Hello to all of you blessed young ladies! What a huge resource you have with Loving the Lord Ministries! I have been greatly blessed myself by knowing Amy! She is truly a woman after God’s own heart and has been an inspiration to me time and time again! Please don’t take Amy, her website, books, articles, etc… for granted. They are packed full of wisdom and encouragement. I want to publicly thank Amy for following hard after the Lord and for living a consistent life before others.
Purity…why is purity so important?
The Bible talks quite a bit about purity therefore it seems to be something the Lord cares about greatly. If God is concerned about this area of our lives and has instructed and commanded us in His word to be pure, then we better read and learn what God has to say and obey it with all of our hearts!
Please read the following passages:
Phil. 1:10, Phil. 4:8, 1 Tim. 1:5, 1 Tim. 5:22, 2. Tim. 2:22, Titus 2:5, Jam. 1:27, 1 Pet. 1:22, 1 Pet. 3:2.
Who can live a life that is pure and walk purely before their God?
Let me ask you a few questions:
a. What’s your attitude towards purity?
b. Do you even HAVE a desire to be pure?
c. Are you truly born again?
To live a pure life, one must be born again. A young lady who is not born again does not have the power of God at work in her spirit, soul and body. Instead, she is dead in sins; she follows the course of this world and carries out the desires of her body and mind. Eph. 2:1 says, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”
Like all fruit in the Christian life, purity is not something that we can just decide to do!
“I’m going to be pure!” NO, purity has to be a work of God in our totally depraved and sinful hearts. We have to first be made pure and righteous by our Lord’s work on the cross and then and only then can we know and experience true and lasting purity.
Let’s look at 2 Tim. 2:22 together!
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a PURE heart.” (Emphasis added)
Matthew Henry says: “Paul here exhorts Timothy to beware of youthful lusts. Though he was a holy good man, very much mortified to the world, yet Paul thought it necessary to caution him against youthful lusts: ‘Flee them, take all possible care and pains to keep thyself pure from them.’ The lusts of the flesh are youthful lusts, which young people must carefully watch against, and the best must not be secure. He prescribes an excellent remedy against youthful lusts: Follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, etc... Youthful lusts are very dangerous, for which reason even hopeful young people should be warned of them, for they war against the soul.”
Girls, there are so many things that want to steal our purity and pollute us. Let’s look at some of these:
a. The Fashion Industry
d. Wrong Friends
f. “Girl Talks” (yes, even seemingly innocent ones too!)
I would like to share with you a glimpse into my journey of purity as it concerns waiting for my husband. It is not a perfect one, but one that is filled with sin, temptation, repentance, victory and abundant blessing! I pray that God will use this snippet of my testimony to encourage, strengthen and spur you on to greater purity. My desire in sharing my testimony is not necessarily to share my struggles and victories in detail, but to give you some things to ponder and think about as you are either walking the path of purity or are in limbo as to what you should do.
God did a saving work in my life at an early age. He filled me with his powerful spirit and gave me the desire to love him and live for him in every area of life.
Growing up, my parents were very careful about the kinds of influences, entertainment and friends I had. They realized that although “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Ps. 51:5) there were certain things they had been commanded by God to teach to their children. At age 13 I can remember giving my dad a gold key and heart necklace set. He kept the key and I wore the heart. (My heart said, “He who holds the key can unlock my heart.”) I wanted to be pure at that time, but was starting to struggle.
When I was 16 years old my father and mother took me out for a special evening together at Macaroni Grille! I remember that significant night as if it were yesterday. After a delicious dinner, my mother and father presented me with a beautiful gold, heart-shaped ring with a shiny diamond in the center of it. (This ring was a replica of the ring that my dad gave to my mom years before.)
He said, “Tara, will you give me your heart? Will you keep yourself pure and trust the Lord to use your mother and I to help you find and marry the right young man some day? It was that night that my parents formally called me to the walk of purity that they had been directing me along from the time I was born. They were challenging me to stand for and walk in the path of purity. At that moment I had the opportunity to submit and respond to what my parents had so caringly put before me and live a life experiencing God’s protection and blessing, or say no, sever the God given protection on my life and live a life of impurity and regret. I am so glad to be able to share with you today, I said YES with all of my heart! Little did I know it would be 7 long years before I would meet my prince and another 2 years before I would say “I do.”
The years following my 16th birthday were filled with ups and downs, struggles and victories, joys and pains. It seemed like I would live victoriously pure for several days and then BAM utter discouragement and lies would creep their horrid way into my heart and I would start day dreaming or entertaining impure thoughts. Each time this happened, the undeserving forgiveness and unconditional love of the Lord was there to meet me!
Following are a few areas in my life where I had the opportunity to cultivate purity by the grace of God. I used questions like these as accountability and as a purity thermometer to regularly take my temperature.
I pray they will be of help to you.
I pray they will be of help to you.
a. Purity of Body – What kind of clothing do I choose to wear every day? Do they shout out that I am a pure, daughter of the most high King?
b. Purity of Mind - What kind of thoughts do I allow to fill my mind throughout the day?
c. Purity of Emotions - Do I daily keep my emotions in check and submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ?
d. Purity of Heart - When I’m all alone what kinds of things do I look at, read or dream about?
e. Purity of Conscience – Is my conscience pure and clean or am I hiding anything from my authorities that God has placed in my life as a protection from the enemy? Am I sharing the struggles and victories with them on a regular basis?
f. Purity of Speech – What kinds of words go out of my mouth? Are they pure and lovely?
g. Purity of Sight – Are the things that I choose to set before my eyes pure, lovely and of good report?
h. Purity of Appetite – Do I crave wholesome and pure entertainment?
i. Purity of Countenance- What does my countenance tell the watching world? “She radiates purity?”
God also used my parents, siblings, and godly friends as great accountability!
Girls, the world tells us that the way of impurity is exciting, thrilling and fulfilling. But God says in Prov. 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Matt. 7:11 says, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him.”
God gives good gifts to his children (in many shapes and forms as He knows what is best for us) and it is a joy to share with you that I am experiencing good gifts! I am happily married to the man of my dreams and have been blessed with 2 precious children! The Lord has been faithful and we are continuing to experience the blessings of God on our lives!
So if I were to restate the principles that I have been sharing in my testimony, it would look like this: God saved me and gave me a new heart, my parents called me to a life of purity and directed me along its path, I submitted and responded with a willing and yielding heart, there were various methods of accountability in my life, and all of this lead to abundant blessing and reward!
Let’s look at 2 Tim. 2:22 again together! “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a PURE heart.”
According to God’s word we are to FLEE youthful passions and PURSUE what? RIGHTEOUSNESS…FAITH…LOVE…PEACE, along with those who call on the Lord from a PURE heart.
I will tell you there are days that will be very hard and the struggle will be intense, but it is worth it all for the sake of Christ! Phil. 3:14 says, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” It’s a hard, bumpy road to travel if you want to be pure. It’s definitely NOT for sissies! Most everything and everyone around you will try to trip you up and ensnare you. Prov. 4:27 says, “Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” Remember, the journey of purity does not end the day you say I do. In your marriage you will daily have to decide to let God continue to cultivate purity in your life and in your marriage!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Purity is being attacked on all sides, even from the church. It’s time to take a stand, live in obedience to Christ and be a witness to the watching world!
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:24-25
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Eph. 3:20-21
I would like to dedicate this article to Steve and Cherie (my loving parents) and to my devoted and WONDERFUL husband…Stephen!