Singled Out for Him: Remaining Morally Pure, Part 2
- Nancy Leigh DeMoss
- 2003 19 Jun
As singles, how can our behavior be edifying rather than destructive in the realm of our morals? Let me share several specific areas that are highlighted in the Scripture:
Moral purity begins in the heart. A man or woman with a pure heart will love others with the love of Christ, a love that is self-denying, rather than self-seeking.
What we feed into our minds ultimately will determine our behavior. Those who desire to be morally pure will choose to feast and to think on those things that are pure.
God made the man to be an initiator and the woman to be a responder. Our world has reversed this order-today we find aggressive women and passive men. When I see a woman initiating a relationship with a man, I know that the relationship is not going to be a healthy, godly one.
Over the years, one of my sisters and I have frequently received suggestions from well-meaning friends about how to "find a mate." We have often expressed to each other what freedom there is for us as women to know that it is not our responsibility to "find a mate." Our responsibility is to walk with God with holy, humble hearts, and to love and serve others in a pure, selfless way. If He intends for either or both of us to be married, it is His responsibility to bring that about. We truly believe that He is sovereign, that He is good, that He loves us, that He is committed to our lives, and that He can be trusted to fulfill His best purposes in our lives if we will let Him (Ps. 37:5).
Scripture warns against "defrauding" one another. To defraud someone is to create expectations that cannot righteously be fulfilled. As women, we can defraud men with immodest dress, with our eyes, with flirtatious behavior, or with flattering words.
Men, we as women are most easily de-frauded by touch or by verbal expressions of love that cannot righteously be fulfilled outside of marriage.
One issue I believe we need to address head-on in the church today is this whole matter of physical contact. Our society has increasingly let down the barriers of physical touch. I am often amazed at the freedom with which men and women within the church express affection physically.
And I am saddened by the lack of wisdom of those parents who have not taught their sons and daughters the importance of exercising physical restraint in their relationships with members of the opposite sex. Once the hedge comes down and a young person has granted entrance into those parts of himself that God designed to be given only to a lifelong marriage partner, the damage has been done, and it is too late for parents to try to "pull in the reins."
According to God's Word, intimate physical touch and exposure to private parts of the body are sacred and beautiful in the context of marriage. But outside of marriage, such behavior defrauds and easily leads to other types of immoral behavior. Many of my readers know the devastation and heartache brought about by tasting fruit as a single man or woman that God intended to be preserved for marriage.
I recall one particular young woman who came to talk with me after I spoke at one of our Christian colleges. She and her boyfriend were both students in the grad school, preparing to go to the mission field. Brokenly, she poured out her heart about how they had violated God's standards in their physical relationship. One thing had led to another, and now they found themselves weighed down with guilt but "unable" to break off the immoral relationship.
God's forgiveness, restoration, and grace are available to this young man and woman, if they are truly repentant. But they are likely to live the rest of their lives with a sense of regret, and may never end up fulfilling all the purposes that God had in mind for their lives.
I would like to issue a further challenge to those of us who are single. In a world that no longer considers the marriage covenant to be sacred, and where adultery and divorce are epidemic, you and I have an enormous obligation to do everything we can to strengthen others' marriages and to avoid anything that might weaken them.
I make a constant, conscious effort to do everything I can to invest in the wives and marriages of the men with whom I serve. Furthermore, I have been led to establish boundaries in my working and social relationships with married men that may seem extreme to some. But I have spent many hours attempting to help people pick up the broken pieces of marriages shattered through infidelity. Wise men and women will avoid any setting, contact, or behavior that could potentially make themselves or others vulnerable to the slightest moral compromise.
Read Part One of this article here.
Excerpted from Singled Out for Him by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Copyright 1998 by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Used by permission of Life Action Ministries.
Since 1980 Nancy Leigh DeMoss has served as the Director of Publications and Women's Ministries and as the editor of Spirit of Revival magazine, for Life Action Ministries, a revival ministry, based in Niles, Michigan. She is the author of A Place of Quiet Rest: Finding Intimacy with God Through a Daily Devotional Life, Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free and A 30-Day Walk With God in the Psalms (Moody Press). Nancy also hosts Revive Our Hearts, a daily radio program for women that airs each weekday on over 200 stations nationwide. Visit reviveourhearts.com/