Summary: Purity is the personal decision to glorify God with your body, soul and spirit. So many times when we talk about purity, we put it in terms of dos and don’ts.
Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Serious Call to Sexual Purity
I received an email from a young lady I have never met. She happens to live in a country on the other side of the world. Because she reads my weblog, she felt like she could write and share her heart with me. This is part of what she had to say:
I think you might be surprised, but I’ve something personal to share to you. I came from a Christian family and knew Jesus at a very young age. Then I got involved with a guy and we started to engage in sexual intimacy. We never had intercourse though, because I didn’t want to despite his persuasions. I knew it was wrong, but somehow fell deeper into it, even after my baptism at age 15.
All along, I knew I wanted to get out of this, at times I refused his physical requests because I know I have to obey God, but other times I gave in to the sinful pleasures and also in a bid to not hurt him. With this relationship, I’ve done what I thought I’ll never see myself doing. The fact that I was attending a Christian school made me feel like a hypocrite evermore.
So, the sinful relationship went on for about six years. During this period of time, sometimes I tried to do the right thing and follow God; other times I gave in to sin, back and forth, hence our numerous breakups and reunions.
Finally I decided to terminate my relationship with this guy because I realized I’ve sinned against the Lord a great deal in this relationship and was always so weak in dealing with the sexual temptations that come with it. I always pray to follow God, but was rarely able to really walk my talk.
- Is my salvation truly genuine? I struggled with this because I thought if I really were saved then I would’ve long left this relationship and not continue to sin in it willfully.
- Is there something wrong with my conscience? Because I find it strange that I didn’t feel sad or guilty over what I’ve done that is against God.
Her words speak for a whole generation of young people who struggle with purity and feel guilty because they have failed again and again. I think the part that touched me most was her fear that perhaps she is not truly saved because of her past. She speaks for many church members, single, married and formerly married, who struggle deeply with feelings of shame and doubt.
What would you say to her? What does the Bible say?
I. The Challenge to Purity
Fact—Hardcore pornography has come out of the closet and on to Main Street.
Fact—Through the Internet the vilest forms of pornography are available to young children.
Fact—Homosexuality is now seen as an acceptable alternative lifestyle.
Fact—Most mainline denominations now have openly gay clergy.
Fact—We routinely watch things on television that would have made us blush 25 years ago.
Fact—Nothing much surprises us anymore. We’ve seen it all … and seen it so often we’ve lost our ability to be shocked. Adultery … premarital sex … group sex … lesbianism … wife swapping … pornography in our local convenience stores … x-rated movies on TV … easy divorce … multiple marriages … quick abortions … incest … child abuse … bestiality … teen pregnancy … gay churches … born again pornographers … pastors having affairs … radical sex education. And the list goes on and on.
Consider this note I received from a wife who speaks of her husband’s addiction to pornography:
Shortly after we were married I became aware of his extensive pornography use in all the classic forms. Of course I did not know what to do about it and was quite naïve about the whole thing and embarrassed to really make it known. Everything about it made me sick to my stomach. I eventually got my nerve to confront him without being able to say the word pornography. It was not even a word in my vocabulary before this. He told me he never wanted to hurt me and would try to work on it as to never do it again. I believed him, or should I say wanted to believe him so bad I denied any feelings I may have had or things I saw him do that proved otherwise.
The devastation that pornography does to a marriage and family is horrendous. It affects everyone involved in that addicted person’s life and then some. Pornography usage itself is like dominos; once you start it you can’t stop it until everyone in your life is hit with its tragic blow. My life has been turned upside down, in a whirlwind of emotions and turmoil. I cannot tell you how deep the pain has gone. I felt like I was being ripped in two. The one person I was supposed to be able to trust and run to when life hurts, was the one person who hurt me the most and who I could not go to for that loving comfort. I believe in the sanctity of marriage and believe me, that was my deepest desire for mine.