Make the purity of others a priority:
One of the best ways to maintain a pure life is to watch out for the purity of others. What can you do to protect your brothers and sisters in the Lord from impurity? What can you say to encourage them to keep their hearts set in the direction of righteousness?
The support and protection you can provide to same-sex friends is important, but the protection you can give to opposite-sex friends is invaluable. When it comes to purity in relationships-both physical and emotional-girls and guys usually trip each other up. Can you imagine the righteousness that could be born if both sexes took it upon themselves to watch out for each other?
Let's look at specific ways this can be accomplished.
*The Guy's Responsibility*
Guys, it's time we stood up to defend the honor and righteousness of our sisters. We need to stop acting like "hunters" trying to catch girls and begin seeing ourselves as warriors standing guard over them.
How do we do this? First we must realize that girls don't struggle with the same temptations we struggle with. We wrestle more with our sex drives while girls struggle more with their emotions. We can help guard their hearts by being sincere and honest in our communication. We need to swear off flirtatiousness and refuse to play games and lead them on. We have to go out of our way to make sure nothing we say or do stirs up inappropriate feelings or expectations.
A good friends, Matt Canlis, modeled this idea of guarding a girl's purity in his relationship with Julie Clifton, the woman to whom he's now married. Long before they began pursuing marriage, both felt deeply attracted to the other. But during a certain season, God made it clear to Julie that she had to focus on Him and not be distracted by Matt.
Although Matt didn't know this at the time, he made it his priority to guard Julie's heart during this time of waiting, even though he felt personally drawn to her. Matt controlled his desire to flirt with Julie. He passed up opportunities to spend time alone with her, and when they were in group settings he refrained from singling her out and focusing too much attention on her. He avoided doing anything that would make it harder for Julie to focus on serving God.
This season didn't last forever, and eventually Matt and Julie became engaged. I had lunch with both of them a few weeks before their wedding. Julie explained how grateful she felt that Matt had enough maturity to put her needs above his own. By making her emotional and spiritual purity a priority, Matt helped Julie focus her mind and heart on God. If Matt had acted selfishly, he could have distracted Julie, and ruined what God wanted to accomplish in and through her life.
What an example of brotherly love! I want to weep when I think of the many times I have neglected my responsibility to guard girls' hearts. Instead of playing the role of warrior, I played the thief, stealing their focus from God for myself. I'm determined to do better. I want to be the kind of friend to whom girls' future husbands could one day say, "Thank you for standing watch over my wife's heart. Thank you for guarding her purity."
*The Girl's Responsibility*
Girls, you have an equally important role. Remember the wayward women (from Proverbs)? Your job is to keep your brothers from being led away by her charms. Please be aware of how easily your actions and glances can stir up lust in a guy's mind.
You may not realize this, but we guys most commonly struggle with our eyes. I think many girls are innocently unaware of the difficulty a guy has in remaining pure when looking at a girl who is dressed immodestly. Now I don't want to dictate your wardrobe, but honestly speaking, I would be blessed if girl's considered more than fashion when shopping for clothes. Yes, guy's are responsible for maintaining self-control, but you can help by refusing to wear clothing designed to attract attention to your body.
I know that the world tells you that if you have a nice body, you should show it off. And we men have only helped feed this mentality. But I think you can play a part in reversing this trend. I know many girls who would look great in shorter skirts or tighter blouses, and they know it. But they choose to dress modestly. They take the responsibility of guarding their brothers' eyes. To these women and others like them, I'm grateful.
"And let us consider how me may spur one another on toward good deeds" (Hebrews 10:24). It's time to start seeing other people's purity as our responsibility.
The Beauty Of Purity:
In closing, let me ask you this: Can you picture it? Can you see the beauty of purity? And if you can, will you fight for it in your own life, as well as in the lives of others?
Yes, it requires work. Purity doesn't happen by accident; it requires obedience to God. But this obedience is not burdensome or overbearing. We have only to consider the alternatives to impurity to see the beauty of walking in God's will. Impurity is a grimy film that coats the soul, a shadow that blocks light and darkens our countenance. God's love for the impure does not cease, but their ability to enjoy this love does. For in our impurity we are turned from Him. Sin and its defilement are never found hear His throne-they can only gain advantage when we turn away from His radiance.
Turned from God's presence we are completely unprotected from the marauding destruction of sin. Without purity God's gift of sexuality becomes a dangerous game. A relationship devoid of purity is soon reduced to nothing more than two bodies grasping at and demanding pleasure. Without purity, the mind becomes a slave to depravity, tossed about by every single craving and imagination.
What will it take for us to see the beauty of purity? Purity is the entrance to the splendor of God's creation. "Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart..." (Psalm 24:3-4). Purity ushers us into God's presence. "Blessed are the pure in heart," Christ said, "for they will see God" (Matthew 5:8). Only the pure may see His face. Only the pure may be vessels of His Holy Spirit:
Do you see the beauty and power and protection of purity? Do you want all this? Do you ache for it? Are you ready to deny yourself the pleasures of the moment to live a pure, God-focused life? May your love for Him fuel a lifelong, passionate pursuit of righteousness. (I kissed dating goodbye, by Joshua Harris, pages 97-101)
I am also going to write out a poem that was found in the book as well. I really liked it. :)
Man Enough To Answer
"A Woman's Question"
Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing
Ever made by the Hand above?
A woman's heart, and a woman's life-
And a woman's wonderful love.
Do you know you have asked for this priceless thing
As a child might ask for a toy?
Demanding what others have died to win,
With the reckless dash of a boy.
You have written my lesson of duty out,
Manlike, you have questioned me.
Now stand at the bars of my woman's soul
Until I shall question thee.
You require your mutton shall always be hot,
Your socks and your shirt be whole;
I require your heart be true as God's stars
And as pure as is heaven your soul.
You require a cook for your mutton and beef,
I require a far greater thing;
A seamstress you're wanting for socks and shirts-
I look for a man and a king.
A king for the beautiful realm called Home,
And a man that his Maker, God,
Shall look upon as He did on the first
And say: "It is very good."
I am fair and young, but the rose may fade
From this soft young cheek one day;
Will you live me then 'mid the falling leaves,
As you did 'mong the blossoms of May?
Is your heart an ocean so strong and true,
I may launch my all on its tide?
A loving woman finds heaven or hell
On the day she is made a bride.
I require all things that are grand and true,
All things that a man should be;
If you give this all, I would stake my life
To be all you demand of me.
If you cannot be this, a laundress and cook
You can hire and little to pay;
But a woman's heart and a woman's life
Are not to be won that way.
Wow! That's the kind of man I'm going to be looking for, and what I am going to "require of him" as it says! :)
I hope you all have a wonderful Christ-centered week.
P.S. If you havent checked out the winners read a post down and see who won the contest! Thanks to all who entered!! :) -JEN