Purity in our culture has many different associations and connotations, but it goes far beyond just waiting to have sex. Purity in itself is a heart posture before God, and something that shows honor to the person you are dating.
When it comes to long-distance relationships, or relationships where you seldom see one another in person, upholding purity has a different set of obstacles to overcome.
When distance adds another hurdle in a relationship, how should the aspect of purity be handled? What boundaries should long-distance couples uphold, especially when they are able to reunite?
Here are 4 thoughts to help you get started.
1. Remember Respect and Honor
They say distance will make the heart grow fonder, but it can stir up more than simple fondness. Often couples who do not have the opportunity to be together in person will find themselves burning to be together.
This is natural, and in fact it is something Paul speaks about in his letters to the Corinthians. What is imperative to consider is the respect and honor of each other when you do have the chance for that real-life contact.
Of course, when you have a chance to be together after a long time apart, it's going to be so exciting! God created us that way. But it's important to expect ahead of time that your emotions will be running high, your heart will be pounding, and your hormones will be all over the place. So it's key to have clear convictions and boundaries set in place that honor eachother.
What this looks like in application is not just avoiding sex, but actually making the choice to respect your partner enough that you will not compromise their virtue.
Having these boundaries set in place and decided upon prior, adhering to the boundaries during interactions, and above all else seeing the other person not just for their body, are the key ingredients to a healthy and holy time together.
This does not place purity as an idol to be self-righteous about, but rather it acknowledges the reality that temptation will arise after a period of time apart. It also invites practice to honor and respect not only God’s desire for man, but one another as well.
It places a higher value on the relationship than mere carnal aspects, and it opens door for healthy communication and intentional application.
2. Focus on Quality Time
When a game plan is agreed upon ahead of time, especially about what boundaries will be physically there, provides ample opportunity for deeper connection emotionally and spiritually. These aspects must also be upheld with regard as to what the other person feels comfortable sharing or discussing at the time.
Being in person differs from video chats or texting in that it allows for a more intimate atmosphere in human connection. If quantity of time is not a luxury due to distance, use the time well for quality time.
This can look like a richly deep talk or memories made in adventure. Value the relationship enough not to cheapen it to only physical connection.
3. Don’t Fall Prey When You Are Apart
Due to the expansion of social media and virtual ability to communicate, there has also come avenues to navigate in consideration of purity.
Late-night texts may find themselves tumbling into pictures, suggestive or provocative words beyond being just flirty, and bring in an entirely unconsidered aspect of purity in long distance.
Just because the couple is not physically together in person does not mean physical temptation is eradicated. In order to combat this, first acknowledge that it is a potential reality.
Recall Paul’s reminder that what is permissible for some may cause another to stumble, so even something not meant to be full-blown can invite potential to mishap. Transparency and honesty are pertinent here.
Placing boundaries in place such as no texting after a certain time at night, drawing the line of what is flirting and what is too far, or even deleting certain apps may prove preventative or necessary. Remember as well that the Holy Spirit will bring conviction, not condemnation, so connect with the Lord in what His best is for all involved.
4. Remember That Purity Is a Heart Posture
In the end, purity is about heart posture.
Someone can be a virgin and yet but not pure, and in the same way someone can have a sexual past and be made pure by the Lord. Purity is far more than mere carnal sex, it roots itself in being able to connect and stand before the Lord.
Psalm 51:10 becomes a sigh filled prayer in asking, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” The Lord does not desire for us to figure it all out on our own, He delights in connecting with His children in giving them guidance, direction, and the strength to live it out.
True purity is birthed through the Holy Spirit washing a heart clean, and giving that heart all the opportunity it needs to rely on God in living out a life that is pure.
Prayer for Purity
Create in us pure and blameless hearts. Lord, we know this is a request in which we partner with you to actively live it out. It is no surprise to us that long distance relationships invite a different path to navigate, and temptations only grow with the miles. Despite these realities we know the greatest reality is that we do not sail these seas alone. We invite You Lord to work within our inner spirits. Give us hearts that are led by the Spirit of God, not our flesh. Give us the strength to not fall prey to temptations, and above all else assistance in honoring each other and You above all else.
In Jesus Name,
In order to live out a pure life, it is important to have a clear and defined glimpse of what purity really is, and what it looks like in application.
When we connect with God in these delicate matters we are then equipped. We are also then able to better love one another without feeling an ounce of guilt.
Purity in long-distance relationships is possible, but it is not something God wants His children to feel burdened to find a way through on their own.
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Cally Logan is an author and US History teacher from Richmond, Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys mentoring youth and spending time in nature. Her book, Hang on in There, Girl! Will be available everywhere on April 1, 2022. Check her out on Instagram and Twitter, @CallyLogan and TikTok Cally_Logan.