First of all, my apologies for the delay in getting this posted. I’ve been crazy busy lately and haven’t made the time to make it happen! So without further ado…
“The Pleasure of Purity.”
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” -Titus 2:3-5
Usually when we think of the word “purity” we think of being pure before we are married, not having sex before marriage and guarding our thoughts before marriage. But in this passage, Paul is addressing the older women to teach the younger women who are married to be pure. So what does that mean? What does purity in marriage look like?
The Effects of Our Culture:
Unfortunately, “our culture has pushed marital sex into the backroom and instead celebrates immoral sex” (82). Just by watching TV, movies, or reading magazines, we get the impression that the only people having sex (or “good sex”) are the ones who aren’t married. Martial sex on the other hand is portrayed as bland and routine. God never intended for that to be the case.
God’s Purpose and Design:
Scripture actually encourages marital sex and has a good deal to say about it! Only God, in His infinite wisdom, could create sex and showcase His approval of it in marriage in an entire book of the Bible: Song of Solomon. (Not to mention the various other Scripture that speak to this topic.) Often times, in Christian homes, sex is portrayed as something to hide, something embarrassing, or something that is bad. However, Mahaney reminds us, “Our sexual desire is not evil because God Himself has created it. He is not embarrassed about our sexual nature, and neither should we be embarrassed.” God is the one who gives sexual desire, so He is the one who gets to define the boundaries, and His boundaries are confined to one man and one woman in a covenant marriage. These boundaries are for our good: to protect us and to bless us.
God designed us for intimacy. In Genesis 4:1 it says that “Adam knew his wife, and she conceived.” This word for knew refers to experiential knowledge. Sometimes I think to myself, “I feel like I didn’t even know my husband before we got married compared to how I know him now!” And that’s because it is when husband and wife are joined together in sexual intimacy that they can truly “know” one another. Mahaney describes it as the “highest form of the communication of love–a language that expresses love without words.” Each encounter leads us to a deeper “knowing” of the one we love. (84).
The Effects of Sin:
As wonderful as a gift as sex is, it is grossly polluted by sin. Sin has affected every area of our lives, including the sexual relationship. Sometimes that comes in the form of willful sin and other times it affects some as a result of another’s sin. But be assured that no situation in your life is beyond the reach of God’s grace. He can beautifully redeem everything that might have been lost prior to a marriage relationship. Because of Jesus, even the most difficult or painful situation can be turned into a story of grace. And THAT is worth celebrating!
The Problem of Lust:
Past sin is not the only thing that can entangle us in our quest for purity. In fact, the most ongoing struggle we will face in this area is the problem of lust. “Sexual temptation is no respecter of persons. You can be male, female, young or old, rich or poor, single or married, happily married or unhappily married. No one is safe from this vice.(86)” Thankfully, we know the truth of Scripture teaches us in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that “no temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man; and God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
We Must Resolve:
Because of our propensity to sin sexually, we must resolve, ahead of time, to walk in absolute purity. How do we do that? First and foremost, we must set our minds on things above (Colossians 3). If we are not replacing sinful thoughts with godly thoughts, we are already losing the battle. Next, we must MAKE NO PROVISION FOR THE FLESH. This is a huge one. We must ask ourselves, “When, where, and with whom are we most tempted to accommodate our flesh and gratify it’s desires?” (89). We should not read anything, watch anything, or listen to anything that arouses impure thoughts or compromises our biblical convictions. (Think: romance novels, magazines, chick flicks, TV shows, internet websites, etc.) Remember David’s commitment in Psalm 101:2-3 was to walk in his house with a blameless heart and set no evil thing before his eyes. We must commit to do the same. We must be honest and pursue accountability in this area. Only then, can we expect victory in the battle of lust.
Now, for MARRIED women only:
One key to pursuing purity in our marriages is to pursue an exciting sexual relationship with our husbands. When you eat on a regular basis, you’re less likely to binge on something unhealthy. Think about it.
- Be attractive in your husbands eyes alone. Discover what clothing, hairstyles, and make up he finds most appealing, and cultivate that. “We should give the same careful attention to our physical appearance after marriage as we did before.” However, more important than any outward presentation, is the pursuit of a gentle and quiet spirit. (1 Peter 3:3). Growing in godly character is the most attractive quality to our husbands.
- Be available. Scripture makes it very clear that our bodies belong to our spouse. “We are to give ourselves without qualification and not withhold the pleasure of sex. The only exception to this rule is for the activity of prayer, by mutual agreement and for a limited time. Mahaney quoted a man that said he observed that, “I’ve heard many excuses for not having sex–not in the mood, headache, too tired, don’t have time. Prayer and fasting has never been one of them.”
- Lastly, be anticipatory. Use your mind to prepare for sex throughout the day. “God has furnished us with imaginations, and we should use them to ‘day dream’ about our husbands.” Carve out time in your schedule for sex and initiate it every once in a while!
Remember, God was the one who created sex in the first place, for our pleasure and for His glory. Do not neglect His wonderful gift. He will reward our obedience in every area of our lives, including this one.
[I realize how lengthy this “review” was, and for that I apologize. But I felt it was a necessary topic to cover thoroughly for any woman who might be reading this who is not in the weekly discussions. If you need to seek accountability in this area or would like for me to pray for/with you, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org]