Last week, Lauren DeMoss wrote a post titled, Purity is Not Just Physical:Um…What About Him? She made many strong points, especially about the importance of purity of the mind. I did have some disagreements with things she said, but the overall message was good. There was one line, though, that made me pause:
If I am keeping my body covered and saved for only my future spouse and not tempting other men with it, then I most certainly deserve a man who has saved his eyes and mind for only me.
This is, from what I’ve seen, a pretty common attitude in Christian circles. Thing is, though, it’s not supported by the Bible. In fact, it reflects a worldly attitude more than it reflects a Christlike one.
The problem is that it supports (Whether Lauren intended it to or not) an attitude of seeing relationships as a series of transactions. I did this for you, so you need to do this for me. The sacrificial nature of true, Christ-honoring relationships is lost in this attitude. This includes one’s relationship with God: “I’ve obeyed you, God, so now you’re obligated to give me a spouse who has also obeyed you.”
This attitude is quite common, unfortunately, in Christian circles. I’ve seen it. It leads to frustration, as men and women who may go for years unmarried start to question why they’re still single, while other people (including those people who didn’t save themselves) are getting married (and to godly people). After all, if I’m the one who waited, don’t I deserve a godly spouse? Then the frustration turns to anger, and the anger turns to bitterness.
Hopefully, you get where I’m going with this. A spouse is not a right, a spouse is a blessing from God. A blessing that is not dependent upon whether or not you’ve managed to stay completely pure your entire life.
In the same way, a spouse that has also saved themselves for marriage is a blessing from God. It’s not something to be assumed or expected.
Now, I don’t think that Lauren DeMoss meant to imply all these negative things in saying what she did. I think she had good intentions, intentions to point out that purity is just as important for men as it is for women. So, instead of focusing on the negative, I’d like to present what I believe are three things that women DO deserve.
1. Women deserve to be treated respectfully, as equal image bearers of God
Whether married or in a relationship, attached or single, whether it’s with a significant other, family member, or friend–women ALWAYS deserve to be treated with respect, because as women and as human beings, women bear the image of God.
This means women deserve to be free of physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse. Under no circumstances do women ever deserve to be abused.
This should be a no-brainer, but unfortunately, there are some people out there who would claim that women should submit to abuse because “the Bible calls women to submit to men,” or that a woman has brought “judgement” upon herself because of her own sin.
Women, just like men, deserve to be respected because they bear the image of God.
2. Women deserve to be protected
I originally titled this section “Women deserve to be protected by the men in their life,” but I took out the part about men because women deserve to be protected by anyone in their life who has the capacity to do so.
This means that women have a right to be protected by their family, by their church leaders, by their friends. They should never be put in a situation that compromises their safety.
This means that a female boss should fire an employee who makes unwelcome advances, that church leaders should be prepared to issue church discipline to an abusive parent or spouse (and turn that person over to the authorities), and that a male friend should walk his female friend back to her car (and if he doesn’t offer to, ladies you have every right to ask him to do so).
3. A woman whom God blesses with a mate deserves a mate that will help her grow spiritually
Not all women will be blessed with a boyfriend or husband. But for those that do, they deserve a man who will be a help, not a hindrance, to their walk with the Lord. Yes, it would be nice to marry a man who had also saved himself, but his past mistakes don’t necessarily point to his current spiritual state (I’ve sure made some mistakes I don’t want my boyfriend judging me on!).
I think that what Lauren was trying to say is that if a woman is striving for purity, any mate she may consider should also be striving for purity. That is absolutely true. A woman deserves a man who is following the Lord and will help her in her walk with the Lord.
But it’s also possible that God will bring a man who has a past, who has not saved himself. I hope that if he has truly repented and is following the Lord, that no woman would reject him based on his past.
One quick side point: Some may try to argue against this point by pointing to the prophet Hosea, whom God commanded to marry a prostitute who left him several times. Hopefully we can take care of this pretty quickly: You are not Hosea. The story of Hosea does not directly apply to you. 2 Corinthians 6:14 does.
I believe that this is what a woman deserves: To be respected as an image-bearer of God, to be protected from those who would abuse her, and, if God should so bless her with a mate, a to have a mate that will help her, not hinder her, in her walk with the Lord.
What do you think of this list? Is there anything you would add?