We are in the fifth chapter of Feminine Appeal this month: The Pleasure of Purity. I hope you've joined in by reading with us month by month as we study this encouraging book on the seven virtues of a godly wife and mother found in Titus 2.
The topic of purity in sexual intimacy can evoke feelings of restraint or that of freedom. Clearly, we live in a culture that regards biblical purity as the former, but we as God's beloved know better....Or do we?
"Purity's pleasure is receiving sex as a wonderful gift from our Creator and enjoying it for His glory." (p. 82)
Intimacy in marriage was intended for our enjoyment. But, let's be honest...how often do we echo, in the way we act, the world's perception that the most fun to be had is before marriage rather than in the God-honoring union of marriage. It's everywhere in our culture, and sometimes, it is in the way we think about intimacy within our own marriages. The Bible doesn't speak about sex within marriage as boring or laborious, so why should we?
Unfortunately, sin robs us of joy and makes bland the sweetest delights. And yet, the goal of the Christian life is not morality or purity (which are great byproducts!); the goal of the Christian life is love and submission to Christ. Thus,
"God does not 'prevent' our conflict with sin. Rather He directs us to draw upon His inexhaustible supply of grace so that we can resist sexual temptation and grow in purity." (p. 88) and...
"Growth in purity can only be realized as we look upward to Jesus Christ." (p. 88)
We'd be remiss to think of purity as pertaining only to those who are unmarried. The clarion call to purity is the same within marriage. We guard our marriages by guarding our thoughts and our actions--by honoring the Lord with both.
We are reminded in this chapter that cultivating affectionate thoughts towards our husbands encourages a longing for them, and in turn, increases our joy and pleasure in the intimacy within our marriages. Doesn't this remind you of the very first virtue we studied...that of loving our husbands with a phileo love? I'm so convicted when I recognize that I eagerly serve and sacrifice, but am not always as eager to love affectionately and tenderly.
Sisters, we can grow in affectionate love for our husbands as we seek to honor and respect them in our hearts and in our thoughts first. Purity is indeed meant for pleasure--for freedom to enjoy all that we can within the design and goodness of our loving God. Let us grow in our love for Christ, and seek to grow in our desire for the pleasure He intended for us in marriage.
If you've been reading along with me here, please leave a comment with your thoughts. Thank you for joining the discussion!