Growing up, commitment to my future spouse had always been to simply save my physical purity for him; a commitment I didn’t always live out very successfully. I viewed purity as “the edge of a cliff” and told myself that as long as I didn’t fall off the cliff, I could inch my way as close to the line as possible, and still be right with God and honoring to my future husband.
But when I was 16, God completely renovated my understanding of true purity. One day I stumbled upon a verse in Proverbs 31: the chapter in the Bible that describes a wife of godly character. “She does [her husband] good and not evil,” it said, “all the days of her life” (v. 12). The words tugged at my heart. All the days of her life? That meant even before I met my future husband or knew his name! As I allowed God’s Spirit to search my heart, I realized I hadn’t been doing my future husband good all the days of my life. I’d been deceiving myself into believing I was living in purity, but in reality I was skilled at the art of seductive femininity—pursuing guys and drawing their attention to myself through flirting, flaunting my body, and subtle manipulation.
In this era of sex-obsessed masculinity, all too many young women have fallen into the trap of seductive femininity. We are taught by the culture from a very young age that the only way a woman can be considered beautiful is if she becomes sensuous and sexually aggressive. Most of us grow up believing the lie that the only way to be approved by guys is to become as much like a Victoria’s Secret vixen as we possibly can. Instead of using our feminine power to motivate guys toward purity, we fuel the problem of lust and sexual perversion by catering to men’s debased sexual desires. Proverbs 7 describes the ways of a seductive woman:
And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.
She is boisterous and rebellious,
Her feet do not remain at home;
She is now in the streets, now in the squares,
And lurks by every corner.
So she seizes him and kisses him
And with a brazen face she says to him…
(Proverbs 7:10-13 NASB)
This woman is physically aggressive toward guys, sensually dressed, always “on the prowl” for men, and uses strategic flirting and manipulation to lure guys into her seductive power. She is careless of her purity and her heart, and she looks to male approval to bring her pleasure. Sound like anyone you know? I’m guessing the answer is yes, because her description fits the majority of young woman in our modern culture, even most Christ-professing ones. It is considered normal for a young woman to be aggressive, flirtatious and sensual toward guys and use her feminine allure to manipulate the opposite sex. But what does God say about this kind of woman?
Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways,
Do not stray into her paths;
For she has cast down many wounded,
And all who were slain by her were strong men.
Her house is the way to hell,
Descending to the chambers of death.
(Proverbs 7:25-27 NKJV)
Wow. I’d say it’s time we start taking our interaction with the opposite sex a bit more seriously. As set-apart women, we are called to reflect His lily-white, radiant beauty, and not a hollow sex appeal of our own making.
When God awakened me to understand true purity, He taught me how to use my feminine power for good and not evil; to bless my future husband instead of rob from him. I no longer pursued temporary relationships that chipped away at my heart, mind, emotions, and physical purity. I know longer flirted with guys or used sensuality to draw their attention. Even in friendships with guys, I became extremely careful. I determined that the next time I would give any part of myself away would not be until I knew he was the one that God had chosen for me to spend the rest of my life with. Even then, it would only be with the gentle, step-by-step guidance of my King.
Honoring my future husband meant keeping my heart, emotions, body, and even my thought life in check—living a lifestyle of lily whiteness for him in every possible way. And finally, I understood what it meant to be a virtuous, rather than seductive, young woman!
We cannot glorify God through flirting, flaunting our body, or using our seductive power to win the approval of guys. We don’t draw attention to Christ through manipulation and sex appeal–we only draw attention to ourselves and use selfish manipulation to bring guys down. If we want to see a positive change in the animalistic attitude of today’s men, it’s time we stop catering to the problem. It’s time we begin to live as if we actually are the holy temple of the Most High God. Next time you are tempted to flirt, flaunt, or seduce, remember that you are called to live for more than just yourself; you have the amazing privilege of honoring God and your future husband, starting today, all the days of your life.