About Chuck and Eileen Rife

Chuck Rife is a licensed professional counselor and marriage/family therapist who's worked with Total Life Counseling, Inc. of Roanoke, Virginia since 1988. Eileen Rife, a veteran homeschool mom of twenty years, works as a freelance writer, author, and speaker. Together, they conduct marriage seminars designed to grow godly marriages that last a lifetime! Chuck and Eileen are also certified to administer and evaluate the Prepare-Enrich assessment tool for couples.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Get in the Groove: God's Plan for Healthy Relationships and Sexual Intimacy

I (Eileen) was invited to speak to the TeenMops girls at a local inner city teen mission. God burdened my heart to set forth in clear terms from the Scripture God's plan for healthy relationships and sexual intimacy. Dysfunction, distortion, and perversion abound, but God's Word sets us straight on His perfect and beautiful plan. I gave each girl a sheet with questions and scriptures as we discussed the topic. I'm including it below for your perusal. Prayerfully, you will gain a deeper appreciation for God's institution of marriage and why Satan is vehemently attacking it today. 

Get in the Groove: God’s Plan for Relationships and Sexual Intimacy

What is imprinting? (Put off, put on. Read Colossians, chapter 3). Imprinting occurs in our brain when we experience something that is emotionally charged. The greater the emotional impact, the deeper the imprint. Unhealthy relationships leave a negative imprint on our brains, and we tend to repeat the same distorted patterns. Healthy relationships also leave an imprint. A positive one! What we want to do to achieve health is create new and good imprints. The apostle Paul refers to the phenomenon as "putting off" certain behaviors and "putting on" godly ones. Of course, I would add one caveat to the imprinting idea. Without the aid of the Holy Spirit indwelling a person, there is no true lasting change. God must transform a person from the inside out, and that transformation begins with a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ as provided by His death, burial, and resurrection. He is the life-giving spirit who provides the power to live a godly life. 

What does an unhealthy relationship look like?
Lies abound: I promise, baby, I’ll never do that again. If you really love me, you’ll _____________. I’ll always be here for you, no matter what. You’re nobody without me.

Unhealthy dependency on the other person
Lack of clear identity leads to infidelity
Unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14)
The opposite of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Fear of sexually-transmitted disease (Proverbs, chapter five)

What does a healthy relationship look like?
The blending of two individuals into one while each retains his own unique personality and giftedness.
Clear identity (Ephesians, chapter one)
Fulfills God-given role (Ephesians 5: 22-35)
Practices love (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
Dependent on God (1 Peter, chapter 3)
Read the book of Proverbs: Jot down words that describe a healthy person, i.e. wise, honest, pure, respectful, etc.

What is God’s design for relationships and sexual intimacy?
God’s design for male/female relationships is much bigger than merely the love between a man and woman. God’s design illustrates His love for His chosen people, Israel, and Christ’s love for His Bride, the Church. That is why Satan is so adamant about destroying marriage and distorting sex.

Genesis 2:22-25: Marriage between one man and one woman for a lifetime was the first institution God created. Throughout the Old Testament, God refers to marriage as a covenant which illustrates His binding relationship with His people. This involved a blood sacrifice as a foreshadowing of what Christ would do on the cross for us. An ancient practice was to follow the bride and groom to the bridal chamber. Once the marriage was consummated, the groom would toss out the bloody cloth outside the door to prove to the witnesses that the covenant between them had taken place.

Read the book of Song of Solomon: A literal love story between King Solomon and the Shulamite maiden and a figurative story representing God’s love for us.
Hosea 2:19-20: God uses this account to reinforce His desire for us. To be a husband to us.
Matthew 5:27f: Jesus warns against sex outside of marriage.
Ephesians 5:31-35: The one-flesh relationship as an illustration
I Corinthians 6:19-20: Treating the temple of God with respect and care
Hebrews 13:4: Treating the marriage bed with honor
Romans 12:1-2: Viewing sex as an act of worship

Perhaps you might share these scriptures with your teens, encouraging them to focus on God's plan for healthy relationships and sexual intimacy.

Eileen Rife, author and speaker

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