The "one-woman man" may seem like an endangered species today. In our over-sexualized and sexually confused society, it's increasingly rare to come across married men who are truly faithful to their bride — in body, heart, and mind. It may be even more rare to find unmarried men who are on the trajectory for that kind of fidelity to a future wife. Jaws will drop when a handsome, eligible bachelor declares he's a virgin waiting for the wedding night. Of the fifteen basic qualifications for the office of elder in the local church (1 Timothy 3:1–7), being a one-woman man may be the one that runs most against the grain of our society. We're relentlessly pushed in precisely the opposite direction. Television, movies, advertising, and just about everything else conditions the twenty-first-century male to approach women as a consumer of many, instead of as a protector and servant of one. The models teach our men to selfishly compromise and take, rather than to passionately cultivate and guard fidelity to one woman.
But what's rare in society is often easier to find, thank God, in biblically faithful churches. The true gospel is explosively powerful, even under such intense pressure from a world like ours. You can be pure. You can detox. You can walk a different path by the power of God’s Spirit, even if that other path was once yours. In the company of others who enjoy deeper pleasures than promiscuity, you can become the one-woman man our world needs.
For All Christians
Just because being a one-woman man is essential for church leaders does not mean it's irrelevant for every Christian. The elder qualifications, says D.A. Carson, are remarkable for being unremarkable. What's demanded of church officers is not academic decoration, world-class intellect, or talents above the common man. Rather, the elders are to be examples of normal, healthy, mature Christianity (1 Peter 5:3). The elder qualifications are the flashpoints of the Christian maturity to which every believer should aspire, and which every Christian, with God’s help, can attain.