Purity – a topic that is always a hot discussion, yet no one ever really wants to discuss it anymore in public. This week, our youth pastor at church will be speaking on it and I’m really looking forward to his take on the topic.
Personally, I came out of the 1990’s “purity movement” that took most evangelical churches by storm. And now, 20 years later, I look back on it all with a much different perspective than my young, teenage self did at the time.
In the 1990’s, purity was taught (sometimes on a level of brainwashing) as simply all about sex – no sex outside of marriage – period. Churches everywhere were holding “purity ring” ceremonies on every awkward level you can imagine. And don’t even get me started on how this was mainly shoved onto the girls only – the guys seemed to be surprisingly absent from this abstinence message. And they were singling everyone out who didn’t live up to the “pure” standards they set. Because of this, most people tossed out the purity message as not being relevant to them.
So I really started thinking – what was so wrong with the purity message of the 90’s?
I’ve focused a lot these past few months about what His Word says about living a pure life and guarding yourself and I kept coming back to II Timothy and Proverbs.
Sure we can all quote scriptures about sexual immorality and fornication (who ever thought I’d use a word like that in one of my posts?!), but what does living a pure life really boil down to?
II Timothy 2:21-22 NLT
If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.
When you set your life aside for God, when you put down your own desires, He will use you in a great and magnificent way! When you put aside your own desires as a sacrifice to Him, everything else will come naturally. But you must do these with a pure heart and the right intentions.
Proverbs 4:23 NLT
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Last time I checked, Proverbs 4:23 didn’t say “guard your V card”, as some would like you to believe. It says “guard your heart”.
Guard your heart from those who only want to mess with it. Guard your heart from what will hurt it – from what it might not yet be prepared for. Guard your heart from the emotional games people like to play. Guard your heart as a precious and fragile gift to one day give to someone. Guard your heart against anything impure so that you can live consecrated and set apart for His good…for His great plan for our lives.
As you begin to live a life pure and set apart for His good, you’ll find that living purely in other areas will come naturally.
And that pure life … it can start today, right now, no matter what your past holds. No matter the choices you’ve made. No matter the consequences you may be living with now. When you give it all over to the Lord, you start fresh and anew, washed clean as snow, with everything of the past cast into the sea, forgotten, never to be brought up again by God.
Start living your life set apart for Him. Let your thoughts and speech be pure (even I am working on this). Let your life be an outward example of the greater one who lives on the inside of you.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that sexual purity isn’t important – I’m simply saying it’s only one aspect of the pure life we should all be leading.
Purity is about more than just sex! Purity is also about living a life that is pure, no matter your past. This is what should have been taught back then. And it’s what the purity message should be from here on out.
So remember, It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in your past – determine today to live your life pure as a gift, not only to your future spouse, but as consecrated and set apart for the one who gave His all for us!