The Purity chapter in “Change the Conversation” was one of the easier chapters to write, because the topic is so near and dear to my heart, and I want the next generation to catch God’s vision for purity, not become further tripped up in the trappings of the purity culture.
If I had a kid right now, I would begin painting a vision of purity; a vision of pursuing God’s best in every area of our lives, including dating relationships. A compelling vision motivates people to get behind it. A compelling vision moves people from point A to point B. A compelling vision does in fact inspire change. A compelling vision motivates people to do the work necessary in order to reach the desired goal. I love this quote from French author Antoine Exupery:
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Sailors longing for the open sea will be more than motivated to swab the decks and hoist the sails because they love their goal and believe in their purpose. They are willing to put in the work to get there. The concept of purity, in my opinion, can work in the same way. On one hand, it can feel like endless tasks, a long to-do list and an even longer to-DON’T list. Or it can be framed in such a way that because we love God so much, because we desire his will, because we love his word, we hold ourselves to a standard for the greater purpose, not for the standard’s sake.
This vision naturally extends to the rest of a believer’s life, not just during dating and engagement. That’s what began to bother me so much with the traditional “purity culture” espoused in Christian circles. Christians are called to pursue purity in every area of their lives, for their whole life, whether in elementary school, or in the assisted living community. But you don’t hear much about it past youth group. It’s not framed in light of marriage (as much as it should be), or in parenting, or in the workplace. Why? Why is that?
Let’s pursue purity as we do schoolwork, as we complete work projects, as we interact with our spouses, our family members, and yes boyfriends/girlfriends as well. Let’s regain the vision for purity that I believe resides in God heart.
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16