Taming the Unicorn
Chapter Four – Staying on Track
God wants us to have fun; but in ways that are healthy and compatible with our design, which is heterosexual monogamy. Polygamy, promiscuity, and homosexuality undermine us spiritually and psychologically. In some cases, perversion undermines physically as well.
When I was in my thirties, I thought I knew pretty much all there was to know about sex until I picked up a book on AIDS. The information in it was so disgusting that I had to quit reading halfway through. I learned enough to conclude that, even if people have no religious convictions at all, but do have common sense and a bit of medical knowledge, they can deduce that sodomy is physically harmful, sometimes even deadly. Internal organs can get ruptured and cause death. When the orfice gets too stretched from repeated penetration, people lose control of their bowel movements. Nature did not design the anus for sexual activity. I have never heard of any serious sexual disease occurring between heterosexual, monogamous partners who do not engage in kinky stuff.
Job 39:10 asks, "Can you bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow?" Self–control is the unicorn's band. His furrow is the individual path that God has designed to bring each person maximum fulfillment. For some, marriage is their gift and the only other option God condones is celibacy. However, even people who mistakenly get married can find grace to bear with their choice and not defraud their spouse. And those who are not married can find grace to be chaste.
Please, don't take that the wrong way as one 15–year–old boy did when his mother was instructing him in self–control. As she ended her lecture, she said "…and if you do this, you will be chaste." He eagerly asked her, "Do you mean by girls?" Well, maybe by the ones who like a challenge!
Though the unicorn, like a horse, normally prefers to run wild and have a harem, God can bring contentment to our sexual drive in a narrower, deeper, more useful margin. The furrow speaks of fruitfulness, whether one is celibate or married, with or without children. In most marriages, children are a part of fruitfulness, but even childless couples can experience increase through ministry and engender many spiritual children. Marital fidelity makes a deeper impact in ministry and results in more abiding fruit.
Job 39:10 asks, "Or will he harrow the valleys after you?" God can tame sexual desire to follow Him through valleys of holiness with mountains of temptation on every side. He can make the unicorn meekly keep its head down and follow Him, looking neither to the right or left.
The harrow speaks of increased usefulness. When a person follows God, instead of their energy being scattered and squandered in bedroom romps, it gets harnessed and invested in a wider range of useful and fruitful ministry that yields eternal rewards.
When we submit to being harnessed by God, the Holy Spirit can keep us from becoming impressed with ourselves when others find us attractive (or say they do), or from seducing someone who catches our fancy. God will help us maintain our focus on Yeshua. Our commitment to God serves as blinkers that prevent us from being distracted.
God can tame our lust so we will behave towards others in ways that He deems proper, rather than indulging in the license of worldly standards. A man or woman who is submitted to the Lord Yeshua cares only what He thinks; not what others allow.
A Christ–centred person will allow Yeshua to choose their mate, or at least seek His ratification of their choice, depending on how they view the issue. If they are already married, they will not seek another mate. If their gift is celibacy, they will accept it, regardless of how counter it runs to their culture or anyone else's wishes.
Such obedience makes a deep impression on others and marks out trails for them to lead them to Yeshua – the furrows that the tamed unicorn harrows. These furrows refer to our witness. The wanderings of Lust are witless.
Job 39:11 asks, "Will you trust him (the unicorn) because his strength is great?" A popular song moans about the unfairness of the crooner's passion being considered unsuitable, due to her not being married to her love interest. Maybe he was married to someone else. The song maintains that if it feels right, it must be right.
Lust deceives. As people throb with lust, they allow themselves to believe that what they feel is beyond their strength to resist, and they must give in to it. Trusting God to give them wisdom and strength is a better option. God says to flee, not flirt, with situations like that (2 Timothy 2:22). More specifically, Paul called them immature lusts.
This vividly recalls to my memory a couple of middle–aged, business people groping each other as they played tonsil hockey in front of a restaurant where I worked. There are plenty of people old enough to know better who ride the unicorn, though most of them do not make a public display of their folly. When the Bible tells us to flee youthful lusts, it doesn't just mean to run from a situation where we can be compromised. It is important to do that, but we also need to run TO Jesus, for the unicorn will want to chase after us, but it cannot stand up to Him.
Avoiding temptation is the best way to overcome it, but some will meddle with Lust and believe it is okay because they want to give in to it more than they care about the damage it causes. Trusting the unicorn because his strength is great is like trusting a grizzly bear because its strength is great. Listening to the siren song of Lust leads to broken hearts on the rocky shore of consequences.
Some people consider their fornication or adultery uplifting, spiritual experiences. Well, they are spiritual experiences – working spiritual ruin. Lust lifts them up, all right – but only so it can bring them crashing down. The unicorn wears all sorts of flirty, inviting disguises to entice souls into his net, and then rips them to pieces.
Verse 11 asks "Will you leave your labour to him?" How do people leave their labour to the unicorn? In legal fees, alimony, the division of property in a divorce, to name a few. Yes, that naughty, horned horse causes divorce, and gobbles away at the oats and hay. He even eats the barn.
Proverbs 5:8–10 says, "Remove your way far from her (the adulterous woman – who represents anything that leads away from God) and don't come near her house (Avoid temptation and steer clear of anything that promotes Lust. (This includes not listening to most songs on the radio, unless you are tuned to a Christian station.): lest you give your honour to others (lose your reputation), and your years to the cruel (bitter regrets): Lest strangers be filled with your wealth (lawyers, call girls, porno panderers, …) and your labours be in the house of a stranger (the ex–wife's new husband, a gigolo who cons a woman out of her money, …). Chasing the unicorn can get expensive.
Verse 12 brings us back again to God's concern for children. "Will you believe him that he will bring home your seed and gather it into your barn?" People have often consoled themselves that it is "best for the children," to justify their decision to get a divorce. Sanctimoniously it has been said, "It is better we break up than subject them to the misery of our fighting." A better alternative is that they both grow up.
Unless the spouse or the children are being subjected to abuse that is violent, perverted, or too mentally or emotionally abusive, or there is involvement in crime, the kids are better off having their parents stay together. Otherwise, they will feel abandoned by the parent who leaves or has to be left because they refuse to mend their ways. In many cases, they feel betrayed by both parents. They feel that their parents should have worked harder at their relationship.
If we are talking about two, reasonably mature adults, there is no excuse for divorce. Even adultery can be forgiven, if God is allowed to help. It is wise in a case like that to separate until the erring spouse stops having illicit affairs, and gets a clean bill of health, before taking them back. Otherwise, the marriage bed is spiritually defiled, emotionally abused, and a health risk. Hebrews 13:4 warns that God judges adulterers and a wise spouse should not put themselves in danger of sharing the other one's risks of venereal disease by being sexually intimate with them.
The first part of the verse about the marriage bed being undefiled means that God approves of people who are married to each other having fun in bed (or anywhere else that is private) as long as it isn't harmful to anyone. It doesn't mean that anything goes. There are a lot of Christian couples who have been contaminated by the world's standards and hold perverted ideas about what is permissible in the marriage bed, ranging from mild acts of disrespect to outrageous abuse.
Sometimes, even pastors aren't much help in giving advice about such things. One of my friends told me that, when she asked her pastor if it was right for her husband to expect her to engage in sodomy with him, her pastor intimated that she should submit to her husband's desires. And this was a female pastor! My friend didn't buy it. Eventually that man went to prison because his lust got too far out of hand. He molested her children. My guess is that he married her in the first place so that he could get access to the kids. And it turned out that her pastor was involved in lesbian relationships.
If a person has an intimate, personal relationship with Yeshua, they probably don't need to ask others what is acceptable to God in the marriage bed. The Spirit of God can guide them, in accordance with what we can learn of His character through the holy Scriptures.
I think that my friend probably already knew that what her husband wanted of her was wrong, but he was such a pervert that she figured that he would have to hear it from their pastor before he would agree with her. Failing to receive support from that corner, she should have given him the boot anyway, which would have spared her children some suffering.
Adultery victimizes children. They are traumatized and disillusioned by a parent's adultery, but the parent's repentance can help restore the child's respect. Those who are tuned to the inviting whinny of the unicorn, however, convince themselves that there is nothing worth saving in their marriage; not even their children.
When a person dissolves their marriage for selfish reasons, sparing the children pain is often the last consideration. Some people show disrespect towards their children by conducting their affairs in front of them; bringing them around their lovers; or in the case of single parents, bringing their lover home and having their children wake up to a stranger in their house.
Where there has been a divorce, children usually feel badly for their other parent when they meet the parents' new boyfriends or girlfriends. Dating or having affairs are perceived as unfaithfulness to the other parent, regardless that the divorce is recognized by the courts. After all, did not their parents promise each other at their wedding that they would forsake all others? Dating should be conducted away from the children until an engagement is entered into.
If a parent is going to commit adultery, they shouldn't push it in their children's face. If they are divorced and sleeping with a person whom they are dating, they shouldn't have them stay overnight when their children are around, nor be physically affectionate with their lover in their children's presence. It makes children feel uncomfortable. Also, there is a good possibility that the children, in their longing for a stable, two–parent family, will attach to the parent's lover, and then when the relationship is over, they will be devastated over the loss of another parent.
As bad a role model as it is for a parent to conduct a secret affair (they are usually exposed eventually), it is a worse role model to have such a casual attitude towards sexual promiscuity, or disregard, or disdain for marriage as to be right out in the open with one's fornication/adultery. Flaunting one's sin is not "honesty." It is shamelessness.
It is hurtful also to adult children when their parents do not exercise self–control. The father of one of my friends began to live common–law with a woman after his wife died, though he professes to be a Christian. His daughter stated that it was difficult to deal with her mother's death, and her father's fornication made it all the more difficult to bear.
Lust deceives people that their children will turn out all right. If they do, it is by the grace of God. Malachi 2:14 –15 says, "Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously: yet she is your companion and the wife of your covenant. (He will not regard the prayers of adulterers until they repent.) And did He not make one? Yet He had the residue (the essence and end product) of the spirit. And why one? That He might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth."
God's purpose in blessing a marriage with children is that people will be so grateful to Him for these precious gifts, they will raise them to be true worshippers of God. Instead, many people are not so grateful and they raise their children in such a way as to serve their own selfish agenda.
Children lose respect for adults who don't exercise restraint, especially in a major area. Majoring on minors and minoring on majors is a lot worse than letting slide a few, little details that don't matter as much in the big picture of Life. It is wonderful that Mom grows her own veggies organically and cooks healthy meals for her family, but taking a ride on the unicorn seriously tarnishes the caring image. It's great that Dad has classy taste and teaches his kids to mind their manners, but his own don't look too good when he takes sexual liberties with someone he isn't married to. Before this happens, Mom needs to get out of the garden and Dad to get out of his dream world and get into counselling that will help them be better examples to their children.
Parents are a child's first representations of God. If they lose respect for their parents, it makes it hard for them to respect God. They know it isn't fair to them for their parents to not give them a secure, loving home. It hinders a child from trusting God when a parent breaks promises. Allowing God to strengthen us to be a person our children can easily respect helps our children believe in God, for then they see His power working in us.
No parent is exempt from being the worthiest example they can be to their children. Proverbs 26:9 says, "As a thorn goes into the hand of a drunkard; so is a parable in the mouth of a fool." If parents do not model their advice, children are apt to feel contempt when it is offered. They can see that such wisdom has not made enough impression on the parents to get them to change their ways.
Single parents need to be cautious in choosing another mate. Some people target people with young children to exercise perverted desires. Whether children are at risk directly from the unicorn through being molested, or indirectly from their parents by being disappointed through divorce, Lust is tough on them. Broken hearts in childhood can cripple for life. If a parent wants to be proud of how their kids turn out, then we have to set the example and be a parent that our kids can be proud of.
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Taming the Unicorn, Chapter 5