Lies that Tempt Us
About the Guest
Have you been listening to Satan's lies? Author Marian Jordan Ellis cautions women everywhere not to swallow Satan's bait and believe the lies he's been peddling since Creation began, like, "Sex will make you feel more secure in a relationship." Marian encourages women to keep the small things, like holding hands, sacred, and to see themselves as valuable treasures men have to win, rather than sexual objects to be used.
Have you been listening to Satan’s lies? Author Marian Jordan Ellis cautions women everywhere not to swallow Satan’s bait and believe the lies he’s been peddling since Creation began.
Lies that Tempt Us
Bob: As a single young woman, Marian Jordan Ellis was a party girl, who ultimately came to Christ—read what the Bible had to say about purity and embraced celibacy.
Marian: My life wasn’t about following a rule that says, “I can’t have sex before marriage.” The vision of my life was: “I love Jesus because Jesus redeemed me. I want to stand before Him and honor Him with my life.” So, therefore, that vision, and that call, and that being gripped and consecrated to God—because Jesus is better—that influenced everything about me.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, August 1st. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. How do single young men and single young women win the battle for purity in their relationships? We’ll talk with Marian Jordan Ellis about that today. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us. You know, I think a lot of moms and dads look at the culture in which we are trying to raise our children; and they think the solution for how you raise your kids in this kind of a culture is to build the highest wall and the deepest moat around your house that you can.
Dennis: [Laughter] And then, not let your kids go out until they are about 30.
Bob: That’s right! And that strategy isn’t going to work!
Dennis: No, it’s not because you can’t run from the world. You’ve got to teach your children how to walk with Christ, love Christ, and embrace Christ and His Word as they live out their lives in the world.
And we have the author of Sex and the Single Christian Girl, Marian Jordan Ellis, joining us again on FamilyLife Today. Welcome back, Marian.
Marian: It’s great to be here. Thank you.
Dennis: She and her husband have two sons.
They live in San Antonio, and she has a ministry called Redeemed Girl Ministries.
We’ve been talking about temptation, and we didn’t get through your list earlier of all the temptations the enemy throws at us to get us derailed from following Christ—especially in this area of sexual immorality. The first one is: “But we’re in love. It’s okay.” The second one, you say, is: “But we’re getting married someday.” Then, finally, the world is screaming at young people today saying, “Sex is no big deal.” It just minimizes the impact of sex. Continue on with your list, Marian, because I really want moms and dads to equip their children; but I also think there are probably listeners, right now, who may be tempted with one of these lies in his or her life.
Marian: I’m glad you said that. We actually had a man write into our ministry, who was dating a Christian woman. He said, “This book changed my life.” He goes, “I had no idea what temptation really was—that it was spiritual warfare—nor did I recognize the lies that my girlfriend was hearing that would be also affecting me, as a man.” That shed a light on me because it’s not just the woman who is hearing the lies—the man, as well, because she is struggling with it—she’s bringing that into the relationship. So—
Dennis: And if I might just say, that means moms and dads need to train both their daughters and their sons—
Dennis: —in knowing how to spot these lies because we are equipping both halves of a relationship to know how to handle it.
Dennis: Maybe if one of them listens to God, they’ll be okay.
Marian: Yes. It helps when both are!
Dennis: It does.
Marian: So, number four, women will hear the lie: “I will feel more secure if….—that “if” is—“he desires me sexually or if I have sex with him.” I talked about it in the previous broadcast—that we have a battleground of three areas: the world, the flesh, and Satan. Our flesh is our sinful nature—but those temptations are targeting that. One of the biggest weak points, for a woman, is her identity. So, if a woman’s identity is being built on how she looks or on a man’s opinion, then, she is more susceptible to the temptation and the lies—if she’s building her identity upon that rather than on who God says she is. So, the desire to feel secure is a big lie that the enemy uses because he says: “You know what? You’ve gained five pounds; but if you’re attractive to him and if you turn him on, then, you’ll feel better about yourself.” You see how subtle that is?
I had a girl write me and say: “The times I’ve felt a strong temptation towards sexual sin, since I’ve been a Christian, have all been tied to my insecurities—mostly about how I look.
“When I’m feeling unhappy with my body, I hear a faint whisper say: ‘There are definitely men out there who find you attractive and beautiful. It can’t be too hard to find them.’ The thought would lead to the idea that, if I hooked up with a guy, that experience would put my insecurities to rest because it would be proof that I’m desirable.” She wanted proof that she was desirable. So, the enemy was whispering, “Well, if you go and sleep with this guy, then, you will have that proof.”
Bob: Can you relate to what she’s saying there—
Marian: Oh, yes.
Bob: —thinking back and thinking, “I’m desirable”?
Marian: Right; right. What I talk about in the book so much is the identity of who you are because, when that is solidified, then, these lies—because the enemy does not stop tempting us when we become a Christian—but the lies don’t have the power to take root when we have the foundation of truth.
Another lie he says—a girl would believe is that sex would bring love: “He will love me more if I have sex with him.” I think a lot of girls, who desire that relationship—we are all wired for intimacy. We’re wired for relationships, and we want that; but we think we have to trade something to get it.
What I really try to encourage women to understand is a man, who truly loves you, will wait for you. A man who truly loves you is going to cherish you and honor you. The thing that they are trading for is lust because lust is what takes. Lust is taking. Love is giving. I try to combat that lie of “He will love me if I have sex with him” with: “He’s not actually loving you. He’s lusting you.” To know the difference is your own freedom.
Dennis: I really agree with you. I want to just go back to something you said earlier and just read Proverbs, Chapter 31. This is speaking about a godly woman: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
Dennis: Beauty is going to fade. I mean, the aging process is cruel to both men and women; but I think women absorb it in a far more personal manner than men do. But what the Scriptures are commanding women—and as far as that goes, men, as well—we are to fear God. There is where you find your identity—when you know who God is and you know who you are in relationship to Him because you are accountable to Him.
Marian: Right; right.
Dennis: That’s really what you’re talking about—is a woman who has a vision—
and we’re going to talk about this in a moment—a vision for purity. This is where it starts right here—fearing God.
Bob: And a lot of young people today have dumbed down what purity means. I mean, one of the lies you talk about in the book is the lie that purity means, “As long as you’re not having intercourse, you’re pure.”
Marian: Oh, yes.
Bob: Anything else is okay; right?
Marian: The predominate lie is that everything, except intercourse, is fair game.
I talk to women, all the time, who are recognizing that they grew up in the youth group mindset that said, “As long as I’m not having intercourse, I’m okay.” They’re now having to deal with the fact that they were sexually-intimate with men—many spend the night in their boyfriend’s dorm room—and those things were not pure.
So, what I’m trying to educate young women is to understand that the pursuit of purity is the pursuit of Christ, and to honor Him, and that God calls us to keep the marriage bed pure. So, those things—everything is sacred. Everything is sacred.
Dennis: Marian, you don’t know this about Barbara and me—but when we were in the thick of it with four teenage daughters and a couple of sons in that age range—we told our kids that virginity is not the goal to arrive at your marriage bed—with it intact. There is something much larger and much more important at stake.
What we taught our kids was Romans, Chapter 16, verse 19. Paul writes: “For your obedience is known to all so that I rejoice over you.” Then, he says—you can almost hear a father—a father appealing to a son or a daughter here—he said, “But I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil”—
Marian: That’s great.
Dennis: —innocent of foolishness / innocent of moral wrongdoing. I think the average parent is shooting for the wrong goal.
Dennis: They need to be challenging their children to stay as far away from evil as they possibly can. And Bob, you know in the Passport2Purity® getaway—that we have for a father and a son or a mother and a daughter around the age of 10, 11, 12—we challenge the fathers and the sons to engage in a little practical project, where we challenge them to draw the lines in terms of how far they’re going to go with the opposite sex—as far away from the cliff—as far away from intercourse as they possibly can draw them.
Bob: And so, I’m curious—if you’re talking to young women on a college campus and they say, “Okay, so, as a Christian woman, what can I do?” What do you tell them?
Marian: You know, my favorite line—and someone told me this when I was a new believer—they said, “Keep the small things sacred.” That holding someone’s hand should be the biggest deal in the world—like I shouldn’t be making the big things my boundary line—that I should hold those small things so sacred that they’re a huge deal.
Dennis: So, let me stop you here. When you speak to a group of Christian young ladies—
Dennis: —and you talk about keeping the small things sacred like that; do they laugh?
Marian: They’ve never thought about it before. You can kind of see the surprise in their eyes. When I talk about—and I just set it up like: “The first time my husband held my hand,”—just like and just how sacred and special those things are—and just waiting for your—like that.
Dennis: I wish our listeners could see her face right now.
Dennis: It’s too bad this is not TV because she’s glowing right now!
Bob: There’s a beam here, yes! [Laughter]
Dennis: It was a big deal!
Marian: Yes! Those things are special. We’ve lost romance because we’ve fallen into this sex-crazed culture. We’ve traded in the beauty of being pursued, and the beauty of waiting, and the beauty of being cherished, and really, the beauty of being treated like a treasure. I just—I wish, for women, that they would believe who God says they are and expect men to treat them that way because we get the payoff; you know? Then, a man has to fight for you. He has to treat you like a princess—
Dennis: There you go!
Marian: You know—it’s so much better. God is so much better. He is so much better. So, I love to cast vision.
So, when I’m talking to women of any age, I love to cast a vision of—when I say: “Jesus is better and His way is better, what does that mean?” and, “Why are we blessed when we obey? Why are we…”—I still wake up every single day and just think: “God, you are so good! I do not deserve this life I have. I don’t deserve it. You are so good.”
Bob: Marian, throughout this conversation, we’ve kind of painted a picture of women resisting the advances of aggressive men—that women need to learn how to play defense and how to resist guys who are going to be putting pressure on them to trade their purity for something. But Dennis wrote a book called Aggressive Girls, Clueless Boys because the reality is there are a lot of guys who are getting pulled into this by girls who are coming at them saying, “Whatever you want!”
Marian: I’m glad you said that because I say it’s not just the boys who are aggressive!
I have a kindergartner—who the girls circle him and try to kiss him. We have to show him how to be defensive because it is a culture of aggression. And so, no, it’s not just the boys. Women—part of what we talk about in the renewing of the mind and understanding—is beginning to see ourselves as God sees us and beginning to realign with who we are in Christ.
A lot of that aggressive culture is coming from a woman seeing herself as a sexual object and seeing her identity as sexuality and finding power there. So, she feels powerful when she—
Marian: —can seduce. And you know, that is a longer conversation than we have time for; but the seductive spirit in that is control.
Bob: But if a woman recognizes that that’s a part of her personality—that she does want that control and she has been seducing guys—
Bob: —what does she do?
Dennis: Yes, really.
Marian: And I—when I talk about the lies in the book—the undercurrent of that nature that we’re talking about—that seduction—is that element of security we talked about. She believes that lie that “I’m going to be secure if I can have control of him.”
What repentance means—and I don’t mean that jokingly because, as believers, we need repentance every day as much as an unbeliever does—it’s turning from the sin pattern that we are in, agreeing with God, embracing forgiveness, and asking the Holy Spirit to enable us to change.
So, when a woman can see her pattern of: “I’m actively trying to seduce men—maybe a man in my church with how I dress or how I talk—what’s my motivation there? What lie am I believing that’s leading me to act like this to a brother in Christ?” I think the “why” behind an action is the most important question. So, if we can get women to stop and recognize: “Why do I want to tempt him? Why does that make me feel powerful?
“What lie am I believing about my identity that I am deriving from this control?”
Bob: Okay, but some of the women, who are listening, are going: “Here is another word for a non-aggressive woman—lonely, dateless. These are synonyms for—‘If I don’t get out there and try to lure these guys—these guys have just been trained to sit back and wait for the girls to come to them—and the girls are doing it. So, if I don’t do that, I’m just going to be sitting at home alone on Friday night or in a group over in a corner with nobody paying any attention to me.’”
Dennis: Yes, I’ve got to ask you this question—“Would you encourage a young lady to flirt?”
Marian: I was so scared of sinning when I was a Christian woman in my church. They called me the ice princess. So, men would call me unapproachable. I would say that was one extreme. The other extreme is to be the aggressor and the pursuer. I think there is a happy medium where what true femininity is—is being responsive.
God made women to be responders. I believe that you can be authentic, and fun, and a lovely, delightful person, and laugh when a guy tells a joke if he’s funny or just make him feel better if he’s not. [Laughter] I think you can be encouraging without being aggressive.
I had to learn, as my husband was pursuing me in dating, that I had to let a little bit of the wall down to be relatable. But flirting, I think it’s how you are defining that. If you’re defining that by being aggressive, I don’t think a woman should be aggressive; but I think she can be responsive.
Bob: If a guy smiles at you, it’s okay to smile back?
Marian: It is okay to smile back! It’s okay to laugh. It’s okay to have fun. But how we dress, how we walk, how we talk, how we insinuate—it all just comes back to: “Where is your heart?”
Marian: To me, I start and end this book with loving Jesus. I start and end this book with having a vision for your life and a vision for why you live as “I belong to Him”—being consecrated to Christ. Therefore, all of your actions and behavior are going to flow out of that because it’s not about keeping rules. It’s about knowing why you live. And I write in the book that rules will be broken, but visions are lived. And that’s one of my guiding principles in life. And for me, the vision behind purity and the vision behind how a single Christian woman is to live—is it shapes everything about her. And this vision of “I love Jesus, and I belong to Him”—and that is the driving force behind everything in her life.
Dennis: That’s her identity.
Marian: That’s her identity.
When I started thinking about the power of vision, my life wasn’t about following a rule that says, “I can’t have sex before marriage.” The vision of my life was: “I love Jesus because Jesus redeemed me, and I want to stand before Him and honor Him with my life.”
So, therefore, that vision, and that call, and that being gripped and consecrated to God because Jesus is better—that influenced everything about me—so that, when my husband and I were dating, and when the whisper in your head says: “Just sleep over. It’s no big deal,” we would stand at the door and say, “Goodnight, I love you; but I love Jesus more.” That vision led us to behavior, but a lot of people get it backward. They want the rules to lead behavior, but they have to have the vision of why they are doing it.
Bob: I just have to know, how long were you engaged?
Marian: A very short time! [Laughter]
Bob: You would recommend that to others; wouldn’t you?
Marian: I think long engagements are stupid. So—[Laughter]
Dennis: Give me a fist bump here.
Barbara and I were engaged for six weeks.
Marian: Three months. It was only because we dated a year and got engaged New Year’s Eve and got married in April. So, it was almost four months. We planned this amazing wedding, out at my family’s farm, at the barn. I was booked for speaking engagements—it was the only reason it wasn’t one day sooner; you know?
Bob: Well, I have to tell you my son and daughter-in-law got engaged in April, planned a December wedding, and called in August and said: “Uh-uh. We’re not going to get there.” So, September was when they got married. And I met a couple, this weekend. They said: “Yes, we’re engaged. We’re getting married in about five months”; and they said, “But we almost got married this weekend.”
Marian: Right; right. And I had friends who planned the big party but went to their pastor and said, “Would you just marry us?”
Marian: You know?
Bob: I think we need to start a movement of that, personally.
Dennis: I’d be for that.
Marian: My parents met and got married three months later after they met.
I’m not supporting that totally, but—
Bob: They’re still married; right?
Bob: They’re you go.
Marian: The dating culture, as a whole, we could do a whole subject on that.
Dennis: I just have to conclude this series of broadcasts—because you have done a great job, by the way, Marian. And I just appreciate you. Thanks for your book. Folks need to get this for their own kids, for themselves, for a friend. Pass it on to a single person you know. They need to get a copy of this.
But I want you to listen to the Scriptures. These are God’s Words found in
1 Thessalonians, Chapter 4: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother or his sister in this matter because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and have solemnly warned you.
For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.” And I might add, “Who gives the Holy Spirit to you to help you obey God and to be His child.”
Bob: Yes, and He gives us one another. He gives us the body of Christ and community to help us be conformed to the image of Christ. So, a conversation like we’ve had today—getting a copy of a book like the one Marian has written, Sex and the Single Christian Girl. It’s about how we come alongside one another and cheer one another on in our race to be sanctified.
We do have copies of Marian’s book, Sex and the Single Christian Girl: Fighting for Purity in a Rom-Com World. We’ve got it in our FamilyLife Today Resource Center.
Here’s what to do if you’d like to get a copy: Go to FamilyLifeToday.com. Upper left-hand corner of the screen, it says, “GO DEEPER.” Click that link. It’ll take you to a part of our website where you can order a copy of Marian’s book. Or if you’d prefer to call 1-800-FL-TODAY—about a 90-second phone call—we can make arrangements to have a copy of the book sent to you. Again, the website, FamilyLifeToday.com; and the toll-free number is 1-800- “F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then, the word, “TODAY.”
Now, of course, tomorrow, we’re going to be at the I Still Do™ marriage celebration in Chicago—pretty excited about that—three weeks from tomorrow at the I Still Do in Portland, Oregon, out at the Moda Center—then, October 4th in Washington, DC. Of course, these events are all designed to help strengthen marriages / help all of us go the distance in our marriages with joy and with the gospel at the center of all that we do.
And you know what? We could not host events like this—have this daily radio program and the website that goes with it—and all that we’re doing here, at FamilyLife—couldn’t do it without listeners, like you, who share our vision to see every home become a godly home. We do appreciate those of you who support this program and who help keep it on this radio station.
If you can help with a donation today, we would like to say, “Thank you,” by sending you a message that Dennis Rainey gave at an I Still Do event a number of years ago—a message about the importance of every marriage being built on a solid spiritual foundation. Request that CD when you go to FamilyLifeToday.com and click the link in the upper right-hand corner of the screen that says, “I Care.” Make an online donation, or call to make a donation over the phone—1-800-FL-TODAY—and ask for the CD from Dennis Rainey when you do.
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And with that, we’ve got to wrap things up for this week. Thanks for being with us. Hope you have a great weekend. Hope you and your family are able to worship together this weekend, and I hope you can join us back on Monday.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I’m Bob Lepine. See you Monday for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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