Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Purity - More then Meets the Eye

In modern Christianity there are often “overused words”. Those that are seen only at face value and used flippantly. “Purity” is one of those words with the “true love waits” movement that's filled with abstinence speakers and purity rings. But do we often miss out on what purity really is?

For me growing up, my parents were always clear about God’s plan for sex and I learned about it at a young age. My parent’s philosophy was that they would rather have us kids hear it from them and get a Biblical understanding of it even if that meant talking to us at young ages, then learning about it from the culture, friends, or media. As was appropriate at each age of life, my parents would be open to talk to us about it. Never have I believed anything different then God’s standard for sex to be in marriage.

At the age of about eleven I would listen and watch videos of abstinence speakers with my parents and older brother and read books on the subject. But along with other things, my most clear view of true purity, that which is more then physical was two years ago at the young age of twelve, reading Authentic Beauty (I’ve mentioned this book so much already, but there is a good reason for my doing so).

I realized that purity was much more then I had originally thought. It is not only a preservation of physical virginity, it’s also a great aspect of holiness. It is that of being pure and radiant amidst a generation wallowing in sexual sin. A “lily among thorns” complex that overtook every area of a person’s life. Even physical purity is more then a surface level of just virginity… it starts in the heart.

Abigail and I have emphasized the heart and emotional aspects of purity in our last two posts because it’s where everything starts. Proverbs 4:23 reminds us that we are to guard our hearts because from our hearts “flows the springs of life” (ESV). When our hearts are guarded and focused on purity, our physical purity will take on deeper meaning.

In our overly sexualized culture where promiscuity and premarital sex are the norm, the focus of Christians can become just hoping that teens will keep their basic virginity because that is difficult enough for them. Rarely does it come with a call and urging towards purity of the heart and the entire life. We settle for deeming the act of premarital sex a sin, but all that leads up to it as a normal part of growing up.

The temptations are strong in our culture and if we only ask the question of “how far is too far?” we are settling for so much less then what God’s plan is. God wants us, above all, to try with out entire beings to go above and beyond the expectations the world has set for us. If we are to honor our husbands all the days of our lives, we are to keep our bodies, which are meant for only our husband, sacred and set apart for the one man God will give us for life. We are not to leave our husband with the remnants of our virginity but seek to give him everything we have.

It’s not “what can I do without sinning?” but rather a question of “how much can I give to God and my husband?”. In a culture that tells us the most we can do is get by, we are to seek to thrive. We are to seek the best, and that is total purity of our bodies for one man. For me, I’ve chosen a few years ago that my first kiss would be on my wedding day and it excites me so much to envision a day when my husband will get to be the very first to express his love physically to me. I know that I will not regret it and that I will cherish that first kiss a million times more then those who have given it away carelessly. Above all, physical purity is a chance to glorify God:

“Flee sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a pride. So glorify God in you body.” I Corinthians 6:18-20 (ESV)

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for this! I have chosen to save my 1st kiss for my wedding day as well and it is just encouraging to know that there are others out there with that same conviction! :)

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  2. Thank you for your article on purity! I have also read many books on purity throughout my life, and it's a topic I'm very passionate about. The Lord has (over the last year) placed me in a position of influence over the middle school-aged girls at my church. My greatest desire is to instill this understanding of purity into them before they move on to high school. I've actually discussed purity with others before, and said that we shouldn't be concerned whether or not we're getting away with something, but instead we should worry about what pleases God the most. Reading that in your article was sort of a de-ja-vou for me. :) Thanks again!

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