After a vow of purity, she stayed a virgin until she married at 37, but her husband had a past

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By Mark Ellis

Roger and Diane Hunter
Roger and Diane Hunter

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.

bookcoverAfter 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.

But waiting had its own rewards, which is very apparent today in the sterling character qualities evident in Diane. “Know that if you are waiting – for anything – God will use the waiting to speak powerfully to bring hope and freedom into other people’s lives…on the other side it is well worth it. Turn your longing and frustration into gleaning wisdom and revelation; God will not waste this time.”

Unwittingly, she stumbled upon the “secret” to staying pure in the midst of powerful sexual desires – God’s love. “I learned to genuinely receive His love. I let God’s love envelop me. My desire for love and acceptance (and sex) was strong, so I poured my heart primarily into knowing God as my Love.”

Then it finally happened. She met Roger at a small-group church party in someone’s home.

Roger had been sexually abused by a babysitter as a child, discovered pornography at 8-years-old, and lost his virginity as a young teenager. “Although I was raised in the church, I followed what I saw in the world and, trying to numb my own pain, I slipped into a destructive lifestyle of drinking, drugs, and casual sexual relationships” he notes.

Because Diane had prayed for years that her spouse would share her sexual purity, Roger’s past became a significant issue for them to overcome. During their 10-month engagement, Diane worked through a process of forgiveness with the Lord that began with forgiving the man who abused Roger as a child.

After their marriage in 2005, they moved to Redding California, where they got involved in Bethel Church. Their life experiences compelled them to write “Purity by Design,” which contains a vital message for young or old: sexual purity releases hope and healing in people who have been wounded in their quest to find love.

There are immeasurable blessings – spiritually, emotionally, relationally, and physically — that flow into the lives of people who follow God’s way.

 

Contact Roger and Diane through their websitewww.epiclifeministries.com

9 COMMENTS

  1. Only the Blood of Jesus can cleanse us of our sins, and only His Holy Spirit can transform us on the inside and break off our past habits.
    At first, to be honest, I thought she got a raw deal – a man like he had been. But he is forgiven by the Lord and it says in Acts 10: “That which God has cleansed don’t you call common!”
    My sins were no better than his and I am forgiven, cleansed and transformed too.
    Praise God.

    • Amen, I am right there with you Linda. I have a past of sin and it is the past. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. Born again and trusting God. I am so thankful for God’s love, mercy and grace. I am so thankful God loves me and has forgiven me. How blessed am I, Thank you Jesus, Amen.

      • Linda and Rebecca, thanks for you comments. The majority of chapter 3 in our book addresses the healing and restoration that God brought to me/us. Jesus blood really does make people “whiter than snow.” Isaiah 1:18
        Forgiveness happens immediately once a person repents and asks. Sanctification, on the other hand, is our process of walking it out. We are all in this maturing process at some level. We’re finding that once people repent, their real freedom comes from learning to walk in obedience and developing a love relationship with Jesus.
        Here’s a quote from our book, Purity by Design, p. 48:
        “Our past does not disappear. Instead, God redeems our mistakes and failures, releasing His character of goodness and mercy to us. Our areas of repented sin actually become points of authority whereby God gives us keys of influence so we can go in and rescue others who have been trapped by satan in those same areas. Once people are free from the enemy’s entrapment and understand his strategies, they are like missiles in the hand of the LORD sent out to destroy the enemy.”
        Bless you!

        Also, if you’re interested in getting a book we are currently offering a 2 or 1 special. See the next reply.

  2. What an encouraging message and example to young people who can be pressured into thinking that living for God is not possible. Thank you, Diane and Roger, for having the courage to speak truth and bring hope to kids who are making life-changing decisions, especially in the sexual arena. May the Lord continue to bless your ministry, give you boldness, open doors and turn hearts to Him as you share your story!

  3. Special: Purity by Design 2 for 1 offer!
    As of August 15th we need to either sell our Purity by Design books that Amazon has, or we’ll need to have them sent back to us so that we do not have to pay “long-term storage” fees for the books that have not sold in the first 6 months. (Any time a product is in an Amazon Fulfillment Center longer than 6 months the fees shoot up—and August 15th will be our 6 month mark).
    So, if you are interested in the incredible benefits of sexual purity, or if you know someone who could use some healing or restoration from a broken romance, or if you know a parent who could use some practical tools in talking to their child about sex, please buy our book from Amazon/Kindle.
    Redding friends: if you buy it from the Bethel Bookstore between July 23rd and August 15th we’ll give you the same deal and send you another copy for free.
    ~To redeem this offer of purchasing a book before August 15th, and receiving a second book with postage for free, go to our website: http://www.epiclifeministries.com
    Click on the “Connect” tab on the menu bar and go to the “Contact Us” section to give us your email and the address you’d like us to mail the 2nd book to.
    Thank you for partnering with us.
    We pray for God’s great blessing in all your relationships!

  4. Thank you so much for posting this on facebook. I hope I can get your book soon. Some people are so judgemental about those that have a past that they overlook the positive things. Thanks again!!!

  5. Hi Tricia. I hope you can get Purity by Design as it is rich with God’s grace, truth, and redemption. Our heart is that as people read it they will encounter God in powerful and healing ways.
    Also, in relation to living free of judgment, we share information in chapter 8 about breaking soul ties. Other people’s judgments only really bother us when we are attached to the judgment in some way. The prayer for breaking soul ties on pages 115-116 will help people get free, and stay free.
    Bless you!

  6. Here’s a quote from ch. 3 in Purity by Design:
    “When God gives grace He forgives what we’ve done. And, not only forgives our sin but completely wipes it out. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions (sins) from us” (Psalm 103:12). His forgiveness is beyond comprehension! Grace has changed my life… As you will see in greater detail in chapter thirteen, focusing on Jesus and receiving His grace allows us to:walk in freedom from the past,live fully in the present,and be empowered to make healthy choices for the future.Grace is our lifeline to God and all that is good.” p. 53

  7. People often ask: what’s in it for me? Why should I not have sex before I’m married?
    Here’s a quote from chapter 1 in Purity by Design that shares a part of what it did for me:
    “I had no idea that staying pure would actually guard my heart from being broken in relationships, strengthen my character, and develop insight in relating with others. Yet the greatest benefit was that it created an unwavering secret place with the LORD that would build much-needed patience, perseverance, and perspective in my life.
    Practicing sexual purity has developed strength of character in me that I did not even know I would need later in life. It built a resolve and foundation that has enabled me to overcome the conflicts, health issues, financial strain, losses, and disappointments that have been a part of my life. I didn’t understand or foresee all these benefits during the years I waited. I was just staying pure because God had embraced me and said being pure is the best way to live.” (p. 4)

    Knowing God is like having insider information/resources in life.

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