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The Evil That Men Think?

 

In 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 sexual desire.

Wow.

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.

—Jo Page

jopage@graceniska.org


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