The Gift of Purity
What comes to mind when you see the word abstinence? Perhaps you think about your first sexual experience or a moral failure. Maybe you hear your parents trying to tell you about the “birds and the bees”. Hopefully, most of you associate abstinence with purity. After all, abstinence isn’t only restraining oneself from pleasure. Abstinence prevents sexually transmitted infections, teenage pregnancy, and contributes to an increased sense of self-worth.
When we are born, God gives us a beautiful gift, which we are supposed to share with one person on our wedding day. God desires that we keep ourselves pure in the area of sexuality and set boundaries before getting married. Unfortunately, many people fall into having sex before marriage because of peer pressure, drinking and doing drugs, or from giving into temptation during a moment of passion. Many young people and adults don’t see the temptation until it’s too late. Sadly, many people don’t even care about their purity because of a lifestyle of sin. This results in a lack of self worth and guilt, which is why we must share the truth on this important issue.
Growing up, the only advice I received was from my cousins.
“Don’t ever let anyone fondle you!”
I don’t really remember having any talks with my parents about it at all. What I remember was knowing that it was expected for a woman to be a virgin at the time of her wedding. I remember hearing about someone I knew that got pregnant.
“Poor young girl. She got pregnant and now she has to get married!”
What I realize now is that my Ecuadorian upbringing had an impact on my beliefs on purity. The value of abstinence was seen as a great thing especially for women.
When I think of how abstinence now a days is considered an impossible value to have, it saddens me. The media plays a big part in this lie. It seems to me that many movies you watch show couples having sex on their first date. Hollywood has progressively planted this big lie in our society. The father of lies, Satan, has deceived many people into believing that purity or abstinence is a fairy tale and not worth the effort.
The good news is that with our loving and mighty God, we always have the opportunity to change, repent, and move on into the transformation of our minds and hearts. Even if we’ve had sexual experiences, we can experience God’s forgiveness and regain our sexual purity.
A few years ago I heard about the Law of Diminishing returns in the area of sexual purity. I was reading “Raising a Lady in Waiting” by Jackie Kendall. The author shares how we have been taught to desire something more or physically exciting in relationships. She wrote, “Because of how we are created, for all young people, Christian or not, there is a natural progression toward sexual fulfillment. That fulfillment pursued outside of marriage, however, is sin.” In other words, if you hold hands on your first date, on the second date, you are going to want to hold hands longer. If you start kissing, the next time, you want a longer kiss, and then different kinds of kisses. Hormones start raging, and you want to French Kiss because the effect of a single kiss doesn’t make you feel the same way. You keep progressing because you want more physically speaking, and that is how you end up having sex. You don’t stop until intercourse.
That is why you need to have established boundaries before you even start in a relationship. You have to know the value of purity in your mind and your heart. This helps you cultivate self control during those tempting moments. The earlier in your life you set this value in your heart, the better it will be for you because it is part of who you are.
This value was planted deep inside me at a young age out of fear of the consequences and respect for my parents. Once I put my faith in Christ at age seventeen, I realized that I carried something amazing, a treasure that God ordained for me to keep for the day of my wedding. I believe we have been created to make love and be one with just one person. It is not just sex. When we have intercourse with someone, we are becoming one physically and spiritually.
Now what happens if you didn’t keep yourself pure? Is there hope for you? Of course there is! It is never too late to change and start all over in the area of purity. With God nothing is impossible as long as you believe in what Jesus did for you on the cross. In fact, he died to give you back your purity. It takes a heart of repentance, and you can be brand new.
The Bible says,
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” Isaiah 43:18