One lunch time I was in a coffee shop with a mature sister who was lamenting the young women she knew that were looking for (Christian?) men online for sex, plus those in long term relationships where the guys weren’t proposing marriage because, “They already have what they want.” The night after this disturbing encounter I was listening to an expert on sex trafficking and prostitution exhorting Christians to be salt and light into this terrible global epidemic. The following morning the Lord drew my attention to Naomi’s counsel to Ruth, ““It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, lest in another field you be assaulted.”” (Ruth 2:22). From one end of the Bible to another men are dangerous to women (1 Tim 2:14). From God’s point of view any sex outside marriage,even if it is mutual, is a form of moral, mental and spiritual abuse. The urgency of the hour demands older Christian women rise up as spiritual mothers and grandmothers to a generation of younger women and girls whose sexual and relational future is looking bleak beyond hope.
Straight Talk about Sex
We are witnessing a moral situation unique in history; the exposure of children to explicit sexual images online at ever younger ages. This is not primarily a function of technological change, but a strategy of the powers of evil to pervert the very nature of human moral sensitivity (Rev 19:2). A generation is being conditioned to think sex of all sorts outside the covenant of marriage is not only 100% normal but to not live like this is warped. With the “Safe Schools” project coming to a venue near you the moulding of young minds towards permissiveness will become overwhelming – without a counter thrust through the Church into families, youth groups and so on that manifests divine power (Rom 12:1-2). This spiritual counteroffensive must be led by “mothers in Israel”.
Mothers in Israel
In her song of triumph Deborah declares; “The villagers ceased in Israel; they ceased to be until I arose; I, Deborah, arose as a mother in Israel.” (Judges 5:7). The scriptures never mention Deborah’s own children; rather she is a leader who brings Israel back from the edge of the grave by giving them new birth through victory over their enemies. Naomi is another mother in Israel, but in a way that points more directly to Christ. Through her counsel Ruth comes to the field of Boaz, who recognising her covenantal fidelity to Naomi declares in the Spirit; ““The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”” (Ruth 2:12). Following the secret plan of Naomi Ruth lies at the feet of Boaz and declares to him in an intimate fashion,““Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”” (Ruth 3:9). In time the couple marry and of their line David and Jesus will be born. As the younger Ruth unhesitatingly obeyed the wisdom of her mother-in-Israel Naomi to be covered by the resources and character of Boaz so spiritual mothers in the Church must unremittingly counsel their daughter in the Lord to seek the protection of the one true redeemer, Christ. The destructive sin of many young women today is to seek a life-partner with greater urgency than which they seek the one who alone will watch over them forever, Jesus.
Paul’s exhortation, “I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.” (2 Cor 11:2), employs the language of a holy spiritual presence. But lacking deep spiritual intimacy with Christ the Church has traditionally reverted to legalism in the area of sexual morality. More recently much of Christianity has simply abandoned this area as “too hard” to police. These approaches are equally destructive. Jesus himself was neither moralistic nor permissive but brought a presence that cleansed away the deepest shame. He united fallen spirits with the Holy Spirit of God so empowering sexual purity; “the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit” (1 Cor 6:17). The power of the gospel can mean, “once you were…sexually immoral… adulterers…homosexuals” (1 Cor 6:9-11). This power is still with us.
After preaching on the reconciling power of the cross Geoff Bingham was approached by a young woman who said, “If what you have said is true, then I’m a virgin again.” In the sight of God this re-virginising is true for all who are being “cleansed by the washing of water through the word”. In Christ they are “in splendour, without spot or wrinkle…holy and without blemish.” (Eph 5:26-27). To be in touch with Jesus in a deep holy intimate way imparts to a woman a sense of ageless beauty far deeper and more indelible than the attentions of any man, or cosmetic, can impart (Ps 45:3-4; Rev 19:7-8). Such a profound transformation however does not come without a fight.
Application: Time to Contend
The Church is desperately short of mothers-in-Israel because first of all there are so few men, including husbands or pastors, who are earnestly contending for the faith of God’s holy people (Jude 1:3). Too many are spiritual wimps rather than warriors. Until something changes both spiritual and sexual impurity will keep advancing in the Church. All is not lost, for there are times when women have to take initiative shaming men to take up their call in the Lord. This was so when Barak took up arms at the exhortation of Deborah to defeat the Canaanites (Judges 4). Such things can still happen in our times. When the communists invaded Romania many church leaders publicly aligned themselves with those in power. In one such meeting Sabina Wurmbrand pinched her husband’s arm and said fiercely; . “Richard, stand up and wash away this shame from the face of Christ. They are spitting on his face!” “If I do so,” Richard Wurmbrand answered, “you will lose your husband.” Her eyes bore into his. “I don’t want a coward for a husband.” Submitting to his wife Wurmbrand would spend 14 years in prison but become a global leader for the cause of the persecuted Church. Where is all this heading?
I see bands of women travailing in the power of the Spirit of cross giving birth to new spiritual life amongst multitudes of young women and girls previously marked by the devil for the debasement of the flesh (Isa 53:11). The tidal wave of perversion can be rolled back by a tsunami of contending prayer (Col 4:12). God is calling for fighting women; Your KING and Country need You. Enlist Now! Then get some of your friends to pray with you into this specific issue on a regular basis.