Finders Keepers II – The Morning After

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Today is also a historic day for us as a church. Our first service at Hill City! Someone praise The Almighty God! It has been quite a journey of faith and we are still in that journey to making this place beautiful. Every weekend you come, there will be an improvement. It’s like being in a live edition of ‘Extreme Makeover – Church Edition.’ Let’s all be patient and let’s love this place. It is our home! A big shout out to, to our development team, our technical teams and ministry teams that have been working day and night to make this possible led by Pst Anthony ‘The Real Deal’ Mwaniki!

Today we are beginning a brand new series, ‘Finder’s Keeper’s II’ which as the name suggests is a sequel to one which we did a couple of years back. Our teens are doing the same series but tailored for their age demographic & have titled it ‘Blurred Lines’. If you live anywhere in Kenya, you probably caught some of the media conversation this past week because of

the poster they put out. Let me say that the intention of our young people in putting out the poster was to get teens from outside the church to come speak about sex and relationships. Intention was never to offend, and I am sorry that many were offended by it. However, what is clear is that there is a huge crisis facing our teens, and indeed our entire society in the area of sex and relationships. Thanks to the many of you who’ve had conversations on Mavuno’s behalf in your workplaces and homes, and social media. Thanks for sticking up for your family! The idea is not to engage in arguments but to say, ‘if you think there’s a better way to bring up the topic of sex so that young people want to engage, please show us and even better, please do it’! We must have this conversation. Please note this sermon is rated R.

So this month we want to learn from scripture about sex and relationships! Some here are praying to enter a romantic relationship soon and I pray that what we learn will help you better prepare for it. Some are already in a relationship or are married and I pray this month will give you a great opportunity to evaluate your relationship and learn how to grow it. Some are not interested in a romantic relationship; we’ve been hurt by someone or this is just not the time. And that’s fine too – I pray you’ll have a chance to learn more about yourself and the type of person God wants you to be. So allow me to begin with a question …

Why are relationships in Nairobi in such a mess today? 

Here are some answers I got when I asked this.

Communication – in this age of social media, people have lost the ability to talk to real people – we no longer know how to communicate beyond 140 characters! Relationships today are about virtual communication and physical attraction. No wonder then that boredom follows after a few months or even weeks!

Misinformation – we live in this trendy, misinformed world where music videos, magazines, TV series’ and movies are the primary source of information about how sex and relationships work. E.g. put a man who is addicted to porn and a woman who is addicted to soap operas together –and boom – a recipe for disaster!

Expectations – many today see a relationship as the key to money, a lifestyle, and sex. Cougar & sugar daddy relationships abound – a friend who works with a leading FM station told us that they get 30 text messages from listeners every minute, and that almost half of those are by people requesting to be paired with a financially stable, much older individual. Dating today has devolved to assessing the other person’s financial ability or sexual compatibility.

Sexualisation – Starting in their teens and even younger, Kenyans seem to agree with P-Unit and Collo that when it comes to sex, you can gerrit! A friend who’s a pastor shared that 5 years ago, maybe 40% of couples he counselled said they’d been sleeping together before marriage. Things are so bad today that recently, when a couple said they had not slept together, he asked in shock, ‘really?’ i.e. if say you’re a virgin today, you actually sound suspect! And for those who are married, if you say you’ve been faithfully married for 10 years, people actually applaud! It’s like they don’t expect many to be like that!

Almost everyone agrees today that relationships in our city are in a mess. Not surprisingly, marriages are breaking up today after they’ve lasted a few months, and more than ever before, the next generation is growing up with a cynical attitude about marriage and commitment. The honeymoon is definitely over! It’s like we’ve all woken up The Morning After with a bad hangover.

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That’s why I titled this message ‘The Morning After’. So why are our today relationships in such a mess? Please turn with me to Gen 2:19 & let’s find out about the source of relationship failure. Genesis 2:19-25 (NIV)

The bible story begins with a love story. God creates the perfect environment and then places the first couple into it. They are created for rule over creation and for relationship with one another. It’s a story full of joy, intimacy and meaning. The story of a man and woman who are equals in God’s image, and yet who fully complement each other. Interestingly, the bible talks about sex right away! It says they were ‘both naked and they felt no shame’. I know, you’re so saved and you think this has to do with doing bible study and sharing openly with each other. Shock on you! This text insinuates that sex in the Garden of Eden was incredible! Oops, sorry, pastors should never talk like that right? Actually, God believes in sex so much there’s a whole book about love and sex in the bible. THIS IS WHY WE MUST TALK ABOUT SEX IN THE CHURCH!

So – beautiful couple in love, complementing each other, completely transparent. That’s how it was meant to be. But soon enough, there was trouble in paradise. Let’s see what happens The Morning After. Gen 3:1-13

God’s enemy showed up in the form of one of the creatures God had created. He had two simple objectives.

Objective #1 – Isolate Man From Woman – Genesis 3:1 says, ‘He said to the woman’ – the first thing Satan did is separate Eve from Adam by addressing her alone. He had this entire conversation with her, completely ignoring her husband. This is what is called in warfare, ‘divide and conquer’. And as we shall see in a little while, he was completely successful in this objective.

Objective #2 – Isolate Humans From God – The rest of Genesis 3:1 says, ‘“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?”’ God didn’t say they shouldn’t eat from any tree, but Satan knew exactly what he was doing! By exaggerating God’s command, he was causing Eve to mistrust God’s intentions. And she fell for it, ‘we may eat from the trees in the garden but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will surely die”’. Now if you read Genesis 1, God had never said anything about touching the tree! Eve stopped seeing all the other trees in the garden and all she could think of was that God’s commands seemed harsh & unfair’! In the same way today, Satan is asking many of us, ‘Did God really say that sex was bad?’ And many good Christians are replying, ‘Not really! But… making me remain single so I might never enjoy sex… OR forcing me to stay married to my wife when she’s not meeting my needs… His commands do seem harsh & unfair!’

At the heart of Satan’s deception is the lie that you cannot trust others and that you cannot trust God. The only person you can trust is yourself. Nobody else really has your back. So go with what your gut tells you – if it feels good, do it! ‘I want what I want and I want it now!’ And so, Eve decided to do what felt good. She took a bite and then she shared it with her husband who if you notice had played a rather passive role in the whole story.

And with that act of rebellion, a catastrophic series of events was set into motion. Just as the devil promised, their eyes were opened. But there’s a twist; you see – the devil never shows you the fine print! Yes – their eyes were opened but instead of seeing themselves as gods, they saw their true state without God: Weak, naked, helpless, vulnerable, naked and ashamed. They sewed fig leaves together to hide from each other (they must have made them separately, wonder if they were talking?) and they hid from God among the trees. And from that day, men and women have been hiding from one another and from God!

So Adam refused to take responsibility and blamed his wife and ultimately God. ‘The woman you gave me’! How many men do you know today who have refused to take responsibility for their relationships and are blaming the other person? And then do you notice how despite the betrayal, Eve shifted blame to the serpent? ‘The serpent deceived me and I ate’! How many women do you know today who are refusing to face the brutal fact that there’s a problem in their relationship, and are covering up what is really going on?

So let’s read the consequences of the morning after… Genesis 3:14-19.

There’s a famous line in Kenya – ‘choices have consequences!’ What followed next was the consequences. The serpent was cursed above all other creatures (suggesting they too were cursed). Work, which was meant to be a joy, became a burden. Childbearing, which was supposed to be a noble task, became a painful chore. What this means was that because of their rebellion, the creation that humans were meant to RULE, now became their enemy and that’s why our jobs today are often meaningless and just about the money and our workplaces are often toxic places full of politics and corruption.

But it’s in RELATIONSHIPS that the consequences of the morning after really bite. God told the woman, ‘Your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you’. Let me break this down, beginning with women and then coming to men. What this means is that from this time forward, women would have a deep & unquenchable yearning for the original intimate relationship they were created for. I’m generalizing here but little girls tend to start dreaming about their wedding day when they are very young. Beth Moore in her book ‘Breaking Free ’ says that ‘practically every little girl has at least four dreams: to be a bride, to be beautiful, to be fruitful and to live happily ever after’. But the problem is – that even if she finally finds her Prince Charming, he will never be able to satisfy her longings!

Let me talk to those men who are or have been in a relationship. And I want you to respond to the following questions with, ‘I do’ if and where applicable …

·         Do you feel like there is always demand for more quality time?

·         Do you feel like you never say enough “I love you” in a day?

·         Do you feel like sometimes you can never make it to be the ideal man that women or your woman want?

Women will always desire for more from men! As a result of their unfulfilled desire (your desire will be for your husband), women tend to want to get love and acceptance at any cost. In other ways, Women’s insecurities lead them to manipulate others to get what they want.

Let’s talk about men. Whereas women tend to manipulate, men on the other hand tend to dominate. Throughout the world in every single culture that ever existed, men have used their physical strength to dominate women politically, socially, physically & economically. Even in the West, many years after the women’s rights movements, gender inequalities continue to persist in society. Political thinkers and feminist scholars have been unable to explain them. All over the world, the vast majority of cases of rape, incest and adultery are carried out by men. But beyond these obvious abuses are more subtle ones. For instance, why do women in society today aspire to be thin? Why do white women aspire to be tanned (or darker) and dark women aspire to be ‘fair & lovely’? The answer is powerful men taking advantage of women’s insecurities to sell a product. Ladies answer the following with I do or I don’t.

·         Do you feel like men fear you if they get the slightest hint that you are stronger than them?

·         Do you find men always wanting to win in conversations?

·         Do you think men will date you if they think you are better than them in one way or the other?

Men’s insecurities lead them to dominate others to get what they want.

This is why our relationships are so messed up today. In a world of broken sexuality, both men and women are living the effects of the Morning After. We were created to enjoy fulfilling relationships with each other and God. But when we chose to do things our way, God released us to do so. Far from finding freedom, instead we became by nature dominators and manipulators: Husbands dominating their wives, wives manipulating their husbands. Men treating women as sex objects, women using men to meet their needs for security. Single people dying to be married – married people dying to be single… Sex is no longer about love and relationships but is about ‘how can I use this person to get what I want’? I want what I want and I want it now!

If this was the end of the story, it would be the most tragic ending there ever was! But thank God – it’s not over! Our hope is in verse 21… ‘the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them’. Right there in the middle of their rebellion, God showed His love by covering their shame. That’s a foreshadowing of what Jesus would come to do many years later. God is in the business of covering our shame! Despite our rebellion, He is the God of a 2nd chance.

You see, salvation is not just something that keeps me from hell and takes me to heaven. Salvation means that I am no longer a slave to the power & consequence of sin. This is why Jesus came. John 10:10  ‘The thief comes to steal, kill & destroy, I have come that they may have life and have it to the full’ There is hope! God is the God of the 2nd chance. We can come back to God’s plan. God doesn’t just want to save you ‘spiritually’; He also wants to saves you ‘sexually’! Sexual healing begins with confession and forgiveness.

So we’re going to be digging a lot into this sexual healing over the next few weeks, and next week is going to be a lot of fun, you want to be there! But let’s land this plane! How do we begin the journey towards sexual healing? Perhaps you are a wife who is has been angry because your husband is not supplying your need for intimacy. Perhaps you are a husband who wants to love your wife but you’ve found yourself dominating her or just being indifferent. Perhaps you’ve had an affair, or you’re punishing your spouse because they are not meeting your need. Or maybe you are single and engaging in sex outside the boundaries of marriage. Or you’re in the grip of sexual habit, like premarital sex, pornography, masturbation or other sexual addictions. Perhaps you have been in despair about never finding a spouse. Perhaps you have even begun dating a non-believer in order to fulfill that desire. Wherever you are, the journey begins with two things…

CONFESSION – Adam and Eve hid from God. God is calling us today to come out of hiding, and to confess our sins to Him. He knows what we have done and what we are doing. We have attempted to meet our own needs and this is getting us deeper into bondage. You see, the devil thrives on secrecy! He wants to isolate us from God and each other. He wants to divide and conquer by sharing secrets between you and him. That’s why confession is so powerful in bringing healing. 1 John 1:9 ‘if we confess our sins (God) is faithful & just to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness’, James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed’. Sexual healing begins with confession and forgiveness.

FORGIVENESS – Forgive those who have abused, disappointed or hurt you – I hope you realize that terrible bully was an insecure man desperately trying to prove his power to himself. That manipulative mother was an insecure woman trying to get love at all costs. They too are caught up in the mess of sin and unless God saves them, they have no hope. That’s theirs. Don’t tie your fate up with them – leave them to God. You will always be a victim until you forgive! By forgiving, you open the way to your own healing. Sexual healing begins with confession and forgiveness

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11 Responses to “Finders Keepers II – The Morning After”

  1. Mao Deh Says:

    men treating women as SEX OBJECTS, women treating men as SUCCESS OBJECTS = the ”TRANSACTIONALISM’ OF SEX.

    thanks for starting this discussion, though i can assure you it is too deeply entrenched in modern and traditional culture to end.

    and we christians reinforce it everyday :

    1. when we go for ruracio where the ‘financially stable’ boys family buys a ‘virtuous and fertile’ girl from the in-laws…..success object buying a sex object.

    2. when we reluctantly accept women who can’t bear children for the family (she still remains a woman in our eyes) but openly condemn men who can’t provide for the family (regardless of age such men become boys in our eyes).

    3. when we insinuate manhood and womanhood is only achieved when one has a ‘home of their own’…ie your woman has bred successfully (sex object) and your man can take care of his offspring (success object).

    4. when we pressure the unmarried for not being presentable enough to ATTRACT a mate (sex object women) or too under achieved to FIND a mate (success object men)…

    QED, this culture of transactionalism won’t end soon. women shall manipulate to assert their fading beauty and men shall dominate to assert their reducing power.

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  2. I am a single woman in her mid 30s, and I have never been in a romantic relationship. Part of the reason has been because as we said in finders keepers 1, I was working on being the one, and for a long time did not feel ready for the responsibility of a relationship. In recent times, I have felt that now I am ready, and off course I have had this fantasy of having this perfect relationship, since I have kept myself pure, God surely should reward me with the perfect man! So imagine my shock and dismay listening to you Pst. M, breaking it down how this yearning is a result of the fall!

    I went home yesterday, and told God I needed Him to fill up those spaces, I have always hated the female stereotype of being manipulative, and I don’t want to find myself in that space, and I recognize again how much I need God for that to be an everyday reality, and how important He is for there to be a perfect relationship. God bless you Pst M, for being real about this issues, cant wait for Tujuane.

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  3. awesome read..”my people perish for lack of knowledge”

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  4. Thank you for making this available online. I really needed to read this. This sermon has been an eye opener and it says the truth about the way life is today. I’m in the University of Nairobi and one of my classmates, who also happens to be a girl, told me that its easy for a young girl in Nairobi to get a sugar daddy. Today, a young woman has a man for every purpose- one for the money (lol I think this explains how university students can afford the S4 and the S5), one to fill up the ideal man spot, and one that does the little favors that she needs done (i.e finishing an assignment/project for her).
    I appreciate Mavuno for speaking about this. This is the truth people need to hear instead of throwing stones and burying heads in the sand.

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  5. Call me Dr. C

    In my practice as a doctor, i have concluded the single most common cause of illness among my patients is poor relationships!

    This sermon has helped me a lot in dealing with these relationship issues.

    I pray that mavuno comes up with a 10 week series (like mizizi, ndoa, and ombi) that addresses this issue!

    I will be early on sunday for more!

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  6. I was not in church on Sunday and where i was i could not go online and listen to this sermon that i have been waiting for this long. Actually i was feeling like i can enter my Radio and TV to make people understand what Pastor M is saying. In church, am sorry to say it is the worst place ever. That is why we are all there so that we can get the remedy and change what has been violated for a long time (i.e. We need all those who have problems and hurting to come to church and get the healing because most of us are sick because of what we have gone through in terms of relationships). Let me tell men and women out there. Women in Mavuno are now abstaining and waiting for their right partners and let me tell you, it is only in Mavuno you will find many couples coming to church, whether they are married, dating or planning to be in a relationship because our Pastor is so candid and is telling us the truth and how to cope with this crisis! If you can see the sign up of people getting married and taking NDOA Classes, you will be shocked. (Relationships are getting healed and restored)

    If there is a church that will be felt in the community in the near future in terms of relationship that last and are Godly it is MAVUNO. I am not bragging and i am not just rating high my Pastor! NO! HE IS A MAN FULL OF WISDOM AND THE LORD SPEAKS TO HIM. We need JESUS IN OUR HOMES!

    Thank you for having this online because even if i did not make it to church on Sunday i can get it online and i cant wait for Sunday i listen to part II.

    God bless you Pastor M. You are truly a man of God and the Lord brought you such a time so that you can help us who are hurting in relationships!

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  7. You found me Says:

    Thank you so much Pastor M for delivering God’s message in such a clear, caring and loving way that I felt the message was meant for me. I desperately needed to be informed that I am God’s daughter and He loves me so much.

    I don’t think my dad told me he loved me. Though I didn’t think much about it since he worked very hard to provide for us. I grew up and got a boyfriend who I have trust issues with. We were actually cohabiting until this week; I moved out of the house.

    Thank you for the eye opening message. I was a slave to the consequences of sin, dating someone who is not saved, engaging in sex out of wedlock and even cohabiting. It only left me more confused, insecured or in pain, complicating my situation further. I thank God because He is a God of 2nd chances.

    All that’s been ringing in my mind since I got the word of God is ‘’Lord, you found me’’. I now know who I am, I am Loved and I will be a beautiful compliment to whoever God put me with when time is right. I am ready to get back to God’s plan to fulfill my purpose on earth and honor His name. May the Lord bless you.

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  8. I’m blessed to have been in church this past Sunday, Thank you Pastor M for proclaiming blessings of a father upon all the ladies in church that day. i felt like Dad had was actually blessing me. Fell tears roll down my cheek because it was just unbelievable someone cares for me enough to put me in God’s hands as he would his own daughter.

    thank you and may God bless you

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  9. Thank you Pastor M. for the fatherly Blessings to all ladies this past Sunday. I was very very touched. It was one of those moments that left me calm and peaceful in my heart. Truth is, I have never received such a blessing from my earthly father. When I think of Fatherly blessing I think of God’s blessing as read in the bible.
    Wow! Thank you very much Pastor M.
    Mercy.

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  10. […] began by discussing what it means to step out in general, we then talked about stepping out in our relationships. Today we are talking about what it means to step out when we are among many […]

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