Kanyi caught a smile creeping up on him as he recalled growing up, some of the things his parents did for each other. He had observed how the principle of surrender to God and to each other had played out in his parents’ 43 years of marriage.
Tenderness, a forgiving spirit, trust, vulnerability and mutual respect were core ingredients of their relationship. Even after all these years, the way they strived to be of service to each other in the simple and big things, still amazed him.
As simple as they made it seem, he always marveled at the depth and richness of their friendship; something he was beginning to appreciate and desire more as he got older.
Earlier on in the year, following his breakup with Minna, there had been a growing uneasiness that was gnawing away at his spirit. Then something happened at his church and the message was clear: he had to surrender it all.
On that particular Sunday, the pastor was teaching a sermon based off of scripture in Deuteronomy 11:12.
It was about God’s providence and His promise to have His eyes continually on our needs from the beginning of the year to its end. The only condition required was that as Christ followers to surrender their will to a loving Father who only desires the best for his children.
He walked out of service that day with a renewed desire to surrender his struggles which stemmed from ‘free fall’ fear, doubt, stubbornness and even pride.
Sunday Brunch and then some
As they polished off what was left of their brunch at Ah-Wholein de Wall, Horace Silver’s “Song for my Father” was also winding down. Judging by Kanyi’s crumb free plate, it appeared to Kene, the sweet potato pancakes and the mango jicama salad with cilantro and lime dressing were a big hit.
On the drive back to pick up Kene’s car, a Christian radio show came on and the topic was pornography and erotica in the Christian’s life. Kanyi reached over with his right hand for the radio station knob.
“Unless it makes you uneasy, I really would like to hear what they have to say.” Kene spoke up.
Kanyi looked at her. “Actually I thought you would be uncomfortable.”
“Not at all.”
The female co-host shared that when she was dating she would ask that question after the first few dates especially if it is was one that looked like it had good prospects.
The male radio hosts chimed in. “To answer that question, there are three possible response choices from a man; 1) he admits he had or has no interest or history, 2) lie about his history or interest or 3) admit that he had dabbled and how he was dealing with it or dabbled and did not think it a problem since he was not hurting anyone”
Kene turned to Kanyi “So what do you think?”
Kanyi had just pulled into the parking lot and parked next to her car. Kanyi turned the volume down just as the hosts began taking callers’ questions.
With furrowed brows, Kanyi adjusted his positon, relaxing into his bucket seat with fingers in a lowered steeple resting on his laps before turning to face Kene.
“I have never been asked that question by anyone before but I do agree that honesty is the best approach.”
Kene looked him straight in the eye. “But how does one know if he or she is even telling the truth?”
“I do not know how, but I do know that calling on God to guide you in the choices you make is a surefire way to approach this like any other matter. Human beings will change but God is constant. The only way we can win is by yielding to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. 1 Peter 13 calls us to be alert and fully sober in spirit and as obedient children not to conform to the evil desires but to be holy in all we do. The truth eventually comes to light”
As Kene nodded her head, Kanyi asked “Do you mind my asking you a question?”
“What is your view on erotica, sometimes referred to as mommy porn?”
Kene was quiet for a few seconds before turning to Kanyi.
“As I think about it, as a Christ follower, the fundamental question I would ask is what is driving this desire or hunger to satisfy the flesh with images and text? I can only see a situation where it creates an unattainable, unsustainable expectation that cannot be met by any human being.”
She pointed out how erotica creates this perfect fantasy of a world where people in the real world attempt to replicate the lives of fictional characters.
Kene continued “There is no room for push back, friction or judgment when interacting with text or images.”
She adjusted slightly stretching her right foot and continued “The devil cannot make us do anything. The devil can tempt us but the Holy Spirit is there as our helper even in times of temptation to get us out of trouble on one condition; that we surrender.”
Kene pulled her Bible out of her bag and flipped over to Romans 8 verse 5 and read out aloud:
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
“So any suggestion on how to handle such a predicament?” Kanyi asked.
“It is as simple as asking God to take over as I surrender. Don’t get me wrong simple is not necessarily easy. This goes beyond merely asking but trusting Him to take control of any of these desires that shift one’s focus from Him. The good news is the Bible tells us in 1 John 5:4 “For whoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.”
Moreover in 1 Corinthians 10 v.13 we are told that God will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear but provide us a way out so that we can endure it. Notice it says a way out of temptation and not a way out of suffering. However, God has promised to provide us a way out if only we call on Him.”
Kanyi pressed further, “How so? I mean how would that play out in one’s daily life?”
Kene responded “First, through daily studying what God tells us in His word, the Holy Bible, second, prayer which does not have to be anything contrived. Just speaking like you would to me is a good place to start. The third is to find and become a member of a Bible believing church where you can fellowship with other followers of Christ and can provide one support and also hold each other accountable.”
He says in His word in Psalm 34 v. 8, taste and see that the Lord is good,”
Kanyi added “God has called us to a life of purity be you single or married.”
“Purity even for married people, how so?” Kene asked.
“Yes both as a single person and even as husband or wife. Marriage does not solve the purity issues. No one is born married right? so that means these are habits that are or should be cultivated before one is married. It is not only the act that may be impure but also all the other things a person may engage in leading up to the act, including what we feed our minds, our words and our thought life.”
Kanyi went on to share with Kene how he came to the decision to surrender and refocus on God. He began to guard his time, being very watchful of what he exposed himself to – the movies, the music, the internet sites, the books, the conversations and even the company he kept. He began to have even more time for him to pray and meditate on God’s word.
Kanyi continued “In my opinion we have a Father who anticipates our needs in an amazing way. Sexual intimacy within marriage which has been ordained by God is good, pure and to be enjoyed by a husband and wife.”
“Well said. Purity is not a status symbol but a continuous heart and desire to honor God” Kene said.
“Good point, however, the world has chosen to distort sexual intimacy in such a manner that we have been duped into believing it to be something that it is not and by that, I mean buying into the worldview that it is for our own personal and selfish desires.
Kanyi pointing to her hands said “Do you mind?” and Kene handed her Bible over . He flipped over and said “In Ephesians 4 verse 22-24: 19
Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. 20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
“Kanyi, I like what you said earlier about being “duped” into believing it to be all about satisfying our needs…”
Kene was startled by the buzzing sensation on her right wrist. She was still not used to her fit-bit. She recognized the number. It was Officer Benny.
She carried on with her point”Don’t get me wrong seeking counsel and support from other seasoned Christ followers who can speak from a point of victory is great. However, it all begins with my submitting my burden to our Father in Heaven in order to receive what God wants to tell me directly or through others.”
She paused as if gathering her thoughts and giving her time to choose her words. “Anything short of a full acceptance and practice of our Father in Heaven’s expectations is a counterfeit.”
She felt the vibration on her wrist a second time.
“Kanyi excuse me I need to take this call from the police.
She noticed his eyebrows rise for a quick moment before he asked “Is everything ok?”
As she dug for her phone in her satchel, she tucked the neck ties of her jewel toned secretary top over her shoulder with her right hand.
Pointing towards her car “Yes, it has to do with that. Kanyi followed the direction of her pointing finger and noticed the broken left front light and part of the bumper seemed to be held up by tape. There was a scrape to the front driver’s side quarter panel above the tire well.
“Hit and Run. I will fill you in once I am through.”