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Resources for Women Struggling for Purity

What is lust? What isn't? How can I guard myself...
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Hubz
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Resources for Women Struggling for Purity

Post by Hubz »

Hey all - got a favor to ask. My wife is mentoring a friend from our church who is dating another guy from our church. Long story short, her friend revealed to her today that there is “another guy” (coworker) in the picture. It’s pretty complicated, but her friend was asking for accountability that she wouldn’t give in to temptation there.

My wife is looking for a Christian book or study to take her through that focuses on fighting for purity, specific from a woman’s perspective (if possible.) Purity in our emotions and thinking and not just sexual.

Any recommendations?

Thanks all!
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hastentheday
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Re: Resources for Women Struggling for Purity

Post by hastentheday »

Hubz wrote: Sun May 23, 2021 9:23 pm
My wife is looking for a Christian book or study to take her through that focuses on fighting for purity, specific from a woman’s perspective (if possible.) Purity in our emotions and thinking and not just sexual.

Any recommendations?

Thanks all!
So, I am not a woman and I have not read the book I am recommending but I trust the blogger and I trust the author listed as I have read much material or listened to podcasts from both of them in the past. Hope this will help and that it is relevant to your wife's mentoring:

The website is:
https://intimacyinmarriage.com/resources/books/

"Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment"
Shannon Ethridge / WaterBrook Press

This book comes on the heels of the very popular book, Every Man’s Battle. It looks closely at sexual integrity and digs deep into the reality that men aren’t the only ones who struggle with keeping their thoughts and actions pure before the Lord. This book specifically examines the tendency of women to compromise their sexual integrity not by physically committing adultery, but by emotionally and mentally fantasizing about other people and/or unfairly comparing their husbands to other men. Ethridge conveys in her book that if women don’t guard their hearts and minds, they’ll go down a slippery slope of rationalizing sexual thoughts and behavior that can be devastating.
2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
Pearl
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Re: Resources for Women Struggling for Purity

Post by Pearl »

I know this post is a few months old, but I'll share just in case someone reads it later looking for help. My first thought was "Passion and Purity" by Elizabeth Elliott. I read this as a single 20something and it was transformative! It is not strictly about purity in a sexual sense (though Elizabeth and her soon to be husband Jim had their share of pent up sexual tension as we learn), but rather, its overall message is about purity of the heart when it's sole object of worship is the Lord. I think this is excellent, as it can be easy to miss the forest for the trees.
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SLS
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Re: Resources for Women Struggling for Purity

Post by SLS »

Pearl wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:09 pm My first thought was "Passion and Purity" by Elizabeth Elliott.
This is a book I would be careful with. Elizabeth and Jim Elliott are not a couple we should hold up as a "model love story".

Based on what I have read pertaining to their journals (beyond what Elizabeth recounts in PandP) it seems pretty clear that the main (possibly only) reason they get married in the end is Jim wanted a missionary position that was only open for a married couple.

That doesn't mean every part of the book is useless or anything like that. Just be careful not to idolize their relationship or her advice.
Last edited by SLS on Fri Sep 24, 2021 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Happily married to Serafina for 7 years. She is my Venus. ::luv2
Pearl
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Re: Resources for Women Struggling for Purity

Post by Pearl »

SLS wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 6:49 am
Pearl wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:09 pm My first thought was "Passion and Purity" by Elizabeth Elliott.
Elizabeth and Jim Elliott are not a couple we should hold up as a "model love story".

Just be careful not to idolize their relationship or her advice.
I'm not aware of the details of their relationship beyond what Elizabeth chose to share through journals and letter extracts. But isn't it true that we shouldn't idolize any relationship or human advice? Why the need to jump in and voice extra caution?

Besides, the topic was resources for purity in women. I have listened and read a number of things from EE over the years and have yet to find anything problematic from her on that topic. If you have, then please share.

edit to add: I believe sexual purity was what the OP had in mind, but this flows from a heart pure in its relation to God. A by-product. Any resource worth perusing will start there.
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SeekingChange
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Re: Resources for Women Struggling for Purity

Post by SeekingChange »

SLS wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 6:49 am Elizabeth and Jim Elliott are not a couple we should hold up as a "model love story".
How may people do have a "model love story".... including Scriptural examples? I would guess the majority don't, so many will be able to relate and get more out of those who didn't, but yet still found love and made it work. I know I relate and appreciate those who are more real and not so "perfect".
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, to find comfort, to survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years... and then she did something new.
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SLS
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Re: Resources for Women Struggling for Purity

Post by SLS »

Pearl wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 7:47 amBut isn't it true that we shouldn't idolize any relationship or human advice? Why the need to jump in and voice extra caution?
I agree that we should not idolize any relationship and that nobody is perfect. That said in some circles Jim and Elizabeth's relationship is treated as a model for a "pure romance". In actuality their relationship was honestly pretty toxic and not something to be emulated.

Now I will admit it's been a while since I have read Passion and Purity but even when I read it as a teen it was quite clear that Jim Elliott treated Elizabeth poorly and tried to cover it over with spiritualism.

I ran across additional information here and here regarding their relationship. While I may not agree with some of the beliefs of these authors the evidence they do present, coupled with what is actually in Passion and Purity, paints a pretty sad picture.

So in short a person reading Passion and Purity without a clear understanding of healthy relationships could easily conclude that a relationship like Jim and Elizabeth's was normal and something to strive for rather than something to be avoided.
Happily married to Serafina for 7 years. She is my Venus. ::luv2
Pearl
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Re: Resources for Women Struggling for Purity

Post by Pearl »

It's been awhile since I read the book too. Interesting that we both came away with very different impressions. I read the articles you linked and have some thoughts.

1. I don't think highly of the online mag, Medium. They are not a source for godly advice or perspective. You probably don't agree with them either, but it's clear their words influenced your opinion. I'm concerned that the majority of their points were derived from snippets of letters, rather than the whole context. That makes a huge difference.

2. Same thoughts for Sheila Gregoire. I used to follow her often; and gained much insight from her blog. However, I don't think she is correct in her analysis of the author's intent. Nothing I read indicates that EE intended to hold herself and Jim up as models. (Again, it's been awhile, but that was my impression). Rather, I believe she was offering a humble look at what following hard after God is like. Even in the face of less than perfect circumstances, even in the company of toxic relationships. It's two people desiring to serve their Lord-- getting up, and falling, and failing miserably, and crying, and then trying again...

It is terrifying when the realization hits that God wants everything surrendered. Even the pathetic parts of ourselves. We easily pay lip service to this fact, but the real truth is gut wrenchingly painful. Yet there is no other way to become refined and pure into Him.

That's what I got out of EE's perspective. So if people are fussing about imperfect christian leaders throwing themselves out there to be emulated, I think they are barking up quite the wrong tree.
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DoveGrey
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Re: Resources for Women Struggling for Purity

Post by DoveGrey »

I've never read Elliot's book and in fact hadn't heard of any of this until yesterday. However, in doing some digging I found that Josh Harris credits her book with giving him the idea for his own book that was a driving force behind the purity culture craze.

Reading his tribute to her felt a little odd, given what happened with him. And frankly, I'm none too pleased with her endorsement of it. Some of us are called to live the life she had, but most are not. By his own admission, Jim Elliot went reluctantly into marriage. But we honor God through marriage as well. Was the Elliot's story really about purity, or was it more about choosing God and celibacy over marriage and then finally giving in? I genuinely don't know. But I do know that there is a difference between the two things, and Elisabeth's story seems very different than what Harris was attempting to do.

I could be off base, but I'm interested in the discourse nonetheless.

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