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10 Things Purity Was Never Meant To Be

By: Bethany Beal

I was her. I was the teen girl reading Christian books on modesty, purity, and relationships. I often read my favorite books over and over again. I loved learning and I loved striving to understand God’s design for my life as a Christian girl.

I wore the purity ring. I read I Kissed Dating Goodbye. I saved sex for marriage. Etc. etc. etc.

I was that girl.

Fast forward to our modern day and I guess some would consider me a direct product of the “purity movement.” As a product of that generation, many often wonder how it’s impacted me and how it’s impacted my brand new marriage.

To be totally honest, I’m doing great. My marriage is great. I had a wonderful honeymoon and very much enjoy being intimate with my husband.

So what’s the big deal?

Why am I talking about purity and sharing about my upbringing?

Here’s why.

In recent days, there has been a lot of talk amongst Christians about those who grew up in the “purity movement” and how it’s impacted their lives. In listening to these conversations, it’s very clear that purity was not/is not being viewed from a biblical perspective. Due to some of these wrong and unbiblical perspectives, many young women/women have been negatively impacted as a result. So what do we do? Do we ditch purity and toss it out because it didn’t work for some of us?

To be honest, I don’t think purity is to blame here. I think it’s us. We are the ones who have twisted (or been taught to twist) God’s Word and have attached our own ideas (often unhelpful) to purity.

Instead of ditching purity as an outdated/unhelpful/hurtful concept, let’s reclaim it. God’s design for purity was never meant to be what we (as humans) have often turned it into.

Here are 10 things that I believe purity was never meant to be:

1. Purity was never meant to define you.

Our worth and value have absolutely NOTHING to do with how “pure” or “impure” we have been. Our level of “pureness” does not define us. God says that we are all impure before Him. Romans 3:10 “As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one.” We are all at the foot of the cross and in need of a Savior. We all need Jesus. Every single one of us. If you’ve accepted Jesus as your Savior, you are His loved Child. That is the only definition that truly matters.

2. Purity was never meant to be a God.

God is the only One worthy of our worship. In fact, He commands us not to worship anything other than Himself. Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.” Don’t allow your “good works” or “good lifestyle” to become your God. Don’t worship the concept of purity. Don’t allow that to become an idol in your life.

3. Purity was never meant to be a downpayment.

Purity is not about sticking a quarter in the gumball machine and getting a reward. Do not embrace purity as a downpayment on a future husband, great sex, or a life of ease. That is not what it’s meant to be. I wrote a post titled, Why A Husband Isn’t Your Reward for Staying Pure I would strongly encourage you to read it. 

4. Purity was never meant to be a badge of honor.

If you view yourself as more holy than others, that is pride and it is detestable to God. Your desire to embrace purity should be out of a humble heart to honor the Lord. Purity is not about a badge of honor. It’s not about you and your good works.

5. Purity was never meant to be about pleasing others.

Purity is not about living up to some other person’s standards for you. It’s not about gaining approval or being good enough for someone. God does not love us according to how “pure” we’ve been. He loves us because He is God and He is love. He chooses to love us unconditionally. Do not get caught up in living your life to please sinful humans.

6. Purity was never meant to be a terror.

If purity has been held over your head as a terror that you need to measure up to, I am sorry. Purity was never intended to be a bad and scary thing. Purity was never meant to be a tool to shame people with. That is not God’s design. That is a sad distortion by humans.  

7. Purity was never meant to be a people divider.

There should never be categories of people. There should never be the “pure” and “impure.” We are all impure and broken before God. We all need a Savior equally. We all need Jesus equally. Choose to love others unconditionally just like God loves you. And choose to accept God’s saving grace and unconditional love in your life.

8. Purity was never meant to be about you.

Purity isn’t about you. It’s just not.

9. Purity was never meant to be your salvation.

Salvation has nothing to do with good works. It’s all about grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

10. Purity was never meant to be just about purity.

If purity is your end goal, that’s the wrong end goal. Your bullseye in life is all about living for Jesus. It’s about having a personal relationship with Him. Purity is simply an overflow of that love and desire to live according to God’s good design for us. Don’t ever make purity just about purity.

Whether you grew up in the midst of the purity movement or not, I think it’s so important that we view this concept through a biblical lens. Don’t allow your own sinful heart, or sinful messages from those around you, to define your view of purity. Dig into God’s Word for yourself and choose to make that your final authority on this issue.

Remember that our entire lives are to be lived for the glory of God.

That includes everything to with sex and our sexuality. Our desire to embrace purity should be with the focus of living it out for God’s glory. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” That includes purity and everything else about our sexuality.  

I want to challenge you to do a personal study on the topic of purity. I challenge you to figure out what lies you’ve been believing about purity and then come up with biblical truths to combat those lies.

In fact, you can start with the ten things I listed above. Write them down and then write down ten biblical truths to combat them. That would be a wonderful start to your personal study on the topic.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

What is your view on purity?

What lies have you believed about purity?

What messages have you been taught about purity?

How can you realign your heart with truth?

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