Today Marina and I got into a big fight over her room. Since she was a small child, Marina's room has always been a bit of a disaster area. It regularly looks like a small tornado, or micro-burst, started to go through her room; realized half-way through that the tornado was actually making the room cleaner, and then just gave up. Our 9 yr-old son is much the same way with cleanliness, except he shares his room with Phillip, who likes to keep his toys in their original boxes. This makes for a wonderfully charming dyamic between the two.
This weekend I finally got tired of stumbling through their rooms like a blind burglar and decided to consolidate the two messy children into the same room. Marina would move into Nick's room and Phillip would move into Marina's room. As you can imagine, it was NOT a popular decision, except with Phillip, who gets Marina's room for a week. Some of the discussions included whether this move would backfire and push Marina further away, and whether she had a right to maintain her room the way she saw fit.
I thought long and hard about this because I definitely do NOT want to push Marina away during these last couple of years in high school. At the same time, we have certain expectations for the room that Mary and I give to our kids. Even though it costs the kids nothing to receive, it costs Mary and me a lot of money and hard work to give the rooms. It's not unreasonable then, that we want to see our gifts taken care of.
I started to think of how we view our bodies as belonging to ourselves and we have the "right" to use our bodies as we desire. The reality, however, is something totally different. Our bodies are gifts from God. Not only that, they are united with Christ himself. In 1 Cor 6:15 Paul reminds us Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and untie them with a prostitute? Never! Later on, in 1 Cor 6:19, Paul continues with Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
I have lived in a state of rebellion as a sexual addict. I treated my body as if it were mine and mine alone and defiled my body in an affair and through my sexual acting out. I still struggle with tempation of mind and body even though God, just a few verses earlier (1 Cor 6:18) commands us to Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Paul is clearly telling us that our sexual sins are not just against God but destructive to ourselves. Yet despite all of this, my rebellious, sinful nature reaches out for that which will destroy us.
Romans 12:1 says Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.
So in the end, my rebellion against God, through my sexual addiction, is not unlike my daughter's and son's rebellion against me with "their" room. It would seem that we all must learn to listen more carefully to our fathers and honor the gifts that our fathers give to us as our spiritual acts of worship. In this way, we will be transformed from what we are to what God wants us to be.
The ground is level at the foot of the cross....recovering addict rescued by the saving grace of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!