Right now I’m reading Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart by John Ensor. I’m almost finished with it, and so far it’s a great book. Ensor has a lot to say about male/female roles in relationships. I’m quite familiar with the principles in this book, but I’ve enjoyed hearing a fresh expression of these Biblical truths.
Ensor mentioned the power women have in deciding to abstain from or engage in sex. Men are usually the initiators of physical intimacy, driven by urges that women can never completely comprehend. Women, on the other hand, have been created with a different nature. He puts it this way: “Most men are driven towards sexual intercourse in ways that that most women merely decide.”
The author proceeds to talk about the value of female modesty. In past times, a woman’s modesty was considered an essential part of her feminine glory. This value seems all but lost in American culture, in which men and women are sinking to equally low levels of morality. I am afraid that the Philippines is not far behind–it seems that Maria Clara* is being replaced by celebrity scandals in the psyche of young Filipinas.
I pray that some of you, my readers, will help to change this trend. Let me explain a few benefits of sexual modesty/abstinence. These ideas were sparked by Ensor’s book, though I have seen them elsewhere:
Modesty will test a man’s true character. Ensor made this observation: “The immature, self-centered, ungodly man will test negative in a matter of weeks. The deceitful and cunning predator will test negative in a matter of days. Men willing to wait, and wanting to wait, will test positive.” How true this is! As I have mentioned before, a man’s desire for sexual intimacy is incredibly strong. Force him to choose between his own physical urges and your well being–then he will reveal his true character.
Modesty is your way of assisting young men in their process of maturity. A virtuous woman’s heart is a precious prize to be won. She can only be won by man who has truly proven himself. He must prove his sacrificial, committed love. He must prove himself as a leader and provider. He must prove himself as one worthy of taking her hand in marriage. Then, and only then, will he earn total access to her heart and body.
Premarital sex has the opposite affect on young men. When you give yourself sexually to a boyfriend, you are no longer a prize to be pursued and won. The young man senses no urgency to move towards a deeper level of commitment. There is no rush to establish his place in the world. Instead, he will spend more time as a hormonal boy, choosing only women who do not insist that he become a real man. He may grow up one day, but only if he decides to make some radical changes. He will probably break many hearts on his selfish journey.
Finally, modesty will help good men stay that way. Godly men desire to protect the purity of women: “Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters” (1st Timothy 5:2). As I’ve mentioned before, it really takes two people to be committed to purity. You can help us remain pure by not putting us in tempting situations. As we treat you with the utmost respect, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of our respect. We will admire you and appreciate your godly example. We will be better men because of you and women like you.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
*For my non-Filipino readers, Maria Clara is a fictional character from the writings of Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. She is often depicted wearing Victorian-style clothing.
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