Growing up, my commitment to my future husband was 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, 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 after several short-term flings that ended in heartache, 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. It said, “She does [her husband] good, and not harm, all the days of her life” (Prov. 31:12).
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 thinking I was honoring him by not “crossing the line” and falling over the edge of the cliff. But in reality I had become skilled at the art of seductive femininity—pursuing guys and drawing their attention to myself through flirting, immodesty, and subtle manipulation. I realized that if my future husband could see the way I interacted with guys, he wouldn’t feel loved or honored. Rather, he would feel hurt and betrayed.
In today’s world, we often assume that as long as our teasing, flirting, and romantic flings are a bit tamer than the unabashed sensuality of Hollywood, we are living in purity and honoring our future spouse. But what is God’s standard? First Corinthians 7:34 says:
The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit.
To “be holy in both body and spirit” means to be completely different from this world and completely set apart for Christ. This is not just a decision to wear a one-piece swimsuit instead of a bikini or to wear a slightly longer miniskirt than what is currently fashionable. Rather, it is an entire shift of lifestyle and focus—it’s allowing God to transform us with His purity from the inside out.
When God awakened me to His pattern for true purity, He taught me how to use my femininity for good and not evil, to honor my future husband instead of rob from him. After some serious soul-searching, I recognized that if I desired to truly love my future husband well, I could no longer chase after temporary flings that chipped away at my heart, mind, emotions, and physical purity. I could no longer flirt with guys or use subtle sensuality to draw their attention. With God’s help, I began to make radical changes to the way I interacted with the opposite sex. Honoring my future husband meant guarding my heart, emotions, body, and even my thoughts—living to honor him in every possible way and loving him sacrificially.
This was not an easy commitment to keep. But as I began to build my life around God’s pattern instead of the world’s, I found incredible delight in making the choice to love my future husband, not just in theory, but practically, even before I knew his name.
The impact this decision had upon my love story with my husband, Eric, was invaluable. Learning to love my husband before meeting him was a crucial step in preparing me for a truly Christ-centered relationship.
Next time you are tempted to flirt, flaunt, seduce, or jump into a temporary fling, 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.
And even if you never get married, remember that you have the wonderful opportunity to love and honor your heavenly Bridegroom—Jesus Christ—all the days of your life. Your relationship with Him is the most important love story of all!