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Sex and Marriage Questions

By | Marriage, Relationships, Tough Questions | No Comments
married couple holding handsThis is a roundup of some of the most common questions on sex and marriage that we hear.  We’ve also linked some of our best marriage and sex teachings so that you can go back and listen to them.

Q: I’m not attracted to my spouse anymore.  How do I fall back in love with him or her?

A:  Chemistry is a chemical reaction in your brain that makes you fall in love.  It’s that feeling that you have where you can’t get enough of the person you love.  Compatibility is a whole different thing!  You need compatibility to go the distance in marriage.  And chemistry is automatic but compatibility takes work.  

We often counsel couples who are on the verge of divorce and want to end their marriage.  One of the things we’ll say is, “Let’s go back to the beginning – the memory where you knew they were the one.”  You knew something.  You felt something.  You were convinced that he or she was the one.  We urge couples to put their compatibility struggles out of their minds and remember the chemistry.  If you can’t see a future right now, go back to the beginning.  What made you fall in love?   

Check out this video for three ways to fix marriage and restore your chemistry and compatibility:

 

Q:  I’ve been married to my spouse for a while but I still think about a prior boyfriend/girlfriend.  How do I get free from these thoughts?  

If you are married but still thinking about another person you had a relationship with, you have an ungodly soul tie.  A soul tie is when your mind (intellect), will, and emotions become knit together with another person.  God has created soul ties for good, so that husbands and wives, family members, and close friends can form secure connections with one another.  

But whatever God creates, Satan counterfeits.  Soul ties can take something God created that is necessary and pervert it into something designed to keep you in bondage.  If you keep accepting a counterfeit, there’s no room for God to replace it with the real thing.  

God wants you relationship with your spouse to be the strongest earthly connection you have – He wants covenant relationships for you.  The scissors for cutting your soul ties are in your hands.  The scissors are the signs that the relationship is unhealthy and ungodly.   

In this video I give you a few steps for cutting ungodly soul ties: 

Q:  I’m still waiting for an apology from my spouse for something they did that really hurt me.  I know I’m not supposed to hold a grudge, but what do I do?

A:  You don’t have to wait for an apology in order to forgive your spouse.  But it’s your choice.  

Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”   Kindness and compassion can dismantle and disarm in a way you never have before.   Forgiveness doesn’t have to wait until an apology is offered.  Christians can forgive when nobody says they are sorry.  That’s so liberating because that means you can be free even if the offending party never offers an apology!  But you choose!  

For more on forgiveness and how to rescue your relationships, check out this video: 

Q:  Things have gotten pretty dull in our marriage, intimacy-wise.  Can I bring pornography into my marriage?

A: Often times one of the spouses says, “Let’s spice things up, let’s take things to another level,” and introduces pornography into the marriage. I have done so many counseling sessions where couples have sat across from me in the privacy of my office and said pornography has decimated and absolutely destroyed their marriage.

Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

When you are in the loving covenant of marriage, the Bible says that the marriage bed should be undefiled, which means sex between a husband and a wife is never a cause for shame.  It should be honored, cherished, and enjoyed as the gift that it is from God.  However, wherever there is God’s designed pleasure, there is a carnal or demonic perversion of that pleasure. 

So let’s talk about pornography within marriage.  Under no circumstance can you ever bring pornography into your marriage, let alone your entire life.  There is never an appropriate context or place for pornography. Why? Because pornography is the digital version of the physical act. 

Pornography is digital fornication if you’re single, and it’s digital adultery if you’re married.   Why?  Because by Jesus’ standard, he said if you’ve even thought it and conceived it in your heart, it’s the same as doing it.  People will say watching pornography is healthy and normal , that everybody does it.  They will even go to the extent of saying that pornography helps with your libido. But I will tell you that it destroys your ability for intimacy.  Sex is more than the mechanics, it’s more than the motion. The greatest sex organ that you have is not between your legs, it’s between your ears – it’s your brain! Once your brain is affected and infected by pornography, you will experience sexual problems.  

Colossians 3:5

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Pornography is lust, it is definitely not love and it is definitely not covenantal marriage.  Marriage cannot and will not ever satisfy lust because lust cannot be satisfied.  Now hear this – sexual desire is not always lust. As a matter of fact, you were designed to partly be a sexual creation.  God gave you the gift of your sexuality.  So having sexual desires in and of themselves is not wrong. As a matter of fact, those desires point to your design. God designed you to have both pleasure and procreation within marriage, but when you take those desires and you begin to fulfill them through lust, lust will never be fulfilled. You cannot satisfy lust with marriage, pornography, or masturbation.  Lust cannot be satisfied, it only increases.  

For more information on this, check out this video:  

 

Q: Is it ok for my spouse and me to introduce sex toys into our times of intimacy?

A:  Honestly, I can’t tell you what the Bible says about sex toys, because the Bible was written before electricity. But, the Bible can give us principles and insight into what God views as acceptable in marriage. 

The greatest sex organ that you have is not between your legs, it’s between your ears – your brain.  If you use sex toys in your marriage and there becomes a reliance on the sex toy more than there is on your partner, then you have to ask yourself a question:  “Are we growing in intimacy together or are we bringing in a dependency?” 

There are some people that cannot be sexually satisfied by their partner because they have spent years and years and years being sexually satisfied by a machine or through a screen. They have wired their brain and have practiced and rehearsed sexual satisfaction with something else other than their spouse, so when it comes time to have intimacy with their spouse, they cannot find sexual satisfaction with their mate.  

You really have to ask yourself, “Am I growing in intimacy with my spouse?”  Or are you bringing a level of independence into your marriage and missing out on the fulness of growing in intimacy with your spouse?

To hear more about this topic, check out this blog.


Interested in reading more about marriage from Pastor Mike?  Check out these blogs:

My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider becoming a part of the Breakthrough Community!

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Marriage bible verses

Bible Verses About Marriage

By | Bible Study, Relationships | No Comments
Marriage bible verses

Marriage was God’s idea.  From the beginning, He made male and female and blessed their union.  It’s no wonder the enemy tries so hard to destroy the thing that God has blessed.  When a marriage is operating according to God’s design, it’s a powerful force for the Kingdom!  We have collected these Bible verses about marriage to help strengthen your marriage.  

Bible Verses About Marriage

We pray that these scriptures will help you discover God’s purpose for marriage.  God wants your marriage to be blessed, prosperous, and fruitful.  If your marriage has drifted off course, allow the Word of God to help you get back on track.  Recalibrate your marriage according to the truths found in God’s word.  Get these verses in your Spirit and use them in your prayer life.  

 

Genesis 1:27-28  (ESV)

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

 

Genesis 2:20-24 (ESV) 

The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 

 

Genesis 2:24 (ESV)

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

 

Genesis 2:25 (ESV)

And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

 

Proverbs 18:22 (ESV)

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.

 

Proverbs 19:14 (ESV)

House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.

 

Proverbs 27:15 (ESV)

A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike;

 

Proverbs 31:10 (ESV)

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.

 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV)

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

 

Isaiah 62:5 (ESV)

For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.

 

Malachi 2:13-16 (ESV)

And this second thing you do. You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

 

Matthew 5:32 (ESV)

But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

 

Matthew 19:4-6 (ESV)

He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?  So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

 

Mark 10:6-9 (ESV)

But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

 

1 Corinthians 7:2 (ESV)

But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

 

1 Corinthians 7:3 (ESV)

The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.

 

1 Corinthians 7:12-15 (ESV)

To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.

 

1 Corinthians 7:27 (ESV)

Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife.

 

1 Corinthians 7:38 (ESV)

So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.

 

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (ESV)

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

 

2 Corinthians 6:14 (ESV)

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

 

Ephesians 5:22-33 (ESV)

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

 

Hebrews 13:4 (ESV)

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

 

1 Peter 3:1-5 ESV

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands,

 

1 Peter 3:7 (ESV)

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

 

Colossians 3:18-19 (ESV) 

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.


Interested in reading more about marriage from Pastor Mike?  Check out these blogs:

 

My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider becoming a part of the Breakthrough Community!

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What Kind of Sex is Allowed In Marriage?

By | Relationships, Tough Questions | One Comment

Do you struggle with trying to be sexually satisfied?   Today we’re going to talk about the types of sex that are allowed in marriage. Let me preface this discussion by saying that most of what we know we have not learned from scripture, we have actually learned from culture.  Unfortunately, culture is very toxic.  It’s either repressive or a false form of freedom which leads to more bondage. So the question that I have for you today is, Do you know what the bible actually says about the types of sex that are allowed in marriage? This is going to be a very sensitive subject matter and so I would encourage you to use discretion while reading.   

What Does the Bible Say About Sex in Marriage?  

Proverbs 5:18-19
Let your fountain be blessed,
   and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
   a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
    be intoxicated always in her love.

This passage encourages people to physically appreciate their marriage partner.  What this basically says is that you should physically and sexually enjoy the wife of your youth.  Even though this might be awkward to talk about,and you may not hear it preached on Sunday mornings in the pulpit, this passage is giving us an idea that sex is not just for procreation, but it’s for pleasure.  I think this is important to emphasize because far too often, sex has only been communicated as for procreation by those in religious circles.  The book of Genesis says, “Be fruitful and multiply,” but Proversb 5:18-19 also says to enjoy and be filled with delight and intoxicated by your wife’s love.  

Song of Songs 7:7-10
Your stature is like a palm tree,
    and your breasts are like its clusters.
I say I will climb the palm tree
    and lay hold of its fruit.
Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
    and the scent of your breath like apples,
and your mouth like the best wine

Here we see more of this language in the Bible, so it’s not just isolated to Proverbs.  

Pornography in Marriage

Hebrews 13:4
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

When you are in the loving covenant of marriage, the Bible says that the marriage bed should be undefiled, which means sex between a husband and a wife is never a cause for shame.  It should be honored, cherished, and enjoyed as the gift that it is from God.  However, wherever there is God’s designed pleasure, there is a carnal or demonic perversion of that pleasure. 

So let’s talk about pornography within marriage.  Under no circumstance can you ever bring pornography into your marriage, let alone your entire life.  There is never an appropriate context or place for pornography. Why? Because pornography is the digital version of the physical act. Pornography is digital fornication if you’re single, and it’s digital adultery if you’re married.   Why?  Because by Jesus’ standard, he said if you’ve even thought it and conceived it in your heart, it’s the same as doing it.  People will say watching pornography is healthy and normal , that everybody does it.  They will even go to the extent of saying that pornography helps with your libido. But I will tell you that it destroys your ability for intimacy.  Sex is more than the mechanics, it’s more than the motion. The greatest sex organ that you have is not between your legs, it’s between your ears – it’s your brain! Once your brain is affected and infected by pornography, you will experience sexual problems.  

Colossians 3:5
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Pornography is lust, it is definitely not love and it is definitely not covenantal marriage.  Marriage cannot and will not ever satisfy lust because lust cannot be satisfied.  Now hear this – sexual desire is not always lust. As a matter of fact, you were designed to partly be a sexual creation.  God gave you the gift of your sexuality.  So having sexual desires in and of themselves is not wrong. As a matter of fact, those desires point to your design. God designed you to have both pleasure and procreation within marriage, but when you take those desires and you begin to fulfill them through lust, lust will never be fulfilled. You cannot satisfy lust with marriage, pornography, or masturbation.  Lust cannot be satisfied, it only increases.  

I’ve heard many many stories of marriages being decimated by the introduction of pornography.  Often times one of the spouses says, “Let’s spice things up, let’s take things to another level,” and introduce pornography into the marriage. I have done hundreds and hundreds of counseling sessions where couples have sat across from me in the privacy of my office and said pornography has decimated and absolutely destroyed their marriage.

Forced Sex In Marriage 

1 Corinthians 7:3-4
The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

This passage was revolutionary when the apostle penned it. In a patriarchal society, it was believed that women had no right over their own bodies.  So to say a wife actually has rights over the husband’s body and the husband has rights over the wife’s body was unheard of.  At the time this was written, over 2000 years ago, it was believed that the husband had rights over the woman’s body, but the woman did not have rights over the husband’s body.  So there was a context 2000 years ago for forced sex, which is rape.  I say that because again my wife and I have counseled many couples over the years that believe that just because they’re married forcing sex is ok and justifiable.  But the truth of the matter is this is not the case. 

1 Corinthians 7:5
Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

So there’s this instruction that it’s okay to not mutually come together for sex for a time perhaps to devote yourselves to prayer, but then you better come together again so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.  So what is the lack of self-control? It just simply means that we are sexual beings, given those desires by God both for pleasure and procreation.  But if we do not righteously fulfill those desires within marriage, then we are going to be led into temptation. 

Sex Toys In Marriage

Oftentimes people are asking me, “Pastor Mike, what does the Bible say about sex toys.”  Truthfully, the scripture was written 2,000 or more years ago.  There was no modern electricity the way we have it.  So the Bible is not going to say anything about them per se, but it will give us some insight into what is acceptable. 

I’ve studied a lot of the biology of sex, and there are some pitfalls and some traps. As I mentioned earlier, the greatest sex organ that you have is not between your legs, it’s between your ears, which is your brain.  If  you’re bringing sex toys into your marriage bed and there becomes more of a reliance on the sex toy than there is on your partner, then you have to ask yourself a question:  “Are we growing in intimacy together or are we bringing a dependency?” 

There are some people that cannot be sexually satisfied by their partner because they have spent years and years and years being sexually satisfied by a machine or through a screen. They have wired their brain and have practiced and rehearsed sexual satisfaction with something else other than their spouse, so when it comes time to have intimacy with their spouse, they cannot find sexual satisfaction with their mate.  

You really have to ask yourself: Have you grown in intimacy with your spouse?  Or are you bringing a level of independence into your marriage and as the result of that, missing out on the fullness that you could be experiencing.  

Oral Sex In Marriage 

I believe as you grow in your intimacy and love and communication with your partner there are times where that open communication will give you access to the next level. My wife and I have taken many couples through pre-marital counseling.  One of the portions is a sexual inventory. We have a list of many different sexual positions and many different sex acts, and we ask each person in the couple (separately) to go through them and identify which ones that you would like to do within marriage.  Then, we bring both of them together for the session and have them compare their notes.  Oftentimes these couples have never openly communicated about some of those most personal and intimate physical acts that you can do together. 

You would be surprised how many couples, even after years of marriage, have never communicated openly about what they want how they want it.  Communication is a form of intimacy, and sex is not just the physical mechanics, but it is the mental, emotional, and spiritual intimacy converging. One time in particular, somebody had expressed that they were forced to do one particular sex act in a previous relationship and I hated doing it. Therefore now it’s not about that particular act, it’s actually about the rejection, pain, and emotional trauma that i encountered while being forced to do that act.  Had we not opened up the communication, that husband could have gone years and years either wondering why she didn’t want to do it and didn’t enjoy it, not knowing there’s trauma and abuse connected to it.  As that woman begin to weep bitterly in that meeting, I turned to the husband and said, “You see, it’s not really about the act, it’s really not about the mechanics, it’s about trauma.”   

Many people have been molested, raped, or traumatized and as a result of that, there needs to be healing.  If you’re a husband, understand that your role as a husband is to produce safety.  That’s why when people come to me and ask what the Bible says about oral sex or sex toys or different positions, I take a step back. As a husband, your obligation is to produce safety. Safety produces true intimacy.  Communication produces explosive sexual experiences.   

Sexual Positions In Marriage – Anal Sex

In Genesis 19, we read the account of how a large group of men sought to gang rape two angels who had taken on the form of men.  The term “sodomy” actually comes from the root word sodom which is the location where these men tried to gang rape angels who were in the form of men. We can only assume that sodomy includes anal sex because that’s the only penetration that would have been possible for these men trying to actually sleep with angels in the form of men. 

You’re not going to find any scriptures that strictly prohibit anal sex within marriage. But I do want to give you five reasons why I think it’s probably not a good idea.  I believe that God’s design points to God’s purpose.  Male and female anatomy is incredibly and intricately made to co-exist.  With anal sex, there is no self-lubrication, there is no conception that births life, and there is nothing about the design that points to compatibility.  Here are five reasons anal sex is not a good idea:

  1. For many people, it can create tearing
  2. Anal sex carries the highest risk of sexually transmitted infections 
  3. Anal sex is linked to a higher risk of anal cancer
  4. Infections generally are more prevalent with anal sex
  5. In a 2016 study, The Journal of Gastroenterology found that anall sex may lead to fecal incontinence

I believe that wherever there’s design, there’s destiny, purpose and godly pleasure.

I don’t have scriptures that specifically speak to oral sex, sex toys, or anal sex.  However, I do believe that godly wisdom can direct us.   

I believe in the Genesis account of creation, that in the beginning God created a man.  Then when that man communicated loneliness, God’s response to man’s loneliness was not, “Well let’s hang out more!” No, out of his rib he made a wife and gave him the gift of woman.  That is God’s original design. 

Ecclesiastes 4:12
And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

What does that mean? It simply means that with you, your spouse, and God together, there can be sexual freedom, satisfaction, and explosive intimacy. 

When I was in college, I went to the Kinsey Institute, which is the largest sex research institute in the United States. In one of their biggest longitudinal studies across decades, they concluded that the most sexually satisfied people on the planet were married couples. Science continues to prove it over and over and over again – God’s design of monogamous married couples, male and female, works. God has designed your sexuality and has a plan and a path for you to righteously fulfill it. 


My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider joining the Breakthrough Community!

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Is Masturbating a Sin?

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The topic of masturbation is a pretty popular one among single and married Christians alike.  Many people want to know, can I do it?  Is it sin? Is it wrong? Let’s take a look at what the Bible actually says (or doesn’t say) about masturbation.  

Man on PhoneThe Story of Onan

One passage people point to in this discussion is Genesis 38, which tells the story about a man named Onan.  There is a description of him spilling his seed on the floor, and then being judged by God.  Some people say he was judged by God because he spilled his seed on the floor, which in other words means he masturbated and he shouldn’t have. The true context of Genesis 38 is that Onan was in rebellion against God.  That’s why judgment came upon him. Most biblical scholars believe that this passage is not an explicit condemnation of masturbation.  

Cut Off Your Right Hand

A second passage that people quote in this discussion is Matthew 5:27-30:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell” (ESV).

Disconnecting Lust and Masturbation

While there is clearly a connection here between lustful thoughts and masturbation, biblical scholars agree that this has a broader implication of lust than only masturbation.  Nowhere in the Bible will you find a scripture that clearly denounces masturbation.  But I do want to say this: It is very difficult to disconnect the act of masturbation with sin because lust often accompanies the action of masturbating. 

You Already Have the Answer

So is masturbation a sin or not?  While the Bible does not clearly answer this question, I believe if you feel convicted by the Holy Spirit and are asking the question, you already have the answer.  

Preparation for Marriage?  

Now there are people who will say, “Well, masturbation is safe sex – it’s sex with myself.  It’s a way to remain celibate until marriage.”  I want you to have a greater understanding of God’s heart on this matter.  If you become accustomed to satisfying yourself on demand and you think it is good preparation for marriage, where you have to interact with another human being and sexually satisfy each other, you’re sadly mistaken.  Masturbation is self-centered, while intimacy in marriage is other-centered.  

Married coupleAdditionally, there is a direct correlation between porn consumption and masturbation. I personally counsel many church leaders around the world who have erectile dysfunction, but not from a hormone imbalance or from any physical or biological reason.  Their erectile dysfunction is porn- and masturbation-induced.  These people are so used to having sex with a screen that once they are married, they have extreme difficulty having sex with their spouse.  

The Reward Pathway 

The human brain works with impulses, stimuli, and reward pathways, similar to the famous Pavlov’s dog experiment.  If you provide a treat for a dog every time you ring a bell, eventually the dog will salivate every time they hear a bell because a reward pathway has been established in the brain.  If your version of sex is always connected to a screen, and then you get married, you may experience intimacy issues within your marriage because of the way you’ve trained your brain to respond to sexual arousal.  

NeuronsRomans 14:23 (ESV)

But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

If you feel trapped in masturbation, ask the Lord, “God is this Your best for me, or am I settling for less than Your best?” If you don’t have the gift of singleness, God wants you to be in a loving, covenantal, committed relationship with someone.  Stop settling for something that is not God’s best.  

Brain

Don’t be Mastered By Masturbation

Galatians 5:22 says “The fruit of the Spirit is… self-control.”  If masturbation is mastering you, then you have two masters, God, and your sexual impulses.  The Bible says you can’t serve two masters – you’ll love one and despise the other.  If you’re being mastered by masturbation, then you need freedom.  You can find it today through the power of Jesus Christ. 


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Chemistry and Compatibility

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In a relationship, chemistry and compatibility are important.  We are pretty familiar with chemistry.  It’s the butterflies-in-the-stomach, electric connection you feel when you are near your partner.  Chemistry is almost drug-like, brought on by neurotransmitters and feel-good hormones; it’s almost beyond our control. But what does it mean to be compatible?   Compatibility is defined as “​​the natural ability to live or work together in harmony because of well-matched characteristics, the quality or fact of being in agreement.” Chemistry is automatic but compatibility takes work.  In the event of divorce, there are usually two reasons – incompatibility or infidelity.  And sometimes incompatibility produces infidelity.  

Couple with chemistry and compatibilityGo Back to the Beginning

We often counsel couples who are on the verge of divorce and want to end their marriage.  One of the things we’ll say is, “Let’s go back to the beginning – the memory where you knew they were the one.”  You knew something.  You felt something.  You were convinced that he or she was the one.  We urge couples to put their compatibility struggles out of mind and remember the chemistry.  If you can’t see a future right now, go back to the beginning.  What made you fall in love?    

Couple with chemistry and compatibility

We’ll Do Anything

When we met, I was so obsessed with the idea of marrying my wife.  I was a resident assistant at a college, and didn’t have the money to get her an engagement ring.  I did whatever I could to save in order to get her that ring… I didn’t care what it took!  At the beginning of our love story, we’ll do anything for the person we love.  But, sadly, at the end, we’ll do nothing.  

Lack of Compatibility is No Excuse

Some would say their lack of compatibility is why they watch pornography or hold their spouse in contempt.  I want to exhort the men reading this:  don’t ever lust after another woman if she hasn’t paid the price to bear your children.  Your wife is due respect and honor. When you married your wife, you did not make a mistake.  But when your heart began to wander, you did.  

So how do you fix a marriage that is lacking chemistry or compatibility?  

1. Fun fixes marriages.  

When you laugh you last.  Over the course of our marriage, we have learned how to laugh at ourselves.  We laugh at almost everything.  We even laugh at the weirdness of our bodies as we age and go through the ups and downs of life.  Lust ruins marriage, but fun fixes it.  Make time and space for fun.  Go do the things you did early in your relationship on dates, before the worries of life took over and things got complicated.  Or, go try something completely new together!  Being out of your comfort zone can be an adventure!

Couple with chemistry and compatibility

2.  Focus fixes marriages.  

If your marriage needs fixing, it’s time to change your focus.  Instead of focusing on what is wrong, focus on what’s right.  Stop focusing on dirty dishes.  Buy paper plates.  Are you going to ruin your marriage over dishes?  Refocus on the important things.  

3. Faith fixes marriage.  

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the evidence of things hoped for and the substance of things not seen.”  Life will not go the way you plan it, but it will go the way you prophesy it.  In faith, declare that you’re going to have chemistry and compatibility.  

 


Check out our YouVersion plan “Rip Up the List: Renew Relationships” where Pastor Mike takes you on a 7-day journey through the seven phases of romantic relationships. Each day you will be challenged to rip up the list of failures and mistakes and pursue relationships that reflect God’s heart.

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What are Soul Ties and How Do I Get Free?

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Have you moved on to a new relationship, but you’re still lusting after someone you broke up with a long time ago? Do you keep going back in your imagination to connections from the past? Have you blocked your ex and have no way of communicating with them? You may have a soul tie.  

What is a Soul Tie?

A soul tie is when your mind (intellect), will, and emotions become knit together with another person.  There is both a biological and biblical basis for soul ties.  Contrary to what you’ve probably heard, soul ties can occur in various relationships, not just romantic.  

Soul Ties in the Bible

We see soul ties between parent and child in the story of Joseph.  Joseph’s father, Jacob, had a soul tie to his son Benjamin.  

Genesis  44:30-31 (ESV)
“Now therefore, as soon as I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boy’s life, as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol.”

In the story of David and Jonathan, the Bible says that they had a soul tie in their friendship.  

1 Samuel 18:1 (ESV)
As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

You can even have a soul tie to a leader – spiritual or otherwise.  We see that between Judah and their king David.  

2 Samuel 20:2 (ESV)
So all the men of Israel withdrew from David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah followed their king steadfastly from the Jordan to Jerusalem.

The soul tie we hear the most about is the one between a man and woman, established through the act of sexual intercourse or close emotional and intellectual bonding.  

Genesis 2:24 (ESV)
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Like a Dog Returns to Its Vomit

I want to start by saying that you can be free if you have an ungodly soul tie to someone.  You don’t have to live in the past.  Maybe you ended a relationship with a narcissist or a toxic person, but there was a sexual component. Perhaps you ended the relationship with the pastor who used or abused you, but there is a remaining spiritual connection.  If you know you’re in a toxic relationship, you need to get free, and you can get free. So often, though, despite our knowledge that we need freedom, we continue to return to that relationship repeatedly due to the tie that connects us with the person.  Why?

Proverbs 26:11 (ESV)
As a dog returns to its vomit,
    so fools repeat their folly.

The Bible says a dog returns to its vomit.  It is a vivid and distasteful depiction and evokes a reaction.  Why would a dog return to its vomit?  A dog’s sense of smell is so keen that it can still perceive the morsels of undigested food present in the vomit.  It can sense a little bit of good among the vomit, which compels it to return and consume something that is otherwise abhorrent. We often behave this way in relationships that have soul ties.  We keep going back because we see a little bit of good in the relationship.  That indicates that there’s a soul tie that needs to be broken.  

Satan’s Counterfeit

Soul ties are not always bad.  There are times when you establish a healthy intellectual and emotional connection with others.  These connections are necessary for us to form healthy attachments that foster security and feelings of well-being.  God has created soul ties so that husbands and wives, family members, and close friends can form secure connections with one another.  But whatever God creates, Satan counterfeits.  Wherever God places purpose, Satan places perversion.  Soul ties can take something God created that is necessary and pervert it into something designed to keep you in bondage.  If you keep accepting a counterfeit, there’s no room for God to replace it with the real thing.  

Colossians 2:2 (ESV)
that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ,

God doesn’t want you to remove people from your life so you can miss out on relationships.   He wants to remove so that he can replace.  Everything God has is better than what he asks you to give up. He won’t take away a broken relationship without replacing it with a covenant-level relationship.  If you keep settling for counterfeits, you cannot accept the upgrade.  

Cutting the Ties

The scissors for cutting your soul ties are in your hands.  The scissors are the signs that the relationship is unhealthy and ungodly.   

Some signs of unhealthy soul ties are:

  • You know you’re being used.
  • Lack of trust.
  • The relationship has no benefits to you.  
  • There’s an obsessive element to the relationship.
  • You crave the approval of the person.
  • There’s emotional intimacy that’s not beneficial but you keep going back.  

Let’s take our spiritual scissors and cut the ties today if this describes you.  Pray with me:

I break and release every single soul tie now in the name of Jesus. I cut and sever myself from all romantic relationships, spiritually perverse relationships, and past relationships in the name of Jesus.  I renounce every connection that was not from God in the name of Jesus, and I declare that I am free by the blood of Jesus.  I thank you that every chain is broken, mental torment is ending, and obsession is ending.  Whom the Son has set free is free indeed, in the name of Jesus.  Amen.  

 


Check out our YouVersion plan “Rip Up the List: Renew Relationships” where Pastor Mike takes you on a 7-day journey through the seven phases of romantic relationships. Each day you will be challenged to rip up the list of failures and mistakes and pursue relationships that reflect God’s heart.

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Rip Up the List: 7 Biblical Truths About Relationships

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We are in a series about relationships called “Rip Up the List,” and today I’d like to conclude that series by talking about seven biblical truths about relationships.

1 Corinthians 1:10
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

Here in 1 Corinthians, we see God’s desire for relationships that we be unified in mind and thought.  Did you know you can be unified in mind but not unified in thought?  What’s the difference between mind and thought?  Well, if you have the mind of Christ you’ll have the thoughts of Christ.  To allow the mind of Christ to prevail, we submit our own opinion and our own thoughts to Christ.  You’ll know you have the mind of Christ when it contradicts the voice of the enemy.  

Here are seven things we can glean from the Bible about relationships.  Each one is a choice. 

1. All conflict can produce intimacy or division.  You choose.  

My wife and I used to fight a lot.  When we learned how to metabolize the fights into intimacy, our marriage was revitalized.  The problem isn’t conflict – it’s what you do with it.  The same argument can either produce intimacy or division.  Conflict through the mind of Christ produces crucifixion.  That crucifixion means dying to my agenda, my will, my way, which in turn produces resurrection.  Conflict through a carnal mind produces division that produces death.  If it’s my will vs. my wife’s will, we’re on our way to divorce.  But if my wife and I fight for God’s will, our marriage is transformed and strong. 

2. Forgiveness can be extended in the absence of an apology. You choose.  

Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

The book of Ephesians is known for spiritual warfare, with strong imagery of swords and helmets and shields.  But there’s a different type of warfare that exists in this book, as well.  Kindness and compassion can dismantle and disarm in a way you never have before.  Kindness allows you to see something about someone that cruelty never could.  Kindness opens your eyes, while cruelty blinds you.  

Forgiveness doesn’t have to wait until an apology is offered.  Christians can forgive when nobody says they are sorry.  That’s so liberating because that means you can be free even if the offending party never offers an apology!  But you choose!  

3. It takes more intelligence to be one who encourages than one who criticizes. You choose.  

John 16:33
In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Philippians 4:6–7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

People think that the most intelligent leaders are the most critical leaders.  But it takes more intelligence to encourage than to criticize.  Criticism addresses what’s obvious, but encouragement addresses hidden potential.

1 Corinthians 14:3
Those who prophesy speak to people, building them up, and giving them encouragement and comfort.

If you want to be a prophet, the tip of your tongue should be seasoned with love. Think about how God talks to you, and then talk to others accordingly.  Our goal should be to love others with compassion.  Prophesy flows from a place of encouragement.  If you think you’re prophetic but you haven’t built anyone up, think twice.  

In the middle of my sin, anyone could have seen the worst about me. But my wife looked at me and said “You are a man of God.  You will plant churches” when I was the farthest from both.  And here I am today.  She built me up and my life is where it is according to her prophecy.  

4.  Assumptions can either be termites or worker ants. One erodes and destroys; the other builds and stores. You choose. 

Proverbs 6:6-11
Go to the ant, you sluggard;
    consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
   no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
    and gathers its food at harvest.

Termites and ants are both insects, but one erodes and the other builds.  One eats away and the other prepares.  You can choose to be like the termites or the ants.  You can build, work and prepare now, or you can eat and erode away.  It’s your choice!

5. Forgiveness is commanded, but reconciliation is conditional. You choose. 

The biggest question I get when I preach on relationships and reconciliation is “Do I stay?”  There are people in ministry I have forgiven, but they operate in such a carnal, demonic paradigm that God doesn’t require me to maintain a relationship with them.  Forgiveness and relationship are not synonymous.  Reconciliation and relationship are synonymous.

Sometimes you must exit a relationship to remain in peace.  Abraham and Lot had to part ways because they realized the land couldn’t support both of them.  There are times that the only way you can have relationship is from a distance.  

Matthew 18:15-17
But if your brother wrongs you, go and have it out with him at once—just between the two of you. If he will listen to you, you have won him back as your brother. But if he will not listen to you, take one or two others with you so that everything that is said may have the support of two or three witnesses. And if he still won’t pay any attention, tell the matter to the church. And if he won’t even listen to the church then he must be to you just like a pagan—or a tax-collector!

Jesus provides a template here for how we approach someone who has sinned against us.  We don’t go to our pastor, or our friend, or our connect group leader.  We go to the person.  You can have forgiveness, but it’s your choice.

6. You reflect what you expect. You’re mirroring what you’re fearing, or you’re reflecting what you’re expecting. You choose. 

Proverbs 10:28 
The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.

Acts 3:5 
And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 

7.  You do not lose control in a relationship, you reap what your control produces. You choose. 

1 John 5:14-15
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.


Check out our YouVersion plan “Rip Up the List: Renew Relationships” where Pastor Mike takes you on a 7-day journey through the seven phases of romantic relationships. Each day you will be challenged to rip up the list of failures and mistakes and pursue relationships that reflect God’s heart.

My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider joining the Breakthrough Community!

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Rip Up the List: Healing Relationships

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Why is it so hard to have a healthy, whole relationship?  Maybe when we understand what real love looks like, we can understand where the challenges lie.  Insert your name in each of the blanks below and read the statements out loud – this is a love test!

The Love Test

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 

______ is patient and kind; ______ does not envy or boast; ______ is not arrogant or rude. ______ does not insist on their own way; ______ is not irritable or resentful; ______ does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. ______ bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

How did you do on the love test?  What percentage of statements that you read were actually true? if you failed the love test, let’s be honest – we all do. There is a way to actually be this person – patient and kind, not envious or boasting, not irritable or resentful (even when not caffeinated)… it’s through the inner working of Jesus through you.  

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

When the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside of your spirit, you become the hands and feet of Jesus.  The more you die to self and decrease, the more the Holy Spirit possesses you.  Where there is a root of love, there is the fruit of joy, peace, patience, long-suffering, endurance, kindness, meekness, and gentleness. 

loveIf you go into a marriage relationship and you have a secular definition of love you’ll never love your spouse completely.  We are trained from a young age by culture to think that love is a feeling. And that feeling may get you down the wedding aisle, but it won’t get you beyond the wedding day.  Real love is sacrificial.  It’s the God-kind of love. 

Walking On Water

In Matthew 14, Jesus’ disciples are in a boat. Jesus comes walking on the water. They think he’s a ghost, but Peter gets out of the boat and starts walking towards Jesus. Why does he believe he can walk on water? 

To understand why we have to look at the cultural context.  Jesus was a Jewish rabbi, with Jewish disciples, living in a first-century Jewish world. Jesus grew up in a region called the Galilee.  People in this region believed that God had spoken to Moses and had given him the first five books of the Bible, the Torah.  Torah was the center of their lives and the focus of their educational system.   Most Jewish boys would go to school in the local synagogue around the age of 6.  This was the first, basic level of education.  By age 10, each boy would have Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy memorized (impressive!).  After this level, most kids no longer attended school and would instead begin apprenticing in the family trade.  

The very best students would keep studying at the next level. At this next level, the best of the best would memorize the rest of the Hebrew scriptures, Genesis to Malachi.  The last and final stage was where the pupil would go to the rabbi and request to be able to follow them, take the yoke of the rabbi, and become his disciple.  

So this powerful rabbi comes to town, Jesus.  You hear about him – he has supernatural powers to heal people. You’re a fisherman, and you think you don’t have what it takes to operate at higher levels in society.  This rabbi, Jesus, comes to you and says, “Hey, come follow me!”  He sees potential in you that no one has ever seen.  You don’t even believe in yourself the way Jesus does.  To have a rabbi means not just to learn what they learn, but to do what they do and to follow after them.  

When Jesus beckons Peter to come out of the boat, it’s because Peter sees him in the distance and believes that his Rabbi has called him to something bigger.  These disciples hadn’t made it to the upper levels of rabbinical education. They weren’t considered smart enough by their former teachers.  But Jesus, this rabbi, saw something in them that others hadn’t.  He was teaching them supernatural ways.  He was taking them all the way.  

What Boat Are You In?

The question today is, what boat are you in?  Your boat represents your family.  Your anger problems. What is Jesus calling you out of?  In your boat, everybody is poor, but Jesus is calling you to something greater.  In your boat, everyone has anger problems or stops before their breakthrough.  But Jesus is calling you out of your boat.  He wants to take you all the way, too.  Maybe in your boat, everyone gets a divorce. But Jesus is calling you to be a water-walker.  

Research published by Carnegie Mellon University in the past decade showed that social support and belonging can reduce stress, heart disease and improve quality of life. Healthy relationships are healing relationships. 

SailboatHealing Relationships Vs. Hurting Relationships

Trust, honesty, and compassion are the three elements of a healing relationship.  Trust means you feel emotionally and physically safe and you don’t have to be on guard against being hurt by the other person.  Honesty is where both people in the relationship can reveal their true feelings without it causing harm to the other.  Compassion is where both people have the ability and willingness to understand one another and express kindness. These three elements don’t just apply to marriage relationships.  These elements are necessary for your relationship with Jesus and your relationship with others.  

On the flipside, pride, deception, and anger are the three elements of a hurting relationship. What kind of relationships do you want? Healing relationships or hurting relationships?

Proverbs 16:32

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Another translation says, “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.”  What if your warfare looked like patience?  What if you set your heart to stay patient and your breakthrough comes through patience?

Conquer Your Tongue

Instead of conquering anger, many become captives of their passions. Instead of thinking before speaking, they speak before thinking. Your tongue is like a little rudder on a big ship called your life.  And whichever way you speak, that’s the direction your life follows.  You say it, you believe it, and it happens.  If you don’t think God can do it, you will be right.  Not because God can’t do it (He certainly can), but because you have tied his hands with your unbelief.  Jesus went into regions where they didn’t believe in Him and no miracles were possible in those areas.  Lack of faith caused a lack of miracles.  

Conquer Your Anger

The battle facing you exceeds any military expedition. A city can be taken with a single siege, but you will fight the passion of anger for the rest of your life. Wars are fought by the efforts of many, but you must fight anger alone. The vigilance, effort, and patience needed to rule anger causes most men to forfeit the battle and become slaves to their own feelings. 

Repairing and Rebuilding

Life is like a precious piece of porcelain dinnerware.  As we go through life, we can collect chips and cracks.  And sometimes situations completely shatter us.  We just want to go back to the way things were before the relationship or the experience traumatized us. In our culture and society, we tend to throw things away.  We look at the fractures and the pieces and get overwhelmed, thinking that the pieces can never come back together again.  

Broken pottery

It’s impossible to go back, but all we can do is begin the hard work of repairing and rebuilding.  Kintsugi is a Japanese process of repairing broken objects and turning them into something even more beautiful than they were previously.  In this art form, instead of hiding the cracks, they fill the cracks with gold, highlighting them.  Kintsugi celebrates the rebuilding process. The thing that was worthless now carries more worth than an unbroken item. 

KintsugiAllow Jesus to put you back together.  There’s no wasted pain.  Show off your healing. Give your brokenness meaning, don’t throw away the pieces. Show off the hard work of rebuilding. Show off how good God is. The cracks are a part of your story, not the end of your story!  Don’t hide, highlight!


Check out our YouVersion plan “Rip Up the List: Renew Relationships” where Pastor Mike takes you on a 7-day journey through the seven phases of romantic relationships. Each day you will be challenged to rip up the list of failures and mistakes and pursue relationships that reflect God’s heart.

My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider joining the Breakthrough Community!

Request prayer here.

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Rip Up the List: Fighting Fair

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We are starting a series called “Rip Up The List.”  In this first part, we will talk about fighting fair (because we know fights will happen) and how to have a healthy relationship. The first relationship problem ever recorded in history was not started by the couple; an outsider started it. 

Genesis 3:4 (ESV)
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.”  

In a sinless, perfect world, the origin of the first relationship problem was Satan speaking to a woman and convincing her that what God said was wrong. Think about that! The man and the woman agreed that what God said wasn’t true, which produced the fall of humanity.

Names for Satan in Scripture

If you read through the Bible and underline the names of Satan, you’ll discover a great deal about him. Here are some of the names of Satan you can find in the Bible:

  • “Your adversary” – 1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)
  • “The serpent of old” –Genesis 3:4; Revelation 20:2 (NKJV)
  • “The accuser of the brethren” – Revelation 12:10 (NKJV)
  • “An angel of light” – 2 Corinthians 11:14 (NKJV)
  • “The deceiver” – Revelation 12:9 (NKJV)
  • “Apollyon,” “the destroyer,” – Revelation 9:11 (NKJV)
  • “The evil one” – John 17:15 (NKJV)
  • “A murderer” – John 8:44 (NKJV)
  • “The prince of the power of the air” – Ephesians 2:2 (NKJV)
  • “The ruler of this world” – John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11 (NKJV)
  • “The tempter” – Matthew 4:3 (NKJV)

Do You Sound Like Satan or Your Savior?

Rip up the list of failures and relapses. Rip up the list of going back to pornography. People who use pornography have accepted the lie that they will never have true intimacy. Some of the most depressed people are addicted to pornography. They are convinced that they will never find true love, so they might as well find passionate lust. But the Holy Spirit beckons and says, “Come unto me all those who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”  

Rest from what? Addiction. Rest from the lies of the enemy. 

You might be bearing a heavy burden of your marriage, but the Bible says that a three-fold cord is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12). The reason why your relationship is broken is that you never wove Jesus into it. If you weave The Everlasting into that three-fold cord, then it will be unbreakable. 

Satan Perverts but Jesus Purifies

I heard an incredible testimony of a young girl who lost her virginity after believing in the way the world uses their sexuality. She decided that she would reignite her passion for God and marry pure. She resealed her virginity and saved herself for marriage even though she had previously lost her virginity. She said that her wedding night was the most incredible experience of her life – so pure, holy, and passionate. She said, “If I could go back to the younger me, I would say the world’s way doesn’t work. God’s way is better.”  

Rip up the list that says you’re damaged goods and that you’ve gone too far. You’re forgiven as far as the east is from the west. You are separated from your sinful nature, and you never have to go back.  

Passion is holy, but lust defiles. If you can’t go back to the beginning, let Jesus erase the stains of the past. I can’t go back to the beginning of my marriage, but every time I mentor someone early in their marriage, my pain has a purpose.  

Satan Destroys What Jesus Builds

1 John 3:10 (ESV)

By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

We are either children of God or children of the devil. The Bible says you will know them by their fruit. The world knows us by how we love. So there has to come a point when you say, “I will not just be a hearer of the word but a doer of the Word also.”  

Rip up the list of impossible standards and love your spouse for who they are!.  When you rip up that list, you acknowledge that even on your best day, your best behavior wasn’t perfect enough to save you. Treat your spouse like Jesus treats you. He loved you at your darkest! Do you love your spouse at their darkest? He committed to us when we were at our worst. Destroy the stronghold in your mind that stops you from loving your spouse in reality.  


Check out our YouVersion plan “Rip Up the List: Renew Relationships” where Pastor Mike takes you on a 7-day journey through the seven phases of romantic relationships. Each day you will be challenged to rip up the list of failures and mistakes and pursue relationships that reflect God’s heart.

My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider joining the Breakthrough Community!

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When Your Spouse Needs Deliverance

By | Relationships | No Comments

When your spouse needs deliverance, what do you do?  My wife and I married in our early twenties.  We wanted to serve the Lord in ministry, but we were also very young and naive.  I was dealing with a lot of brokenness from my childhood which manifested in foolish, sinful choices.  These choices affected our young family in major ways.  Very early on our marriage was troubled, and my wife found herself living a story that was nothing like the fairytale she had imagined.  Where do you turn when the person you married is nothing like you thought they were?

When your spouse needs deliverance, realize you are not God.

The most important thing to remember as you seek deliverance for your spouse is this: you are not God.  If you think you are going to be the savior of your spouse, they are never going to receive deliverance.  This is a job you cannot do.  Let Jesus do the deliverance!  However, there are things you can do to create an atmosphere for Him to move in your marriage.  Here are some steps you can take.  

Go back to your origin story.

When I met my wife Julie, I knew right away that I wanted to be with her.  She, however, didn’t feel the same and held me at arms-length for a very long time before she eventually fell madly in love with me.  Every couple has an origin story of how they first met one another.  Sometimes it’s love at first sight.  Sometimes (like our story), one person isn’t interested at all in a relationship and takes a little warming up.  Regardless of how your story as a couple began, you eventually find yourself in love, starry-eyed, and looking towards the future.  Go back to your origin story.  There was something that caused you to fall in love.  Something drew you to one another.  Refresh your memory of why you fell in love in the first place.  Remember what your story was like before all of the hurt and unforgiveness came into play.  

Be the redeemer.

Stop complaining that your spouse won’t change, and you do the changing.  In every broken relationship, someone has to be the redeemer.  That’s what Jesus did with us.   He was blameless, sinless, and loved us first.  Our relationship with God was broken due to OUR sin, not His. And yet Jesus laid his life down for us.  He was our Redeemer.   Redemption is giving someone something they don’t deserve.  That is the heart of Jesus. 

Maybe your spouse rightfully deserves the scowl or the silent treatment.   Perhaps every word they say when they open their mouth starts fights and bickering.  Maybe they are lucky you still even live in the same house. And maybe you feel like you could serve God better without them in your life.  But that train of thought is not of God.  (Note: situations that include addiction and abuse are extremely complicated and I can’t begin to address all the layers in this brief blog, so please seek godly counsel on how to proceed).  

But if you really want to be like Jesus in your relationship, then you have to be the redeemer. Pastor Jimmy Evans says, “Somebody’s gotta do the right thing first.”  God wasn’t waiting for us to clean up our act before He sent Jesus.  Jesus gave forgiveness even though we didn’t deserve it, He gives us love even though we don’t deserve it, He gives us His Holy Spirit even though we don’t deserve Him.  This is the heart of God, to give what we don’t deserve.  Be that person to your spouse.  Give what you want in return. Do the right thing first, and see God move in your marriage.  

Build a culture of forgiveness.  

There are two ways you can tell someone that they messed up: you can either call them out, or you can call them up.  Call-outs are usually rooted in an angry or vindictive spirit. Calling them up signals to them to come up higher in their behavior.  Calling them up is rooted in a spirit of forgiveness.  In the middle of our marriage crisis, there were times when my wife came to me and said, “I chose to forgive you for____.”  I didn’t even know I had hurt her!   But she had intentionally decided that our home was going to be one where forgiveness was the culture.  

Anger produces more anger.  Violence produces more violence. You can’t fight a spirit with the same spirit.  It is fought with the opposite spirit.   You can only break a cycle by applying an opposite spirit.  If you want a home that is peaceful and life-giving, you have to build a culture where the opposite spirit is in effect. 

If you apply the same bad spirit that your spouse is using, you’ll continue living the same issues over and over again. Apple seeds make apple trees.  You will reap what you sow in your marriage.  Anger, bitterness, hatred, harsh words all produce that same fruit.  Forgiveness produces forgiveness. 

I hope this blog gave you some applicable strategies for dealing with a spouse who needs deliverance.  Remember – you can’t save them, only Jesus can.  Remember why you fell in love and how you started out together.  Be the redeemer and offer your spouse the thing that you need, even if they don’t deserve it.  And build a culture of forgiveness in your home.


Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of the marriage series my wife and I have, where we answer some of your biggest questions on marriage..

My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God.  If you are interested in learning more, consider joining the Breakthrough Community!

Request prayer here.

ACTIVATE YOUR PROPHETIC GIFT

Download our FREE 35-day devotional to learn to hear God’s voice and communicate it clearly.

DOWNLOAD NOW

PARTNER WITH US & SUPPORT MIKE SIGNORELLI MINISTRIES

Your generosity helps others experience breakthrough.

Give a one-time gift, or set up recurring giving.

APPAREL THAT MAKES A STATEMENT

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He So Loved the World Long Sleeve T-Shirt
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