help us to put the past behind us, to move forward, and to keep progressing day by day. We commit ourselves, Jesus, as a couple, to live according to Your Law of Love as we join hand in hand to walk the path You set before us.
119.As we set out to live the way You've taught us, please help us to take the time necessary to invest in good communication between us. Help us to always be mindful of the other, to not walk too fast or drag our feet behind for too long, but to be patient with each other, to look out for each other, to be loving and kind and aware of the other's feelings, needs, wants and desires.
120.Jesus, we want to try to at least make a start right now. As we take this first step, committing ourselves to each other, we pledge to live the Law of Love. In order to do this, we ask that You help us to always look to Your Word, to take the time to bring all our questions to You as we look to You and hear from You in prophecy to receive Your direction each step of the way. Help us to never make a move without hearing from You, so that we can proceed together and be united in faith.
121.Please guide us and keep showing us ways in which we can continue to strengthen our marriage and our communication with each other as we follow the guidelines You've set before us for living the Law of Love. Please help us to try our best to always do the loving thing and to be considerate of each other's feelings and needs.
122.Fill us with faith, sweet Lord--faith for now and faith for the future. Jesus, Sweetheart, take away any fear we have and replace it with Your peace. We know the future is as exciting as Your promises, and You've promised us so much, so we stand on this now. As we make this commitment of love to each other and to live the Law of Love, we claim Your blessings in our lives. Strengthen our communication and help us to grow as You promised, Lord--to grow in love, in understanding, in compassion, in humility, in forgiveness, in patience, in kindness, and in faith.
123.You said we would never lose by giving, and so we stand on this promise right now and ask You, Jesus, to please do it. Fulfill all Your promises in our lives as we embark on this new life of love and living Your Law of Love. Amen.
Keep Your Eyes on His Promises!--You Never Lose by Giving!
124.(Mama:) I pray the counsel in this GN answers your questions on these aspects of this vast subject and helps you to understand the general guidelines of what the Lord expects of us all as we endeavor to live the Law of Love fully. I know this series is radical, meaty, and surely must test your faith. There are probably points in here that you didn't want to hear or are having a hard time receiving. But please remember through all of this that the Lord loves you and He wants to help you. He wants to make this renewed emphasis on sharing sexually a happy and fruitful experience for all.
125.Keep your eyes on His promises. If you need to, reread Part 2 of this series in which the Lord makes clear all the reasons why He wants us to live the Law of Love, and review His promises of unity, greater love, fruitfulness, witness, preparation for the Endtime, etc. In spite of the sacrifices, we have so much to gain!
126.Thank you so much for your willingness to believe. You're real troopers! Peter and I are so proud of you! God bless and strengthen you and continue to give you the grace to fight, progress, and give all! You won't regret it. As the Lord has promised, you never lose by giving!
Much love and prayers,
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family