Pride and Purity

I grew up in a Christian home, and was taught that sex was something that was to be saved until united with a spouse under God’s covenant of marriage.  Which is absolutely right.  But there is something a little wrong that seeps in with the talks about saving yourself for the love God has intended for you.  What seeps in is that Purity is something to be done for it’s own sake.  It turns virgins into mythical unicorn-esque beasts made of magic and rainbows just because we can keep a lid on our sexual urges.  It makes us seem better than those who didn’t make it to the marriage bed virgins.  Which is wrong.

You see, the myth that creeps in with the truth that sex is something to only be done in the confines of Holy Wedlock, is that that’s what makes purity special, you have this magical gift to bestow on your spouse on your wedding night.  Which is not only a little inaccurate, considering as physically the first time is prone to be both painful and reportedly awkward.  We miss the real point in purity, which isn’t proving to the world we have a handle on our hormones, but rather proving to our spouse that we were loyal to them before we knew them.  Our restraint in our single days is an example and proof that we can resist temptation out of our love for the one we wed, so when temptations and struggles come after the wedding, we’ve been prepared for this, for we persevered in fidelity even before we ever met the one we married.

Fidelity is the true purpose in purity.  It’s not bragging rights, a better-than-you air, or our pride, or a present to our spouse.  I mean it is a present, it’s the present of love saying, hey, I loved you before I knew you, loved you enough to fend off my biological clock and the butterflies I got with people who I thought might be the one before I met you.  Saving yourself for marriage is saying I loved you enough to ignore the peer pressure, to mocked and called a prude because I have been devoted to you all of my life.

And fun fact for my fellow virgins, just because we’re saving ourselves doesn’t mean God’s given us a guarantee that our spouse will have done the same.  We’ve all sinned.  But when we deify virginity to some magical status it leads to serious superiority issues (been there, done that, probably have the t-shirt somewhere saying I’m A Virgin so I’m Better than You).  Let me shout this to all the people in the back JUST BECAUSE YOU WAITED TIL MARRIAGE DOESN’T MAKE YOU A MAGICAL SPOTLESS UNICORN OF RADIANT PURITY! Did you ever lust in that whole time while you waited for the one to come along and lead you to the altar?… Point made. But when virgins get put up on pedestals, exalted by our brothers and sisters in Christ or just people in general who think we’re pretty awesome for keeping a lid on the hormones and ignoring the peer pressure, we get to thinking that our virginity makes us superior. Which in turn could lead us to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, and our arrogance could make us stumble.  Think about it, we could be sitting up on our purity pedestal and see someone who could be the guy or gal God has destined for us, but by being blinded by our pride go, “nope, they’re not in the virgin club, can’t continue/start a relationship with them”.  Like any virtue, if we get to thinking that we accomplished that virtue on our own, and don’t remain humble, pride can come in and blind us to other things of equal importance.  Because we have all sinned, and we all need God’s guidance, we’ve all fallen.  Some struggle with lust, some struggle with pride, some with fear and some with doubt.  But to let our one area of sin where we “innocent” lead us to view ourselves as above our brothers and sisters in Christ who have fallen in that same area, it puts a barrier between us ministering to them as we should.  And as for the marrying non-virgins thing, when we give mystical qualities to our virginity then we also leave the door open for the person we marry, who if the stumbled in that area, feeling inferior to us, which isn’t true at all, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female” and there is nowhere in the Bible that says virgins get a special place in the Kingdom.  Your virginity does not make you better than any of your brothers or sisters in Christ.

And PSA to my fellow sojourners in singleness, and those in dating situations questioning whether purity is worth the struggle.  It is.  Our purpose in life is to show love, Christ’s love specifically, a selfless love that binds itself to God’s will for our lives.  God willed that intimacy only occur amongst those joined in marriage.  But more than that, imagine how loved your spouse is going to feel because you’ve kept yourself for them, that your loyalty is that strong, that your fidelity is that steadfast.  Do it for them, not for the praise or the pride in knowing that you’ve succeeded where so many fail, save your body for the one God planned you to give it to.  It’s His will, and as His children we know that all of his plans are perfect.  So whether you’re meant to be an example of loyalty to God’s will and inspire others with your single life sticking to purity, or whether you’re to raise up a family in God’s paths and can relate to them when they come to you with their struggles with staying true to God’s will when the world and their own hormones are crying out for them to turn their back on God’s perfect plans you will know that you followed your good Father’s will for your life in that area at least.  And we must try to be as diligent about aligning all the other parts of our life with God’s Holy and perfect will for our lives as we are about our purity.

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What we choose to believe in?

There are all sorts of things you can choose to believe in or choose to not believe in.  Everything from unicorns and dragons to God and gravity can be believed in or have their existence denied, sometimes with major consequences.  But I was thinking specifically how as flawed and fallen creatures us humans would rather believe in the bogey man, the monster from under our beds, the ghosts and ghouls of Halloween and all sorts of dark and malevolent things than in a good and loving heavenly father.

I was brought to think about this because of a Doctor Who episode, ‘Listen’, was it’s title and it focused on how the monster under our bed and childish nightmare could be a real thing, or could not be.  It left it very open for you to decide whether it was real or just a bunch of coincidences and the monster was never really there.  I concluded that the creature was real, at least in the Whoniverse, and that made me think for a minute.  How in our real and actual non-television show world how many times God’s divine providence is written off as good luck and coincidence.  Even when we pray for something and we receive it how often do we thank our Creator for the gift, usually we just write it off, well it would have happened eventually anyways is what we seem to say.  And in the world of non-believers how often do they deny His existence by saying, well it’s all an accident.  We’re just here by chance, that time I survived a deadly car crash as a child was just good luck.  We daily slap our Creator and Saviour in the face with each time we write off his daily miracles as coincidence, yet you’ll find more people likely to believe that vampires and zombies could be real things than that a loving father made them in His own likeness.

Why is this?

One potential reason is that we don’t have a free and generous gift waiting for us in the hands of the bogey man.  We are offered terror and our primal fears with the Frankenstein monsters coming out from the closet, there is no gift of love and grace that calls us to turn away from our weak and fallen human nature and become something stronger than we could if we continued with the basic package.  It’s like the most amazing upgrade package, members only perks, eternal season pass, and best promotion ever, and people don’t want to believe it’s real and it’s really there because if they do it means they have to accept a gift that calls us to change.  A gift so extravagant that our hearts can’t help but change because we’ve received such lavish grace that our gratitude pours out in a changed life proclaiming Christ’s glory for the world.  A response to this magnificent free gift that calls us to turn away from our sins and live in Him.  A super awesome power that comes on us that allows us to face something far more frightening than the monster from under our beds or the nightmares of childhood, it allows us to face our old self in the light of the truth and to move on from our crippling falleness to live in His grace daily, and live for something eternal, not simply be driven by our primal fears and animal instincts.

To believe

It is strange how strongly the human heart fights against belief.  Against accepting the fact that come what may our Father is in charge and nothing happens that is not His will.  Even if we don’t like it, or don’t understand it, he knows what is going on every second of our lives, even when we sleep.  He knows our dreams and He knows every step we take.  He keeps track of every hair on our head.

So when we face trials we should be able to rest in the peace that God’s got this.  Even if we’re just lost and confused and want answers now, and we get angry when things don’t go the way we planned, we can always come back around to the fact that He has a plan.  even if we are scared of what could be the future.

He is in charge in all things.  So before we step into that interview, or have that talk with someone in our life, we know that God has it in His hands and we’ll always be taken care of.  Even if it ends bad, or we fail to get what we went out for, we can be at peace knowing that God has better plans in store for us.  Just maybe not right now.

Faith and Tears

It doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to break down, cry, scream at the walls, but it means that even after all that you know God will be there for you.  You know your world is falling apart but you persevere because you know God has a purpose for you, no matter how lost you feel, He knows exactly where you are.  Always.