Dena Johnson Martin Christian Blog and Commentary

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Why I Choose Purity

~~I recently watched a video clip from The View, a women’s talk show. The hosts were discussing a newly married couple who posted a picture of her virginity certificate on the day of their wedding. The bride had made a promise to her father that she would remain pure, saving herself for marriage. And, on her wedding day, she proudly declared that she had stuck to her commitment.

As you can imagine, the picture caused quite a stir online. And the hosts of The View jumped all over it. The majority of the hosts ridiculed the bride—for posting the picture and for her choice to maintain her virginity. The lone Christian conservative host, Candace Cameron-Bure, jumped in to defend the couple’s decision.

We live in a society that has strayed from the foundations laid out in scripture. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes of television watching to see how sex-saturated our society is. I’m afraid that many of us have grown accustomed to the images, themes, and words that permeate every aspect of our lives. We have become desensitized to sexual messages and innuendos thrown at us each and every day.

And, those of us who choose purity are ridiculed. We are made to feel that our choice is outdated, old-fashioned. We are subjected to humiliation. We are shamed. It is just as scriptures teach us:

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.” 1 Corinthians 1:18-19

The co-hosts of The View had no concept of why one would choose purity. Their attitudes made me ask myself: Why do I choose purity?

The obvious answer is because I am a Christian, and I want to please God. God tells us that our bodies are his temple and we should not defile them (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). It tells us that there should be no hint of sexual immorality (Ephesians 5:3). It tells us that the marriage bed should be undefiled (Hebrews 13:4).
But, outside of because God said so, why do I choose purity?

I am not an object. I believe that I am a valued human being, worthy of respect and honor. I believe that God created me in his image, that I am a child of the King. I believe that I deserve to be treated as a princess.

I have seen too many men who treat women as objects to be used for their gratification, their own selfish desires. They want sex, but they don’t want commitment. They want women to meet their needs, but then walk away when someone else more desirable comes along. (I’m sure the same can be said for women; I am simply coming from woman’s point of view.)

Having sex with multiple partners cheapens sex. Sex is meant to bond a married couple, to give them something that they share together—exclusively. If I am out having sex with different men, what is going to make my relationship with my husband any different than the relationship I have with any other man I have dated? I choose long-term satisfaction, long-term intimacy, over immediate gratification.

People who value purity as singles are more likely to value purity in marriage. I have been the victim of adultery, and it hurts! It is devastating. Many people never recover from the pain. Others struggle to ever trust again.

Because I have walked through the betrayal from a marriage partner, I guard myself against anyone who takes sex casually. Enjoy indulging in porn? I’m out. Make sexual jokes? Not around me. Comment about my appearance? I will walk away.

It took me several years to understand that a focus on true purity is an essential quality in a mate. There are no guarantees in life; we are all human and are all susceptible to falling if we aren’t guarding ourselves. But, those who put a high value on sexual purity before marriage are more likely to continue valuing purity as the years pass.

It’s my body, and it’s my choice. Doesn’t that sound like a familiar phrase? We often hear about abortion being a woman’s body and a woman’s choice. Abortion is not criticized by the hosts of The View. We are told that the fate of the tiny human growing in the womb—a human there because of a woman’s choice—is nothing more than the woman’s choice. She can choose whether she wants to continue that life…or end it.

If a fetus in my womb is “my body and my choice,” how much more is purity about my body? Purity is about my choice. Purity is about deciding what is good for me and what is not. Purity is about me being in control of my body. No one has a right to make that decision, except me.

And no one has a right to judge my choices about what I will or will not do with my body.

Now that you know why I choose purity, let me give you my description of purity. Purity is about more than just maintaining your virginity. We can maintain our virginity and still not enter marriage with true purity. 

Purity of mind. I am a firm believer that purity starts in the mind. What we meditate on eventually determines our actions. Studies show that pornography alters the way men view women. It devalues women, turning them into objects to be used for sexual gratification. Watching porn decreases the body’s ability to become aroused, causing one to need more stimulation for arousal.

Have you noticed how many movies have sexual themes? Have you noticed how hard it is to look through a magazine without seeing an article on sexual fulfillment? Have you noticed that even the commercials on tv use sex to sell products, everything from yogurt to shampoo?

I use great caution when watching tv and selecting movies. I don’t read books with sexual themes. I choose to think on things that are lovely, noble, pure, right, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians  4:8). I choose to fill my mind with things that keep me in relationship with God. I choose purity of mind.

Purity of body. So many people ask how far they can go physically without sinning. That’s the wrong question. I want to set boundaries that will give plenty of margin, knowing that if I get close to that boundary I still won’t fall.
I know couples who chose not to kiss until their wedding day. My pastor says to make sure that both feet are on the ground at all times. What is acceptable in a relationship comes down to a decision the couple makes together, a decision that must be respected by both partners.

Whatever boundary you choose, make sure that it gives you plenty of margin. If you think you are standing strong, be careful (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Purity of spirit. Are you seeking God? Are you striving to know him better each day? Do you spend time in his word and in prayer regularly? Are you asking him to guide you, to give you strength?

He promises us that his strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). He tells us that the pure in heart will see God (Matthew 5:8). Make sure that your heart is turned toward God.

Perhaps you are reading this and thinking it’s too late for me. I’ve already blown it. I don’t have a virginity certificate to present to anyone.

But that’s the beauty of God!

I was married for nearly 17 years before my marriage fell apart. I am a single mother of three amazing kids. I have not walked this purity walk perfectly. But I have a virginity certificate in God’s eyes!

The minute I confessed my sins and sought his forgiveness, he threw my sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). He remembers my sins no more! When he looks at me, he sees a pure woman, covered by the blood of Jesus. He has restored my virginity in his eyes!

Have you confessed your sins? Have you asked forgiveness? Then your sins have been forgiven. You have been washed white as snow. He has given you a new virginity certificate.

Will you keep it until your marriage day?

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