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.