By Mark Ellis, Special to ASSIST News Service
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS - July 21, 2015) -- When she speaks in front of high school audiences and tells students she was 37 and a virgin when she married, eyes widen and jaws drop in a mix of shock and disbelief.
“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done – but it is possible!” exclaims Diane Hunter. She and her husband Roger are co-founders of Epic Life Ministries, and authored together “Purity by Design: the true benefits of sexual purity.”
In maintaining her vow of purity, she had to battle cultural influences. “It’s stunning to stop and consider how sexualized our culture has become,” Diane notes in the book. “There is a sexual undertone to nearly all commercials, advertisements, and the story line of movies. The climate of television has become one of flippant and degrading sexual humor, especially in sitcoms.”
In high school, Diane was a cheerleader. “Most Friday nights after the football game I walked home by myself while others on the squad went out to parties. I knew that if I was going to uphold my commitment to God and purity, I didn’t have the liberty to do the things that I saw drag other people down.”
Diane has never met a “partier” who maintained their sexual purity.
After she graduated from a Christian college, she taught elementary school for a few years before she joined Youth With A Mission. Then she enrolled in a graduate program to earn a degree in marriage and family ministries. “I knew I’d meet my husband there; the odds were high. There were five men for every woman enrolled at the seminary.”
But she didn’t. “People were marrying all around me. Why couldn’t I find my man?” she wondered.
Turning 30 was a difficult milestone. “I was a bridesmaid seven times before I got married. Do you know how many bridal showers I attended, dreaming of my own wedding day?”
Sadness threatened to engulf her at times. “Sometimes I really struggled. Sometimes I ate too much. Sometimes I watched too much TV. Sometimes I cried myself to sleep. Sometimes I dreaded going to church alone…sometimes it hurt just to be single,” she notes.
About the writer: Mark Ellis is a senior correspondent for the ASSIST News Service and also the founder of www.Godreports.com, a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from the church around the world to build interest and involvement in world missions.
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