Yes. This is another post about purity. But maybe not the one you’re expecting.
This is not about how I finally took off my purity ring because it was a promise that a silly 16-year-old girl made. This is not about how I finally understand that virginity is not the ultimate prize for a Christian wife to offer her husband.
This is about the struggle of a single woman to understand what purity looks like for me. We live a world saturated with sexual messages that run contrary to what Scripture teaches us. We are constantly bombarded with images of sex used as a weapon or as simply no big deal or just something that everyone does.
For years, I have longed to be married. And one desire that is very dear to my heart for marriage is to image forth the relationship of Christ and His Church. The Bride finally pure and spotless, ready to meet her Husband. I want my life to be a testimony to that. For the people around me to know that not only are he and I not living together before we’re married, we’re not even sleeping together before marriage.
But God has not seen fit to make that part of my story yet. In fact, as far as I can see, that part of the story may not change any time soon. So what’s a single girl to do? I think the important thing here is to understand this is a heart thing, not a behavior thing. It’s easy for me to say, “Oh it’s obvious. Don’t look at porn. Don’t allow yourself sexual fantasies.” Blah blah blah.
The Lord is not primarily after my behavior. He’s after my heart. Purity is not an action. Purity starts in my heart. Purity is a wholehearted running after Jesus and remembering that He satisfies me with good things. It is not something I do or don’t do. It is loving Jesus before any other thing. And purity does not refer only to the sexual nature.
We use the word purity to refer to anything that is without blemish and without stain. And what is the stain or blemish that so often we see as tarnishing purity? It’s sin. It’s not merely the fact you slept with someone you shouldn’t have. It’s not just the fact that you watched something you shouldn’t have. It’s the fact that the lie of the enemy was allowed to take hold. That lie that asks, “Is God really good? Does He really love you?” And that lie clouds our vision. But the impurity was not primarily the action. The impurity started in the heart, in losing sight of Jesus and chasing after something else.
Recall what Jesus said in His famous sermon: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” What a promise He offers: the sight of Himself. There is a greater prize than being a virgin on the wedding night. We have the promise of Jesus Himself. This is what purity as a single woman looks like. It is trusting that Jesus is enough to satisfy. It is knowing that He is good and His goodness extends to me even in my singleness and in my waiting.
Rather than chasing purity, I think I’m going to start chasing Jesus.
If you know someone who is struggling to figure out what purity looks like as a single adult, will you email them this post?
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