13. HONOURABLE CONDUCT DURING COURTSHIP

(The Setting A Good Foundation Series)

Today, I was reading Proverbs 31 which is famously known for describing the characteristics of a virtuous woman, whose conduct is so admirable, that it excels the conduct of even other women of virtue.

Before reaching the verses that described all the wonderful things that a woman of such high character does, I spent some time on verse 3, where King Lemuel’s mother advised him, in her wisdom: “Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.”

I thought on this statement for a while and it dawned on me that it was quite accurate. A woman can have such an effect on a man, even a man of God, that he gives his strength to her and in so doing, destroys himself and his testimony.

In the Bible, there is evidence of three (3) men of God, stalwarts in the faith, mighty and having relationship with God, who fell from their spiritual standing at some point because of women. David fell because of Bathsheba. Solomon fell because of the ungodly wives he had chosen to marry and love. Samson fell because of his love of ungodly women, the last of whom (Delilah), used the power she knew she had over him, against him.

Undoubtedly, as women, we cannot deny that we have power over a man, which we can use to build him up or to break him down. This power is a beautiful thing that we have been given by God but it was never intended to be used as a manipulative or self-glorifying tool but to be handled carefully with humility.

King Lemuel’s mother, as a woman, knew about a woman’s power of allure and no doubt may have heard of great men of God who fell because they gave their strength to a woman.

A man of God can give his strength to a woman by allowing her beauty, her charm, her wiles, her flattery (compliments) and her body to deceive him or derail him from the course God wants for his life.

He gives his strength to a woman when he opens up his heart and his emotions, as Samson did and falls in love with the wrong kind of woman. He gives his strength to a woman when he allows a woman’s body and beauty and attractiveness to so seduce him, that he disregards all of Gods’ rules for righteous living, forgets about everything else and everybody else and in his lust and passion, commits fornication, adultery or some other kind of sexually immoral act. Some of these acts may not even take place in reality but he may commit them in his mind by fantasizing about being with that particular woman physically.

How does all of this knowledge relate to you and I as Christian women?

Well, it is important for us to remember firstly, that the way God has designed it, as women, we cannot deny that we have an effect on men. This effect is powerful and it is a good point to remember when we are about to begin a courtship. For, it means that we have a power in our hands which we can use to the glory of God or for the glory of ourselves.

When a man aligns himself with the wrong woman for example, she will use this power that she knows she has, to tempt him, lure him, manipulate him, weaken him, seduce him, all so as to promote her own selfish motives and agenda. In contrast, when a man aligns himself with the right woman, she knows she has power over him and so treads carefully because she does not want him or her to fall into the trap of sin and she does not want to exploit him to her own advantage.

As Christian women, when God gives us licence to begin to court one of his sons, we cannot take it for granted that because that man has relationship with the Lord, that we can operate in any manner and he will not fall. We must be careful to guard our own hearts but also his.

We must act honourably during courtship and by this I mean:

1. We must establish BOUNDARIES that are consistent with God’s Word, from the onset.

For example, we should have rules agreed upon, like no kissing on the lips, no meeting in a private place that will tempt us to sin, no travelling overseas with just you and the person so that you avoid the very appearance of sin, no coming into the bedroom of each other when visiting and if we live by ourselves, discouraging even the practice of having the other person come over to visit, as we know what this could lead to.

I am fully aware of the fact that many Christians see nothing wrong with kissing but in all honesty, we know in our hearts that this was meant by God as part of the sex act. When you kiss a person on the lips, you then want to touch them and when you touch them, you then want to undress them and having undressed them, you then want to be with them physically.

Kissing is therefore dangerous for Christians who are pursuing after purity as God wants for all his children but I firmly believe that it is more than that. I believe that it is wrong outside of marriage, as it messes up your thinking and was designed by God for marriage. It makes you want to be with the person completely because that is how it was designed. I firmly believe therefore, that it should be left alone until after the Wedding.

Deep down in our hearts, if we are honest, we know, that Joseph and Mary were not kissing up on each other during their courtship and engagement. We know deep down in our hearts that women of old who were in relationships and engaged to be married, when they did things God’s way, kept ALL of themselves, to themselves, including their lips, until their Wedding night.

What did Rebekah do when she arrived where Isaac (her future husband) was and was told that it was Isaac? She didn’t pout her lips for a kiss or undress herself or try to expose a button or two so that her cleavage could show. Instead, the Bible states that when she found out that this was the man she was about to marry, she took a veil and covered herself (Genesis 24:64-65).

2. We must dress MODESTLY.

Yes every woman wants the object of her attraction to be physically attracted to her and takes great delight when he is. However, we should pursue honourable attraction, not one motivated by base, animal-driven lust. We ought to keep our wares, like our cleavage and legs private, until marriage (for that is what God expects) and we should wear clothes that are not too tight, not too suggestive and not too short.

We also ought not to allow the courtship to make us obsessed with our facial appearance which would be vanity but focus, even as the women of old did, on the inward adorning (1 Peter 3:3-5).

The aim is to be respectably attractive, not to seduce or to cause the man we are courting to fantasize about being with us physically. We want his mind to be on Christ and we should not be a distraction or an idol.

3. We must say WORDS THAT ARE PURE and seasoned with salt.

We should be careful what we say to the man we are courting, as words can conjure up and provoke thoughts and images that are not at all glorifying to God. We should therefore use words that are edifying to the man we are courting, that will build him up in his faith, help him to grow as a person and in his walk with God and not use words to promote ourselves, our bodies and the ultimate sex act, in his eyes. Simply put, we ought not to tempt him with vulgar talk or talk that we know will turn him on physically. We know his weak points as a man, we know our power and we do not use it against him but help him.

4. We must engage in CONDUCT THAT IS HONOURABLE.

Apart from speech and how we dress, we should behave ourselves honourably. So for example, we ought not to use tears as a manipulative tool to tug at his heart strings (as Delilah did). Knowing that jealousy is the rage of a man (Proverbs 6:34), we ought not to deliberately do things to evoke jealously in him because this makes us feel special.

We ought not to behave in seductive ways like dancing flirtatiously in front of him in sexually suggestive ways or over-exposing ourselves and our bodies, whether at a beach, a pool or otherwise. We should avoid calling him late in the night and staying up with him into the wee hours of the morning on the phone, as we know what married couples do around those times and we don’t want our minds to go there.

All and in all, we need to use wisdom in our interactions, the goal being to glorify God, ensure that that man remains focused on Christ and not on us and that we both make it down to the altar (if we are God’s choice for each other) without falling sexually.

We should therefore pray to the Lord for strength when about to embark upon a courtship because as women, we love to receive attention from the guy we like, even if it is selfish and self-centred. It is therefore tempting, even as Christian women, to want to use the power we know we have, over a man, in such a way so as to secure the most attention we can get from him. This is not honourable and as women of God, we should strive for integrity in our dealings with men. This will yield far more beautiful fruit, than any thing else could.

We must have the mentality, even as John the Baptist stated in the Bible, that Jesus must increase but we (our need for attention) must decrease. In everything we do, everything we wear, everything we say and everywhere we go, let what is honourable and pleasing to Jesus, guide our conduct.

That man we are courting will respect us so much more for it and it will reap rewards in time to come, after we have said “I Do”.

As I close, 1 Thessalonians 4:4 comes to mind and we would do good to remember it when courting one of God’s sons:

  • “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

(Written on 17th August, 2019)

Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be informative, edifying or interesing, you may also be interested in reading the following under the ‘SINGLE Daughters of God’ Page:

  • Note 134 – ‘The Manipulative Woman’

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