Sunday, August 14, 2011

Titus 2 Series: Being Chaste In Marriage



Today, six friends and I are writing a series based on the biblical principles taken from Titus 2:3-5. We pray that the topics discussed will inspire and encourage you to draw closer to God and His plan for womanhood. This is my small part of the conversation, being chaste in marriage.

Chaste: 1. Pure from all unlawful commerce of sexes. Applied to persons before marriage, it signifies pure from all sexual commerce, undefiled; applied to married persons, true to the marriage bed.

2. Free from obscenity. While they behold your chaste conversation.

3. In language, pure; genuine; uncorrupt; free from barbarous words and phrases, and from quaint, affected, extravagant expressions.

Definition from Websters 1828 Dictionary.




For married ladies, being chaste is probably not something you think much about. The focus in the Christian (and non Christian community to an extent) is staying sexually pure before marriage. After marriage you find books and messages on keeping your marriage strong and divorce proof, which of course always includes sections on affairs and such. Normally the road leading to an affair is step by step, one little thing at a time.

Titus 2 talks about teaching the young woman to love their husbands, and to be chaste. I find it interesting that we actually need to be taught about these things. While we profess to be madly in love with our husbands when we marry them, as time goes on, love becomes more of a choice, and being chaste in our marriage does as well.

I'm sure many of us would never dream of being unfaithful in our marriage. But what about the little things? How many of us struggle with day dreams, bitterness, wondering eyes, etc?

In order to make and keep a marriage strong, you need to make conscious decisions about how you are going to accomplish that. Here are some ways I work on staying chaste in my marriage.

1. I shield my eyes from other men. Much is written about how men constantly are bombarded and tempted by pictures and beautiful women that walk by. But women are not above being tempted by a handsome man! My mother taught me from my youth up to look away if a man is walking by with his shirt off. A young, handsome, buff man can most certainly be a temptation to a woman struggling in her marriage or in her thought life. When shopping for my husband in department stores, I avoid the large posters of men dressed in nothing but underwear, the same way my husband avoids walking by the lingerie section. We just can't be too careful.

2. Don't fantasize about movie stars, popular singers, etc. Much can be said about the TV and music we watch and listen to. That is a whole different post in itself! We are very conservative in our taste of movies and music. My husband and I both enjoy watching Jane Austin movies together (yes, I'm blessed to have a husband who will watch "chic flicks" with me!). But I don't go around daydreaming about Colin Firth, looking up his pictures online, or putting movie stars on my Pinterest page. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that a man or woman is handsome or beautiful. But that is where it needs to start and stop. Fantasizing about a man is not staying chaste in your marriage.

3. Don't become too familiar with other men. While my husband and I have very close friends at church, you won't find me having long, heart to heart discussions with other men at church, no matter how close I am to their families. Nothing connects a woman closer to a man than having a listening ear from him. Keep your intimate and personal talks for your husband alone.

4. I avoid hugging of any form with a man. I know some Christians are in favor of the "Holy Kiss" practice, but I am firmly opposed to physical contact with men other than my husband. It easily leads to problems - I feel especially on the man's part. There are certain men that my sister and I have discerned throughout the years that we need to just avoid, and generally we have never been proven wrong in those feelings.

5. Most importantly, pray fervently if you are feeling tempted, or just bitter and weary in your marriage. The last few years has brought trials for our family, including the divorce of my husband's parents. Going through that trial with my husband and in-laws has shown me that you cannot be too careful with keeping chastity strong in your marriage. I have prayed for my marriage like I never have before, as I don't want temptations to enter in either of our hearts. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband and we have a strong, loving marriage.

In closing, I would just encourage you to keep your eyes on Jesus, and your heart securely nestled close to your husband! Cleave to the both of them with all of your heart!

Please join the following ladies as they share their heart with you on each individual "Titus 2" topic.

A Wise Woman Builds Her House - Being Sober

Far Above Rubies - Keeper at Home

Raising Mighty Arrows - Being Discreet

Cultivating Home - Loving Your Children


Simple Country Life - Loving Your Husbands
    

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17 Comments:

At August 15, 2011 at 8:24 AM , Anonymous Far Above Rubies said...

Caroline, you make some excellent points. We can never be too careful.

Blessings,

Jasmine

 
At August 15, 2011 at 8:43 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

This is great advice. Number three in particular. It seems that often Christian women don't realize how serious forming these closer friendships with other men through these conversations can be.

 
At August 15, 2011 at 9:51 AM , Anonymous Jennifer said...

Great post! I appreciated all you wrote about. Glad I stopped talking to you yesterday long enough so you could write. :-)

 
At August 15, 2011 at 10:49 AM , Blogger Raising Mighty Arrows said...

Caroline, great post! You offered great, sound advice. Wonderful job!! :)

 
At August 15, 2011 at 10:52 AM , Blogger Ryshel said...

Thank you! It's true, "the little things" creep into our hearts if we let them and end up destroying marriages. "Keep your eyes on Jesus" is the very best advice!

 
At August 15, 2011 at 1:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for addressing this topic. It has really been a struggle for me, which I never expected, and there are very few sermons which address the topic toward women.

Blessings!

 
At August 15, 2011 at 3:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post! I read this with my husband and we discussed #4. I realized some friend's husbands do give me a hug (I would never initiate it!). I would prefer not to hug them, so how do you politely get them to stop? Have my husband say something to them in private?

Stephanie

 
At August 15, 2011 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Emily said...

Thank you so much for this post. I'm not married yet, but am working now to prepare myself emotionally for marriage to one man.

Thank you also for pointing out the issue of men without shirts on. I've felt uncomfortable with un-shirted guys for several years, but couldn't understand why, because it seems to be so expected by the world, my family included, I didn't know if I was right to think it wrong.

Women's modesty is always taught and discussed. Lots of books, articles, etc. on the topic; yet they never discuss the issue of guys and modesty. Do you think your husband would be interested in a guest post on here about modesty among men? I know I struggle when I see a guy with no shirt on, or even a tight shirt that clearly reveals all his muscles, etc.

I would love to know what a godly man thinks about that topic.

 
At August 16, 2011 at 3:52 AM , Blogger Kate said...

First, I'm glad I'm not the only woman with a Jane Austen fan for a husband! We spent a whole winter holed up in the kitchen/dining room watching BBC Jane Austen movies, cooking, baking, and (me) embroidering!

Second, I love this list, and find it to be so true. So many of my regrets in life have come from being far too open with others, especially when there is a man around! However, I do think that forming close friendships, including ones where a couple might sit with another couple and discuss things in order to ask for advice can be okay. It's about not making it intimate between you and the other man.

 
At August 16, 2011 at 5:07 AM , Blogger Caroline said...

Emily,

I will ask my husband if he has time to do a guest post! I know he has talked about doing so before. I guess I don't think about posting anything geared towards men because I can't imagine any man being interested in reading my blog! But I suppose if my husband wrote a post than ladies could send it to their husbands. :) Thanks for the idea! We'll see if he can squeeze it in his schedule!

 
At August 16, 2011 at 5:08 AM , Blogger Caroline said...

Kate,

No, you are not the only one married to a Jane Austen fan! There are aspects about the stories that irritate him, such as how the ministers are always made fun of, and a lot of the parents seem so, well, stupid, but overall he really enjoys watching them with me. :)

 
At August 16, 2011 at 5:12 AM , Blogger Caroline said...

Stephanie,

I don't have any creative ideas for that problem. :( Possibly if they are coming to give you a full body hug (ugh, I strongly dislike it when guys feel the freedom to do that!) maybe turn to the side for a quick side hug, or stick out your hand to shake their hand really fast! I am not quick to think what to do in situations like that, and it's always afterwards that I think of a solution! If your husband is willing to say something to the men doing it, I'm sure that would solve the problem for good! You just wouldn't want it made out where you are *really* struggling with it or something, I can't say I really struggle with temptation with a man gives me a hug, I just don't feel it's appropriate. Does that make sense? I wouldn't want to give someone a wrong impression of myself by saying something, without clarifying it really well.

 
At August 16, 2011 at 5:13 AM , Blogger Caroline said...

Oops, I meant to say WHEN a man gives me a hug, not WITH a man. Sorry, it's still really early in the morning! ;)

 
At August 16, 2011 at 11:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have a happy and healthy relationship with your husband, a simple hug to another person has NO significance to your marriage. You can hug somebody without immediately wanting to jump into bed with them, you know... the only danger is if your marriage is cold, isolated, and without physical affection - which is NOT the way it should be at all. Then you could get confused... but going from holding hands with your husband in church to hugging your friends in greeting doesn't mean anything! Now if they expect a kiss, they can forget it...

 
At August 16, 2011 at 5:59 PM , Anonymous Marcia Wilwerding said...

I particularly appreciate your mentioning #2 in keeping a chaste marriage. I'm sure I am not the only one appalled by the television/movie celebrity lust posts made on the Facebook walls of "friends" we thought were otherwise conservative Christian women. Shocking is not the word for it. Sad and grieved come closer. :( What if their husbands plugged in the names and photos of WOMEN celebrities in place of those of the men they are admiring? I'm sure it would spark WWIII! I just don't know what to say.

 
At August 17, 2011 at 1:53 PM , Anonymous Bonni said...

Great post! I'm a new follower!

 
At October 21, 2011 at 2:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent points. I refrain from becoming Facebook friends with my friend's husbands, because it's a temptation point for me. I know it might not be so for everyone, but I thought it worth mentioning.

 

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