Grace – Better in Bed

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Grace, this is a hard word to accept.

It means you are given a good gift you don’t deserve. It means receiving what God deemed good with thanksgiving. The theme verse for this series is 1 Timothy 4:4. In this verse it says not to reject what is received with appreciation because God created what is good. I realized when I moved out of my parents’ house to live with my roommates that experiencing close relationships with anyone takes giving and receiving. I had to give time by contributing to the chores or cooking meals for us all, and I received community from them and a place of belonging. This took a lot of grace but I have great relationships with my roommates. The bottom line is that GRACE is the best position…in bed. As with any relationship, what you give to it is what you will receive from it. Another way of saying it is the best position in bed is to graciously give and receive.

No matter the stage of life you are in, this truth is something anyone can grow in. One of my favorite verses about grace is found in Hebrews 4:16. It says to “come humbly before the throne of grace.” This is why anyone can grow personally, because it takes humility to give and receive from other people. It means going out of your way to know what others need, but it also means being vulnerable to share what your needs are, I think this is especially true in marriage. Learning this principle can grow you and your relationships because people need grace.

A way to apply this principle is to learn more about relationships, including marriage, dating, and singleness. RightNow Media is a great resource our church offers to you for free. If you are married, consider “Extraordinary Marriage,” by Pete Briscoe or “Staying in Love” by Andy Stanley. If you’re single, despite what many people think, singleness is not a disease. It’s not the lesser option. Singleness is God’s gift to you today. Learn more about that gift in the study “Thrive” by Lina Abujamra. For young people looking to date, you should know about Michael Todd’s book on “Relationship Goals. ”I offer these resources to say that grace takes work and this is a way to learn more so that you can apply this principle.

Questions:
How do you give grace?

What does it mean for you to give and receive?

Why do you think grace can be a hard word to accept?

Next Steps:
Ask your spouse or important people in your life, “What do you need”?

Watch one of the resources on RightNow Media.

Prayer:
God, thank you for creating good gifts. I don’t deserve it but out of grace, you give anyway. I pray that I would have an open heart to give and receive. I pray that I would come humbly before your throne of grace. You say that when I do I will receive grace and mercy in time of need. I pray for an increase of grace over my relationships. In Jesus’ name, amen.


This post was written by Rebecca Roberts, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.


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Mechanics – Better in Bed

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Over the last couple of days, we have been looking at the Biblical Mechanics that lead us to be better in bed. On Tuesday, we looked at the mechanics of rest, yesterday the mechanics of respect, and today we will look at the three remaining biblical mechanics.

The first one we will cover is the “recreational you.” This involves our willingness to create again. When we think about giving graciously to our spouse, being creative goes a long way. It is easy to get into patterns in our lives, and it is even easier to stay there. It takes little effort to stick with what’s familiar and comfortable — leading us to do the same old same old. When we get creative, though, it lets others know we are putting thought into it. While this applies to the bedroom, it also applies to every interaction we have with our spouse throughout the day.

Floating through the day with little thought of how we can creatively connect with our spouse can lead to a prison of monotony, not unlike Kramer described in a Seinfeld episode. Instead, be creative; think about your spouse’s needs and how you can meet them in a surprisingly new way.

This leads into the second biblical mechanic, which is the “responsive you.” The “responsive you” attends to your spouse’s bid for connection. This is easier said than done because it requires you to be aware of both your spouse’s desires and their reality.  We all have busy day-to-day lives, and our attention is likely preoccupied with work, schedules, kids, kid’s schedules, chores, and so much more.  The “responsive you” figures out a way to connect with your spouse making sure his/her desires are cared for no matter the reality of life.

Sex educator Emily Nagoski recognizes the reality that couples are busy and that busyness can kill a couple’s desires. That is why in her TED talk titled, “How couples can sustain a strong sexual connection for a lifetime,” she encourages couples to prioritize sex. She even encourages couples to put it on their calendars.

The final biblical mechanic is the “receptive you,” who delights in what is being given. For some, this is difficult because they have a tough time letting others do things for them. But as Ben Snyder shared with us this weekend, when we don’t let our spouse give to us, we rob them of the joy and blessing they would get from it.

Acts 20:35
You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

It is also important to delight in it. We do this best when we realize that we don’t deserve it and instead see it as a gift from our spouse that we need to receive.

Questions:
Are you willing to create again? What part of your relationship with your spouse would benefit most from a little creativity?

What are the realities of life that can make it difficult to meet desires in the marriage?

Read Philippians 2:3-4. How could consistently living out this verse change your marriage? If you’re single, how could living out this verse change your relationships?

Next Steps:
Grade yourself in the Biblical Mechanics.  Write down a few things you can do to grow in each mechanic.

Join a Group. This is the primary way we see people grow and take next steps. The app has the directory right at your fingertips to help you see the Groups available.

Attend the February 2022 Marriage Event. We have opened registration during this series. To begin registration, simply text MARRIAGE to 419.419.0707.

Prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this past weekend’s message. As I think about it today, open my eyes as to how I can be more intentional about rest, and how I can  be more respectful, creative, responsive,  and receptive. As I grow in each of these areas, I ask that you bless my marriage and my relationships. Thank you for loving us and graciously giving to us. In Jesus’ name, amen.


This post was written by Ben Bockert. Ben is a proud husband and father of three beautiful daughters. He is honored to serve as the Director of the LivingItOut Bible Study.


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When We First Began – Better in Bed

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A lot had changed in the years leading up to when we first began. I don’t greet many people with a hug, but I did that day. Erica smiled as we were surprised to notice one another. She says she breathed me in. A conversation ensued, and before we knew it, we were engaged a month later. It was a good conversation, and thankfully they continue to be that way, but it’s not without work. We fail if we don’t respect the process. We lose each other if we don’t give respect physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Ephesians 5:33
So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

What does it mean to love and respect in marriage? Marriage isn’t only a green light for the bedroom. Each union must honor the whole person the way God does. Too often, the husband focuses on the second half of the above verse, while the wife might only see truth in the first half of the Scripture.

We do the little things for one another to connect emotionally. I’ll make Erica a cup of coffee to start her day or take the dogs out by myself if I know she needs to sleep in. Erica will take the kids somewhere for a few hours to give me time to write in a quiet space.

We all need to take the time to connect spiritually. Erica and I talked about our relationships with God before we got married. And now, we listen to what God calls the other to do, even if we fight the idea at first. God called Erica to return to Ohio, and after some time, I was on board. We take the time to focus on our marriage’s emotional and spiritual aspects, which helps us respect the physical side that much more. Showing that it’s not all about the individual keeps us connected.

Ephesians 5:25
25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her

Actor Sterling K. Brown said, “The success we have experienced together would not be possible without my wife leading the way, so thank you for holding a brother down.” That goes both ways in our marriage. I sacrificed years because of the importance of her career. Her belief in what I’m capable of has helped hold me together. Erica is sitting next to me as I’m typing this up. I reminded her of the first time that I ever saw her smile when we first began. That’s one of the ways we give a RESPECTFUL YOU. Honoring the whole person the way God does.

Questions:
Do you attempt to show respect in your relationship emotionally, spiritually, and physically?

Next Steps:
Honor your spouse throughout the day by connecting with who they are as a person. Take the 5 Love Languages quiz together. Attend church together and talk about what you got out of the message.

Prayer:
God, thank you for blessing me with a partner whose love for you continues to push me to strengthen my relationship with you and her. Thank you for humbling me and showing grace when I take these blessings for granted. Please continue to bless our union as we provide a loving example for our children. Amen.


This post was written by Jaron Camp. Jaron is a storyteller and a professional ghostwriter who enjoys using his gifts to write for the LivingItOut. When he’s not developing fictional worlds, researching, and writing, Jaron enjoys watching sports, participating in family game night, and spending time with his wife and four kids.


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Rest and Reconnect – Better in Bed

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Back to school month is typically the busiest for me as a teacher, which in turn overflows to home life. Oh, and we added a new family member to our home two weeks before school started, so that has definitely added to the craziness. Kevin has also been working long hours and managing different responsibilities. One sunny afternoon after school, I decided to take my Bible outside and enjoy a little sunshine, a few minutes of downtime, and some quiet with Jesus. When I sat down, though, my view was a burgeoning WEED coming out of the river rock near the pool — evidence of some of our neglected duties. I sent Kev a pic of our freshly flourished shrubbery and texted:

  • Just enjoying my redneck, overgrown backyard this afternoon.
  • This one has flowers!

To which Kevin replied:

  • Saw that also; now I wonder how tall it will grow.

What happened next can only be defined as 27 years of marriage when we simultaneously texted almost exactly the same thing:

  • Maybe a Jack and the Beanstalk opportunity (Kevin).
  • Maybe it’s the modern Jack and the Beanstalk (me).

Ha! I literally laughed out loud. I was thankful for this bit of connection, albeit through technology, amidst a crazy few weeks. It also served as a subtle reminder of the need for connection, especially when we face packed schedules, stress from work, daily tasks, relationships with our adult kiddos and our new teenager.

In any relationship, including a marriage, we can give our best to the other person by building in some margin versus living maxed out. DISCLAIMER: Some seasons do not allow for much margin, but thankfully those seasons don’t last forever. If you’re in a season like that, keep on holdin’ on.

As a person whose love language is quality time, extended stretches without connection (and time together) can put a strain on our relationship. School is still going full throttle and we are still adjusting to our new family dynamic, but we have been intentional about some time together. Aand, when we build margin/rest — into our lives, God will refresh us, both individually and as a couple.

Jeremiah 31:25 says, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Similarly, Isaiah 40:30-31 declares, “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (emphasis added).

Ultimately, when we allow margin, eliminate stress, and get REST, we can give better to those around us. Our rest comes supernaturally from God. Look to him to restore you and give you what you need. He refreshes; he renews. A refreshed soul will lead to a deeper connection.

Questions:
Have you felt a lack of margin lately? How has that affected your relationship(s)? What are some ways you can find rest in God and bring your best to your relationship(s)?

Next Steps:
Matthew 6:33 tells us that when we “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else” he will “give you everything you need.” Prioritize your relationship with God first. Let him give you the rest you need and refresh your soul. Then, build margin for your relationship(s) with others.

Prayer:
Lord, there are MANY things vying for our attention. They are mostly good and/or necessary things, but, nonetheless, these demands end up maxing us out which affects our relationship with you and with others. Help us to seek you first. Provide the rest and refreshment that we need. And, may it overflow into our relationships. Give us the ability to give the “best of us” to those we love. Bless us with quality connection when quantity isn’t attainable. Fill in the gaps and work supernaturally so our relationships can ultimately give YOU glory. We pray this in your precious Son’s name, amen.


This post was written by Kendra Grubinski. Kendra is passionate about her relationship with Jesus and loves studying and sharing God’s Word. During the week, she is a Spanish Teacher at Findlay High School. She also enjoys spending time with her family and pups, reading, traveling, drinking good coffee and being active outdoors.


Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast

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The Best Position is… – Better in Bed

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1 Corinthians 7:2-5
2 But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. 4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife (emphasis added).

Bottom Line: The best position in bed is to graciously give and receive.

Another way to say it is… GRACE is the best position … in bed.

In his book, “Sacred Marriage,” author Gary Thomas says: “By creating a physical desire, God is inviting us to participate in the spiritual reality of learning to share, have fellowship with, and enter the life and soul of another human being in a profound way … Maintaining a steady pursuit toward and empathy for another human being goes against our sinful, egocentric bent.” When our focus is on our spouse and their needs, loving this son or daughter of God becomes an act of worship.

Last weekend, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder talked about the importance of giving and receiving. Not demanding to satisfy our own needs, but realizing the needs of the other and graciously giving ourselves to them. It requires intentional attention to the activities of daily life, the stresses, the workload, the chores, the kids, etc. And it requires intentional communication regarding the needs those activities bring about with respect for each other’s capacity at any given time. A standing joke in a Group we attended was how attractive one’s husband was when he was scrubbing the floor in preparation for the group! I have a magnet on my refrigerator that says, “No man was ever shot doing the dishes!” These are funny ways of saying that both men and women have a responsibility to create an atmosphere of intimacy as they respond to the needs of their spouse. You say you love me. Show me!

One of the best ways we can show that love is to care for ourselves, spiritually, mentally and physically. When we honor God with our bodies, we are able to give the best version of ourselves to our spouses. Over the next few days we will explore how we can be our best so we can give our best.

The Biblical Sexual Ethic tells us to honor God with our bodies

1 Corinthians 6: 19        
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

Questions:
Can you, do you, as the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 2:3b-4 (NIV) “in humility, value others (your spouse) above yourself, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others (your spouse)?” (my emphasis)

Do you have margin in your life to lovingly pursue your spouse to serve them?

Next Steps:
This week ask your spouse how you can serve them in some way that will allow them to rest, restore, refresh or renew something that has caused them to spend too much energy. Then take time to listen and respond. This begins your pursuit toward an empathy for them!

Prayer:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, We are grateful for the picture of love you have shown us as you dwell in perfect harmony in the trinity. Help us to love and serve each other well. Be present in our bedroom relationships as well as those outside it. We thank you and celebrate the opportunity you have given us to experience your love in our physical bodies as we experience your love in our relationship with you. Amen.


This post was written by Lauri White. Lauri is one of the 25 people that God used to start CedarCreek in the Fall of 1995, and was on staff until 2013. Lauri loves Jesus, and loves helping people, especially women, live out of the truth about who we are in Christ. She and her husband Mike live in Oregon, but now spend winter months in Florida near daughter Kelda and her family.


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Are You Spontaneous or Responsive? – Better in Bed

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Last weekend, we talked about the heat between the sheets. When it comes to fanning the flames in the bedroom, it all comes down to our desires.

Like flames, our desires can be dangerous if they get out of control, but that doesn’t mean they are bad. It means we need to know how to understand them. When we understand them, we better know how to manage them and when to act on them.

This is why Lead Pastor Ben Snyder instructed us to “know your libido.”  Our libido is simply our sexual desires. It is often called our sex drive or  described as our appetite for sex.

There are many stereotypes attributed to people’s sex drives, and perhaps the most persistent stereotype says that men think about sex every seven seconds. These stereotypes and ones like it are not helpful, though, because they can cause us to place expectations on our spouses that simply are not correct.

Instead, we should try to know their libidos. Ben Snyder shared two types of libidos this weekend that can help us better understand ourselves and our spouses. These two types of libido are spontaneous and responsive.

The spontaneous libido is like a light switch. With little effort, a simple flick turns on the lights. Similarly, those with a spontaneous libido need little effort to be in the mood and ready for sex.

The responsive libido is more like a slow dimmer switch that gradually turns on the light, and it can take a little more effort and time to turn it on. Those with a responsive libido might not be in the mood for sex at first, but they will be as they are lovingly engaged throughout the day.

If you want to be better in bed, it will be helpful to know your libido and know your spouse’s libido. By knowing your libidos, you will be able to manage your desires, avoid frustrations, and know when you are each ready for sex.

Ecclesiastes 3:1
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.

Genesis 4:1   (ESV)
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.”

Questions:
What type of libido do you have? What type of libido does your spouse have?

How can the above answers help you be better in bed?

From Ben’s message, what are the risks to each type of libido?

Next Steps:
Continue taking steps to know/yada your spouse. Share with them what type of libido you have.

Opt into the Text Campaign. There are still two weeks of fun content to help couples be better together. Text BETTER to 419-419-0707.

Join a Group. This is the primary way we see people grow and take next steps. The app has the directory right at your fingertips to help you see the Groups available.

Attend the February 2022 Marriage Event. We are opening up registration during this series. To begin registration, simply text MARRIAGE to 419.419.0707.

Prayer:
Dear God, thank you for the gift of desires. Please help me to grow and understand them better. I pray that my desires never master me and that I never bury them. Instead, teach me how and when to act on them so they can be healthy. Finally, help me know my spouse better and understand the desires you have given them. In Jesus’ name, amen.


This post was written by Ben Bockert. Ben is a proud husband and father of three beautiful daughters. He is honored to serve as the Director of the LivingItOut Bible Study.


Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast

The LivingItOut Podcast is released every Wednesday morning. It discusses key takeaways and principles from the weekend message. Listen to the weekly podcast in your car, during your lunch break, or any other time that works for you. You can find the latest podcast here.


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John Reading Plan


I Want It That Way – Better in Bed

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This week we have been learning the difference between healthy and unhealthy desires. Last weekend, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder said that it is healthy to have desire. Not a single person should feel guilty for having desire. It is appropriate to think about what excites us and what stimulates the greatest desire in us. It’s good for those who aren’t married to get curious about their desires and think about that “someday” when the time will come to share that desire with a future spouse.

Ben encouraged us to ask God how to honor that desire, but he also had a few words of warning. He cautioned us not to make a person the object of our desire because that is when it becomes lust and is sinful. Pastor Ben also cautioned us to avoid unhelpful stereotypes such as “men always want sex, and women never want it.” These stereotypes create assumptions that are simply not true and can be very destructive.

While it is healthy for someone who is single to better understand their desires, it is equally healthy, if not more so, for a married couple to understand and pay attention to their desires. As one who is married, it is not only important to yada, or know, your own desires but also those of your spouse.

Have you ever just given in to purely physical desire with your spouse? While it may have been enjoyable in the moment, it can leave you feeling somewhat empty afterward. Pastor Ben explained that if you want a better bedroom experience, you need to take the time to truly know your desires and your partner’s. It’s important to think about the whole person—not just their physical desires—but also their mental and emotional desires. What turns you on, and what turns you off? What about your spouse? Take the time to learn and share your desires with each other. The more you know about what pleases your spouse, the more satisfaction you will bring to him/her and, ultimately, to yourself.

Genesis 2:24-25
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.

Genesis 4:1
Now Adam had sexual relations with his wife, Eve, and she became pregnant.

Knowing each other’s desires and improving the marital relationship in the bedroom fulfills what God intended from the moment of creation.

Questions:
If you are single, do you cultivate your desires in a healthy way?

If you’re married, do you truly take the time to learn your spouse’s desires as a whole person?

Next Steps:
Opt into the Text Campaign. There are still two weeks of fun content to help couples be better together. Text BETTER to 419-419-0707.

Join a Group. This is the primary way we see people grow and take next steps. The app has the directory right at your fingertips to help you see the Groups available.

Attend the February 2022 Marriage Event. We are opening up registration during this series. To begin registration, simply text MARRIAGE to 419.419.0707.

Prayer:
Gracious God, thank you for creating a physical, spiritual, and mental way for us to enjoy our spouses. Thank you for creating desire and helping us to cultivate it in a healthy way, seeking your guidance to avoid going astray. Help those who are single to develop a healthy understanding of their desire and to avoid the pitfall of creating a lustful heart. Father, help those who are married to grow deeper in their relationships by truly getting to know the desires of their partner. Amen.


This post was written by Ned Miller, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.


Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast

The LivingItOut Podcast is released every Wednesday morning. It discusses key takeaways and principles from the weekend message. Listen to the weekly podcast in your car, during your lunch break, or any other time that works for you. You can find the latest podcast here.


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Printable version of this week’s LIO study:

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More Resources

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John Reading Plan


Unrestrained Desire Leads to Slavery – Better in Bed

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One of the important lessons all people must learn is the difference between a want and a need. For example, everyone needs food, water, sleep, air, and some sort of shelter. You may have different preferences like ice cream or coffee, but you don’t need those to survive. When you need something, you are a slave to that. We need air to survive. We need food, even if it is just bread and vegetables, and water to survive. So in that way, we are slaves to those needs. God made us that way. However, Paul says:

1 Corinthians 6:13
You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies.

God created us with these basic needs, and they are good. However, any need can be taken to an unhealthy extreme. When people become addicted to a substance, activity, or experience, they become a slave to it. The wants or desires ultimately enslave the person engaging in those behaviors. Lead Pastor Ben Snyder pointed out this weekend that when we are mastered by anything, it begins to kill us. When we allow our desires to consume our lives, they crush us into a small, one-dimensional being that is defined by those desires.

In our culture, sexual identity is a hot-button issue. Many define themselves based on their sexuality, and therefore, they are enslaved by it. Our identity should not be based on what we do or who we think we are. When we do not find our identity in Christ, we will ultimately be enslaved by that identity. Because when desires, sexual or otherwise, define us, we are allowing those desires to take the place of God.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 (NIV)
3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God…

When we know God, we need to put our desire in its proper place. If we cannot control our bodies, we are slaves to them and have made our desires our idol or god. These desires then begin to define our self-worth and value. God created us as multidimensional beings. Our sexuality is one of those dimensions, but it should not be our primary dimension. We were made for so much more.

Galatians 5:1 (NIV)
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Questions:
Do you know the difference between a want and a need? When you think of your own sexuality, does it define your identity? Are your sexual desires in line with the parameters laid out in Scripture?

Next Steps:
If your sexual desires do not line up with the parameters laid out in Scripture, get help. Check out Celebrate Recovery to meet with other people and help reframe your sexuality in a way that honors God and yourself. If your sexual desires do line up with those in Scripture, use those desires to honor God, your spouse, and yourself this week.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for making us multidimensional beings. Thank you for the gift of sex. Thank you for giving us guidelines that help us honor you and our bodies with this gift. Help us to bring our desires under your control and to embrace the boundaries you have put in place so that we may live in freedom. Amen.


This post was written by Julie Mabus. Julie has a passion for thinking about big ideas, art, reading, and seeing God reveal himself through creation. She is married and is homeschooling her five young children.


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Don’t Be Casual – Better in Bed

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This past weekend, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder continued unpacking our series, Better in Bed, with this Bottom Line: HEALTHY DESIRE increases heat between the sheets. Is this an appropriate topic for church? According to Pastor Ben, it is not only healthy to talk about it but also important. Be mindful that this subject matter is not suitable for all ages that’s why the church put disclaimers out.

In today’s culture, casual sex can be categorized in many different ways. Sex with no strings attached, friends with benefits, and sex with an ex are just a few.

Sex is one-dimensional in all these situations, and it satisfies only the physical part of our desires. God cares about all parts of us—physical, mental, and spiritual—so we need to remember that sex is more than just physical.

The Apostle Paul corrected the wrong thinking of some Corinthian Christians who were participating in sexual immorality. It’s not surprising that some Christians did not see sexual immorality as a serious issue, as there were myriad sexual activities in Corinth. These wrong-thinking Christians believed that since Christians were not under The Law (Old Testament/Jewish Law), it was not sinful. Second, they thought that sex was like any other appetite when you are hungry … you eat. Third, they thought since the spirit lives forever, and God only cared about the spirit, that what they did with their bodies didn’t matter.

1 Corinthians 6:15-17
15 Don’t you realize that your bodies are all parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never!  16 And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scripture says, “The two are united into one.” 17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.

Paul used these verses to show how all parts of our being belong to Christ, and to have immoral sex dishonors the entire body of Christ. He paid a price for all of us with his death, burial, and resurrection. Pastor Ben said that if Christ was willing to go that far for you today and for eternity, YOU MATTER! So, you should not be casual with your desires.

Paul also references the language around the God-honoring desires in marriage, where the two become one flesh. To have casual sex is not God-honoring and is not blessed by God. The biblical sexual tells us not to sexualize our relationships outside of marriage.

Questions:
Are your desires honoring your whole person? If not, talk with a trusted Christian friend about your desires.

If you are single or single again, are you sexualizing your relationships outside of marriage? If so, understand that you are a multidimensional being and God has a better plan for you.

Next Steps:
Hitching Post printed a relevant article on March 29, 2021, by Lynn Knapp titled “Honoring God with Your Sex Life.” To read the article, click: https://www.hitchingpostweddings.com/2021/03/29/honoring-god-with-your-sex-life/.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, open my eyes so I may see that sex is more than physical. Grant me wisdom to see the beauty in sexual intimacy the way you intended. Give me strength to seek sexual purity in my relationship so I may honor you. In your Son’s holy name I pray, amen.


This post was written by Jennifer Macke. Jenn has a son, daughter, granddaughter, and grandson, and she thanks God every day for them. She is enjoying retirement and feels blessed to be writing for LivingItOut. She was raised in an Evangelical Church, but her spiritual life awakened when she started attending CedarCreek.


Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast

The LivingItOut Podcast is released every Wednesday morning. It discusses key takeaways and principles from the weekend message. Listen to the weekly podcast in your car, during your lunch break, or any other time that works for you. You can find the latest podcast here.


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Let God’s Desire Shine In – Better in Bed

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It’s natural to have desires. For instance, I love sushi! My years spent in San Diego spoiled me when it comes to that particular love. I follow my favorite sushi restaurants on social media, so my desire for that cuisine grows when I see a post. The problem is, I live in Fostoria, which isn’t considered a top anything for food snobs. When my desire grows and I can’t make it anywhere else, I’ll pop into my local grocery store in an attempt to satisfy my cravings. I have learned to somewhat enjoy the sometimes-tasty sushi from my local store. I can have sushi whenever I want, but the location and quality aren’t always a good idea. Timing is key, and saying no to the discounts is crucial.

1 Corinthians 10:23
You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything,”—but not everything is beneficial.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “A Time for Everything”
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.

These scriptures go beyond my yearning for omakase-style sushi. They encompass all desires, including sexual.

Lead Pastor Ben Snyder said, “In order for healthy desire to bring heat between the sheets, we need to know how and when to navigate our desires.” He also mentioned that healthy desire is leveraging wisdom to know how and when to act on what you are feeling.

When some of us hear the phrase between the sheets, our minds take us to the famous Isley Brothers song, and we’re ready to turn the lights down low. We don’t take the time to understand where our desires are coming from or who gave them to us. We don’t think about whether or not our desires honor God, the people close to us, and ourselves. This week as you reflect on the message Ben shared with us and the LivingItOut, consider your desires and what you can do to ensure they are healthy.

Questions:
Have you ever taken the time to understand your desires? Do you have safe people to talk to when you have questions about your desires and feelings?

Next Steps:
Study your Bible to gain an understanding of God’s intentions for our desires. Consider other resources: Men, read Every Man’s Battle; women, read  Every Woman’s Battle to help combat the challenges of temptation. Find people you can talk to about breaking down sexual desires.

Prayer:
God, healthily guide me to learn, acknowledge, and respect my desires and those of my spouse as we continue to grow into who you made us to be. Remind those searching for healthy and spiritual relationships to be patient as they learn more about themself and their potential partner. Let us be mindful of our influence to teach our children about the desires of the body, mind, and heart. Amen.


This post was written by Jaron Camp, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.


Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast

The LivingItOut Podcast is released every Wednesday morning. It discusses key takeaways and principles from the weekend message. Listen to the weekly podcast in your car, during your lunch break, or any other time that works for you. You can find the latest podcast here.


Leave a Comment?

We would love to hear how the LivingItOut is making a difference in your life. Let us know how today’s post inspired, challenged, or encouraged you by leaving a comment here.


Want to be a part of the LivingItOut team?

We are always looking for people who are passionate about writing and proofing to serve on the LivingItOut team. If you are interested, email LIO@cedarcreek.tv today!


Printable version of this week’s LIO study:

Click Here


More Resources

Series Theme Verses
LivingItOut Podcast
RightNow Media
John Reading Plan