Please be advised, some of the information shared in this post may not be appropriate for all ages.
Over the past months, I had the opportunity of attending two weddings. Both were beautiful in their own way. Both of which were ‘Christians’. Both of these brides wore beautiful white dresses. And neither of these couples had compromised their purity in a physical act of sexuality. But, one of these couples stood out far above the other in radiant purity. And I’d like to tell you why. I’d like to hopefully explain in words- what I was able to see.
Purity is more than the physical act of sexual contact. It is more than giving away your first kiss. It is even more than holding a guys hand or staring into his eyes. Purity begins in our hearts. It sounds so simple, but it really is true. Purity is a heart issue, not necessarily just a physical issue. In one of the training classes I’ve been taking recently for a Crisis Pregnancy Center, which includes Christian counseling, I had to take a class on “healthy sexuality”. And without going into much of the details, I was amazed and shocked by one of things I read.
“The brain has been called the largest sex organ in the body because sexual excitement is centered in the brain and begins in the brain even before the body is physically aroused.”
I honestly did not know that the brain was quite so involved. This should tell us something about the importance of our thought life. Of how incredibly important it is where we keep our minds and our thoughts, and our imaginations. Of where we allow them to go and what we choose to dwell on. Just as right thoughts can be nourished in our minds towards holiness and purity and godliness, so can wrong thoughts be nourished to our own destruction, and impurity, and disobedience.
Our thoughts are incredibly important and it certainly matters where our minds wander. The Lord cares about our thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:” Where we allow our thoughts to dwell, says something about us. I am not talking, however, about the thoughts that suddenly come into our minds that were completely out of our control. The enemy will often attack us in our minds. But it is the thoughts that we nourish and keep and do not give over to Christ, that we are responsible for.
The battle for purity begins in our minds long before the actual physical temptation arrives. If you’ll freely give away your purity by feeding evil thoughts and imaginations, you will just as easily give that same purity away by your physical actions. Don’t fool yourself by saying that a habit of giving into wicked imaginations will not effect your ability to shut the door when physical temptation actually comes knocking. The thoughts we nurture, are the same thoughts we will eventually act on.
II Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
We are told to “Cast down imaginations”, and to be “renewed in the spirit of your mind”. Sometimes this means, choosing not to think on something that seems enjoyable, or even, innocent. To cast down. To push away. To give up. To turn our imaginations over to Christ. To allow the thoughts in our minds to be so, that we are comfortable with Him joining us. And Christ gives us His standard.
” Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
So…back to those two weddings. One was the wedding of a dear friend of mine. She, the bride, looked beautiful in her modest white dress and her long hair pinned back so eloquently. Her smile was pretty much contagious and I’ve never seen someone “glow” quite like she did. But it was even more than that. She was a pure bride, in the very meaning of the word. Christ shined through her and He was evident, not only in her life, but even in her eyes. This coupled courted. They kept close accountability. And they waited until their wedding day to share their first kiss. It was precious and very sweet. And I respect them both for it.
The other wedding, honestly, kind of made me sad. Christ was not so evidently seen. This couple did not have accountability in the same way. They also did not save their first kiss. And while they were still pure in an actual physical sense, it was obvious that they were quite familiar and comfortable with kissing and touching and caressing each other already. There just wasn’t the same level of purity. And it felt like a cheap substitute for what a Christian wedding is supposed to be, what it is supposed to portray, which is Christ.
So… purity. It begins in our hearts. It is cultivated and protected through our minds. It is revealed by our desires. Are our desires pure?
Proverbs 11:23 says, “The desire of the righteous is only good:”
And Proverbs 18:1 says, “Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.”
“Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” (Psalms 73:25-26)
Purity is Christ in us. Purity is allowing the desire of Christ’s righteousness and holiness to penetrate every area of our lives and every area of our emotional, mental, and physical person. And purity is possible, in the highest, most God honoring, and beautiful meaning of the word.
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)