Purity. Such a touchy subject. Some people talk about it all the time, others run away screaming. Such an important topic but when and how do we approach it?
This morning I read a post about purity by Relevant Magazine entitled, “How Not to Talk About Purity.” You see I’m a youth pastor, a single youth pastor and I’ve been struggling with how to talk about purity and sex with my youth. And it dawned on me this morning as I read this post that when we talk about purity and sex we often talk about the gift that purity can be… but whose gift is it anyways?
I know that purity on one side is a gift for me because when you maintain purity there is a level of emotional, physical and spiritual healing that I don’t have to walk through. This most certainly is a gift, I recognize this and I praise God for it but can I be honest, that doesn’t seem to really show whose gift purity is.
What I hold near and dear to my heart is that my purity is my husbands gift. My purity is the one gift that I can give to my future husband that no one has or ever will have. In the post that I referenced above it talked about making our purity into what makes up our worth. And that is not my point here. My point is that for myself, even though I don’t know who my future husband is, I know that whoever he is, I will love him intensely and I, even today, want to give him a gift that no one could even try to emulate.
When I was in high school I shared this thought with some middle school girls from my youth group who were asking me about sex, purity and relationship. Their reactions? “But, what if he doesn’t give me the same gift? Why should I wait if I can’t be certain he is waiting?”
The problem with that question is that it goes back to the question, “Whose gift is it anyway?” They were still thinking “me” focused when love, as defined and emulated by God, is not about yourself but instead is about the other person. I could care less if my future spouse has this same gift for me. I don’t know the path that God is bringing them on or if God is going to have to redeem aspects of their life but what I do know is that this is my gift to them. The gift is theirs and not mine. My desire to give them the gift of me is unconditional of their gift to me.
Isn’t that the point? When we choose God’s type of relationships, when we in all our humanness walk out love God’s way it is no longer “Me” focused but “Them” focused. Our lives as followers of Christ become about dying to self, turning the other cheek and loving beyond what the other person brings to the table.
Look at Hosea and Gomer. Gomer was a prostitute who kept going back to her old ways regardless of the love of Hosea. Did it matter that Gomer couldn’t offer Hosea the type of love that He deserved? No, Hosea kept offering his love to Gomer.
Look at God and humanity. We are not pure. We have not waited for God but instead we go after the world. Yet, God continues to come after us. His love is pure and perfect.
I am by no means perfect. I have and will continue to make mistakes. I can’t promise that when I make it to my wedding day that I will have not made mistakes. But that doesn’t stop me from choosing God’s love beyond personal pleasure. I am choosing purity without the promise of a life beyond. I am choosing purity even though the gift to me might not be the same. I am choosing…
There is so much to be said of purity. So many reasons why it is important and so many dimensions to talk about. Emotions, our spiritual walk and physical aspects all make it up. But when we are discussing it, I believe that talking about whose gift it is and why we choose to make that decision is an important aspect.
What do you think? How do you discuss Purity? What is your approach?