The Pursuit of Purity

Committing a life to Purity is so much more than saying NO to kissing boys or NO to having sex before marriage.

There was a time a while back when I was at the doctor’s office for an appointment and while I was filling out some paperwork, the doctor came into the room. She started asking me some questions and in the middle of our conversation, she noticed my Purity ring. A big smile crossed her face as she took my hand, “Congratulations! Who’s the lucky fellow?” I smiled in return and informed her that it was a purity ring and that I wasn’t engaged, thanking her for the compliment. The smile melted and quickly became a look of concern, “Aren’t you too old to be participating in that still?” To be honest, I actually choked hearing that question, and then she continued. “Well, best of luck to you. Hopefully there’s still a guy out there for you!”

I finished with the appointment, but on my way home, I couldn’t help but to think of how rude it was for someone to address me and my standards like that! Yet, I then realized that most people, when they hear the word Purity, they think of rules or things that you CAN’T do. However, most people fail to see how Purity isn’t about what you can’t do, but rather what you choose to do.

Purity isn’t some goal or something that is obtained, but it involves choices that we make every day; it’s a lifestyle! Just as marriage is a commitment to one another to be faithful, Purity is a commitment to remain faithful to my standards and to the life that God desires for each of us to live!

Committing a life to Purity is so much more than saying NO to kissing boys or NO to having sex before marriage. Purity involves both our actions, thoughts, and motives of the heart.

The Dictionary definition of Purity is “to be free of any difference, inferior, or contaminating kind.

Think about a bottle of drinking water. It wouldn’t take more than a couple specks of dirt to become undesirable to look at and/or drink. Committing to Purity is a statement to the world and to your future spouse that you give complete control to God and that you commit yourself to someone that the Lord has predestined for you; trusting in Jesus with your love story.

Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

His plan and purpose for our lives and who He has for us hasn’t changed since He created the universe; He is unchanging, yet He changes everything! So how do we commit our actions, thoughts and desires to a lifestyle of Purity? First off, Purity according to the Bible is the acts of:

  • Resisting temptations
  • Refusing sexual activity outside the boundaries of marriage
  • Guarding the heart against anything that can contaminate or pollute thoughts, actions, and attitudes
  • Refusing to settle for short-term pleasures
  • Submitting to God, not only our hearts, but our desires
  • Valuing love rather than simply desiring love

Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Mankind is destined for hell, but when Christ offered His pure, sinless life as a ransom for all who come to Him and believe, He gave us the perfect example of a pure life.

Purity is attainable because Christ is the ultimate example. 1 Peter 2:21 says, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps.” God didn’t give us the Ten Commandments without an example or any hope to being able to keep them! Through these commands and His Word, He provides us boundaries, guidelines and instructions on how to follow in His footsteps.

He not only provides for us boundaries and standards to protect us from giving into temptations, but He also has given us a way of escape! Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” You’re not alone; everyone has faced the same questions and temptations that you have at one point in their life, but because of God’s faithfulness the enemy cannot overwhelm you!

Satan doesn’t come and tempt you with things that you can easily refuse; He comes as an angel of light, resembling everything you could ever want! Think of Eve in the garden. She wasn’t drawn to the “bad” side of the tree, but the “good.” In Genesis 3:6 it says, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.” Temptation isn’t a sin unless you give way and action to it; it’s a choice. Just because something seems or looks good doesn’t mean that it is of God!

The scripture says in James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Purity isn’t something that just happens, it is a choice! In this, we understand that we are human and that we have desires and that temptations arise to act according to those desires. Also understand that Purity doesn’t mean that those desires or temptations will disappear; this is why we must make the choice to remain pure.

Let me tell you, it is a struggle living in a corrupt society that nurtures fleshly desires, inspires temptations and manufactures fake happiness and satisfaction. When you are completely surrounded with these things – why wouldn’t it be so easy to give in! BUT isn’t that the point?

Purity and walking the narrow road wasn’t meant to be easy, otherwise we would never grow, as well as the value of what we are waiting for would never grow or increase. But James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

Think about Abraham – He waited decades for a son that the Lord promised to him, and then when he finally held Isaac in his arms, God asked Abraham to sacrifice him! How could Abraham so willingly place something that he had waited so long for on the altar? Because he knew that Isaac came from God, that God could provide for him again, he trusted God, and he loved God more than his desires.

Purity is a surrender and submission of our desires to the Lord. God didn’t and doesn’t force me to submit my life daily to be one of Purity and abstinence – this is why it is an active choice. In this choice, I realize that I value and desire a love from one man that God chose for me before time began, rather than settling for someone or something that satisfies my flesh for a short time. It’s kind of like going to the grocery store on an empty stomach! You not only want everything you see because you’re hungry, but you end up spending and buying significantly more than you planned or needed.

Purity is finding contentment and satisfaction in the Lord; He withholds nothing good from His kids or anything that is meant for them! He is just as concerned with our desires as He is with our needs!

Looking back to Genesis after God made Adam, the Bible says in 2:18 that God recognized that Adam was alone. John Milton once said, “Loneliness was the first thing that God’s eye named not good.” God saw that Adam was alone before Adam recognized it for himself or even asked God, “Why are there two zebras, but only one of me?”

Jesus said in John 14:16, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever.” God recognizes our desire and need for companionship; man was created for a relationship with God! Have faith in knowing that, just like at Christmas with having to wait to open the wrapped gifts; God is preparing and already has someone for us and has such an excitement to give us that gift. He is preparing us not only to be able to receive it, but to be able to value, nurture, and appreciate the gift!

The season of waiting on the Lord isn’t one of wasting, but preparation! Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” In this season of my life, God has continually spoken over me to Be Still and Remain Faithful. Singleness isn’t some curse or something that devalues a person, but rather what they do during that time. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” And Psalm 130:6 says, “My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.”

We all desire companionship and to receive the promise of the Lord, but will He come and find us prepared to receive it and to nurture it?

To conclude, consider the parable of the ten virgins found in Matthew 25. All ten were virgins, had lamps and even fell asleep. Yet, only five were wise enough to prepare their lamps in advance for the bridegroom’s coming. They all grew weary and slept, but the wise virgins were prepared and were ready when the groom passed by in celebration! The other virgins who were foolish had dry lamps, stumbled in the dark and missed out on the celebration.

How are you preparing for the promise that God so patiently yet excitedly holds for you?

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