Everyday Faithfulness

I remember so clearly the moment when God first put it on my heart to start a Bible study at my college. It was the summer before my sophomore year. I was so scared to begin, because I wanted my Bible study to be open to anyone and everyone that wanted to hear the Word. I didn’t know how well received this idea would be by my peers, and I debated whether or not I should ignore the call I felt to do this. In my quiet time with the Lord immediately before the school year began, I promised Him that I would begin the work. I promised to begin pouring into others and to show up week after week, even if I was the only one there. I promised God that if nothing else, I would be there by myself studying the Word and crying out in worship. By His grace, there were five guys that joined my group. It seemed unconventional, but they came week after week. They called themselves the “Faithful Five.” Slowly, over time, the group grew, and I continued it year after year. There were great, fulfilling moments- moments when the conference room was packed. Moments when there were fifteen to twenty people at a time. However, there were also seasons where the group became small, and there were even moments where I honored my word to the Lord and sat by myself studying the Word. Regardless of the size of the group, the most beautiful part was that this Bible study continued throughout my college career and even after, when I passed it off to a fellow believer and friend.

Flash forward four years, and I felt a similar draw from the Lord. I felt a draw to begin a Bible study on the pursuit of purity. Again, I felt crippled by fear and was scared to pursue this call. The Lord reminded me, however, of those faithful college Bible study days and encouraged me to walk in obedience, despite my fears. He reminded me that ministry is not a “one day I’ll do that” kind of pursuit. Ministry is the everyday faithfulness of serving the Lord and seeking to save the lost. Ministry is keeping in step with the Holy Spirit and responding in obedience. So, in my room, as I mapped out this study, I made promises to the Lord once again. I promised to seek Him for wisdom and the words to speak. I promised to show up week after week, even if that meant no one came and I sat alone worshipping Him. The first two weeks were wonderful and were so full of hope. Individuals were so excited at the chance to study this topic. I couldn’t believe the startup of this study was so quick and painless. Yet, this morning, I found myself alone, honoring my promise to sit before Him and show up in obedience, even if no-one else arrived.

I walked out knowing I was being obedient and remembering the familiar growing pains but filled with disappointment, nonetheless. But our God is so incredible and so faithful to lift our weary hearts at the perfect time. When I walked out the door, I came across the very man I had handed my college Bible study off to. Across from him sat the man he had handed it off to when he graduated. That man proceeded to tell me about the man he had passed it off to. They then told me that my Bible study, started in 2010, was continuing to this day. They said because of those moments of faithfulness, the last two leaders of that Bible study had come to repentance and became followers of our Lord and Savior. I couldn’t help but cry and rejoice. There were so many days when I was sitting alone, honoring that promise of faithfulness, that I wanted to give up. I considered it many times, but the Holy Spirit would not let me. By God’s grace, I showed up week after week until the chairs would fill up again. And by God’s grace, fruit came about because of that obedience. It’s not often that we see the fruit from our everyday faithfulness, but God knew that today I needed that reminder. He knew that as I sat alone and once again honored that promise to Him, that I needed to be reminded to be faithful day after day and to leave the fruit up to Him.

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A Worthwhile Sacrifice

Deciding to embrace the idea of parenthood and trust God’s timing on the start of our family was a little terrifying to me. I always desired to be a wife, but I never gave much thought to being a mother. I didn’t want to give of myself to the extent that I knew would be required. I didn’t want to sacrifice my body, my time, and my sleep. I felt so blessed by my spouse and my marriage that I feared parenthood surely couldn’t hold much joy for me. I somehow assumed that because the transition of marriage was easy for me, God would even things out with a difficult transition into parenting. As absurd as that idea may have been, fear was gripping my heart, and I was choosing to believe that fear over God’s Word.

I will always be thankful for the day James asked me to simply pray and seek the Lord for His will regarding children. That day and that season of prayer changed my heart and my life. While the fear would rear its head from time to time in the waiting and in my pregnancy, I chose to walk in obedience and trust the Lord’s direction in spite of those feelings. And I am so very thankful I did, because the Lord dispelled every single one of those fears with Ryman’s arrival.

Being a mom is the best job I’ve ever had. Somehow, while standing in his room, swaying him to sleep, as his tiny fingers tightly grasp the top of my shirt so he’ll feel if I try to slip away, I find purpose. As his breathing becomes slower and his face relaxes, love and joy wash over me. It all feels so bittersweet… this attempt to capture every single moment and bottle it up- every word of gibberish, every belly laugh, every scent of lavender baby lotion on his skin, and every sight of him staring sweetly into my eyes or drifting off to sleep. I just did this whole process five minutes before, but I heard him cry, so we’re doing it all again. I run to comfort him, because I just can’t help but think that these days go all too quickly. These days that I never thought I’d even want, have restructured the very desires of my heart. These days have given me unimaginable joy. I would get up and hold that sweet boy and rock him to sleep time and time again, because these days have given my heart a fierce purpose to know and love and nurture this precious gift from God and to slowly and patiently teach him that there’s a Man who loves him even more than I ever could. These days are worth it. As my lunch grows cold and my list of tasks lay forgotten, I realize that every bit of it is a worthwhile sacrifice.

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Ryman Thomas

8 weeks. I can hardly believe it, but our sweet little one is set to arrive in only 8 short weeks. We had a baby shower for him two weeks ago, and the excitement has been steadily rising. It seems only fitting that I share his name with you now.


The name Ryman Thomas is many things. It’s a way to honor my grandfather, Thomas. It’s a representation of the love my husband and I have for music and for the city of Nashville. Lastly, it’s a unique name for a child set apart for the kingdom of God. Our little Ry guy has already brought us so much joy, and we can’t wait to introduce him to you all in January.

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5

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Year 25

Most people get excited about their golden birthday and for good reason. It seems so monumental to finally hit that year. I still have a couple of years to go before I can claim mine, however. Strangely enough, my excitement wasn't over turning 27 on the 27th. I had a strange hope and anticipation about year 25.

Months before my 25th birthday, the Lord spoke to me concerning this year and placed an expectancy in my heart. While I didn't know the specifics, I was absolutely sure that this year was so crucial and that it would be the spark of something new and big. I spent a lot of time in prayer for this change and even joyfully shared my promise with my mom, my spouse, and a friend. I knew that year 25 would carry with it change that would involve my ministry and calling. At the time, I couldn't have known how true that was.

The most beautiful thing was occurring inside of me on my 25th birthday, and I had no idea. I couldn't fathom that my little man was already there, right on time, as God had spoken. He promised great and new things with year 25, and there he was. When I first felt that stirring in my heart, I had NO idea that it meant motherhood. I honestly wasn't prepared to open my heart to the thought until April 2, when I decided to trust the Lord wholeheartedly in that area. Even then, it never occurred to me that the Lord had our little one in mind all along. Honestly, I thought He intended to open doors for me to write and speak. I didn't know how this could come about though, because I had absolutely no time.

One thing I now know is that an overly busy schedule can allow no room for quick obedience. Time and time again, I lamented that the Lord wasn't opening any doors for ministry like He once did. One afternoon, I felt the Holy Spirit gently reply. He revealed to me that I had allowed Him no time. Every morsel of my time was already consumed by responsibilities and activities. I was completely booked. It was then that I realized that I had taken on more than He had asked of me. I had blindly said, "yes" to every obligation without even seeking Him. I think we all too often fill our schedules with things that He never asked us to take on. Then, we're too busy to do what He's actually called us to do. I had to take a step back and ask Him what He wanted to stay and what should go. When I did this and truly sought His will, the answer was clear. I knew what to let go and where to continue serving.

I've always felt called to write and to speak, and I definitely assumed that the Lord was referring to that draw on my life when He created an excitement in me for year 25. Maybe in some ways He was. Maybe this time at home with my son will open up the doors to do those things more frequently. But even if it doesn't, I will choose to be content. I'm content to wait on the Lord. I'm content to free my schedule for time with Him and time serving where He draws me. I'm content to recognize the mighty calling of raising a man of God, a man who fiercely follows after Christ and walks in purity and righteousness. I want to be mindful of the importance of raising tiny disciples within my home. I can't think of a more beautiful calling.

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Oh Boy

Today, I want to share not only our exciting reveal but also my heart. My hope is that I would always remain open and vulnerable so that God can use my story. Being transparent is often difficult and is definitely not glamorous. It's easy to make our lives look picture perfect from the outside. I want to instead invite you in to the raw, ever-changing moments of my heart.

If you've kept up with me throughout this four month journey, you've probably heard me say that I was hoping for a girl. Yesterday, I realized that it was more than a hope. Every dream I'd built of my child was of a little girl. I pictured bows and glitter and dance recitals. I pictured girl talk and the kind of close knit relationship that I have with my mom. This idea became in so many ways my dream. I trusted the mommy sense everyone says you have that told me from the moment I saw "Pregnant" that I was having a girl, and I built our story around that. Although in casual conversation I said I would be happy regardless, I have to be honest and let you know that yesterday I was not happy. If anything, I felt devastated.

Now, I went through every possible emotion and scenario in my head. I told myself that I was selfish for complaining when I had a healthy baby, and that's so very true. I told myself that it wasn't fair to my child to be falling apart emotionally. I lectured myself, I guilted myself, and more than anything, I mourned the loss of this little person that only existed in my mind.

It wasn't until this morning that I started to gain some clarity after talking with my spouse. Now let's keep in mind that he held me and let me cry yesterday. He also brought me a coke Icee, which is definitely the way to my heart. Today looked a little more like tough love, however. This morning he reminded me of the reason that I chose to step in faith and allow this baby to come in to our lives. He reminded me of my act of obedience and my faith in God's calling. He reminded me that ultimately we don't get to call the shots. He reminded me that every moment of love shared with my baby still applied to the baby that actually resides within me. Contrary to my belief, that love had not been wasted or stolen from our little boy. Honestly, that just made me mad for about thirty minutes, because I decided that sulking was my best option.

Then came the quiet moments where the Holy Spirit began to speak, and He reminded me of my last blog and the truths written there. He reminded me that this exact bundle of cells needed to be born at this exact moment in time, because it has a calling and a purpose on its life. He reminded me that my calling to raise up a godly child had not changed, and the significance of its life and ministry were the same, even though I was a little mistaken about who he was. I realized that if those things were true, if this baby was called by God for this moment in time, then the beauty of raising this child had not at all diminished, nor had the importance of my calling to motherhood. It was then that I realized that every moment I spent in prayer for my child, I spent in prayer for this exact baby boy and every moment I spent with my hands resting on my stomach loving my child, I had loved this baby boy.

This isn't a beautiful story of immediate obedience or triumph. However, it is an honest glimpse at a girl who had to look past what she thought was good to see that what God had in store was great.

Welcome to the world, baby boy. You are and always have been so loved.

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You Were My Third Best Decision

You were my third best decision. Anyone who knows me well or keeps up with my blogs knows my expression, “Jesus then James.” I always say that marrying James Morgan was my second best decision after receiving Christ as my Lord and Savior. Now, the story reads Jesus then James then you. You were my third best decision.

You were probably my most difficult and one of my most selfless decisions. You required sacrifice- the sacrifice of my image, my time, and probably a good bit of my sleep. You were a step of faith when I felt pure terror at my inadequacy to care for you. I was so scared. I was scared of what I would lose. I didn’t realize that when I chose you, my focus would shift to everything I could possibly gain with your arrival.

James has occasionally asked me about children, and for the past two years I have said, “Maybe in five years.” It just wasn’t on my radar. The fear was too strong to allow me the dream. I was too un-domesticated. I wasn’t the best cook. I didn’t enjoy cleaning. I loved working, and I couldn’t seem to fit the idea of you into my busy schedule. More than anything, I could NOT shake the fear.

One day, right before our two year anniversary, James asked me to pray about children with him. Being the child of God that I am, I said no… Oops. The look on his face was heartbreaking. About an hour later, feeling convicted that I wouldn’t even bring it to the Lord in prayer, I said okay. And right there, sitting on the floor of our office, we prayed. We prayed for wisdom, and I prayed for a heart change in His timing. I didn’t want to pray about this, because I was scared that He really would change my heart. Well, it took about a month. It was sudden and gradual all at the same time. Little moments shifted my perspective and began to set my heart at ease. I began to lean toward the idea of motherhood, although I still had so many reservations and fears. One morning in particular, I began to doubt again and asked the Lord to give me a sign. He clearly answered this prayer.

I met them at Kroger, a local store. They were Italian and were outside with a sign and were asking for help buying their groceries. It was a man, his wife, and their three children, one still in the womb. Thankfully, they knew some Spanish, because my husband and I do not know Italian, and they definitely did not know English. We walked through the store with them, picking out groceries and talking about life and Jesus. The woman asked us if we had any children. We, of course, answered no. As we helped them load their items into their vehicle, she stopped and looked at me and said words that I will never forget. She didn’t know me well, and she certainly didn’t know my situation. She said, “Children are the best and most beautiful part of life. They are a gift from God.” She told me that she would be praying for many beautiful children for me. I walked away from that experience with tears in my eyes, because I knew God had heard my prayer that morning. I knew that he had sent this stranger to confirm what He had been showing me.

So I started thinking about timing. I decided that August would be the perfect time to try, because that would give me a May baby. My husband would be off in the summer, and it would better fit into my schedule. I was still thinking selfishly. A sweet friend of mine named Jen knew I was debating this and gently called me out on it. She asked me if I really needed to keep preventing pregnancy if God had changed my heart. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the problem still existed. I was still trying to control my own destiny. My mom and sister shared Jen’s sentiment and gently spoke truth over me. I decided I would trust the Lord and His timing. On April 2, one day before our second anniversary, I walked in faith and obedience to the Lord. I felt freedom, I felt peace, and I felt joy. From that moment forward, I didn’t look back.

On May 6, the day I went to Niagara Falls, I found out there was a you.


I cried and jumped and shouted. The joy I felt in that moment was unrivaled. I couldn’t believe that His timing was so exact. Our obedience was just in time, because you needed to be born. This exact bundle of cells that makes up you was meant to exist. You were meant to change and shape the world, and I somehow had the honor and privilege of raising you.

Baby Morgan, you are already so very loved. I am enamored by you. You took a woman who was fearful of having a child and completely wrecked her heart for the better. When I found out there was a you, everything changed. I will forever be thankful for the day your daddy asked me to pray and for the gentle, quiet moments where the Lord changed both my heart and my perspective. I cannot wait to know and hold and love the perfect child that is you. You were my third best decision.  


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The Question Isn’t Can He but Will He?


It’s easy to believe that God CAN act on our behalf. It’s harder to believe and have faith that He WILL act on our behalf. I trust that my God is fully able, and I do know that He is no respecter of persons. However, it is much easier for me to believe that He will do for others. I can easily claim in faith someone else’s healing, success, or freedom from a struggle. When my prayers start having to do with ME, that’s when the difficulty sets in. I believe this is the result of two things: a lack of understanding of God’s character and a fear that His will may be the exact opposite of what I’m praying and believing for.

Let’s address the latter first. There seems to be a strong sense of fear in me that God will not answer my prayer in the manner in which I ask. I’m scared of my reaction. I’m scared I will take His no in as a rejection. Now this is not a doubt of His ability. This is a doubt of His goodness. It’s almost as if I fear that I will be let down by Him, and I deeply desire to never be let down by Him. Now, I don’t think that God is scared by this possibility. He is more than able to handle my doubts and insecurities. He uses all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Nonetheless, that fear often creeps into my heart. I’m scared of what loss can pull out of me. I often fear that in the face of loss, I may doubt the one I love best, my Jesus. I fear that in my lack of understanding of His plans, I will fail to see any of His goodness.

As I first referenced, part of the battle lies in the fact that I don’t accurately understand God’s character. I don’t understand that He is for me, for my good, and for His glory. I don’t fully see the depths of His love for me, nor do I understand His immense desire to shape my heart and make me more like Christ, His Son. God cares more about my long term refining than He does my temporary happiness, although He does bless me with so many little things that bring me joy along the way. I say all of this to remind you and myself that God IS good and He is for me. While my understanding is limited, I know enough to know that He’s got this thing called life figured out; and even if I feel like the world is falling apart all around me (and at times, it will be) He still has to be and He still will be more than enough. “I believe. Lord, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).

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Fear of Missing Out

I often struggle with what I like to call a “fear of missing out.” Instead of enjoying the moment, I’m constantly wondering if I really made enough of the moment. Did I get the most out of it? Is there something more I should have taken advantage of to make this moment more meaningful? I also have been so preoccupied with the fear of missing that moment once it’s over or the desire to get to the next moment that I’ve lost the joy of today entirely. Honestly, it sounds silly to even write, but I know I’m not the only one… Because I’ve asked.

How can we conquer this? How can we get our minds off of the fear and into the moment? This is something I’m still working to accomplish. The root of it all is clearly fear. The first step for me is to, as my mom says, “get out of my head.” I’m an over planner for sure. This requires me to stop my incessant planning and just be. I’m learning in this season (or trying to learn) to just live in the moment. If you’re a planner like me, that can be very difficult. I’ll write something I’ve done on my list just to check it off. I know I’m speaking to someone on that note. While planning can be beneficial, there comes a point when we must put our plans aside and use them as a basic guideline, not as a hard fast rule for life.

Why is it detrimental to live like this? If we’re constantly focused on fulfilling “the plan,” whether it be the plan for the day or our overall plan for our life, we miss out on fulfilling the little things God has for us each day. Those little moments, after all, often add up to be the big things He had for us all along. I have to daily remind myself that God is bigger than my plan. He can fulfill His purpose for my life, regardless of where I find myself today. He can use me at my work, at my church, or even at the grocery store; and He has. I’m often reminded of the biblical stories of David. If you’ve studied his life any, you are aware that there was a huge gap of time between David’s being anointed to be king and his appointing as king. There was a huge waiting period, a preparation period if you will. Secondly, let’s take a moment and think about where David was when he was anointed. He was a shepherd out in a field, not sitting in the king’s court. He wasn’t even the first or second or third choice of his father. His father didn’t even consider that God, through Samuel, would choose to anoint his son David. In his earthly father’s mind, he wasn’t enough. He didn’t fit the part. This brings my heart so much encouragement, because I often have those same fears. I often fear that I’m not in the right spot to be used. I fear that I might have made a wrong turn and now God won’t be able to find me or fulfill His purpose in me. I fear that who I am just may not be enough. I Corinthians 1:26- 29 reminds me otherwise. It states, “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” This verse is freeing! This verse shows that we are all qualified to fulfill the will of God, because we all lack in some way. Do you feel like you may not be enough? Perfect! You can be used by God. Do you feel like you may not have your act together? Perfect! You too can be used by God. Regardless of our current state or location, God can use us. I am reminded today that I can trust God and His promises, even when I can’t see His timeline. I can enjoy and live in today, because I don’t have to fear that I’m going to miss out on His best for my today or tomorrow.



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An Unpopular Opinion on Taking Offense

Often when the Lord is correcting an issue in our lives, we encounter a similar, seemingly unbeatable problem over and over again. Typically, how this starts in my own life, is through me asking God to root out sin in my life and make me more like Him. He never fails to answer this prayer, and I never fail to be completely unaware that my trials are Him answering that prayer. I firmly believe that God deals with one issue at a time, because we would be completely overwhelmed if He revealed all the problem areas of our hearts at once. Philippians 1:6  tells me that “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” This reveals an important truth- that we will always have things that need refining in our hearts. God will continue to address these areas in order to make us more like Christ and less like our sin nature.

Recently, I prayed that difficult, heart-felt prayer, asking God to root out something that was not pleasing to His heart and to continue to prepare me for ministry. At first when He answered this prayer, I was frustrated and confused. I began to feel upset and dejected. I couldn’t understand why I was repeatedly encountering similar issues. They seemed to defeat me every time. I then decided to confide in a godly woman at work with my frustrations. What she told me provided both peace and understanding. She told me that God oftentimes has to continue sending the same challenges our way, because we’re missing a very important lesson. Each similar challenge was an opportunity to learn that next lesson and experience a change in my heart. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and reminded me of my recent request for refining. I then began to earnestly seek the Lord and ask for clarity regarding what He wanted to teach me. I pleaded with Him to teach me this lesson quickly, because I couldn’t take much more defeat. True to His character, He answered a prayer that was lined up according to His will.

Now,  I’ve been completely honest and vulnerable on this blog since the day I began writing, but this lesson was a doozy. This lesson linked back to years of childhood hurt and rejection. This was a lesson I had been fighting for the majority of my life. This was a lesson in offense. As a child, I encountered moment after moment of rejection. I was told I was weird by other children who didn’t understand my quirky personality, my sense of utter honesty, or my free spirit. I experienced rejection from a teacher who mistook my love of learning as a form of arrogance. I took my father’s busy schedule as a sign of rejection, and I even experienced rejection from high school students who didn’t agree with my choice to abstain from alcohol and premarital sex. I let these moments reek havoc in my heart. I let them define my outlook on life, the lens through which I judged my interactions with others. This fear of rejection has far too long crippled me, and I am positive that the Lord has for years mourned with me and longed to set me free from that trap of the enemy. Here’s where the painful truth comes in. My fear of rejection and my constant feelings of offense were not my classmates fault, my teacher’s fault, my father’s fault, or anyone else’s fault. The Lord revealed to me that my offense was MY fault. I couldn’t possibly understand. “But Lord, they hurt me. They rejected me. They didn’t accept me. How is that my fault?” The Lord began to bring such truth and healing to my hurt as He told me that my immediate reaction to rejection is to be expected, but what I do with that pain is on me. Whether I choose to walk in forgiveness or offense has nothing to do with them. It has everything to do with me.

This is an unpopular opinion. In the world, we are taught that it is our RIGHT to be hurt, our RIGHT to be angry. They must apologize to us. We deserve that. The Lord has revealed to me that this is the way of the world but not the way of the Word. God’s Word requires that I lay that right down. I laid that right down when I chose to pick up the cross. If anyone has the right to be hurt, it’s God. I’ve rejected Him daily. I’ve chosen other loves over Him. I’ve neglected Him. I’ve rejected Him. I’ve forgotten Him. I’ve wronged Him in every way, yet He has never forsaken me. He has never pushed me away when I’ve come running back to His arms. My job as a believer is to take that grace that has been extended to me vertically and to send it out horizontally to those around me. How can I accept so freely His forgiveness yet refuse to extend it to His children? Wow! So convicting!

This month, I have made some changes. I have decided to extend forgiveness and to be slow to anger, for love “bears no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13). On my way to work every morning, I have been making declarations of faith such as this, “I forgive _______. I am choosing to extend God’s grace to them. God, help me to forgive. As I stand in faith saying that I forgive, I pray that you would cause my feelings to line up according to your Word.” The truth is this: I don’t always FEEL like I forgive them when I say that prayer. To the contrary, sometimes I still feel quite hurt. I know, however, what God’s Word says, and God’s Word requires me to walk in forgiveness. “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15). For that reason, I cause the words of my mouth to line up according to God’s Word, believing that my feelings will soon follow. Grace be to God, they have done so every single time. We serve a great God who longs to bring healing and draw us closer to Him.

LM - LogoSolid

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Sex: Everyone’s Doing It

I’ve wanted to write about this topic for a long time. In fact, it’s something that I’m very passionate about. But how can I possibly say everything I feel and believe without coming across as preachy and turning everyone away? For starters, sex, as a whole, is a widely avoided topic in the church. It’s too messy, too condemning of a topic to preach on. In short, it’s uncomfortable. For the most part, we don’t mind talking about the grace that follows our sin, but we sure don’t want to talk about the fact that sex outside of marriage is, indeed, sin.

We don’t talk about the fact that each time you have sex with someone who isn’t your spouse, you’re forming a soul tie. We don’t talk about the joy in waiting to give that gift to one person, your spouse. More than anything, and perhaps most importantly, we don’t equip anyone to walk in purity, and we don’t give them proof that it’s possible. Any time I’ve heard purity referred to, it’s been in the context of someone telling their audience that, unlike them, they needed to wait until marriage to have sex. Instead of just telling others they should wait until marriage, it’s time to start saying, “I did wait until marriage, you can wait until marriage, and this is how…” I want to equip the body of believers to actively, wisely wait, because it is possible, and it is so rewarding.

Practically speaking, how can I preserve purity? Well, purity starts with what I think in my mind, what I see with my eyes, and what I say with my mouth. Romans 12:2 says to “not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” If my mind starts to wander on things it shouldn’t, I can think new thoughts. It’s normal for thoughts to cross my mind that don’t need to stay. That’s not the issue. Dwelling on those thoughts is what gets me into trouble. Colossians 3:2 reminds me to “set [my] mind on things above.” If I’m having serious trouble regulating what goes into my mind, the next step is to question what I’ve been putting in front of my eyes. What am I watching on t.v.? Am I watching sensual television that’s causing me to lust? Throughout Song of Solomon, the author reminds me to “not awaken love before it’s time.” How am I protecting my heart until it’s time? One issue with putting trash in front of my eyes is that what I put in affects what comes out. This leads me to ask what I am saying with my mouth? What kind of jokes am I engaging in? What types of things am I talking to my boyfriend about? If he’s not my spouse, I shouldn’t treat him like he is. I don’t want to give a boy something that was meant to be given to the man God has for me.

What about physically? You may wonder how far is too far. I think there are a few safe, practical steps to help with this decision. First off, if you have to ask, it’s probably too far. If you’re too embarrassed to do it in front of your parents, there’s a very good chance that it’s too far. If you don’t want to have to tell your future spouse, it’s definitely too far. I also want to list some practical possibilities for pursuing purity. These guidelines were given to me through parents, mentors, and the Holy Spirit.

First off, I recommend setting guidelines from the get go. Letting your significant other know your standards and morals right away, goes a long way in setting yourselves up for success. I also recommend staying far away from a bed or a bedroom. Although your intentions may be innocent, you’re still human and still open to this very real temptation. That room is for sleeping… by yourself. Next, the parts of you that are most private should stay that way. Don’t let someone touch what’s for you and your spouse only. If he’s trying to touch those areas after your guideline talk, walk away. There’s a high chance that he’ll cause you to compromise. It’s unlikely, however, that he’ll adapt your standards. Take my word on that one. Lastly, go on some very public dates. Go on dates with friends, as well. Not only does this protect your heart and your purity, it also allows you to see your significant other in group settings, which will give you a better sense of his character.

I hope some of these practical steps encourage you and challenge you. You can pursue a life of purity and holiness with the help of the Holy Spirit. If you’ve neglected to make these decisions in the past, start now. It’s never too late to pursue godliness.



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