Taming the Unicorn
Chapter Three – Bridled by Love
Only God can tame the unicorn that rips and snorts and kicks within our flesh. He speaks of it in Job 39:9–12. "Will the unicorn be willing to serve you, or abide by your crib?" God reveals His great, tender love for children in this verse. The harmony between the Old and the New Testaments again becomes apparent when we recall that the Anointed Lord Yeshua was nestled in a manger after He was born. The manger became symbolic of a baby's bed in the Christian culture, and 2000 years later, babies' beds are still called "cribs." In choosing this type of bed for His Son after He was born in the flesh, God reveals the compassion in His heart for little children whose security is threatened by Lust.
By pouring Himself into the fragile, tiny body of an infant, Yeshua identified Himself with the weakness and dependency of all of us when we were children. God longs for little ones to be born and grow up happy and secure in a stable environment. Hmmm. Yeshua was born in a stable.
I am convinced that God engineered the English language to make points such as this. He is quite a punster. We can see that by how He so frequently made plays on words in the Hebrew language when He downloaded the Scriptures to holy men who recorded His words.
In Job 39:9, God is saying it is impossible for people to tame their lust, but there is hope for us; He can tame it. Whether people know God or not, it is due to the grace of God when we find ourselves able to be sensible and restrain our enjoyment of sexual pleasure within the boundaries of marriage. In fact, the grace of God is at work even when people engage in sex outside of marriage, restricting their perversion, keeping them from getting more carried away and causing greater harm. However, unless people continue to flow with God's grace towards increasing maturity, they eventually fall away from goodness and sink down into a cesspool of sin.
In the context of the manger, this verse speaks of being respectfully satisfied with the mate whom God has provided, instead of letting the unicorn within our flesh appease its hunger by stealing gratification from someone else's manger. As a baby's bed, the symbolism speaks of the peace and rest in a child's heart when his parents are faithful to each other.
In the case of single parents; children find peace and rest when their parent does not allow their sexual drive to push them into choosing a mate who would be detrimental to their children's emotional or physical safety, or gallop about looking for cheap thrills. God can help people love their children so much that they will sacrifice their corrupt fantasies for the sake of their children's current well–being and their future. In this way, God tames their lust so they don't abandon their babies to chase the unicorn.
How can the unicorn be made to serve? By channelling the energy of our sexual drive into constructive avenues when a God–approved release is not available. For the unmarried, this energy can be diverted into attending upon the Lord without distraction.
Sometimes married people are required to abstain. One's spouse might be away from home for days or longer in the interests of their career, or they might be ill and unable to participate in sex. Rather than being resentful and becoming frustrated, through thanking God in those circumstances, people can develop patience, which is a great treasure. The Bible says it is God's will that we give thanks to Him in every circumstance. This is a tremendously powerful exercise.
If a person does not feel that they love their mate, but are committed to loving God and serving Him, in His Presence they can find the strength they need to be faithful to their marriage vows when the excitement is missing, and learn to love their spouse in a deep and abiding way.
Learning to develop an attitude of gratitude, regardless of whatever else was lacking in my life that I wanted, turned it around and released joy into it. Gratitude for what we have, rather than moping about what we don't have, is one of the keys of the Kingdom of God. It unlocks many doors.
As a single woman with a lively libido, I experienced times when my sexual drive longed for fulfillment. I think that the most difficult times were at the beginning of my unwilling return to singlehood. It took four and a half years after my husband left me to give up on wanting to get back together with him. I had issued an ultimatum about his drinking, hoping that he would go for counselling. He had told me that God had convicted him about having a mistress (I had known nothing about this) and he'd given her up, so that was not the issue. It was quite a shock that he chose to leave our home. After all, we had two beautiful, little children who we needed to raise.
During those first years of singlehood, I thought the Bible obliged me to remain single because my husband was still living. My pastor tried to tell me that my husband had given me good grounds to get remarried because he was an adulterer (he had remarried), but it just wouldn't sink in.
I recall standing on the steps of my church, protesting vigorously to God in my thoughts about my ex–husband's lack of conscience, and how it had left me stranded on a sandbar, as it were, while he got to sail away and whoop it up, not necessarily only with his new wife, because his conscience was obviously seared and insensitive to conviction. God calmed me down with a quiet word that He would not leave me stranded. I assumed that meant that I would be reunited with my ex–husband soon.
Eventually, I realized that I really didn't want to get back together with my ex–husband, nor had I wanted to be married to anyone else. I had given up all hope of ever finding happiness in marriage, but I hadn't been ready to face up to the implications of being single for the rest of my life.
I wore my wedding ring all those years to deter men from asking me for dates. I had been deeply hurt, and didn't want to be hurt any more, so it seemed that the best way to avoid being hurt was to avoid becoming romantically involved with men. Being fixated on the idea of getting back together with my ex–husband was a cushion to protect me from harsh reality until I met a man who restored my desire to be married.
In the meantime, I finally learned to appreciate men as people and enjoy platonic friendships with them. I was surprised to find that having men for friends was much more fun than when I had romantic relationships with them. No doubt, this was because I hadn't picked the right kind of men to have romantic relationships with.
I found it fun to be assertive and strong, to learn new things, and not care if men felt "threatened" by my knowledge, abilities, or opinions. It was much more fun than when I used to worry about whether or not men found me attractive, playing in to their fantasies of the perfect woman. I could never keep that up for long anyway.
After a year or two of singleness, I came to a crisis point where something had to be done about my sex drive. I sensed intuitively what I needed to do. I humbly and simply acknowledged my desires to the Lord, thanked Him for the wonderful way He has made me, and pointed out that there was not an option available to me as a single to deal with my desires in a fashion that He approves of. As I yielded my heart to Him, I humbly asked, "Father, will You please take these feelings for me until such a time as You provide for them to be fulfilled?"
I sensed a great reverence in the Lord Yeshua as He lifted my sexual desires from off me, like they were a very precious treasure, and He laid them on a shelf where they would be safe until they were needed. Then I got busy doing things and the urge subsided as my mind became otherwise occupied.
God doesn't ask us to refrain from sexual sin because He wants to drive us around the bend. He has made us in such a way that we can be truly fulfilled only when we remain pure. God could not make us any other way because He is holy and good. A Creator who is totally good can make only good things.
The better we come to know God, the more we will love Him, and the more we love Him, the more patient we will be about letting Him harness our drives and directing us in His paths.
Fornication and other sexual sins are like bacteria that get into the soul and cause it to become diseased. It tends to make a person unbalanced in their thinking. As Proverbs 30:20 says, "Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eats, and wipes her mouth, and says, I have done no wickedness."
The same holds true for promiscuous men. As a person continues in their promiscuity, they find themselves becoming emptier and emptier, the satisfaction and happiness that they hoped for eludes them, and they become more and more perverted as basic sexual activity fails to ring their chimes the way it used to. It gets the most pathetic when a person is so hooked on lust that they can't think of anything else but sex, and keep pushing it at everyone else, too. There is a lot more to life than sex, but sexually sick people find that hard to believe.
I was never obsessed with sex to that extent, but I used to think that it was a lot more important than what it really is, in regards to sensual thrills. (Its spiritual implications are very important and powerful in marriage, but I had no idea about this when I was young.) The one thing I asked God for when I prayed about a husband at 20 years old was that He would give me a man who could handle my libido. I figured that I was hot stuff. God answered my prayer by giving me all that I asked for, and then some.
It was like when the Israelites during their wandering in the wilderness asked God for flesh. He gave it to them all right. They had quail up to their knees and ate it until it came out of their nostrils. They ate it until they were sick of it. God knew what I needed. It wasn't a lot of sex, like I thought it was. I needed to find out that there was much more to life than that, and it took a husband who was overloaded with testosterone, but short on reasonable expectations, to convince me of it.
As with the Israelites, God gave me what my flesh wanted, but sent leanness into my soul. I didn't accomplish much during the ten years that I was married. The only writing I did was a few letters to friends and relatives, and some letters of protest to government officials and television executives. I didn't discover until after the marriage was over that I could write poetry. I didn't do any artwork, though I have a bit of talent. I lost contact with my old friends and made very few new ones. My husband told me that he felt that I was the only person he needed, so we didn't socialize much.
Then my husband started going to bars as a regular thing. I went with him for a time, but it became a bore. As his alcoholism progressed, his drinking started earlier and earlier in the day, so that by the time we went out to a cabaret, he'd be so smashed that he couldn't dance with me more than a couple of times. I then stayed home and read books while he developed a social life with other women, though I didn't realize at that time what he was up to. I thought that he was keeping company with his drinking buddy that he had met at work.
People need to be particular about who they marry. The clues about my ex–husband's alcoholism were there during the engagement, but permitting close physical contact before the wedding, even if it is just smooching, can seriously impair a person's judgment and cause them to slip into making emotional, rather than rational, decisions.
I didn't do any kind of volunteer work when I was married. I had very narrow, self–centred interests, as well as too much stress from dealing with an alcoholic to find the energy to take an interest in other things, but after the marriage was over, I became more curious about history, psychology, technology, astronomy, plants, minerals, seashells, ... there's a whole world of wonder that God has put at our disposal, for our enjoyment and education. I sure missed out on a lot when I let sex and daydreams take up too much of my time.
I met a couple of clinging, young newlyweds in church once, and the wife reminded me of how I was when I was young and silly. Her husband was a handsome, well–built Latino. Every time I asked them a question about their interests, trying to be friendly and get to know them, the wife would just roll her eyes adoringly up to her husband and hint about how enraptured she was with his lovemaking, which was all that she was interested in. He stood there with a proud smile on his face at her drooling accolades.
Finally, I got fed up enough with being shown these unwelcome glimpses into their personal life to say something. I said, "Well, no offense to you, I'm sure, _____, but (turning to the wife) what were you interested in before you met _____?" They both looked embarrassed, but suitably sober–minded. The wife said that she had liked to go hiking. That was fine. It finally gave me something to talk about with them. I liked to go hiking, too.
There was another young couple in my church who were always all over each other when they were engaged. I finally could empathize with how I must have been viewed when I was soaked in hormones and would kiss my boyfriends, and later my husband, in front of other people. I thought, "Oh, barf! I can't believe that I used to be so stupid like that. It really is sickening when people are so mushy in public."
I made a griping comment about that couple to my friends a few times. Most of them looked at me like I was a sourpuss, but one of them said, "Don't change, Lanny. You have the right idea." I was surprised to hear that coming from her; she was a rather flamboyant woman who sang in nightclubs.
I think that a lot of couples who are quite demonstrative in public imagine that what they have together is the romance of the century, and that people who love (lust) each other as much as they do should be expected to act that way. It seems to me that they are playing a role of how they think a great lover behaves as a substitute for real love because they don't really know much about real love. Many of their behaviourisms seem to be drawn from Hollywood films.
I often felt like my husband and I were just playing roles when we were "romantic" with each other, merely imitating from movies how we thought someone should behave when they are besotted with their mate. At the end of ten years, I finally came to realize that, though I had loved that man with all my heart, it really wasn't worth much because my heart was only about the size of pea (my neediness was much bigger), and his heart was about the same. Neither of us had much capacity for real love, so we made do with cheap cardboard facades to convince each other and ourselves that we were happy in our relationship.
After my husband and I separated, I got into reading the Bible more, and it was (and is!) a huge thrill to receive fresh revelation from the Lord. When I started to see new things that I had never heard preached on before, I was amazed that I could hear from God directly instead of having to always depend on pastors and Bible scholars to teach me. When I was locked into mainly trying to gratify my physical senses, and not giving God much thought until I was in a jam and needed Him to get me out of it, I had no idea that living continually in His presence and developing spiritually could be so exciting! Yes, in spite of how much fun they are, there is a lot more to life than bedtime frolics.
Click below to read:
Taming the Unicorn, Chapter 4