Outward Decay, Inward Renewal - Part 1
- Wednesday, May 23, 2007
She walks in Beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.
—George Gordon Byron
Every woman wants to elicit this kind of rhapsodic response from a man. That’s the second reason right there: “every woman wants.” Perhaps I would be more honest to say “craves” or “lusts after.” As Joshua Harris writes, “A man is created to pursue and finds even the pursuit stimulating; a woman is made to want to be pursued and finds even being pursued stimulating. . . . Lust blurs and bends true masculinity and femininity in harmful ways. It makes a man’s good desire to pursue all about ‘capturing’ and ‘using,’ and a woman’s good desire to be beautiful all about ‘seduction’ and ‘manipulation.’ In general it seems that men and women are tempted by lust in two unique ways: men are tempted by the pleasure that lust offers, while women are tempted by the power lust promises.”
Let’s drive home that point by expanding that thought: “Women are tempted by the power lust promises to attract other people’s husbands.” You might say you don’t want that kind of attention from married men. Good—I hope so! But let’s face it: if we want lots of interest from many single men, we actually want to lure men who probably will be other women’s husbands in the future. If these men were already married, I trust we would not want their attentions. So why do we want them now? Because we sinfully enjoy the self-centered power and attention of being attractive to others, even when we can’t possibly follow through on the interest we’ve raised. You may think from reading that statement that I have known this kind of allure personally. I have—in my heart and in my daydreams. If these are our desires, it doesn’t matter whether or not we could actually attract hordes of men. I know a woman who honestly confessed one of her leading motives for losing a lot of weight was to be able to fit into slinkier, immodest clothes and draw lots of attention to herself. She is a godly woman, but she was right to be concerned about her motives for being thin.
Adapted from Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? Trusting God with a Hope Deferred by Carolyn McCulley. © 2004 by Carolyn McCulley. Published by Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois. Used by permission.
Carolyn McCulley works for Sovereign Grace Ministries in church and ministry relations. She is also an author ( Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? Trusting God with a Hope Deferred) and blogger (solofemininity.blogs.com). Carolyn is also a member of Covenant Life Church where one of her favorite ministries is the single women's discipleship program. She highly recommends the resources for singles from the New Attitude conference and blog.
Your questions answered! Carolyn will periodically answer Crosswalk.com reader questions in her Singles Q&A columns. To be considered, please send your questions regarding singleness and related topics to Carolyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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