In a recent post, I touched on the fact that men were designed by God to lead and love in relationships with women (particularly in marriage, though it remains true in any season of life). The problem is that, because of the depravity of the world, men and women have been not been acting as they should. Women have become controlling and manipulative, and men have come to resent that. Additionally, men have found issue with lust.
And how has this problem been fixed? It hasn't. Instead, women all over the world have fed into this issue by lowering the standards that used to be expected of a true lady. Instead, immodest clothing, crude behaviors, and anything-but-ladylike grace have become the expectation and norm. How embarrassing.
When I think of lust, I think of King David. David was a lowly sheep boy who was chosen by God even though he seemed like the least likely candidate. David beat the Philistine giant Goliath when he was just a young boy. He was also anointed as the King of Judah, and later Israel. All in all, it can be said that David was quite the righteous and godly man. Until Bathsheba came along. One warm spring night, as David was walking around the roof of his palace, he took notice of a beautiful woman bathing not far from where he stood. He was intrigued by her, and began to lust after her. He didn't know her, but that didn't stop him from sending someone to find her. Bathsheba and David ended up sleeping together even though she had a husband; they committed adultery, and she became pregnant. David could not handle the immense guilt he felt for having dishonored Bathsheba and her family, yet instead of confessing his sin, he had Uriah the Hittite - Bathsheba's husband - murdered (for more on the choices of David and Bathsheba, read 2 Samuel).
2. uncontrolled or illicit sexual desire or appetite; lecherousness.
3. a passionate or overmastering desire or craving.
Lust is a slippery, slippery slope in the realm of masculinity. Much like in the life of King David, it can cause even the godliest of men to become deeply entangled in its snares. While men themselves are primarily responsible for their behaviors, don't think for a second that women don't play a crucial role.
As women set apart by God Himself, we have been given the duty of helping to shape and encourage men in their masculinity. But in order to effectively do that, we must be living our lives in complete abandon to Christ. We must hold ourselves to higher standards than the ones that are set by our society, our culture, and the world. We must be daily dying to self and following after God's heart and will for our lives. We must seek to achieve true, lovely, godly femininity as God intended for it to be. It may sound daunting, but be encouraged, sisters! He has the best in store for us so long as we yield ourselves to Him and trust in His promises for our lives! Let the following quotes encourage you as they do me...
"The value of a woman who had yielded her selfish agenda to the Spirit of Jesus Christ... comes from knowing she has been redeemed and loved by the King of all kings. Her focus is on His desires, not on her own selfish wants."
"When young women finally become consumed with Jesus Christ alone, allowing Him to reign and rule over every dimension of their femininity, they will become the spectacular, radiant, and truly beautiful women whom godly men dream about. When they are passionately in love with their heavenly Prince... they will have the kind of femininity that can truly shape the course of modern manhood."
A woman who is wholeheartedly seeking after Jesus Christ, setting her sights above rather than on earth, will inspire others to do the same. Especially men. Christ-professing men truly seeking godliness will be encouraged and spurred on to greater and more pure masculinity when they see women around them more focused on the Lord and doing His work than seeking worldly attention and approval. Strive to become a woman of honor, and watch as the lives of the people around you begin to change simply because your heart is set on none else but Jesus!
Sisters, please REMEMBER: no human man will ever be able to satisfy your heart's deepest desires and longings the way that Christ will. In fact, it's not even fair to expect that of an earthly man. He will never be able to meet that expectation, regardless of how godly he is. He is fallen, just as you are. Jesus Christ is your First Love, and the only One who will ever satisfy the way you most desperately seek. He is the only One who will complete you.
So what does it mean to be a "woman of honor"? I will introduce some principles of what that may look like in my next post.
"Women have an incredible power to help shape the direction of masculinity... We can use our femininity to restore masculinity to the way God intended it to be... If you allow the Spirit of God to make you a vessel for shaping [truly masculine men], you'll be surprised at how many lives will be changed."
[All quotes from The Lost Art of True Beauty by Leslie Ludy]