Saturday, March 19, 2011

Purity....More than saving yourself.

When I think of something pure, I think of something untarnished, unblemished, not used up...something beautiful, sparkling, chaste. I think of a clean mind and heart, someone who doesn't choose to sully their conversation with coarse jokes or crude and foul language. Someone who carries themselves with a sense of modesty and propriety. Someone who reflects Christ and walks out their faith in a manner worthy of Him.

Unfortunately, I think we as parents and youth workers may have a tendency to reduce purity to lessons on safe far is too yourself for marriage. As a result of this misunderstanding of true purity, we end up with a lot of 'technical virgins.' Girls and guys who have saved 'the act of intimacy' for marriage, but blessed little else.

And the Bride Wore White: Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity

I would much rather use a book like the one pictured above to emphasize with my daughter that purity as more than just having physical boundaries (though that is part of it) but as something that is reflected in your attitude, thoughts, appearance, and actions.

For my sons, I believe they need to be equally challenged. So many books on this topic are geared for girls, but our boys struggle too!! We need to challenge them to rise above today's debased, self-seeking culture by examining God's standard, train their eyes and mind, clean up their thought life, and develop a plan of action in the face of temptation. A couple great resources to help dad's and their boys work through that are:

Every Young Man's Battle: Strategies for Victory in the Real World of Sexual Temptation (The Every Man Series)

Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World

We cannot continue to let purity be relegated to just abstinence training, we need to teach and train our young people to think broader. It's about the friends they choose, the clothes they wear, the attitudes they reflect, the music they listen to, the books they read, the movies they watch, the TV shows on the DVR...all these things greatly affect the mind and ultimately the heart.

After all, the Bible admonishes us~
Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life. Prov. 4:23

Click here to read part one and part two of this series on dating.