Evil That Men Think?
case you missed this, in addi-tion to the war on terror, we
are embroiled in the war on sexual immorality. And if you
believe what you hear on Christian radio, the traditional
victims of sexual aggression are not women, but men. Yes,
men are the particular targets in this war. Since they are
helpless thralls to lust they are therefore Satan’s reliable
prey, all of them driven by constant, limitless and unbridled
But fortunately, there is help. Men can be pure. Men
can resist the lure of loose women, the pleasures of
porn sites and even the back pages of Metroland. It
takes work and commitment. And it takes the book—as well as
the movement—Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual
Temptation One Victory at a Time.
The jacket copy says it all: “From the television to the Internet,
print media to videos, men are constantly faced with the assault
of sensual images. . . . Every Man’s Battle shares
the stories of dozens who have escaped the trap of sexual
immorality. . . . Perfect for men who have fallen in the past,
those who want to remain strong today, and all who want to
overcome temptation in the future.”
Among the various testimonials, Jack W. Hayford, pastor of
the Church Along the Way, welcomes the spiritual weaponry
that Every Man’s Battle offers. He writes: “There is
no more common enemy of true manhood than the diversion or
the perversion of our sexual capacities. I welcome every contribution
to the arsenal of resistance.”
Honestly, I had no idea it was so hard to be a man.
I mean, when I was married I thought my husband remained faithful
because he liked what he had, not because, with Jesus’ help,
he was denying himself something else that he really wanted.
When I am with male colleagues I figure we are working together
as professionals, not that they are boiling over with a passion
only Jesus helps them control. And when my daughters go to
classes taught by male teachers, I assume they instructing
students, not imploring God to save them from the lure of
ripe pubescent flesh.
Clearly, I know little about men.
But if this is the given—that all men live in constant states
of temptation and arousal (who knew?)—then I am perplexed
by the steadily growing phenomenon of the purity ball.
Yes, the purity ball.
Truly, it’s a provocative-sounding title, but I didn’t make
it up. This is the brainchild of Pastor Randy Wilson and his
wife, Lisa, of the Colorado Springs-based Generations of Light
ministry. And like any event that invites a young woman to
dress like Cinderella, they are growing in appeal.
But just what is a purity ball?
It’s a formal event to which a father escorts his daughter;
he is her ‘date,’ the only date she will have until they meet
her future husband.
And amidst the glamour and the gala—the fancy food, the long
dresses, the rhinestone tiaras—father and daughter each sign
a pledge. She promises to stay pure until she marries. Her
father vows to protect his daughter’s chastity: “I, [insert
father’s name], choose before God to cover my daughter as
her authority and protection in the area of purity. . . .”
A recent video from an especially lavish purity ball at the
Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs shows pastor Randy Wilson
challenging the assembled fathers: “Are you ready to war for
your daughters’ purity?”
Later on, girls and fathers are shown passing beneath an archway
made of two large swords held aloft by pastors from the Generations
of Light ministry. On the other side is a cross and each girl
lays a white rose beneath it.
But stop—raised swords? You’ve got to be kidding. How could
it be that men, those thralls to lust, have overlooked the
phallic imagery? According to the author of and adherents
to the Every Man’s Battle mentality, sex is always
on their minds. Sounds like a country song.
To be fair, most of the men I know—OK, all of the men
I know—would not buy an Every Man’s Battle workbook
nor be caught beneath raised swords at a purity ball. So perhaps
I speak from total ignorance.
But I can’t help but wonder: If the daily struggle for sexual
purity in their own lives is such a pitched battle, who are
these men vowing to protect their daughters’ virginity? After
all, there is very little scriptural precedent: In the book
of Genesis, the sole righteous man in all of Sodom and Gomorrah,
Lot himself, offers his virgin daughters to the avaricious
townsmen who want a go at his male houseguests.
On the other hand, who am I to say what men are like? I didn’t
even know that they were constantly aroused victims of sexual
desire unable to stay faithful without the help of the Lord.
Nor that they spent so much time thinking about their daughter’s
virginity. Perhaps it’s all been a well-kept secret designed
to hide me—and all women, I’m sure—from the truth: that sex
is a battleground on which women are either to be protected,
resisted or feared.