The New Purity

Can I just blow off some steam for a minute and say that I feel completely lost trying to navigate purity at twenty-six years old? I feel like every resource I have on purity tells me to wear a purity ring, guard my heart, and stay away from the backseat of a boy’s car. That maybe helped my naive sixteen year old self, but now at twenty-six I’m faced with an onslaught of alluring enemies.

Not only do I need to guard my heart, now I have to make daily choices when it comes to my media use. I have access to chick-flicks, or emotional porn as I like to call it, the ability to reach out to a guy regardless of my emotional or mental status, and a world that is practically encouraging casual sex. This world is getting increasingly harder to navigate.

How do I remain pure in a world attempting to sabotage me at every turn?

But deeper than that…

What is purity in 2013?

What is purity for a twenty-something?

Obviously purity isn’t a new issue. But we have unprecedented amounts of access to the very things that threaten our desires to remain pure. So again, I ask the question… what is purity in 2013?

I don’t think purity is necessarily a list of do’s and don’t’s or single vs married. My brother Mike brought up a fantastic point as we trekked across the country. We were talking about relationships and purity and all the things that come with it. So often we categorize purity as a single person problem. We’ve allowed purity to be defined by our marital and sexual state.

But the reality, Mike pointed out, is that purity is deeper than having sex before you’re married. We can all agree that marriage doesn’t fix our problems. If anything it magnifies them. So if you struggle with lust before you’re married and you assume having a spouse will make it go away, you’ll probably be disappointed. Sure, there is an element of relief in having an outlet to express your desires, but now instead of a nameless faceless being you’re wounding, you hurt someone real. Someone with a story. Someone who trusts you. Someone who bleeds when you cut them.

And you know what? I think Mike is right.

I think we need to stop defining purity as something related to our marital and sexual status. I think we need to start defining purity as a heart issue. When we’re operating out of the best for someone else, our behaviors can start to change. Each action we do has a direct reaction. Be it a habit we start forming or a memory we can’t erase. It’s much easier to wonder than forget.

So practically how does this help you?

Well… I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m not offering you “True Love Waits” as a card to pull in the middle of a makeout session. I think the older we get and the more we grow into Papa, the more we want to live our lives in His best. And His best is never the same for two people, except that it’s always for His glory and our good. That much we know.

What do you think? What is The New Purity for you?

Check back next week. I’ve got more thoughts on this topic…

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