Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Good Girl

“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” (Titus 2:4-5)

         Two young men in my presence recently, on separate occasions, offered this compliment of the young women they are both seeing now: “She’s a good girl.” I thought to myself this is something you don’t hear as often today. Either because it is not considered as important as it used to be, or because it is so loosely defined now. When I heard it, I immediately thought of these verses in Titus, where Paul gives the “aged women” guidelines on how to instruct the younger women in local churches, or at home.

         This passage surrounds the adjective “good” with others like it that help us understand just what God means by the term. It should be obvious, a good girl is not a perfect girl; but a good girl is not a bad girl, either. Is that too simplistic? If so, we may be maneuvering for wiggle room here. When one reads such words as sober, discreet, and chaste, it should not be too hard to see what the apostle is driving at. And in fact, in both instances, the young men I referred to let me know that their young ladies were virgins. They have other qualities that may boost them into the “good” bracket, I know; but both men still considered this to be one of the best indications that the adjective “good” was applicable to their lady-love

         I felt constrained to make this illustrative and Biblical observation not to discourage any single girl or woman who has lost her virtue (How’s that for an old-fashioned term?), but rather to encourage the others, who have been, and are now, staying true to the high calling of chastity before marriage. The blood of Jesus Christ is sufficient to cleanse any sin, but virginity cannot be reclaimed any more than a burn can be “unburned.” 

      I fear sometimes we elevate forgiveness above abstinence.

      And of such reasoning, Paul said, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid (Rom.6:1-2a). And God forbid that we ever lower our unequivocally Biblical standards of morality to accommodate the licentious whims of a corrupt culture. When God needed a woman to facilitate the entrance of His Son into time to save the world, He chose a virgin; and He hasn’t changed His preferences. He’s still looking for a few good women. 

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