I used to love eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts. They tasted so good—until thirty minutes later, they sunk into my stomach like the batch of fried dough that they are. I paid the price for those thirty seconds of delight (and am still trying to run off the pleasures of my youth).
We all have foods where we know this is true—they look and taste so good, but long-term we pay the price for giving in.
Singles, this is doubly true with premarital sexuality. Most people agree that Krispy Kreme doughnuts aren’t that healthy for you. Most people now think that premarital sex is healthy and abstinence before marriage is considered bizarre, even psychologically harmful, relationally dangerous, and sexually “repressed.” Singles who choose to wait until marriage will be laughed at. They will be challenged.
You will be well served if you pay heed to God’s words in Psalm 1, which promise to lead you into a stable, happy life. You must believe first that God wants you to have a happy life (He does) and second, that He knows what He’s talking about. If you’ll accept those two premises, consider the power of Psalm 1:
“Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked.” (1:1)
You can always find someone who will disagree with God. You will always hear voices that challenge your obedience—“That’s not what the Bible really says,” or, “Seriously? You still believe that?” The Bible promises you that happiness lies in listening to the voice of God over the voice of those who disagree with Him. Mind you, happiness. Going against God is marching toward misery.
“Happy are those who do not…take the path that sinners tread.” (1:1)
The actions of most of those around you will feel like a giant social vacuum sucking you toward disobedience. Virtually every movie and television program assumes that couples who start to like each other must get naked with each other. Magazine articles and blog posts assume sexual activity before marriage. Friends talk about it. It is so natural to just follow where everyone else seems to be going, but the Bible promises you that true happiness is found in deliberately not taking the path that sinners tread. Their end is not happy. Their way leads to much misery. Find out where they are headed and assume you should walk in the other direction—if, that is, you truly want to be happy. Just ask yourself, are most people happy? Do most walk with joy? Why do you think you can live the world’s life and not end up with their sadness and disillusionment?
They may seem happy and they may tell you they are on a happy road. But that’s because they are strangers to the peace, purpose, and empowerment of a Spirit-filled life. They don’t realize just how much their disobedience is costing them.
Notice the word “delight?” God-followers are people of joy. There is a quiet fulfillment, though sometimes it overflows and all but forces them to smile; such people walk around with an inner contentment, a spring of life in their soul. They direct their life by what God has said and is saying. That is the only voice they listen to, and they are blessed immeasurably because of it. They don’t just grudgingly follow God’s directions—they know His words are guardians of their happiness and well-being.
“They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season…The wicked are like chaff that the wind blows away.” (1:3-4)
The God-followers are fed by a “secret stream.” Their life, their marriage, their relationships are replenished by a divine source. They are fed by God, watered by God, and given new life. The wicked are like dead trees that just haven’t fallen down yet. They have killed their souls with their rebellion—“the way of the wicked will perish” while “the Lord watches over the way of the righteous.” (1:6)
This last verse says it all. The wicked don’t want God to watch over them. They want to hide from God. The God-followers because they obey God and because they delight in His way seek to live in His presence. They know that with His presence comes strength, assurance, joy, peace, forgiveness and yes, happiness.
If you want spiritual happiness, you now have to live an entirely different life than most people live. You have to listen to a different voice. You have to please a different audience. For inspiration to do this consider memorizing Psalm 1.
Don’t be sucked into the soul-destroying habits of society. Your goal should be to have a better marriage (should you choose to get married) and a happier soul at 50 than you have at 25. Remember verse 3? The righteous “yield their fruit in season?” Sometimes, it takes a while for God’s wisdom to be seen as wisdom. Physical cancer can initiate death years before its known; the same is true of spiritual cancer.
“Delighting in the law of the Lord” is your best long-term strategy for a happy life with fewer regrets. Trust God; He knows what He is talking about, and He delights in your well-being.