Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Boundaries

Extend Compassion

Now, more than ever, we need your help in showcasing Christ’s compassion to a hurting world. By giving toward our year-end need, you empower our efforts to put love into action.

Donate Now

Leslie Basham: Here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: You know, I'm amazed these days to hear even Christian leaders suggesting that flirting is a good thing, that this is a way that a woman can let men know that she's available.

I never thought the day would come when I would hear Christian thinkers and writers suggesting that this might be God's way.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It's Friday, June 6.

So, if you don't flirt, how can you ever attract a man's attention? Here's Nancy to address the whole topic of moral purity as we continue in a series called "Seven Secrets for Singles."

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We're talking all this week about the choices that we make as single women. Yesterday we started into what I think is one of the most important areas where we make choices, an area that if we make the right choices, can lead into great freedom and blessing and joy.

But an area where, if we make wrong choices, will lead us into incredible heartache and pain and very deadly consequences.

We're talking about the choice to be morally pure. The Scripture says that we are to flee from sexual immorality and that we are to pursue moral excellence, putting off immorality, putting on that which is pure.

Now yesterday, we talked about one of the practical areas where we have a responsibility as women as it relates to morals, and that is in the area of our clothing, making sure that we are dressing in ways that are modest and will not encourage men in ways that could lead them into immoral thinking or even behavior.

I want to touch today on a couple of other areas where it's important that we as women pursue moral excellence and flee from anything that could lead us into sexual immorality.

Let me bring up a word here that Paul uses in 1 Thessalonians 4. He says, "The will of God is your sanctification, that you should abstain from sexual immorality, that you should learn how to possess (or control) your own body, your own vessel in sanctification and honor and that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter."

The word is defrauded. What does it mean to defraud and how do we as women have the potential to defraud men or even to defraud ourselves?

That's kind of an old-fashioned word. We don't use it a lot today, but it has to do with creating expectations that cannot be rightly fulfilled. As it relates to the whole area of morality, one writer defines defrauding this way. He said, "It's arousing desires that can only be brought to their proper fulfillment within marriage."

And then he makes this point. "Pushing the boundaries is almost sure to lead to crossing the boundaries."

What are some of the ways that we can create expectations or arouse desires, that cannot be rightly fulfilled before marriage?

We talked about the area of clothing. That's a way that we can defraud men, with immodest clothing that creates desires that cannot be righteously fulfilled.

But another area has to do with the emotional realm.

We can defraud emotionally or we can defraud physically. There are emotional ways of defrauding men or even defrauding ourselves, creating an arousing within ourselves or others, desires that it's not time to fulfill.

I think one of the ways we do that is by flirting. You know, I'm amazed these days to hear even Christian leaders, writers and speakers, suggesting that flirting is a good thing, that this is the way that a woman can let men know that she's available.

I never thought the day would come when I would hear Christian thinkers and writers suggesting that this might be God's way. But flirting really suggests that I'm not secure in my relationship with the Lord, that I'm not trusting the Lord to meet my needs, that I'm pursuing men or marriage.

One of the choices we've talked about as being important is to choose that I will not pursue men. I will not pursue marriage. Flirting is saying, "I'm available. Here's something I'm offering you. I'm holding this out to you. I'm tantalizing you with this little something""¦it may be in an attitude, something that is said or in a look or in a type of behavior, and it says, "I'm offering you something, but it's not really mine to offer yet."

As a single woman, it's not mine to give away and it's not his to take and what I'm doing if I'm flirting is defrauding. I'm lighting a match. And when you light a match and you put it up next to emotions that are already keyed up, hormones that are active, what you're doing has the potential of lighting a fire.

We defraud when we give or accept signals that this could be an exclusive romantic relationship when God hasn't yet given us that freedom.

There's another area that we defraud and that's as it is related to physical contact. Physical contact that is not appropriate and that can fuel sexual desires, can arouse sexual desires prematurely.

Now, we could go a lot into this and I won't, but let me just tell you where God has led me on this matter. As I thought about the whole process of lighting a match and what it does, the direction that I have sensed in my own life as a standard (as it relates to physical contact with men)"¦and, by the way, I'm talking not just about with single men but we need to be careful of not defrauding married men and I want to come back to that in a moment.

But as it relates to physical contact, I don't have any different kind of physical contact with a man that would not be appropriate for me to have with my brother (I have three of them) or with one of my father's friends, a friend of the family, someone my father's age. There are certain kinds of physical contact that would be appropriate.

I'll tell you where the line comes. It comes with the intensity of the contact and it has to do with the duration of the contact. How long and how intense.

We know that there are certain kinds of contact physically that would never be appropriate for me to have with my brother or with one of my father's friends. I would say the line the Lord has brought me to in this matter of physical contact is not to cross that with any man until it's time for love to be awakened within marriage.

Now let me pick up on something here that is a great concern, the whole area of our relationships, as women, not only with single men but also with married men.

Most of us are in the marketplace in one way or another and we're thrown into working relationships and social relationships and church relationships with married men.

I work with a lot of married men in ministry. And God has been so gracious and kind and good to protect those relationships and to give me healthy relationships, godly relationships, with the men that I serve with and relate to.

But one of the things that has helped me with that over the years is developing some practical, what I call hedges, some guidelines, some specific behavioral guidelines.

And I don't go around and talk about these; I don't advertise these to the men I work with. I have here a list I pulled off my computer today. It's a page and half and it's titled, "Practical Hedges for Me in Working with Men."

Those men that I work with, I don't think that any of those men have ever seen this piece of paper, but these are things that help to guard the relationship and make those relationships so much freer and so much healthier if I'm willing to stay within those hedges.

For example, in one note that I made at the beginning of this (I wrote this some time ago), the closer the working relationship, the higher and more inflexible the hedges need to be.

So one, for example, that I have lived with for many years and has stood me in such good stead is that I don't get into a close working relationship with a man if I cannot also have some type of good, healthy relationship with his wife.

Now there have been some situations where that has not been feasible or possible, and then I don't get into those close working relationships.

Now I'm not telling you that my hedges should be your hedges, but I'm telling you that you should think through what your hedges are. You should know what they are. It was good for me today to go back through and review these hedges and to be reminded of what they are and why they're important.

There are many very practical ones. I've got probably thirty written down here. If I'm sharing personal matters in letters or in e-mail, I address the communication to the couple.

I don't meet alone in a room with the door closed with a married man. I don't travel alone with a married man. I don't have a meal alone with a married man if there's not a third party or his wife there.

Now I know that in today's culture, this is almost unthinkable and people could wonder, "What planet are you coming from?" But I want to tell you that if you have hedges in your life that God has directed you to, there will be safety, there will be protection.

Now the best hedge and the most important is that you love God with all your heart. Once you've got that in place, you're protected in every other area of your life.

The Scripture says that marriage is sacred, that the marriage bed is undefiled and that if we violate that as women, the Scripture says, "God will avenge. God takes this so seriously."

And I may be speaking to someone here tonight who is playing with fire. I just want to appeal to you. I want to beg you. I want to plead with you. Run.

If you have to quit your job, if you have to move to another state, get out of the situation. Do not think you are strong enough to handle it. Do not think this is his responsibility. This is your responsibility. You and the Lord.

And you say, "In the church, could this be true?" I'm telling you it is happening with church women. All the time. And God takes this so seriously. We have to take this seriously and to say, "Lord," as I have said, "God take my life if I would ever have the chance, the potential or come close to violating someone's marriage."

So let me ask you, have you ever made that vow? If you have, would you just reaffirm it? And if you've never made a sacred, solemn lifetime vow to the Lord in relation to moral purity, would you do that today?

It's starts with a holy, lifetime, non-negotiable commitment. "Lord, by Your grace, I purpose to be morally pure." And God will give you grace.

Leslie Basham: That's Nancy Leigh DeMoss encouraging singles and everyone to live a morally pure life by God's grace. If you're ready to make the kind of commitment that Nancy just described or to recommit yourself to purity, would you write and let us know? We'll be praying for you and would be encouraged to hear from you.

When you contact us, you may want to ask for a copy of Nancy's booklet Singled Out For Him. It will help you gain biblical perspective on singleness and it includes a chapter on sexual purity. It will help you understand how to keep yourself pure and how to avoid causing temptation to men around you.

You can get a copy for a suggested donation of $5 when you call 1-800-569-5959. Or write us at Revive Our Hearts. You can also order on-line at ReviveOurHearts.com.

People who are single can still interact quite a bit with families. We'll hear about that on the next Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.