Manhood

Build a Pure Affection

Scriptures: 1 Timothy 3:1-7
by Jacob Abshire on January 12, 2023

James Bond is arguably Hollywood’s Real Man. The focus of more than 25 films over roughly 40 years, Bond is known as an iconic, masculine man. He is known for his intelligence, style, charisma, mystery, ageless looks, cunning sensibility, maturity and charm, as well as a British accent, which counts for something. 

But don’t take my word for it. Listen to Vesper Lynd, a character in Casino Royale, as she spoke to Bond privately, “If all that was left of you were your smile and your little finger, you’d still be more of a man than anyone.” At this moment, Vesper was speaking for the audience, not just herself.

James Bond represents our culture’s ideal man. He is the model of manhood, masculinity, and maturity. And, while there are many things wrong with the picture he portrays, one might be more evident than others. Bond’s life is marked by blatant impurity and sexual dissipation. He has a reputation of using women as playthings, not image bearers of God. This how The Guardian, an independent journal, described Bond:

“Bond takes advantage of vulnerable women, slaps bottoms and physically restrains women until they submit to sex … and in one film, he rescues a sex slave only to have sex with her and use her as a trap to catch the movie’s villain.”

If Bond is to continue as the model of a real man, then men will continue to spiral downward into moral decay. Thankfully, the Lord has shown us what a real man is. In 1 Timothy 3:1-7, he is described as “the husband of one wife.” We are walking through this passage looking at each of these characteristics in order to become godly people.

“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”

1 Timothy 3:1-7

What is a Pure Affection?

The phrase “the husband of one wife” is translated from the Greek μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα which literally means “one woman man.” It has to do with your purity and relates to having a committed mind to one woman.

Throughout the years, there have been five common interpretations of a “one woman man,” but only one that fits nicely with the context. It argues from Paul’s obvious generalization indicating that intentionally means to broaden the context in order to encompass a variety of concepts related to a man’s sexual passions. In fact, he is so general that both single and married men are included.

At a basic level, it means that a godly man must hold on to his purity. Two truths about God’s design will help us frame this idea in order to better appropriate it to our lives as expected by the Lord.

First, marriage is the culmination of God’s creative work. In Genesis 2:18-20, we learn that God’s creation was “not good” (meaning incomplete) until God created a woman for the man and established marriage. The two complimented each other in their respective functions and covenanted to each other exclusively for life.

Second, marriage is the illustration of God’s redemptive work. We learn about this Ephesians 5:25-32. Husbands are commanded to “love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” and “in the same way, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies” for “no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does for the church.” And finally, “a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Paul says, “this mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” In other words, when a man loves his wife as Christ loved the church, he is illustrating the redemptive work of Christ.

Christ has one church, who is his bride.
The church has one husband, who is Christ.

Pulling these truths together, we learn that Christ has one church, who is His bride. In the same way, the church has one husband, who is Christ. And, the two will be united at the culmination of Christ’s return. So, whether you are waiting for your wife, or already married, you are to be a “one woman man,” committed to faithfulness and purity for all of life.

For this reason, there are a multitude of biblical commands to “flee from sexual immorality” (1 Cor. 6:18; 2 Tim. 2:22) and that “sexual immorality and all impurity must not even be named among you” (Eph. 5:3) in various forms. Christians should not have a reputation of being sexually immoral. “For this is the will of God, that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thess. 4:1-8). And, to put it positively, we should hold marriage “in high honor among all” (Heb. 13:14). For this reason, I’m calling this quality a pure affection. The godly man is to practice purity in all of his passions.

How to Build a Pure Affection

The man who delights in extra-marital affairs of any kind is not a one woman man, regardless of his marital status. The godly man must build and maintain a pure affection. Here are five strategies to help.

Love Your Wife (Eph. 5:25)

It sounds obvious, but it needs to be said. Love means more than mere attraction. It is a sacrificial love, according to our look at Ephesians 5:25-32. She will not always merit your love anymore than you will earn hers, but you can commit to loving her regardless of how you feel. If you are single, you can love your future wife by holding your purity today and preparing yourself for her.

Honor Your Wife (1 Pet. 3:7)

Exercise grace in your attitude and speech by appreciating her God-designed differences. View them as her uniqueness and special value, not her weakness and failures. Praise and esteem her in private and public. If you are single, you can do this today by relating to other women in a gentle and understanding way knowing that they will one day be married to another man.

Lead Your Wife (1 Cor. 11:3)

The Bible tells us that the “head of a wife is her husband” which means that God’s grace should flow through you to her as you help her walk in faith and maturity. So, guide your wife into what facilitates and emphasizes her God’s work in her life. If you are single, it might help by journaling the ways you can one day be a leader in your home serving your wife. Maybe, you can use those notes as conversation points on a date.

Commit to Your Wife (Matt. 19:3-6)

Having a committed heart and mind is what a “one woman man” implies. It means that we are to show a lifelong loyalty to our wife by restraining our roaming eyes, removing ourselves from temptations, and keeping our relationships with other women pure and above reproach. Singles can practice all of this before you are married. Your commitment to your future wife begins long before you meet her.

Give Yourself to Your Wife (1 Cor. 7:3-4)

Remember, your body is for your wife, not for other women. This includes your thoughts, your affections, your emotions, your attentiveness, as well as your physical body. Give everything to your wife before you give it to others. Put her first. Reserve your best for her. Singles, one day your wife will expect all of these things from you, so practice restraint now by withholding yourself from other women in such a way that shows you honor your future wife.

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