Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

Tell Us Your Story–True Stories from my Readers

A couple of my readers have decided to bless us with their testimonies (bold/italics and other emphasis were added by me):

Story #1 Sexual Purity and Joyfully Married

I don’t consider myself any better than anyone else, but I am thankful that God has given my life a unique “flavor” that is all mine.

I saw the consequences of pre-marital sex when I was just a sophomore in high school. One of my classmates had to drop out of school due to an unplanned pregnancy. This was the same time that I met Christ, but my parents would not allow me to join the ministry that introduced me to Him.

My parents and eldest brother did influence me positively in other aspects of my life. They encouraged me to stay away from peers who lacked discipline and ambition. This was God’s way of keeping me away from drug addiction, alcoholism, smoking, and the like.

Pre-marital sex seemed just as useless as the before-mentioned vices. Whenever a woman gets pregnant out of wedlock, she looses the privilege to choose the guy she really longs to be with for the rest of her life. There is also all of the heartache, pain and shame; not to mention the everyday struggle of rearing the child (acting both as father and mother). I never wanted that to happen to me, ever. I decided to remain a virgin until I was married, and decided not to even kiss a man until I knew he was the one I would spend the rest of my life with.

I had committed my life to sexual purity, but my life went through some “low points.” I became involved in a homosexual relationship. I had unknowingly replaced my need for a mother-daughter relationship with this utterly disgusting one. This was caused primarily by a poor relationship with my mother.

God eventually answered my quest for unconditional love—He gave me another opportunity for a personal encounter with Christ. I had to accept the Bible’s teaching: “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33). This was a hard word for me to follow. I had been with a group of friends for the past eight years, and they were not good influences. I had to stay away from them in order to truly follow Christ.

God also taught me that when temptation comes, I would need to run away from it. I would have to imitate Joseph, who ran away when he was tempted (Genesis 39:12). [Note especially for men who are struggling with lust: Read Not Even a Hint – Guarding Your Heart Against Lust by Joshua Harris. It will give you insight.]

When I truly committed my life to Christ, submission to God was another thing that I struggled with. I had lived my life independently for 2 years. I learned that submission to God comes before the ability to resist temptation (James 4:7-8).

This was not an overnight change—it was a long process. I learned that the more hard-headed you are towards God’s Word, the longer it takes for you to learn His ways. Through this process, I also learned how to have good emotional boundaries [suggested reading: Boundaries –when to say yes, when to say no, to take control of your life by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend].

Through time, God healed me and even gave me back my desire for a heterosexual lifetime partner. I decided I would only marry a man who was a committed Christian—otherwise, I would not even consider him. Christian friends told me that I should pray right away and be specific about the guy I wanted to marry – spiritual qualities, physical features, attitudes, etc. I even prayed about the age of the man (when I finally did meet him, I remembered that he was in the age range that God had impressed on my heart).

Praying and waiting has its rewards (Ephesians 6:18, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Psalms 19:11). God spent three years molding me and preparing me for marriage. After these three years, I finally met the guy God prepared for me (Psalms 37:4). Waiting was definitely hard—waiting without any “special someone” around is like looking to the distance without seeing that object you wanted to see. This is the essence of faith—believing without seeing (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Quoting Pastor Ed Young, I am proud to say that I am not happily married but “joyfully married.” My husband and I are both free from guilt and shame and are able to be the best of friends. Yes, we have differences (not to mention cultural differences) but God is over and above all things (Isaiah 37:16). He can make the impossible possible (Luke 18:27). This year is another year of more waiting and more rewards–blessed rewards from my beloved heavenly Father. He never fails to fulfill His promises (Psalms 33:4; 145:13b; 146:6 Hebrews 10:23)!

Story #2 From Africa To California (by Christine)

I have written letters to my future husband since I was an early teenager. I shared with him the struggles I had and the commitment I made to save my first kiss for our wedding day. I will have to say that waiting has been well worth it! I gave my husband those letters the week of our wedding. I have been married for one year and 9 months.

I had some hard times as I waited. I was tempted many times to give my heart away, to push the boundries and do what “felt right” at the time. I resisted and trusted that God’s way was right and He knew better than me.

I praise the LORD for hand-picking my mate. He is 7 years older, and he saved his virginity for me. We met as missionaries in Africa and now live in California. We look forward to serving overseas again, but until then we are sharing God’s word where we are.

Kevin, I am blessed by you. When we first met, before you went to the Philippines and I went to Africa, I knew that the woman God chooses for you would be blessed. Thank you for treating me with honor and respect and for guarding my heart.

Thanks to both of you for sharing your testimony. Thanks for reminding us that love is worth the wait!

1 Comment

  1. i love the second story. the dirst one too, it really pays to WAIT, saves one a lot fo heartaches.

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